Funding Matters Elisabeth Niklasson

Funding Matters  Elisabeth Niklasson
Funding Matters
Elisabeth Niklasson
Funding Matters
Archaeology and the Political Economy of the Past in the EU
Elisabeth Niklasson
©Elisabeth Niklasson, Stockholm University 2016
ISSN 0349-4128
ISBN 978-91-7649-320-5
Printed in Sweden by Holmbergs, Malmö 2016
Distributor: Publit
Cover: A stylised photo of hundreds of EU applications awaiting
peer-review in the selection panels for the programme Culture
2007–2013. Photo taken by author in November 2010.
To grandma and grandpa
Acknowledgements ................................................................................... 11
Preface ......................................................................................................... 13
Chapter 1. Introduction ........................................................................... 15
The EU and archaeology ................................................................................... 17
Previous research ............................................................................................... 20
Archaeology and the EU ......................................................................... 20
Archaeology and funding arrangements ............................................. 23
EU cultural policy and cultural heritage............................................... 24
Research design ................................................................................................. 26
Choices ...................................................................................................... 27
Theories..................................................................................................... 28
Ethnography ............................................................................................. 31
Para-ethnography.................................................................................... 34
On ethics and the difficulties of studying colleagues ........................ 35
Structure of the thesis ...................................................................................... 36
Chapter 2. Positioning Europe ................................................................ 39
On horses, planets and gloves .............................................................. 39
Once upon a time there was Europe .............................................................. 41
The origins of Europe in archaeology ............................................................. 51
Europe between barbarism and capitalism ......................................... 53
Conclusions ......................................................................................................... 63
Chapter 3. Archaeology in the EU: Narratives of Anxiety ................ 65
On heritage and the figure of archaeology ......................................... 66
Material and method ............................................................................... 69
1976. Archaeology enters the scene: a token .............................................. 73
The bigger and smaller picture ............................................................. 76
The figure of archaeology ...................................................................... 81
1983. Archaeology on its own two feet: EHMF ............................................. 82
The bigger and smaller picture ............................................................. 86
The figure of archaeology ...................................................................... 88
1996. Archaeology from diversity to unity: Raphael ................................... 89
Supporting archaeology with no ‘ulterior motive’ .............................. 95
The bigger and smaller picture ........................................................... 100
The figure of archaeology .................................................................... 102
2007. The fall of a rising star: the Culture programmes .......................... 104
Culture goes intangible while heritage gets stuck in the past ...... 108
The bigger and smaller picture ........................................................... 113
The figure of archaeology .................................................................... 114
Conclusions and further reflections .............................................................. 116
Chapter 4. Inside the Black Box: Translations in the Culture
Programme ............................................................................................... 119
Configuring the metaphors .................................................................. 121
Material and method ............................................................................. 123
The agency of the Agency: a circuit in the machine ................................. 125
The black box: the politics of the non-political ..................................... 126
Translating European added value: escaping definition ...................... 132
From paper boxes to points: the expert reviewers.................................... 136
The black box: socialisation and controversy in the expert panels ... 137
European experts or expert Europeans? ........................................... 140
On consensus ......................................................................................... 142
Translating European added value: detective work ............................. 145
On Eurospeak ......................................................................................... 147
The go-betweens: Cultural Contact Points and consultants ..................... 149
Points of (dis)connection at the edge of the black box ....................... 151
Unauthorised assistance: the consultants.............................................. 153
The frustrations of translations ................................................................ 157
From application to implementation: the projects ..................................... 158
The black box: situated perspectives ...................................................... 159
Translating European added value: application poetry ....................... 162
The idea of Europe ................................................................................ 164
On ethics ................................................................................................. 166
Summary and conclusions.............................................................................. 168
Chapter 5. European Pasts and Presents in Project Narratives .... 175
On narratives and archaeology ........................................................... 176
Material and method ............................................................................. 178
The mystery of the missing lines ........................................................ 180
European times and things ............................................................................ 182
Buzzing with Europe ............................................................................. 183
European times ........................................................................................... 188
The first Europeans ............................................................................... 189
The Roman Empire as the first common European space ............. 195
The Early Middle Ages as the cradle of EUrope................................ 202
European things .......................................................................................... 213
Between a rock and a hard place: Europe and prehistoric art ...... 214
European landscapes ............................................................................ 223
Conclusions ....................................................................................................... 231
Chapter 6. EU-funding in the Political Ecology of Archaeology ..... 235
The bare necessities ........................................................................................ 237
Political capital .................................................................................................. 238
Professional capital and cognitive authority ................................................ 241
Archaeologists and Network Europe ............................................................. 244
Conclusions ....................................................................................................... 250
Chapter 7. Conclusions: Funding Matters .......................................... 251
The life of a project proposal ......................................................................... 252
Pre-application phase: archaeology – problem and promise ........ 253
Application phase: a laboratory of European heritage-making? ... 257
Post-application phase: EUropean narratives .................................. 262
Implications of applications ............................................................................ 266
Arkeologin och det förflutnas politiska ekonomi i EU ...................... 269
Figures ....................................................................................................... 285
Bibliography .............................................................................................. 287
Literature ........................................................................................................... 287
Institutional records ........................................................................................ 307
Treaties and declarations ..................................................................... 308
Communications, decisions, memorandums, reports ..................... 308
Questions and Commission answers .................................................. 312
EU Budgets ............................................................................................. 313
Calls for proposals ................................................................................. 313
Culture programme materials ............................................................. 314
Evaluations ............................................................................................. 315
Council of Europe and UNESCO .......................................................... 315
Appendix 1: Interviews .......................................................................... 317
Appendix 2: Interview Questions and Themes ................................. 319
Appendix 3: Projects Included in the Database ................................ 323
Authorised Heritage Discourse
Cultural Contact Point
Critical Discourse Analysis
Cradles of European Culture
Council of Europe (non-EU organisation)
Committee of the Regions
European Commission Directorate-General for Education and Culture
Directorate-General X, Information, Communication and Culture
European Association of Archaeologists
Europae Archaeologiae Consilium
Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive
Agency (just called the Agency in the thesis)
European added value
European Communities
European Cultural Paths
European Currency Unit
European Economic Community
European Heritage Label
European Historical Monuments and Sites Fund
European Landscape Convention
European Parliament
European Research Council
European Regional Development Fund
European Union
Used in this thesis to refer to the symbolic and physical space of the European Community and later the
EU. Not to Europe as a continent.
Member of the European Parliament
Pathways to Cultural Landscapes
Unit of Account
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural
First of all, thanks go to my tutor Mats Burström who has always applied the
right amount of good cop/bad cop guidance. As good cop, your appreciative
comments on my drafts, and reassurances that my ideas (at least most of
them) were worthwhile, has helped me grow more confident as a researcher.
As bad cop, your constructive criticism has forced me to up my game and
kill many darlings (R.I.P). Besides, without our shared love of structure and
steadfast deadlines (and puns!), this book would probably not have been
finished yet. Thanks also to my second tutor Birgitta Svensson. You joined
the process quite late but you did so with determination and style, offering
theoretical insights and a vast amount of ethnographic knowledge. Those
rainbow-coloured drafts you handed back must have cost you a few marker
pens, but they did wonders. And to Pelle Snickars, my previous tutor, thank
you for our café-sessions. They incited creativity at the right moments. In
this context I would also like to recognise the unceasing support provided by
Anna Källén. Thank you for your mentorship and “tough love” in regards to
my texts and my person. It has been instrumental.
Next I would like to thank Anna Sörman. Friends are the most important ingredient in the recipe of life (just kidding *winces*). Honestly
though, your friendship and our set routines, morning fika with Nöt-Créme,
afternoon walks and beloved “egg timer writing sessions,” changed the trajectory of my thesis work and social life. I especially cherish the memory of
our perfect work weeks in Kavala. Ingrid Berg and Elin Engström, you too
belong in my thesis bubble. By way of laughter, tears and sound advice, the
three of you have provided me with an extra tank of oxygen and a thesis
first-aid kit, allowing me to breathe and write throughout this process. I will
not say that you have kept me sane, because we were all pretty crazy to
begin with. As I hope you know by now, it is better for everyone if you just
let me win at board games.
To my colleagues in Fokult. When I joined our interdisciplinary research
school in March 2011, your intellect and argumentation skills scared me out
of my wits, but I quickly came to cherish you for the very same reasons.
