L'archeologie [i.e. antiquarian studies] ... est la partie la plus interessante de l'histoire, puisque c'est celle de l'homme dans sa vie publique et privee ... la connoissance de tout ce qui a rapport aux moeurs et aux usages des anciens. [Millin, 1796]
L'on verrait, on voit deja, devrais-je dire, des archeologues s'enfermer dans Ie pur raffinement de leur science. [van Effenterre, 1965, p. 41]
When so much is expected of archaeologists, it is hardly surprising that their colleagues sometimes feel disappointed in their expectations. The excavation of classical sites as a means of learning more about their history, and not merely in search of works of art, may be said to have begun just under a hundred years ago with the excavations of Schliemann at Troy in 1871 and Conze at Pergamon in 1877. Since that time archaeological methods have been constantly in rapid evolution.1 Both the development of archaeological method and the accelerating pace of change in the Mediterranean countryside increase the discoveries of new sites and the pressure to excavate before they are destroyed. Archaeology also bears an increasingly large share of the task of satisfying the non-specialist's interest in the ancient world, and this demand exerts its own pressure on excavation policy and publications. 2 And ancient historians, who are becoming more and more interested in social and economic history, ask new questions about forms of production and exchange, patterns of settlement, cultural interrelations between the Greeks and Romans
and their subjects or barbarian neighbours, and the wide variety of religious beliefs and practices of the ancient world, which require not only the excavation of new types of site (farms, workshops ... ), the examination of material which used to be ignored (bones, domestic pottery ... ), and the excavation of larger areas of ancient cities (residential quarters), but also, above all, enough evidence to permit comparisons and quantitative assessment - not one Troy, but a series of Troys.