Archaeological Battles and the Invention of City-Museums: Scientific Controversies and Public Concerns in Nineteenth-Century Paris and London (Stéphane van Damme)

Abstract: Understanding urban localism, local identity through antiquaries is nothing new.  From history of disciplinary archaeology (Alain Schnapp, The Conquest of the Past) to cultural history (Zimmerman, Excavating Victorians), passing by art historians and specialists of city museums, metropolitan archaeology could be seen as an attempt to concretize, to visualize, to materialize the ancient or medial origins of the metropolitan power, especially in cities like Paris and London, where antique pasts were not visible and where origins were plural, complex and disputed during several centuries. As anthropologists recently pointed out, urban archaeology as the science of origins, provides an imaginative power to restore the link between the ‘imagined community’ and a ‘territory’. As a science, archaeology is instrumental for securing new regime of proofs, evidence and certainty and re-scaling the city. Thinking from thing, as the philosopher of science and specialist of archaeology Alisson Wylie argued, offer new possibilities to materialize the Metropolitan Grandeur which should be seen on the one hand as a physical measure and standard and on the other hand as a moral and political value. By exploring and contrasting several sites Paris, London between mid-17th century to the beginning of the 20th century, I would like to stress the role played by archaeology between sciences and local politics in the making of a new metropolitan representation.


摘要:通过研究古董和古迹来理解城市地方主义和地方认同并不是什么新鲜事。从学科化的考古学史(Alain Schnapp《征服过去》)到文化史(Zimmerman《挖掘维多利亚时代》),途经艺术史学家和都市博物馆专家的研究,我们可以把大都市考古学看作是一种尝试,是将大都市权力的古代和中世纪诸多来源具体化、可视化及物质化,特别是在像巴黎和伦敦这样的城市中,古代(指古希腊、古罗马时期)遗迹并不可见,其起源又是多元的、复杂的,并在过去的几个世纪里是有争议的。正如人类学家们最近指出的那样,城市考古学是研究起源的科学,它为复原 “想象的共同体” 与 “地域” 之间的关联提供了富于创造性的力量。作为一门科学,考古学有助于确立关于证据、事实和确定性的新体制,并重新建立改造城市的尺度。通过 “Thinking from thing” 这种方式,科技哲学家和考古专家Alisson Wylie认为,提供了将大都市优势具体化的新可能,提出两点问题:一方面,大都市能否被看作是一种物质的尺度和标准,另一方面大都市能否被视为一种道德和政治价值。通过探索和对比巴黎和伦敦的几个17世纪中期到20世纪初的遗址,我想强调在科学与地方政治之间,考古学在呈现一种大都市的新表征时所发挥的作用。

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