More than my personal group of expert reviewers, I have come to see you as
my (cultural historical) confidants. To Robin, thank you for your friendship,
our long walks and your excellent dinner parties. To Britta, Johan, Anders,
Tove, Adam H, Emma, Niklas, Lisa, Daniel, Per, Matts, Robert, Adam WM, Elisa and Frederik, thank you for your valuable feedback and for our less
metaphysical talks over dinner (or in the sauna). Thanks also to the dedicated
board of the research school, for running it so expertly and for your thoughtful comments in my seminars, especially Anders A, Inga, Mats and Peter.
There are so many more to whom I owe gratitude. To my informants,
without your cooperation and interest this thesis would not have been possible to write. To Birgitta Johansen, for your in-depth reading and observant
comments on my manuscript at my final seminar. It gave me that last push to
finish things up. To Anders Andrén and Lena Sjögren for your helpful feedback on the consolidated manuscript. Your suggestions were detailed enough
to be implemented swiftly and few enough to make me realise I was almost
there. To my fellow PhD students and friends in archaeology, Jenny, Marte,
Linda, Per, Anna R, Magnus, Cecilia, Florent, Anna A and Linn, thank you
for your input, good humour and for cheering me on. To all the people who
together make up the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, I
am glad of your clever questions during seminars and your adventurous spirit during trips. You have made my days at the office instructive and enjoyable. Special thanks to Alison for your language support, wit and valuable
post-doc insights, and to Christina and Annika for your kind assistance.
To my dear friends in Gothenburg, thank you for being there and reminding me of what matters. Vessna, Hanna, Daniel and Jonas, I still choose you!
To Egle, you have been helpful both as a friend and as someone who knows
exactly what I am writing about. It was probably more fun to hang out with
me in Brussels than in Stockholm, but know that I appreciate you.
To my family. Tack farfar för din nyfikenhet och rättframma sätt. I en
annan värld hade du blivit forskare, det är jag övertygad om. Tack farmor
för ditt jädrar anamma och din tilltro till min förmåga. Tack till mamma,
pappa och Emma för er omtanke och förståelse för att jag inte varit lika
närvarande de senaste åren. De små gesterna, såsom att skicka mina favoritkakor med posten och att ta hand om min lägenhet har betytt mycket.
Mukashi Mukashi… To you, Christopher, I owe more gratitude than I can
well put down in words. We began our PhD research in different countries at
the same time. In the end, remarkably, I think we are stronger for it. Thank
you for your love and patience, for making me laugh, and for the best darn
cappuccinos ever. Moreover, the practical assistance you provided in the last
stages of revisions, editing and map-making made all the difference.
Finally, since funding matters lie at the very core of this thesis, I must
stress the importance of the financial backing I have received for my many
fieldtrips and for the extra months it took to wrap this thesis up (and I welcome studies of my own ‘application poetry’). A big thank you to:
Johan & Jakob Söderbergs Stiftelse, Helge Ax:son Johnsons Stiftelse,
Stiftelsen Lars Hiertas Minne, Knut & Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse, Albert &
Maria Bergströms Stiftelse, Greta Arwidssons Stiftelse, Sten d'Aubignes
Stiftelse, Alfred & Berth Janssons Stiftelse, John & Johanna Håkansson
Stiftelse, Anna Sandströms Stiftelse, and Greta Ellstams stiftelse.
In the early 2000s when I started studying archaeology in Gothenburg, the
academic environment was heavily influenced by the revolt against grand
narratives and methodological nationalism. Misuses of the past and the politics of heritage were central items in the curricula. I was therefore surprised
when I came across an archaeological project application addressed to the
European Union funding programme Culture 2000 that aimed to promote a
sense of shared belonging among Europeans by confirming the existence of
a ‘European identity’ in the past. Looking at other project descriptions I saw
that the term was used quite often, sometimes accompanied by ‘European
roots.’ From what I had read about the consequences of archaeology’s previous involvement in Western identity building projects, these phrases seemed
like schoolbook examples the kind of exclusive and Eurocentric notions that
archaeologists had attempted to rid themselves of.
The EU’s intention to foster ideas of a common heritage and identity was
easily spotted in a quick overview of political documents, and I came to
think of the institution as “the bad guy,” while archaeologists seemed to be
biased or just unaware. This view was based on the presumption that the
relationship between benefactor and beneficiary was fairly passive and
straightforward. My initial irritation soon turned into curiosity, which eventually led me to Brussels. There I worked for five months at the administrative agency in charge of the EU Culture programmes, months during which I
re-evaluated my assumptions many times over. In a multinational work environment where a shortage of time and money joined with the challenges of a
heavily procedural workflow, I soon realised that the European Commission
was far from a coherent body driven by clear intentions. Decision-making
did not always happen via the authorised channels and interns like myself
were assigned important tasks that the regular staff had no time for.
Later on, through speaking with archaeologists engaged in EU projects, I
understood that their interaction with EU funding schemes often extended
beyond the start and end of a particular project. In most cases they were also
well aware of the political agenda of the funding programmes and reflexive
in regard to their own participation. Therefore, I wish to emphasise that my
research is not seeking to pass judgement on “bad” behaviour or to evaluate
the success of either projects or EU policies. It is about understanding the
practices and actors that create the past in the present.
Chapter 1. Introduction
One rainy November day in Brussels, I had a difficult conversation with a
heritage professional involved in EU legislation. When trying to explain my
topic, our talk suddenly turned into an interview about me and the premises of
my research. The informant explained that the EU had never been interested
in heritage, so there was nothing for me to study. I was simply barking up the
wrong tree. My attempt to clarify that I was interested in the conditions of EU
cultural actions and how archaeological projects interacted in that setting,
was met with words of warning. If that was the case, the person said, I had to
be aware of two things: firstly, at least three member states have to participate to achieve funding from these programmes, so by design they have a
harmonising effect. Secondly, the single page in the application that states the
project goals may have nothing to do with its real aims. ‘It is like money magic’ I was told, a performance to convince Brussels bureaucrats that the project is good for EU politics. At this point I was rather frustrated, answering
that yes, the harmonisation and adaptation are the very reasons for my interest in the matter! The conversation then continued in a less accusatory tone. If
we take a step away from heritage and look only at politics, my informant
conceded, it is interesting to note how these programmes force applicants to
relate to EU goals, that the application language has a political function. 1
Having regarded this conversation as a failure for over two years, I recently
returned to it, realising that it is probably one of the most clarifying moments
in the body of work that supports this thesis. The informant’s argument was
based on two common perceptions. Firstly, that politics is something external to archaeology and heritage, an outside influence or annoying circumstance, not one of its components. Secondly, that some texts are less important than others and that certain phrasings are just for show. That such
perceptions are alive and well in archaeology is a reassurance that the sociopolitical aspects of the domain are in great need of analytical attention.
Contrary to such views, this thesis starts from the premise that archaeologists and heritage professionals are co-creators of the frameworks they participate in. Not in terms of inherent biases, but because they exist and operate within the political. This means that if archaeologists achieve co-funding
from the European Commission Culture programmes, a funding source aiming to promote European integration and bring a common cultural heritage
to the fore, they are not only doing archaeology but they are also ‘doing’
Fieldnotes, November 14, 2012; Interview 15 OT–04 2012.
Europe. The interesting questions become why and how (rather than if) this
doing takes place and what it consists of.
To show how Europe is ‘done’ at the intersection between EU cultural
politics and the domain of archaeology, I explore the sociopolitical and discursive bonds formed through EU policy aims and funding criteria. The research is based on an ethnographic approach involving the voices of EU civil
servants, expert reviewers, consultants and archaeologists participating in
co-funded projects, as well as their practices and productions. Therefore, this
research is structured by the following overarching questions:
 How, and for what reasons, has the EU interacted with the domain of
archaeology as a component of cultural heritage?
 How, and with what outcomes, have archaeological projects co-funded
by the EU funding programmes in culture interacted with constructions of Europeanness?
 What processes of translation characterise this interaction, and where
does the power to define Europeanness lie?
In my engagement with people and papers throughout the research process,
these questions have guided the study towards certain themes. One concerns
the ambiguities and anxieties connected to the notion Europe, as visible both
in the both EU and in archaeological thought. Another has to do with the
translation of political wills that occur from the time someone fills out a
funding application to the moment it obtains support. A third deals with the
archaeological narratives produced by the co-funded projects: the descriptions and representations created in the tangled space between archaeological
legacies and the economy of belonging bred within the EU. The final theme
looks at archaeological infrastructures and the value of EU-funding as a
The research aims to contribute to critical debates in archaeology and
heritage studies that call for a conscious engagement with heritage bureaucracies and other institutions participating in shaping the past in the present.
