The term antiquarianism refers to engagement with the material heritage of the past—an engagement that preceded the modern academic discipline of archaeology. Antiquarian activities result in the elaboration of particular social behaviors and the production of tools for exploring the collective memory.
This book is the first to compare antiquarianism in a global context, examining its roots in the ancient Near East, its flourishing in early modern Europe and East Asia, and its manifestations in nonliterate societies of Melanesia and Polynesia. By establishing wide-reaching geographical and historical perspectives, the essays reveal the universality of antiquarianism as an embodiment of the human mind and open new avenues for understanding the representation of the past, from ancient societies to the present.
Alain Schnapp is professor of classical archaeology at the Université Paris I–Panthéon-Sorbonne and director of the Institut d’études avancées (IEA-Paris). Lothar von Falkenhausen is professor of Chinese archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Peter N. Miller is professor of modern history and dean of the Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, New York. Tim Murray is professor of archaeology and dean of the faculty of humanities and social sciences at La Trobe University, Melbourne.
“This fascinating collection, beautifully produced, offers findings on the origins and evolution of antiquarianism-a deep interest in objects and records from the past-in many different societies.”
—Journal of Interdisciplinary History