In Ancient Marbles to American Shores, Stephen L. Dyson uncovers the history of classical archaeology in the United States by exploring the people and programs that gave birth to archaeology as a discipline in this country. He puts aside the common formula of chronicling great digs, great discoveries, and great men in favor of a cultural, ideological, and institutional history of the subject.
The book explores the ways American contact with the monuments of Greece and Rome affected the national consciousness. It discusses how the spread of classical style laid the groundwork for the development of the discipline after the Civil War and examines the period before World War I, when most of the institutions that led to the establishment of the discipline, as well as the first generation of American classical archaeologists, were created. It looks at the role classical archaeology played in the development of the American art museum since the later nineteenth century and considers changes in American classical archaeology from World War II to the mid-1970s.
Filling the void of information on the history of classical archaeology in the United States, this lively book is a valuable contribution to literature on a subject which is enjoying ever-increasing interest and attention.
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