chapter  5
Engaging Greek archaeology and history
ByLin Foxhall
Pages 9

Archaeology and history have long been companions in Greek studies, from the ‘modern’, ‘scientific’ beginnings of both disciplines. There is a rich range of sources for ancient Greece: written (both literary and epigraphical), iconographic and representational, and archaeological. For a very long time, for centuries even, most practitioners, whatever their intellectual or political agendas, have accepted the general principle that to understand the ancient Greek world it is necessary to somehow combine information provided by all of these different kinds of sources, even though in practice most scholars have ignored, or simply remained ignorant of, large chunks of those subdisciplines not their own. On the whole, the close relationship between the archaeology, history and literature of the classical world remains a problematic one of squabbling siblings who, behind all the quarrels, tensions and misunderstandings, really do love each other. Why in a world of postmodern, post-processual, interdisciplinary scholarship is this relationship still so difficult? And, what is the impact of this problematic relationship on the creation of a social archaeology or a social history of the ancient Greek world?