Colonialism dominated history and archaeology perhaps unlike any other event, and archaeological interpretation was an essential support to territorial claims. Thus, upon the landing of the Greek troops in Smyrna on May 1919, that inaugurated a 3-years military campaign, the Greek Government sent archaeologists to excavate some of the famous archaeological sites of the western coast, while the Greek Army also participated, by gathering artifacts on its way to Ankara. The surveys attempted to “prove” the “since ever pure” and “solid” Greekness of Asia Minor, by diminishing, on the other hand, the role of other ancient people into the creation of the Aegean and Anatolian civilization. Through a brief description, this article focuses on the relation between the excavations and the necessity of the Greek bourgeoisie of becoming more effective ideologically.
archaeology, war, politics, colonialism, collective conscience making