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by Archaeology Newsroom

Historiography and Industrial Archaeology

The historiography of Greek industrial archaeology is poor, mainly because of the relatively recent interest in this specific subject. Therefore, the relevant studies represent until now especially remarkable but isolated efforts, since they do not belong to the framework of a cultural policy with clearly set objectives. The adoption of West European models is not easily applicable, not only because the issues regarding general principles have not been resolved even there, but also because the differences existing in Greek reality play a determinant role.

In the last twenty years, however, not only the scientific society, but also the broader public have become sensitive and active in this direction. In addition, the new archaeological low has taken the first step for the planning of an explicit cultural policy in this field. In this institutional framework all the bodies involved in industrial archaeology have to coordinate their efforts and to be aware of the self-generating difficulties of this subject, which are due to: a) the ephemeral character of buildings and structures, b) the high degree of desolation, c) the often vast area occupied by the built complexes and the respectively important economic interests in future investments there, d) the architectural peculiarities of the buildings, e) the problems created by the mechanical equipment.

It is, thus, concluded that the reuse of the building-shell undoubtedly conserves the historical landscape, but not the industrial heritage. On the other hand, the advancing technology does not allow the same or similar use of industrial complexes, The few buildings that have been restored to be used as museums are the only exception. For all the rest, the first step to be taken for their preservation as monuments of our industrial legacy is their systematic documentation and thorough study. This task requires the cooperation of many specialties, which in coordination with the state, will lead to the creation of a historiography, valuable for the preservation of industrial heritage.