The trowel and the sickle. Italian archaeology and its Marxist legacy

Fig. 2In the 1945-1960s, the Italian Communist party influenced the development of Italian archaeology given its role as crucial hub of Italian intellectual life. Communism and Marxism influenced the development of the discipline, however following the collapse of the PCI and the resulting downfall of its intellectual tradition archaeology lost its innovative potential.

Abstract

During the second post-war period (1945-1960s), the Italian Communist party influenced the development of Italian archaeology given its role as crucial hub of Italian intellectual life. Communist ideology was perceived as means to enfranchise the discipline from the old academia. By focusing on the development of Italian archaeology from the 1960s onwards, this paper will analyze the influence of communist and Marxist ideologies on the development of the discipline. It is argued that while the Marxist research trajectories were characterized by an initial innovative and driving force that revolutionized Italian archaeology, the collapse of the Italian Communist Party and the resulting downfall of its intellectual tradition determined the exhaustion of the disciplines’ innovative potential.

Elisa Cella, Maja Gori, Alessandro Pintucci

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