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Colonial and National Tensions in Cypriot Archaeology: An Attempt at a Cosmopolitan Resolution

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Nikolaou, Christos 


Trauma and ambivalence are common aspects of the post-colonial condition and themes in Cypriot poetry. Yaşın’s (1998) poem acknowledges the present de facto political partition of Cyprus since the Greek coup and Turkish invasion of 1974, with Michanikos’ (1975) poem providing a complementary question as to the lack of necessity of this partition with references to the intercommunal violence of 1963-1964. These questions are linked to both a shared, albeit segregated, trauma from political tragedies and upheaval and a shared nostalgia either for a nationalist past or a bicommunal garden of Eden, the main cleavages of the island’s separation. The question of history and nostalgia in Cyprus, as well as its own identities have been entangled in the context of British colonialism as well as Greek and Turkish nationalism. This article investigates the relationship between archaeology, nationalism, and colonialism in Cyprus, producing segregated archaeological narratives and hidden bicommunal and minority experiences. It outlines a history of Cyprus, its nationalisms, and their effects on intercommunal imaginaries (Ioannou 2020). It will then discuss how ideology has shaped archaeological research in Cyprus (Karageorgis 1969). Lastly, the paper looks at how archaeology has moved towards a more nuanced discussion of ethnicity, the possibility of a common history, and reconciliation through the use of spatial, non-ethnic frameworks.



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Archaeological Review from Cambridge: Archaeology & Colonialism

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Archaeological Review from Cambridge

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