By combining insights from within the EU and the archaeological domain,
the study offers an intimate perspective of archaeology’s entanglement with
an increasingly influential funding source. As a case study focussed on a
domain that is historically situated in important ways, it also seeks to inform
research dealing with EU culture policy and European identity. Ultimately,
by expanding the notion of archaeological practice to include aspects like
writing applications, I hope to increase interest among archaeologists and
heritage professionals regarding the sociopolitical conditions of their work:
to show that funding matters.
The EU and archaeology
Is there a European culture? … [T]here are cultural elements that we could
broadly recognise as European, but it is very difficult to define what they
might have in common. Rather like an elephant in a way: it is easier to recognise one than to define it.2
This statement, put forth by former European Commissioner for Culture Ján
Figeľ, is rather telling when it comes to the European Union’s engagement
with archaeology and heritage. The ‘elephant’ of European culture has always been assumed to be lurking just around the corner, in need of some
stimulus to step out in the open. It has been a topic of European Community
documents, debates and political speeches since the 1970s. Although the
concrete motivations behind EU interest in the culture sector have varied
from economic benefits and juridical impulses to European integration and
identity building, there has been a tendency to (re)produce essentialism when
appealing to a pan-European sense of belonging.3
Cris Shore has argued that the EU institutions’ reliance upon discourses
rooted in nineteenth century liberal modernity builds on the flawed assumption that European identity can be created by tapping into already existing
patterns of European culture and core values, ignoring the fact that it is such
elements which have caused controversy in the past.4 Along with invented
symbolic paraphernalia such as the EU flag and anthem, attempts to assert
political legitimacy have been made with reference to the past and a historic
inevitability.5 The permeable set in the Treaty of Rome, to establish ‘an ever
closer union among the peoples of Europe,’6 rejected both the idea of panEuropean nation building, and that of Europe as a cultural melting pot.7 This
has not discouraged EU civil servants and parliamentarians from applying a
nationalist rhetoric, using heritage as a symbolic resource, said to ‘perfectly
illustrate the regional, national and European roots of Europe’s citizens.’8
Based on such, financial incentives have emerged to nurture and preserve
the ‘elephant’ of European culture. As found in this study, more than 161
projects with archaeological themes have shared over 50 million EUR in cofunding from the programmes Raphael (1997–1999), Culture 2000 (2000–
2006) and Culture 2007–2013.9 Along with specialists from a range of fields
Ján Figeľ, Is there a European culture? London, February 15, 2006. Original language.
Delanty 1995; Shore 2000.
4 Shore 2000: 225.
5 Shore 1996, 2006.
6 The treaty which established the European Economic Community, signed in Rome 1957.
7 Holmes 2000: 31.
8 1995 Proposal for a European Parliament and Council decision establishing a Community
action programme in the field of cultural heritage: Raphaël. COM/95/110.
9 See list of projects in Appendix 3.
connected to culture, archaeologists and heritage professionals have benefitted from EU funding initiatives since the 1980s. Restoration projects on archaeological sites of ‘European significance’ and training schools for heritage professionals were the first types of initiatives to be funded, and from
the late 1990s this was expanded to include heritage laboratories and multinational cooperation projects.
These initiatives have not always been deemed successful, not have they
always involved large amounts of money. At least, not compared to funding
actions in other policy areas. In fact, the amount allocated to culture has
never gone above one percent of the total EU budget.10 EU cultural policy
has also been dismissed as superficial and ineffective by scholars interested
in law, political science and economy. Yet, even if the financial impact of
EU cultural actions is minor, the discourses of Europeanness promoted
through their efforts have had a powerful cognitive effect, leading researches
to document, describe and scrutinise the ‘elephant’ of European culture.11
It is in this context that the participation of archaeologists and heritage
professionals becomes especially interesting. As argued by John Borneman
and Nick Fowler, Europe is not ‘a stable, sovereign, autonomous object,’ but
something which exists in ‘historical relations and fields of power.’12 Archaeology has long been part of these relations. The question ‘when was
Europe?’ – rooted in 19th century discourses on the uniqueness of European
civilisation – has been considered natural and relevant to prehistorians long
before the development of the European Community. Archaeological time
periods or prehistoric peoples have been viewed through the raster of European modernity and capitalism, tracing the origins of contemporary Europe
back to the Neolithic, the Bronze Age or Antiquity.13
Embedded in this exceptionalism are ideas about mental and racial characteristics, a legacy still discernible in concepts like archaeological cultures.14 These connections are rarely made nowadays (at least not explicitly),
but the connotations linger.15 Recently, the concept of Europe has been
linked to questions of prehistoric bodies in studies using ancient DNA, looking for genetic continuity and diversity among ‘Europeans.’16 When brought
into public forums, especially at a time when right-wing populism and ultranationalism is flourishing, these results have become trapped in discussions
Banús 2002: 160.
See Ashworth 1999; Balzaretti 1992; Biehl, Gramsch and Marciniak (eds.) 2002; Burke
1980, 2006; Delanty 2010; Goddard et al. 1994; Lowenthal 2000; MacDonald 2013;
Malmborg and Stråth 2002; Milisauskas 2011; Pagden (ed.) 2002; Wilson and Dussen (eds.)
12 Borneman and Fowler 1997: 489.
13 See chapter two under ‘The origins of Europe in archaeological narratives.’
14 Wailes and Zoll 1995.
15 For racism and Europe see Jenkins 2000.
16 See Brotherton et al. 2013; Haak et. al. 2015; Seguin-Orlando et al. 2014.
of Europe as an acceptable extension of ‘national purity,’ clearly illustrating
the concepts entanglement with racism.17
Ideological baggage aside, Europe has also been a frame for organising
professional infrastructures. Over the last 30 years, cross-border cooperation
and discussions on harmonising archaeological practice in Europe has intensified. Council of Europe’s (CoE) Valetta Convention,18 the start of the European Journal of Archaeology and European Association of Archaeologists
(EAA),19 as well as Europae Archaeologiae Consilium (EAC),20 are examples of such efforts. In the context of this increased cooperation, it has been
suggested that a future archaeology of Europe should rely increasingly on
the opportunities for financial support offered by the European Commission.21 Since then, multiple cooperation initiatives tied to the EU, such as the
European Heritage Heads Legal Forum,22 and the Joint Programming Initiative for Cultural Heritage,23 have emerged, accompanied by efforts to align
archaeological archives or map the archaeological profession in Europe.24
Such collaboration can be a way to directly influence or remain informed
about laws and regulations on EU level, political decisions which may affect
the ‘raw material’ of the discipline or the conditions of employment. As a
platform for research, it can also work to mend the gaps between archaeology in different parts of Europe and make it easier to ask ‘big’ questions.25
Yet, with the creation of common guidelines, practices and codes, archaeological collaborations may also become more restricted to the geopolitical
level of the EU.26 As stressed by Matthew Johnson, the basic ways in which
achaeologists do things matter, and so far classifications used in everyday
archaeological work have not changed significantly as a result of theoretical
debates.27 Neither has the scale at which we work, why increased European
For right-wing populism and Europe see Liang 2007. Examples of white supremacist
groups using ‘European’ as a racial and cultural marker are Europe for Europeans (EFE) and
Native Europeans: for the recognition of Native Europeans' rights and for their preservation.
18 European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage was first adopted in
London 1969 and revised in Valetta 1992. The revision process is discussed in Trotzig 2001a,
2001b, and Willems 2007.
19 Planning started in 1990 and it was launched three years later (Kristiansen 1993).
20 A network of representatives from national heritage authorities in the Council of Europe
member states, founded 1999 ( [accessed 20.2.15]).
21 Kristiansen 2008. See also Harding 2009; Paludan-Muller 2008; Willems 1999, 2007.
22 A forum of experts appointed by the national heritage authorities. Established in 2008 as a
sub-committee to European Heritage Heads Forum which was founded in 2006.
23 JHEP is a transnational coordination action that started in 2010, with financial support from
the EU’s 7th Framework Programme ( [accessed 20.2.15]).
24 For instance the projects Archaeological Resources in Cultural Heritage: a European
standard (2012–2014); Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe (2006–2008, 2012–2014).
25 Kristiansen 2008.
26 See Hamilakis 2007 for a discussion on the ‘ethics’ of creating common codes of ethics.
27 Johnson 2006: 124.
cooperation still calls for a critical engagement with Europe as a conditioned
Ultimately, even if researchers and professionals within the archaeological domain are far from naïve and well aware of the points highlighted here,
they do not enter into discourses on Europeanness as blank slates. Questions
about how pre-conceived ideas may be induced or postulated in relation to
funding programmes using concepts like ‘European roots’ are still important.
Can archaeology assist in building a European identity for the EU, while at
the same time avoiding reproducing and reinforcing inherited ethnic or teleological notions of a European past? Furthermore, could an increased reliance
on EU-funding combined with condensing archaeological infrastructures on
the continent, lead to homogenised practices? It is in the co-dependent relationship where benefactor and beneficiary meet and become part of each
other’s storylines that these question are brought to a head.
