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by Archaeology Newsroom

Byzantine Archaeology: Between the Archaeological Approach to the Medieval Remnants and the History of Byzantine Art

The terms Byzantine archaeology, Medieval archaeology, Christian archaeology, History of Byzantine art, History of Medieval art refer to related fields, sometimes overlapping each other. These terms are used with a different nuance from country to country, therefore, their content varies, depending on the case. In order their meaning to be clarified, a retrospection of the history of their use is necessary, which becomes elucidating for the understanding of the field they define and the problems their research presents. Therefore, a brief survey of the institution of Byzantine archaeology in Greece during the second decade of the twentieth century is attempted, and the hesitation of specialists in using the terms Byzantine, Medieval and Christian, regarding the material remnants surviving in Greece, is discussed. The research and educational contents of the contemporary “Byzantine archaeology” are listed, and the terms “Middle Ages” and “Medieval” are proposed as the most appropriate for every case, in parallel with the term “Byzantine”, both for its chronological definition and its scientific connotations.