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The Power of the Past. 150 Years of Archaeology in Spain

The Power of the Past. 150 Years of Archaeology in Spain

The exhibition, organised by the Museo Arqueológico Nacional in Madrid and Acción Cultural Española, presents the history and development of Spanish archaeology through 150 pieces in order to show how Spain’s material past has been constructed. The works have been lent by 68 collaborating institutions and are all icons of the past which convey an overall, up-to-date and critical vision of archaeology in Spain. The show furthermore coincides with the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Museo Arqueológico Nacional (MAN) and the network of Spanish archaeology museums.

The founding of the Museo Arqueológico Nacional in 1867 was a moment of far-reaching significance in raising public awareness of the importance of the past in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Spain.

Archaeological museums have always had a twofold purpose. The first is to document, preserve and exhibit the objects and material remains of our past in order to trace the development of societies. The second is to disseminate this knowledge of the past, making it more understandable and accessible to all citizens.

In a way, the MAN and Spain’s other archaeological museums are the main database on this country’s material history and, at the same time, the biggest and most attractive showcase of its history.

The extensive collaboration of the museums involved in the project and the timespan of the discoveries of the objects on display provide a rich perspective on history and studying it.

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Audiovisual of the exhibition "The Power of the Past"
Audiovisual of the exhibition "The Power of the Past"
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360 Tour of de "The Power of the Past" at the MAN

The exhibition, organised by the Museo Arqueológico Nacional in Madrid and Acción Cultural Española, presents the history and development of Spanish archaeology through 150 pieces in order to show how Spain’s material past has been constructed.
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El poder del pasado. 150 años de arqueología en Expaña
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El poder del pasado. 150 años de arqueología en Expaña

  • Type: Edición conmemorativaExhibition catalogue
This catalogue delves into the 150 artworks that were part of the exhibition with the same name, from 67 museums and public and private collections, and is a reliable photograph of the great archaeological achievements in Spain and the exceptional record of archaeological data that we enjoy. It is the first great synthesis on this subject addressed to all types of public, and a unique opportunity to see together a list of archaeological, historical and artistic objects of capital relevance.
 
Through pieces from different eras and cultures, sometimes resulting from casual findings, others, the result of systematic excavation campaigns, are shown from the oldest discoveries to other results of the most recent research projects. Another remarkable aspect of the catalog is that it allows us to explore the amount of knowledge with which our past has been shaped and the archaeological science has evolved: from the figure of the adventurer and solitary antiquarian to the collective and specialized task that today means work in this field.

Index
A history of archeology in Spain.
The origins of modern archeology: antiquarianism.
The pioneer stage of Spanish archeology (1867-1912).
From Ambassadors to Serrano. First decades of the National Archaeological Museum.
Darwinism and Prehistory in nineteenth-century Spain.
The meaning of Altamira.
The imaginary of the first Prehistory.
The consolidation of modern archeology (1912-1960).
The stratigraphy. From divorce to the encounter of time and space in Spanish archeology.
The institutionalization of classical archeology in Spain.
A never finished process.
The international relations of Spanish archeology, 1912-1960.
The distortion of archeology in the first Francoism.
Archeology in the NO-DO.
Archeology at school and the popular imagination.
The configuration of contemporary archeology in Spain (1960-2017).
Archeology on television.
Archeology magazines in Spain.
Archaeological museums, 1960-2010: the experience of an orphanage.
Spanish archeology abroad.
The international relations of Spanish archeology, 1960-present.
The (incomplete) institutional construction of medieval archeology.
Public archeology today.
Spanish archeology: from today to the future.
Catalogue.
The pioneer stage of Spanish archeology (1867-1912).
The consolidation of modern archeology (1912-1960).
The configuration of contemporary archeology in Spain (1960-2017).
Bibliography.

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