Previous research
This study ties into and becomes relevant for a number of research fields.
From an archaeological point of view it contributes to a long running debate
about Europe and archaeology, as well as recent research directions using
ethnographic approaches to study heritage bureaucracies and archaeologists
doing archaeology. In the wider field of studies on EU cultural policy and
European identity – positioned at the intersection between anthropology,
social and political science, and the multidisciplinary field of EU-studies – it
provides an interesting case study showing, among other things, how the
specificity of a particular domain matters to the way it is considered and
comes to interact in EU settings.
Archaeology and the EU
Several texts have discussed the notion of Europe in archaeology, and about
a dozen explicitly make the link to EU culture policy. Many critical accounts
were borne out of the debates on archaeological ethics, accountability and
the (mis)uses of the past than took place in the 1990s. These were rooted in
both academic and societal motions. In the wake of epistemological upheaval and the ‘end’ of the grand narrative in 1970-80s, many archaeologists
began to turn from studying systems and structures towards fluid identities,
situated knowledge and imagined communities.28 The political reasons behind these shifts and their reception in archaeology – such as the crisis connected to the perceived dissolution of nation-states – paved the way for what
Alexander Gramsch has called the ‘Europeanist turn.’29 The critique of the
28 The 'linguistic–' and 'cultural turn' impacted archaeology through scholars like: Anderson
2006[1983]; Lyotard 1984; Said 1978 and Spivak 1988.
29 Gramsch 2000: 7.
nation-state frame essentially brought the European frame back on the table.
This rejuvenated interest in Europe was also a direct consequence of societal
events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reinvention of the European
Community as the European Union in 1992 (with its plans to establish a
common European currency). Some began to promote Europe as a better
solution, while others criticised it fiercely.
Among the optimistic voices we find some archaeologists who argued
that it is up to would-be Europeans to fill a European identity with content
and that archaeology could be of assistance in this process.30 Most enthusiasts however, saw in this a new opportunity to mend a discipline long divided by war and political borders. Focus was placed on creating networks and
platforms for dealing with heritage as a common European asset and responsibility. On the critical side, spurred by the harmful appropriations of the
past during the Bosnian War (1992–1995) and the provocative CoE campaign The Bronze Age: the first golden age of Europe (1994-1997),31 archaeologists began to express concern about archaeological periods or interpretations being used as tools for forging a ‘new’ collective identity tied to political construction of Europe.
This discussion took place in the context of critical research on archaeology’s relationship to nationalism, imperialism and colonialism.32 By introducing EU policies into the discussion of archaeology and politics it formulated a clear critique towards the idea of ‘European communities’ in the past,
resulting in a general critique and some attempts to deconstruct archaeological narratives.33 The debate successfully pinpointed why the creation of European identities came with the same problems as the 19th century creation of
national identities, and proponents like Gramsch argued that archaeologists
needed a ‘reflexive theory’ rooted in sociological theory and epistemology to
guide future research.34
The debate peaked in the late 1990s, but made an interesting reappearance
in 2008. In the discussion article ‘Do we need the ‘archaeology of Europe?,’
Kristian Kristiansen argued that due to archaeologists withdrawal from grand
narratives and big questions during postprocessualism, archaeological research was still stuck at the national and regional level. The best way to
reach the global questions, he suggested, was by using ‘EUrope’ as a step30
For instance Renfrew 1994.
This reaction was also directed towards the CoE exhibition Europe in the Time of Ulysses:
the European Bronze Age (1998–1999) and the campaign Europe, a Common Heritage
32 Atkinson et al. (eds.) 1996; Díaz-Andreu and Champion (eds.) 1996; Hamilakis 1996; Kohl
1998; Kohl and Fawcett (eds.) 1995; Trigger 2006[1989]; Silberman 1989. See also DíazAndreu García 2007 and Petersson 2007.
33 Gramsch 2000 (also 2013); Graves-Brown et al. (eds.) 1996; Högberg 2006; Pluciennik
1996, 1998; Peckham (ed.) 2003; Tzanidaki 2000.
34 Gramsch 2000: 7, 16.
ping stone.35 Interesting responses were offered by several archaeologists
(especially Neal Ascherson and Thomas Meier). As a collection of reflections about Europe in archaeology, the discussion has been instructive to my
research. However, just as with previous debates – carried out mainly in
articles and conference sessions – it remained on the level of using potent
Few in-depth studies came out of either camp, however four later studies
deserve to be mentioned in more detail. Anna Gröhn and Herdis Hølleland
have both examined the particular use of the Bronze Age in connection to
EU and CoE initiatives.37 To this end, Gröhn devotes a chapter of her dissertation to creating an overview of EU identity politics in relation to heritage,
discussing projects supported by Culture 2000 up until 2004. Hølleland instead considers the connection between European identity discourse and
archaeological Bronze Age narratives, paying particular attention to the
works of V. Gordon Childe. She argues that, while archaeological narratives
of Europe have in different ways been uncritically incorporated into political
discourses of Europeanness, they have also had the reverse effect and contributed to an increased awareness in Bronze Age archaeology. 38 These contributions have been useful to my study with regard to both content and approach. However, they stay, just as was the case with the texts emerging
from the previous debate, at the level of EU policy and published narratives.
Placing a history of EU identity discourse next to one of archaeological
notions on Europe can sometimes create a false sense of connection between
two different developments. To tie them together I have instead focused on
actual transactions of funds and criteria, as well as ethnographic fieldwork.
In this study I will seek a deeper understanding of the interactions behind the
official initiatives by studying the processes inside the European Commission, as well as by talking to the creators of the narratives.
The other two studies I want to mention are by Roel During and Claske
Vos. They have approached the links between archaeology, tangible heritage, and Europeanisation processes from the perspective of European integration and cultural heritage studies.39 Their respective dissertations focus on
how EU aims and strategies have been transferred and negotiated on local
and regional levels in EU programmes tied to enlargement and regional policy.40 Through their case studies, they are able to show a gap between policy
goals and the implementation of activities at ground level, leading to a great
deal of confusion and things lost in translation. Their results show that what
When writing EUrope instead of Europe, I refer to the geopolitical space connected to the
European Community and later the EU, rather than Europe as a continent.
36 For a recent addition, see Callebaut et al. (eds.) 2013.
37 Gröhn 2004; Hølleland 2008, 2010, 2012.
38 Hølleland 2008.
39 During 2010; Vos 2011a, 2011b.
40 For a discussion on heritage and EU regions in a legal perspective see English 2008.
becomes 'European' in the set phrase European heritage (if anything), is not
always what was originally hoped for. Their experiences have resonated with
my own. Furthermore, just as with my work, both studies involve interviews
and different kinds of fieldwork. Overall however, the focus remains on the
results of EU political ventures in connection to receptions and effects on
local communities. Their studies are more angled towards saying something
about the EU rather than about the domain of heritage or the spaces ‘inbetween.’ During even includes a type of evaluation of the effectiveness of
EU policies, providing a list of suggested changes. As a result of this focus,
paradoxically, actual criteria and review processes linking the political initiatives and the projects are passed over.
Archaeology and funding arrangements
In 1999, Yannis Hamilakis published an article addressing the ethical responsibilities of archaeologists in relation to sponsorship. Using the
Çatalhöyük research project and its ties to the companies Shell and Visa as
provocative examples, he pointed to the investigation of financial bonds as a
big gap in research on sociopolitical aspects of archaeology, as something
that has fallen between the chairs of historiographical accounts, interpretative issues and the politics of identity.41 In many ways, this observation is
still valid. Despite being so central to any archaeological undertaking, the
conditions and processes under which funding is granted have seldom been
explored in a critical fashion. Studies looking at financial aspects of the domain, aiming to situate the profession in a larger socioeconomic context,
have mainly described national structures and assessed the consequences of
certain types of funding (such as commercial- developer- or state funding).42
Here, the main concern seems to lie with sustainable management and the
level of scientific thoroughness, not with how funding agencies might play a
part the content and character of projects.
That being said, financial aspects have recently begun to be taken into
account within the approach called ‘archaeological ethnographies.’ This
direction involves archaeologists studying the ways of archaeologists, in
order to facilitate a deeper critical engagement with the conditions of the
domain and the various groups with stakes in the material past.43 Studies
taking this approach have usually concentrated on particular archaeological
sites, projects or exhibitions as places where academically sanctioned practices, political assertions and local voices meet (or in the case of the latter,
are kept outside of political representation). Discussions have centred on
Hamilakis 1999: 62.
