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fws schliemann 10-12-07

fws schliemann 10-12-07 - Anthro 125 Schliemann Sinner or...

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October 12, 2007 Anthro 125 Schliemann: Sinner or Saint? In the early days of archaeology, the line between scholar and looter was often blurred or absent altogether. Some men posed as scientists, traveled the globe under the pretense of research while sacking historical sites for treasure and personal gain. Others made no such pretension toward the betterment of science, yet kept flawless records that would make even the most meticulous modern scientist proud. Heinrich Schliemann is one example of a man who is not easily defined as either a scholar or a looter. While his personal desire for knowledge about Troy can be attributed to academic curiosity, his possession of the treasures at Troy mark him as an individual also driven by greed. Whatever his actions may be after finding Troy, Heinrich Schliemann began his quest as a man captivated by the Homeric legends and seeking for the truth. Money and riches were not his primary concern, as Schliemann had previously “amassed a great fortune from indigo, the California gold rush, and the Crimean War” (Fagan 1996: 176). Fagan further illustrates Schliemann’s financial situation by noting that Schliemann “retired from business at the age of forty-six to devote his life to archaeology” (1996: 176). With such ample funds, it seems logical that Schliemann was not motivated by the idea of fabulous treasures hidden in the remains of Troy.
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