Sikyon survey project

The 2005 season

Anthropological study


The first stage of the anthropological research in the village of Vasiliko took place in July 2005. The research team included the social anthropologist E. Deltsou and four undergraduate students who accompanied her in the field and participated in the ethnographic research. As set out in the initial proposal, the research focused on the role that the archaeological past and present of the ancient city of Sikyon plays in the perceptions and practices of the contemporary inhabitants of the village. It also addressed the issues of the agricultural present and future of the area, particularly in the context of the changing economic conditions with regards to the economic development of the wider area and to European Union agricultural policies.

The research investigated both the differential and relative-to-the-agent processes of value formation, as related to the antiquities in the village, as well as the ascription of labels for the antiquities, be that national, symbolic or economic. It also looked into how the archaeologization of the local past is inherently tied to local views about the present and the future of themselves and the village both as individuals and a collectivity. The research revealed that the antiquities are differentially perceived both by and within the formal institutions (archaeological services, ministry of culture, municipal authorities, university excavations), as well as by inhabitants of the village, who express ambiguous even inconsistent attitudes toward the antiquities. It also found out that regardless of standpoint the antiquities constitute for the inhabitants of the village a building element of locality and are tied to both a positive value of the past as the glorified antiquity but also a negative, under-privileged cultural, economic and political present. Thus research into the expression of views and perceptions about the antiquities becomes a means to approach the lives of the contemporary inhabitants of the village.