E.g. Aitchison 2000, 2009; Aitchison and Schlanger (eds.) 2010; Demoule 2004, 2011;
Willems 2009.
43 Hamilakis 2011; Hamilakis and Anagnostopoulos 2009a: 66.
materiality, temporality and sociopolitical bargaining, including everything
from sensuous encounters with things to the impact of national authorities.44
While taking archaeological sites and fieldwork as starting points has
proven effective in demonstrating political dynamics and social consequences, the focus on field archaeology or Western archaeology “abroad” tends to
replicate popular notions of this being principally what archaeologists do.
Time-consuming but essential parts such as permits, reports and funding
arrangements are often underemphasised. Thought-provoking exceptions are
Lynn Meskell’s The nature of heritage: the new South Africa (2012a), and a
dissertation by Sjoerd van der Linde called Digging holes abroad: an ethnography of Dutch archaeological research projects abroad (2012).45 Both
study specific sites or archaeological projects, but place importance on the
political wills that underline transactions of funds and their consequences. It
is in relation to these lines of inquiry, I would argue, that archaeological
ethnography will have most to offer in terms of future research on the political economy of archaeology.
Finally, perhaps the most promising area to which my study contributes is
current research on heritage bureaucracies and cultural diplomacy.46 In recent
years, archaeologists have started to look into political decision-making ‘in
situ,’ especially within UNESCO and American based institutions. The motivations behind these efforts resonate with my own. As stated by Meskell:
‘archaeologists need to educate themselves more fully about the practices
and politics at work in the operationalizing of World Heritage and one avenue would be through an ethnography of heritage-making and policy.’47 In
relation to these studies my emphasis on heritage-making in the EU could
extend the geographical scope of the discussions and the understanding of
differences in institutional logic.
EU cultural policy and cultural heritage
This work differs from the field of research on EU cultural policy relating to
law, political economy and integration,48 in that it takes a vertical rather than
a horizontal approach, starting from the discipline of archaeology. A common denominator in texts dealing with Europeanisation is that they often
start from EC/EU discourses on European culture, identity or citizenship,
Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson (eds.) 2008; Castañeda and Matthews (eds.) 2008;
Forbes 2007; Hamilakis and Anagnostopoulos (eds.) 2009b; Meskell 2005, 2007; Reybrouck
and Jacobs 2006.
45 See also Samuels 2008 for ‘heritage values’ and the World Bank.
46 Hølleland 2013; James and Winter 2015; Luke and Kersel 2012; Meskell 2012b, 2013,
2015; Turtinen 2006.
47 Meskell 2012b: 145.
48 See Bellier and Wilson (eds.) 2000; Barnett 2001; Meinhof and Triandafyllidou (eds.)
2006; Psychogiopoulou 2008; Smith (ed.) 2004; Theiler 2005; Tretter 2011; Zabusky 1995,
and use this as a framework to approach different components.49 Heritage is
included as one piece in a big puzzle, and specific topics such as archaeology are hardly ever mentioned. Commonly, researchers also establish different phases in the EU work on culture, making the development of cultural
initiatives seem as one of clear intent and direction. By focussing on a narrow topic within the EU cultural jungle, I have found it easier to understand
the contradictions and processes of socialisation contained by these institutions.
Within this broad category, the work carried out by anthropologists and
sociologists based on participant observation at EU institutions has been
especially useful. From the anthropological side, interest was sparked by
Marc Abélès and Cris Shore in the early 1990s. Upon finishing his research
in the European Parliament in 1992,50 Abélès was invited into the European
Commission to study the formation of identities among civil servants. The
study, conducted together with Irène Bellier and Maryon McDonald, lasted
several years.51 Shore began to examine identity building among EU officials
at the same time. His studies, based on interviews and policy analysis, are
angled toward the discourses and symbolism of EU cultural integration.52
Shore argues that EU civil servants have created a type of elitist European
identity of their own while Abélès, Bellier and McDonald have pointed towards the ambivalence and remaining tensions of national identities in institutional Europe-making.53 Their research has provided the basis for my understanding of the inner logics of the Commission.
One especially interesting study starting from EU policy is Oriane Calligaro’s Negotiating Europe: the EU promotion of Europeanness since the
1950s (2013). This book examines the changing ideas and manifestations of
Europeanness in the EU based on published and unpublished documents as
well as interviews with EU officials. Out of three main chapters, which deal
with academic initiatives, cultural heritage, and the Euro banknotes and
coins, the dealing with heritage has been of particular interest. Her work,
originally a PhD thesis, was conceived within and aimed toward the field of
European Studies, starting from the logics and mechanisms of EU integration and identity discourse, moving outwards. Published at a time when I had
myself already examined many of the same documents with a similar objective, Calligaro’s research has worked both as a source of additional information and as a grounds for comparing my own results. The differences lie
in the scope and method. Calligaro uses EU initiatives, such as the mobilisa49
Europeanisation is a broad term referring to the level and dynamics of European integration
since World War II, in regards to EU citizens, organisations, regions and nation-states. See
especially Borneman and Fowler 1997.
50 Abélès 1992.
51 Abélès et al. 1993.
52 Shore 1993, 1996, 2000, 2006.
53 Abélès et al. 1993; Abélès 1996; McDonald 1996, 2012.
tion of funding for Holocaust memorials, as effective examples of European
heritage-making, but pays less attention to the details of participation and the
specific history of domains like heritage. Furthermore, although the case
studies are well developed, the vastness of the topic does affect the depth
and room to contextualise the actions described.
Monica Sassatelli is another scholar whose work deserves mention. Starting from a sociological perspective, she has written extensively on the topic
of European integration in relation to EU cultural initiatives.54 Her texts revolve around the mobilisation of a European cultural space and questions of
how European identities are constructed and negotiated in relation to existing identities. Her main case-studies are the European Capitals of Culture
(EU), the European Landscape Convention (CoE), and to some extent the
Culture 2000 programme (EU). Like many researchers studying European
identity, she starts from EU policy and chooses cases based on what might
tell her the most about its formation. Similar to the work of During and Vos,
she connects the policy level to local actors, resulting in a fieldwork resembling my own. A study carried out in cooperation with Jasper Chalcraft in
the early 2000s examined the reception and negotiation of international policies in the Italian region Emilia-Romagna. Alongside UNESCO World Heritage nominations, they studied the influence of the Culture 2000 programme
and included some voices from co-funded archaeological projects.55 This
material has been useful as a source of comparison.
Research design
Overall this study can be described as exploratory and inductive in nature. It
takes an ethnographic and discursive approach, using participant observation, semi-structured interviews and a variety of texts to study the cognitive
and practical bonds between EU funding instruments and actors in the domain of archaeology that have benefitted from them. This focus has led me
to empirically ‘study up’ and ‘laterally,’ concentrating on authorised actors
within the EU bureaucracy and archaeology rather than the reception of produced narratives in local communities. While those angles are important,
there is, as argued earlier, a need for research that examines political meaning-making ‘in situ.’
Since entities like the ‘domain of archaeology’ and ‘the EU institutions’
consist of the texts and individuals upholding them, I study the attitudes,
intentions and doings of all involved parties: the importance given to archaeology in policy documents and among EU civil servants, the criteria and
review process, as well as the experiences and outputs of the selected projects. In other words, I am studying human actions and interactions under a
Sassatelli 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.
Chalcraft and Sassatelli 2004; Sassatelli 2007.
specific set of circumstances. This is based on the assumption that an interaction must take place for anyone to achieve funding from the EU. By interaction I refer to anything from the promotion of an archaeological project in
the European parliament or attempts to influence EU actions via stakeholder
meetings, to intertextual ways of relating to EU policy in project proposals. I
also assume that archaeologists and heritage professionals enter into such
settings carrying certain ideas about Europe. However, the degree, forms and
effects of these interactions or ideas are not taken for granted.
Due to the transnational nature of the institutions and projects under
study, I have also chosen to treat texts, individuals and the settings in which
they meet as multi-local. Although they are all situated in regional, national
and international frameworks – tied together by personal, political and academic allegiances – ascribing significance to any one of these frames in advance would have restricted the study. This approach has required a creative
and flexible type of fieldwork, using a wide range of sources and jumping
from place to place, both geographically and in terms of insider and outsider
perspectives. It resonates with the ethnographic approach taken by heritage
scholars studying the inner workings of UNESCO,56 and the respective dissertations of Jan Turtinen (2006) and Herdis Hølleland (2013), have worked
as sources of inspiration. Analysing the inner dynamics of the World Heritage selection processes, they have both used observations, interviews and
fieldwork on multiple sites to learn about the sociopolitical processes of
In this thesis archaeology is defined broadly. As a mode of engagement with
material remains, it is taken to include the people, thoughts and things
marked as its domain. Archaeology is simultaneously seen as an academic
discipline, a field of research and education in universities and museums,
cultural resource management and as a matter of concern within heritage
bureaucracies. Rather than being set beforehand, this definition is a result of
my theoretical perspective (see below), and a consequence of the array of
archaeological aspects represented by the projects studied.
