The Cup of Gyptis

Michael Dietler

in Archaeologies of Colonialism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520265516
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947948 | DOI:
The Cup of Gyptis

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What was the nature of the encounter between seaborne intruders from distant Mediterranean city-states and the indigenous peoples of western Europe, and how did it affect the historical transformation of these societies? The answer to this question lies at the heart of conceptions of modern European identity, contemporary colonial discourse, and scholarly debates about Euro-American colonialism. This book addresses this ancient question from a new perspective. It demonstrates the curious historical process by which modern consciousness has been “colonized” by the ancient Greeks and Romans and how that colonized perspective has come to color the way archaeologists now understand ancient colonial encounters, including especially that seminal encounter represented by the tale of Gyptis. It argues that the formation of archaeology as a professional practice was a product of the broader colonization of European consciousness that it discusses there—archaeology was born already colonized, as it were. This book explains in detail why the ancient colonial encounter in the western Mediterranean, and Mediterranean France in particular, has come to play a pivotal role in modern European culture and colonial discourse.

Keywords: Gyptis; Mediterranean France; colonial encounter; colonization; colonialism; culture; archaeology; Europe; European identity; modern consciousness

Chapter.  11563 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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