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Do we need ‘masculinist’ (manly?) defenses of feminist archaeology?

  • Matthew C. Gutmann

Extract

There is nothing inherently new, of course, about the study of men in archaeology. For example, in his important history of the creation of modern European masculinity George Mosse (The Image of Man, Oxford, 1996) describes one objective of eighteenth-century archaeologists as entailing the rediscovery of ancient Greek sculpture. Among other things Mosse demonstrates how an ‘ideal of masculine beauty took its inspiration from Greece’ and from the Greek statues in which the male body is deified, to such an extent that ‘the noble soul of each youth manifests itself through the harmonious position of his naked body during gymnastic exercises, foreshadowing the important role that gymnastics will play in shaping modern manhood’.

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