The setting of EU culture policy as a base for exploring the intersection
between archaeology, politics and notions of Europe was established already
at the outset of the research project. Aside from a long engagement with
heritage as a core theme, the field’s symbolic and material investment in
European identity – whether linked to values, identities or roots – turns it
into a condensed laboratory of European heritage-making. Within this context the Culture programmes Raphael (1997-1999), Culture 2000 (20002006) and Culture 2007–2013 represent policy in action, a distilled version
Hølleland 2013; Meskell 2012b, 2015; Turtinen 2006.
of political aims that demand an articulation of the value of archaeology and
The projects co-funded by these actions are thus relevant to the questions
posed in this thesis precisely because they are informed by an explicit rhetoric of bringing a common European heritage to the fore. Although the study
has involved actors and texts from other EU policy fields such as Research
and Innovation and EU Regional policy, which actually spend more on heritage than cultural actions do, these fields become less relevant due to their
wide focus and inclusion of heritage by default rather than design.
The focus on the domain of archaeology as a component of the wider
category of cultural heritage has worked to delimit the scope of a project
which could otherwise have drifted into an unmanageable mess. This focus
has sometimes proven hard to adhere to, both due the fluid lines of archaeology/heritage and because documents and people have been eager to talk not
just about these topics but about EU cultural policy and politics in general.
Ultimately my narrow focus, at least compared to other studies analysing
Europe-making, has worked to my advantage in terms of analytical potential
as well as keeping my research ‘en route.’
The temporal and geographical scope of the thesis is wide, extending
from 1970s to 2013 and from Iceland to Turkey. Stopping at 2013 was a
practical choice since 2014 marks end of my fieldwork and material collection period. It was also an empirically appropriate choice due to the completion of Culture 2007–2013. Extending beyond that would have resulted in a
more fragmentary study. The geographical focus, in terms of specific regions, EU member states or East versus West Europe was not decided beforehand. It has depended on the individuals and projects studied, which in
turn were selected based on their EU experiences and the thematic focus.
This research is influenced by the seemingly contradictory directions of social constructionism and critical realism. In line with the former I believe
that science does not provide us with a mirror to nature, and that descriptions
of reality are always subject to social practices. This implies that changing
the way people think and interact about a certain phenomenon also has the
power to change its social constitution.57 It does not mean, and this is where
critical realism comes in, that constructions are not real.58 As advocated by
Roy Bhaskar, critical realism holds that any construct or action that creates
Hacking 1999.
When talking about Europe as a construction and imagined community, as Maryon
McDonald has stressed, we are not only talking about a purely symbolic construction but
using language that is very important to those working in the European Commission, they ‘are
“building” Europe; they are “constructing” a new world which they generally know to be
right (1996: 47).
an effect on something else, that affects ‘the real world,’ should be seen as
ontologically real.59 Yet we can, just as argued in social constructionism,
only know of them through certain types of descriptions. The difference has
been said to lie in the realist standpoint that, although descriptions are never
‘value free,’ some come closer to the ontological level than others. As argued by social theorist Dave Elder-Vass, the idea that this position contradicts the stance of most social constructionists is the result of polemic debates between scholarly camps, one conjuring the straw-man of hyperrelativism and the other rejecting realism wholesale.60 Instead, he puts forth a
‘realist social constructionism,’ a moderate position that merely states that
not everything depends on the way we think about it and that explanation
and causal mechanisms are essential to scientific enquiry.61
Adopting this stance means that I regard entities like Europe and European heritage as ‘real constructions.’ Such constructions are shaped and upheld
by discourses, and with a considerable impact on the world. It also has bearing on the way I approach economic relations and the nature of archaeology.
Directing attention to the role of archaeology in the political economy of the
past in the EU means placing focus on the social, cultural, and symbolic
dimensions of the practical bonds uniting them.62 In doing so I take issue
with the distinction between practice and context often made in discussions
concerning the conditions for doing archaeology.63 By claiming that that
politics is about the environment in which archaeology takes place or how
the results are used, rather than being integral to the practice, the question of
where the money comes from is often made irrelevant. 64
In line with the statements of Michael Shanks on the political economy of
the discipline,65 I view archaeology as a mode of cultural or scientific production rather than scientific discovery: ‘a hybrid process of heterogeneous
engineering’ in which the remains of the past are translated through the cultural and political interests of the present, thereby making the politics of
archaeology into an ‘ecology of mobilizing resources, managing, organising,
persuading.’66 In this political ecology, all parts of archaeological practice
are significant for its constitution and value, from tourist experiences and
illicit trade, to land development and international agendas. Funding sources
Bhaskar 1975: 250. See also Archer et al. (eds.) 1998. For archaeology see Wallace 2011.
Elder-Vass 2012: 6–7.
61 Elder-Vass 2012: 8.
62 In this sense, even if the study is not founded on a materialist perspective, it is inspired by
Marxist understandings of economic links as configuring social hierarchies and legitimising
power. See Matthews et. al 2002 and Patterson 1999 on the political economy of archaeology.
63 In line with Samuels 2008 and Shanks 2004.
64 The following paragraphs are based on a section in Niklasson 2013b.
65 Shanks 2004: 497, 2012: 22.
66 Shanks 2004: 503.
become a dynamic element, shifting the focus from the holy grail of untainted empirical enquiry to a more entangled view of archaeological practice.
The feminist philosopher Kathryn Pyne Addelson has discussed the role
of funding in relation to cognitive authority, a concept that can be connected
to Shanks’ ‘ecology.’ According to Addelson, the cognitive authority of
specialists in science, and indeed academia as a whole, lies in their social
arrangements and positions of power, allowing them to spread their metaphysical commitments by telling other researchers what their problems
should be. Thus, she argues, ‘if we think of science as a stock of knowledge
embodied in theories, then the problem of funding does not seem to be a
problem having to do with rationality and criticism in science. Instead it may
appear to be a question of political or other outside interference with the
autonomy of the researchers.’67 Given that funding creates better opportunities for researchers within the dominant traditions to exercise cognitive authority, thereby gaining even more funding, it becomes clear how money
affects the organisation and contents of the sciences at any given moment.
How it influences ‘the way we all will come to understand the world.’68
Both Shanks’ and Addelson’s concepts have been useful. By acknowledging cognitive authority, we can visualise prestige hierarchies and the way
they operate with the help of funding mechanisms, but most likely at the
expense of the agency of the funding source itself. On the other hand, in
Shanks’ political ecology, where all parts involved in the research process
are taken under consideration, we risk ending up without any clear nodal
points where different positions are articulated.69 Together they have grounded my understanding of the relationship between archaeology and funding,
providing a sense of focus while at the same time recognising power imbalances between different elements.
In order to analyse this relationship I have relied on discourse analysis
and tools from network theory. The latter will be explained in chapter four,
but a note on discourse belongs here. When using the concept I refer to the
way social and political domination is reproduced through text and talk. This
understanding draws on Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), an approach
born in reaction to a perceived lack of depth in linguistic applications of
discourse.70 Norman Fairclough, one of its chief proponents has called CDA
‘a social theory of discourse,’ and views discourses as creating relationships,
not just representing them.71 To him, a ‘discursive event’ is simultaneously a
piece of text, an instance of discursive practice and an instance of social
Addelson 2003[1983]: 177. See also Samuels on the notion of ‘biases’ in archaeology
(2008: 88).
68 Addelson 2003[1983]: 180.
69 Laclau and Mouffe 2001.
70 Mills 2004: Chapter 6.
71 Fairclough N. 1992: 92.
practice.72 While I do not subscribe the explicit goal of changing the structures under study, the combination of Foucault’s emphasis on power and
Fairclough’s focus on the actual constituents of discourse within text, has
guided my analysis of EU documents and interview transcriptions. Fairclough’s ideas on intertextuality, of how texts are constructed by reference to
other texts, 73 has been especially useful when searching for ‘buzzwords’ and
recurring phrases that are applied to create certain effects in funding applications. In this sense, failed attempts to assert power have been just as interesting as successful ones. This understanding has also led me to focus on ambivalence; situations in which interpretations differ among participants within a discourse, showing how interactions are more diverse and fragmented
than they appear, especially in consensus seeking processes.
