The Tourists Gaze, The Cretans Glance: Archaeology and Tourism on a Greek Island

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Overview


As researchers bring their analytic skills to bear on contemporary archaeological tourism, they find that it is as much about the present as the past. Philip Duke’s study of tourists gazing at the remains of Bronze Age Crete highlights this nexus between past and present, between exotic and mundane. Using personal diaries, ethnographic interviews, site guidebooks, and tourist brochures, Duke helps us understand the impact that archaeological sites, museums and the constructed past have on tourists’ view of their own culture, how it legitimizes class inequality at home as well as on the island of Crete, both Minoan and modern.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"As a work of applied archaeological ethnography Duke marvelously negotiates his way between the subjective and objective. His inclusion of selected diary notes, tables analyzing tourist facilities, and guidebooks at more than a dozen sites is highly original and establishes new worthwhile methodologies for this kind of study. His comparative discussion of market-oriented cultural heritage exploitation and socially focused and community-owned heritage use raises issues that should be considered by all parties involved with archaeological sites and tourism. This group includes archaeologists who can not and must not ignore the political and social ramifications of their work. " —Helaine Silverman, Univ. Illinois

"This short book offers both professional and gnereal readers a perspective that, while debated in archaeological circles, has received minimal attention in other venues. What some have termed the archaeology of the contemporary past is as much about the present as it is about antiquity. In this topical and appealing book, [Duke] explores the wide range of political, cultural, and ethical issues that are at play in all archaeological endeavors. Summing up: Recommended. " - O. Pi-Sunyer, CHOICE

"I was lucky enough to read this book for the first time sitting on the beach outside Rethymnon on Crete…Duke’s project is both thought-provoking and timely, not just for myself, but for archaeology and archaeologists in general. More than exhaustively proving that modern class issues have been, and still are being, normativized by the discourse of Minoan archaeology, Duke’s concise work effectively situates the construction of the Minoan past within wider debates of archaeological practice. For me, this is the real strength of his book. Read the complete review online at: http://traumwerk.stanford.edu/" - Elissa Z. Faro, Archaeolog

"Aside from the cool title, the book provides a succinct overview of the relationship between archaeology on Crete and tourism with a main emphasis on Bronze Age, Minoan sites. What interested me the most was Duke's effort to problematize the relationship between archaeologists, the tourist industry (ranging from efforts of the Greek state to present archaeological sites to small, local businesses), and the foreign tourist. The boundaries between these groups, of course, are fairly artificial: even Duke in his role of tourist ethnographer become in some contexts a tourist himself. Of course, the hybrid state of the typical archaeologist/tourist is precisely the position that allowed Duke to critique the "tourists' gaze" so well. The real charm of his slim volume is that it seems like a nice addition to the reading list for our own study tour/field school next summer. Read the complete review online at: http://mediterraneanworld.typepad.com/ the_archaeology_of_the_me/2008/10/page/2/" -Bill Caraher, The Archaeology of the Mediterranean World

"The case serves as a good example of the appropriation of heritage by tourism, and explores how international tourism and heritage strategies operate at a local level. Duke’s thorough study of the exploitation of the Minoan past by the heritage industry is thought-provoking and the diverse material collected is synthesized skillfully. It is a significant contribution to research regarding the uses and abuses of cultural heritage and is a fitting supplement to the work of scholars of Greek heritage… Archaeologists and heritage professionals can benefit from the discussions initiated by this volume, and this research opens the way for further ethnographic studies of the politics of heritage interpretation, for both tourists and host communities." -Georgios Alexopoulos, Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites

"All in all, this is a fabulous little book, easily accessible and easily read in a single sitting. Much of the cogency of the book lies in the fact that, for much of it, it does not use the normal sources available to archaeologists; instead, it considers personal diaries, interviews (whether ethnographic or otherwise), guidebooks available at archaeological sites, and tourist brochures. Through these, Duke lays bare the impact that sites, museums, and the constructed past have not only on the tourists’ view of the Minoan past but of their own culture."

-John K. Papadopoulos, Near Eastern Archaeology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598741438
  • Publisher: Left Coast Press
  • Publication date: 8/30/2007
  • Series: Heritage, Tourism and Community Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Philip Duke is professor of anthropology at Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado, where he has taught since 1980. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Until recently, his professional work has been conducted on the archaeology of western North America, about which he has written Points in Time: Structure and Event in a Late Northern Plains Hunting Society. He is co-editor of Beyond Subsistence: Plains Archaeology and the Postprocessual Critique and of Archaeology and Capitalism: From Ethics to Politics . His research specialties include public archaeology and repatriation issues. He also works with the Ludlow Collective at the archaeological site of the 1914 Ludlow massacre near Trinidad, Colorado.
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Table of Contents


Preface     9
Introduction     13
Touring the Past     21
The Minoan Past     33
Tourists and the Constructed Past     57
Modern Crete, Ancient Minoans, and the Tourist Experience     67
Constructing a Prehistory     93
The Nexus of the Past     119
References Cited     123
Appendix     145
Index     153
About the Author     155
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