Archaeology Odyssey 2:3, July/August 1999

Heinrich Schliemann: Improbable Archaeologist

By David A. TraillIgor Bogdanov

Athens at the height of summer. Visitors are negotiating their way through the crowded Mycenaean room of the National Museum. The name “Schliemann” rustles through the air as the guides halt their groups at strategic points and launch into their mini-lectures on the finds. The tourists gaze in awe at the Mask of Agamemnon and at the vitrines with gold jewelry from the Shaft Graves at Mycenae. And they wonder about the strange, obsessed German archaeologist who found them. Who was this pioneer of Aegean archaeology and why is he still important?

I: Heinrich Schliemann’s veracity is gently challenged by author David Traill; we then go back in time to follow our restless, 19-year-old hero as he sets out for foreign parts.

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