The materials collected during my ethnographic fieldwork consist of official
and unofficial documents, photographs, audio recordings, fieldnotes and
‘headnotes.’74 A key part of the material originates from my five month internship with the European Commission (October 2010 to February 2011). I
worked in a ‘unit’ at the agency in charge of selecting and administering
projects funded under Culture 2007–2013, which consisted of about 30 employees from different countries. I performed tasks that ranged from checking applications for eligibility, preparing material and instructions for expert
reviewers, attending the evaluation panels in a moderating function and analysing final project reports (all under my co-workers supervision). During
my last three months I also conducted a type of impact study based on the
outreach of co-funded projects, which would function as reference material
for the subsequent programme Creative Europe.
I applied for this position as an independent researcher, before my PhD
studies began. The fact that this work was carried out without the protection
of a university research profile lead to some methodological challenges. I
was not just observing, but working there. My experiences were thus affected by the search to ‘find my place’ within a new working environment, trying to demonstrate my competence by learning the new tasks I was assigned
as quickly as possible. Due to my temporary position and limited grasp of
Fairclough N. 1992: 12. See also Fairclough N. 1989 and 1995.
Fairclough N. 1992: 103.
74 Roger Sanjek writes: ‘we come back from the field with fieldnotes and headnotes. The
fieldnotes stay the same but the headnotes continue to evolve and change … the headnotes are
more important’ (1990: 93). Based on memories of personal experiences, headnotes fills in
the gaps in the fieldnotes and changes in relation to new experiences over time. As Ottenberg
explains, ‘headnotes and written notes are in constant dialogue, and in this sense the field
experience does not stop’ (1990: 146). Suddenly something you couldn’t make sense of in the
field becomes clear to you years after (1990: 94). As such headnotes can also be distorted and
stereotypes may develop in our minds (Ottenberg 1990: 144; also in Hølleland 2013).
the main working language,75 fitting in proved quite difficult. Most of the
time I felt like an observer, albeit one with access to working documents and
the general gossip. While this meant that I missed out on some intricate details, the relative distance also worked in my favour. The quasi-status as an
‘Other within’ allowed me to observe internal dynamics while not becoming
involved with colleagues on a personal level. My position also remained
interchangeable, never tied to any fixed perspectives within the workplace,
and I made a point of talking to the experts and other types of ‘Others within.’ Overall, my observations have proved very useful in terms of painting a
general image of the attitudes and tensions within the Agency, while being
less useful as sources of information on administrative details, events or
larger political developments.
During my later fieldwork in Brussels – consisting of four periods lasting
from two to four weeks each – I was no longer a participant, but an observer.
I jumped around between different buildings and policy areas, carrying out
formal interviews and having informal conversations. My previous participation had left me with a substantial knowledge about the everyday procedures
and people that made the Commission run. I was therefore still able to sit in
on Commission events in Brussels and interact with expert reviewers, former
interns and EU officials I had met during my internship. Among the events I
attended were the annual stakeholder meeting Culture in motion and the
forum Cultural info days. Both were arranged by the EU Directorate-General
in charge of culture. The first was an opportunity for the EU to interact with
archaeologists, heritage professionals and other cultural operators, while the
second was an information forum and networking event for aspiring applicants to Culture 2007–2013.
When choosing interviewees, I have primarily approached EU civil servants in positions to make decisions about, give advice on, or administer actions involving or supporting archaeology and cultural heritage. As the focus
of my research was set to culture policy, I first contacted persons working
within that field, but during the research process I have also interviewed
persons in other policy fields as a way of situating the topic within the EU
institutions. Here, research carried out by Chris Shore provided insight into
details such as the best time to schedule meetings with Commission officials
(mid- to end of the week in the afternoon).76
My fieldwork was not limited to the Commission. In combination with
my visits to Brussels, I travelled to other parts of Belgium, Germany, Great
Britain and Austria to meet with expert reviewers and project participants in
co-funded projects. In reaching out to archaeologists I made use of the annual conference of the European Association of Archaeologist where many
The working language turned out to be French, not English or German. What language is
used often depends on the native tongues of the majority of employees in a Commission unit.
76 Shore 2000: 9.
project constellations gather. There I was able to go to project sessions and
meet with participants to discuss their projects. My target group was professionals active within the field of archaeology and heritage management who
had either been involved in EU settings in a representational capacity, or
whose projects had benefitted from EU co-funding through the Culture programmes. Aside from these target groups, I have also talked to persons positioned in-between archaeology and the EU, such as the experts hired to peerreview projects, independent EU consultants working with applicants, and
national information points for the Culture programmes.
The interviews were carried out in a semi-structured way, primarily
through face to face meetings at the informants’ workplaces or other places
chosen by them. Most informants responded to my request right away, but
EU officials proved more difficult to get in contact with. With them I often
had to reschedule interviews multiple times. Because of distance, three interviews had to be carried out via Skype and telephone, and seven via email.
Although email interviews always lead to a loss of nuance, I found their
responses to be forthcoming and outspoken. This was probably due to my
familiarity with the context of their work and the fact that I had previously
met everyone in person.
For all interviews I used open ended questions based on a number of
themes that were sent out to the interviewee beforehand.77 With consent of
the interviewee, the conversations were recorded and transcribed. Upon
meeting informants I clearly stated the purpose of my research, informed
that the material would remain in my care, and offered to share my transcriptions afterwards. Those who wished to read the selected quotes and know
about their respective contexts received this information before the thesis
was submitted. Almost everyone I talked to came from a different country,
but spoke English fluently. Quotes are therefore always presented in original
– according to the transcription – and intact with grammatical errors. The
only exception is interviews carried out in the Nordic languages, for which I
have translated the selected passages into English.
The goal in all cases was to achieve a relaxed conversation. Generally, I
think this worked well. Being an archaeologist and having worked as an EU
intern meant that people on all sides felt it safe to assume that I knew the
basics and I was considered a colleague or an acceptable kind of stranger.
This awareness also led to some difficulties. Because I sometimes knew too
much it was hard not to ask overly leading questions or to express my own
frustration regarding some of the matters discussed. My in-house experience
also made it necessary to assure some informants who needed to uphold a
positive image in the eyes of the Commission that I was not some sort of
“spy” or internal investigation officer.
Appendix 2.
My ethnographic approach differed from many others in the sense that I
aimed to investigate the spaces in-between several communities based on
certain aspects singled out beforehand. It was primarily their perceptions and
attitudes towards ‘Europeanness’ I was interested in, not a community or a
person’s entire story. That being said, as an ethnographer I have always paid
attention to the meta-level of conversations (how things are said). I also recognise myself as a co-creator in the role of participant-observer and interviewer.78 This co-creation does not occur on equal and balanced terms since
the combination of the transcription and my subjective experience of the
event becomes the authorised interpretation. My understanding includes
many perspectives but it is still partial. I consider ethnography to be a means
of scratching the surface, that an ethnographer can never really see things
from a ‘native’s’ point of view. Therefore, as famously stated by Clifford
The trick is not to achieve some inner correspondence of spirit with your informants … The trick is to figure out what the devil they think they are up
With this goal in mind and with the focus placed on the anecdotal, the taken
for granted, on everyday contradictions, compromise and personal agency,
this research effort can be called ‘para-ethnographic.’ This is a term specifically developed in relation to the problem of experts studying experts, since
it flips the perspectives in terms of how ethnography is usually performed. 80
Pursuing ethnographic enquiry in situations where the informants are engaged in an intellectual labour resembling your own can be tricky. A paraethnographic approach suggests that researchers experiment and try to work
collaboratively under such circumstances. An example from my own research is when one of my informants, a former leader of an EU-funded project, sometime after our conversation about subjects like European identity
and accountability, published an academic article reflecting precisely on
these matters in relation to his EU experiences.81 This could be seen as the
subject ‘stealing the show’ (at first this is how it felt). Inspired by the paraethnographic viewpoint however, I decided to consider this article as any
other piece of empirical material, and something to be further discussed with
the person in question. Such collaboration does not work all the way through
the research process however, as the final interpretation must always be the
responsibility of the researcher.
See Briggs 1986.
Geertz 1974: 29.
80 Holmes and Marcus 2005, 2008: 40.
81 03 PJ–01 2011.
On ethics and the difficulties of studying colleagues
There are other problems involved in studying ‘up’ and ‘laterally.’ At the
Commission I had made my research interests clear when I applied for an
internship and informed my colleagues of them, but I was never asked to
sign any specific confidentiality agreement relating to the work at the Agency (as was the case with fellow interns working with sensitive EU policy
areas such as the tobacco or oil industry). On the other hand, I was there
under a Commission contract and bound to more general rules of confidentiality (not to use or publish, for personal benefit, any information or facts not
already public). The question relates to the wider issue of what to do with
unofficial information which may, if spread, have unintended consequences.
