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“The Saddest of Ruins”: Travelers' Accounts as Evidence for Formation Processes at Hierapytna, Crete

Scott Gallimore
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology & Heritage Studies
Vol. 3, No. 2 (2015), pp. 105-126
DOI: 10.5325/jeasmedarcherstu.3.2.0105
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Page Count: 22
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“The Saddest of Ruins”
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Travelers' accounts are consulted by scholars interested in learning about issues of Greek nationalism and identity or the development of Greek archaeology. This article examines an additional type of data often preserved in these texts: information about formation processes that affect archaeological sites. Numerous travelers visited the same sites over several centuries. Their accounts can provide a diachronic narrative of deteriorating archaeological ruins and the processes behind these transformations. Using the Hellenistic and Roman city of Hierapytna, Crete, as a case study, this article examines employing travelers' accounts as evidence for formation processes and their implications for better understanding the current state of archaeological ruins across the Mediterranean.

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