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Mélida : génesis, pensamiento y obra de un maestro.

Díaz-Andreu, M. (2004) 'Mélida : génesis, pensamiento y obra de un maestro.', in Arqueología española. Pamplona: Urgoiti Editores, pp. 1-199.


The title of this extensive publication – almost 200 pages – can be translated as "José Ramon Mélida: a historiographical study of professional archaeology in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Spain". An article in English summarising some of the main issues discussed will be published (Díaz-Andreu 2007 'Revisiting the "invisible college": José Ramón Mélida as a case study', in N. Schlanger & A. Schnapp (eds.) Histories of Archaeology. Oxford, New York: Berghaus. "José Ramon Mélida: a historiographical study of professional archaeology in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Spain" is a critical biography of one of the main figures in European archaeology. José Ramón Mélida. Mélida is used as the centre point to critically review the socio-political context of the development of Spanish archaeology in its international setting during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. French archaeology was the main inspiration behind Mélida’s understanding of archaeology. However, in the last years of his life he witnessed the increasing authority of German science in Spain. A new generation of archaeologists formed in Germany organised themselves in a network which looked down at the achievements of their predecessors. This led to confrontation and a break in disciplinary tradition. Networks, termed as invisible colleges by historians of science, are the normal way in which scientists organise themselves. They help in explaining Mélida’s biography, in particular how he managed to amass an important number of high administrative jobs throughout his life. These included influential posts such as professor of Archaeology at the Central University, director of the National Museum of Archaeology in Madrid, director of the Museum of Casts, director of the excavations at the Roman town of Mérida and committee chairman for the excavations at Numantia. He was also a fellow of the Academy of History, and of the Academy of Fine Arts, and also of other innumerable institutions. Networks, however, also played a major role in silencing the legacy of the French-influenced scholars, and amongst them, of Mélida’s legacy, in official histories of archaeology.

Item Type:Book chapter
Keywords:History of archaeology, Nationalism, Spain, Clientelism.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:UNSPECIFIED
Record Created:09 Jan 2009
Last Modified:25 Feb 2010 09:41

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