What is it about?

The paper presents a previously undocumented group of 22 lithics held at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, which were recently identified as provenanced from the Mesolithic site of Smelroren in Norway. Archival testimonies allow one to tentatively formulate the hypothesis that these artefacts were possibly expatriated from Norway under unknown circumstances and transferred to Crete in 1941 by the Austrian archaeologist August Schörgendorfer, who was assigned with the safekeeping of cultural heritage in the occupied island.

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Why is it important?

The main aim of the paper is to explore the historical background of this orphaned collection, as this is so far the only known case whereby an officer of the ‘Art Protection’ unit (Kunstschutz) of the Wehrmacht introduced foreign archaeological objects into a Greek archaeological institution. Moreover, I examine the shifting agency of this Smelroren collection as a result of its mobility, after Schörgendorfer donated the lithics to Heraklion Museum.

Perspectives

The discussion of the lithics, which were expatriated from Norway, is framed by consideration of the changing meanings regarding another displaced collection of Cretan pottery sherds, which the archaeologist loaned to the University of Graz. It is suggested that the two collections be ultimately perceived as assemblages of affective memory objects, with the intent to engage public opinion on the interaction between archaeology and politics as well as to contribute to memory negotiation of World War II microhistories in the twenty‐first century.

Dr GEORGIA FLOUDA

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This page is a summary of: ΑN EXPATRIATED ‘COLLECTION’ OF MESOLITHIC NORWEGIAN LITHICS AT HERAKLION ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM AND WORLD WAR II LEGACIES, Oxford Journal of Archaeology, March 2020, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/ojoa.12188.
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