Anthropologist Marc Verlot suggests that this is a larger problem when
working with powerful people than with marginal or powerless groups.82
While sensitive information can work to empower the latter, the same exposure might have harmful consequences for the professionals and institutions
represented by the former. I find this argument somewhat inverted. Of
course, to study ‘up’ does not make your informants less human. Even if
their actions shed light on practices and structures that extend beyond their
person, they do not automatically embody an entire system or institution.
Nevertheless, to discuss sensitive information about such groups seems more
justifiable from a democratic point of view than studying ‘subaltern’ groups.
Verlot does acknowledge that researchers must remain critical whatever
their entity of study, and suggests that the best way out of this dilemma is to
achieve what Michael Herzfeld calls ‘the necessary level of intimacy.’83 In so
doing, he states: ‘our own practices become a subversion of elite exceptionalism, opening it up to the realisation of its human – indeed, its common
properties.’84 I agree, and it is precisely the reason why my experience working at the Agency was so humbling. The people around me and above me in
the Brussels hierarchies became something very different than a grey mass
of ‘elites’ and ‘experts.’ They became individuals struggling with everyday
decisions and deadlines under sometimes very unforgiving circumstances.
Keeping this in mind, I employ my unofficial knowledge with restraint.
Aside from their position and relevance for my research I do not reveal any
personal or third party information. Furthermore, no unofficial files used
during my internship will be quoted or otherwise referenced in this work.
I have also chosen to anonymise my informants. Their position, field of
expertise and relevance for the study is included, but their names and the
archaeological projects they belong to are hidden. In the text they are referred to by way of codes that indicate their role in relation to the thesis, and
the year of the interview (EX for experts, EU for officials and staff, and PJ
Verlot 2001: 352.
Herzfeld 2000: 236.
84 Herzfeld 2000: 236.
for project leaders and participants). Aside from ethical reasons, I have withheld personal information for the reason that it does not add anything to the
analysis. The study is concerned with structures and practices. Though I take
great interest in individual statements and strategies, I consider them greater
than the sum of their parts. Naming actors may detract from this focus.
Added to this are ethical considerations that come with interviewing persons in their professional capacity. Studies building on such material have
sometimes been regarded as threatening and damaging to professional identities. David Mosse was confronted and officially accused of having caused
such damage after publishing an anthropological study about an international
development project.85 Instead of backing away, Mosse took the critique as a
research opportunity in itself and went on to discuss the issue in several academic texts.86 According to him, the core of the problem lies in the different
approaches to the construction of authoritative knowledge. From the informants’ point of view ethnography can seem like a form of bad evaluation as it
does not involve any negotiation or search for consensus. Thus, he argues,
what is encountered when examining communities of managers, consultants
and policymakers, is ‘a professional habitus that automatically transfers the
actuality of events into the pre-given categories of acceptable and legitimate
fictions.’87 This is evident in my own research. For instance, many informants did not understand why I was interested in their opinions rather than
‘facts’ (published objectives, figures and information folders), feeling uneasy about this fact. They would much rather provide me with official, and
in their eyes, powerless information.
Structure of the thesis
The remainder of this thesis is divided into independent yet interrelated
chapters. Chapter two examines the conditions that make questions about
European origins possible to ask. Following the cultural historical career of
Europe as concept, from its use by Greek geographers to the beginnings of
the EU, it argues that Europe has never been ‘obedient to our minds.’ A process of filling the notion with content has conspired to make it real and as a
construction it has exerted influence on things, peoples or places classified
as non-European. The second part turns toward Europe in archaeological
thought, arguing that there has long existed a ‘continentalism’ in the domain.
By discussing examples from influential narratives on European prehistory,
it addresses ideas of Europe as barbarian space and cradle of civilisation.
The third chapter deals with the EU and their involvement in the archaeological domain. It investigates how and why officials and parliamentarians
Mosse and Lewis 2005.
Mosse 2006, 2011; Mosse and Lewis 2006.
87 Mosse 2011: 54.
have concerned themselves with this sector. Here I argue that archaeology,
as part of a ‘European heritage,’ has carried specific meanings in the political economy of culture in the EU. After tracing the money invested in heritage and the motivations behind, I show how archaeology has become both a
promise and a problem in EU settings.
Chapter four explores the link between archaeology and the funding programme Culture 2007–2013 from inside the corridors of Brussels. It looks at
different actors and processes which have bearing on the way cultural heritage is understood in relation to Europeanness. Starting with the administrative unit in charge of the funding programme, I move on to the perspectives
of expert reviewers, the external project consultants, and finally to the beneficiaries' points of view. Two theoretical keys, the black box and translations, are used to structure the analysis. The Commission’s own notion of
European added value (EAV) – a criterion used to score the applications – is
used to as a thread throughout the chapter.
Chapter five moves on to the narratives produced by co-funded projects
with archaeological themes or actors. Based on a database of 161 projects, it
discusses common time periods and objects of study. A number of projects
are analysed further, taking into account their self-presentations, publications
and outreach material. Focus is placed on how research themes and scopes
are motivated in relation to the conceptual frames of the funding source.
Chapter six reverses the perspective by examining the role of the EU as a
brand in archaeology. The focus is set on the role and importance assigned to
the EU as a funding source in respect to: the money itself, its political nature
and the level of prestige it generates for project participants. The chapter also
includes a discussion on the potential impact of EU-funding on archaeological networks and infrastructures.
Chapter seven synthesises the previous chapters by following the life of a
hypothetical project application, tracing the Commission context it would
enter into all the way up to its implementation. The journey is divided into
three stages: the ‘pre-application phase,’ ‘the application phase’ and the
‘post-application phase.’ Each phase addresses the central conditions and
motivations that influence the role of archaeology in EU cultural actions. It
also explains the translations and strategies taking place, aiming, ultimately,
to showcase the role of archaeology and its potential implications in the construction of Europeanness.
Although chapter three to six are presented as separate studies, readers
should keep in mind that they cross-cut and overlap both temporally and in
terms of social networks. A voice in one chapter may provide a different
take on an argument set forth in another. Along the way, new questions are
raised and alternative paths become visible. Those not explored in this thesis
will hopefully be picked up by future researchers. For now, taking cue from
Commissioner Figeľ, it is time to take a closer look at the so called ‘elephant’ of European culture.
Chapter 2. Positioning Europe
Since the inception of the European Economic Community … nations [in Europe] are bound together not only geographically but also economically, politically and to an extent, socially. As a result, many of the people living in Europe have grown to think of themselves as “Europeans”… But if we go far
enough back in time, would we find common roots that united the people living here? A common culture that we can call “European” or that we can point
to when explaining the mentality of people today? 1
This question, raised in the introduction to a book I read during my time as a
student, has been asked in various forms since the early days of the discipline. Similar to several influential archaeological narratives, it takes contemporary Europe as its starting point in an attempt to investigate links between prehistoric places, peoples and processes connected to the landmass so
named. At its base rests a presumed notion of a European culture or mentality in need of explanation. Although the answers may vary, the question itself
persists.2 Therefore, the first part of this chapter is dedicated to illustrating
the conditions that make such questions possible to ask in the first place.
Drawing on previous research, it provides a brief account of the cultural
historical career of Europe as a signifier, looking at how this combination of
letters has been used as a pointing finger, and at what this finger has pointed.
In the second part of this chapter, I turn towards Europe as it has been represented in archaeological thought, using examples from influential archaeological narratives to show its plural meanings.
On horses, planets and gloves
In the introduction to this thesis I argued that Europe and Europeans were
‘real constructions.’ Declaring this is easy. The real challenge lays in finding
out what fuels these constructions, and their resulting effects. One particularly useful tool when considering such constructions is Ian Hacking’s concept
of ‘dynamic nominalism.’ In ‘Making up people’ (2002) he explains this
approach (in the spirit of Foucault) as relating to how ‘our classifications and
Gillis, Olausson and Vandkilde 2004: 1.
In the case above no particular Europeaness was actually found. Based on the development
of agriculture, metallurgy and domestication of animals in Northern, Southern and Central
Europe during prehistory: ‘no particular dawn of culture that could be designated “European”
could be identified’ (Gillis, Olausson and Vandkilde 2004: 152).
our classes conspire to emerge hand in hand.’ 3 Specifically, he examines
ideas about how certain kinds of human beings appear in unison with their
categorisations, such as ‘the multiple personality’ of the 1980s. Using a
number of example classes – like horses, planets, and gloves – he argues
that, although categories may be changeable and human-made, some labels
fit too well not to be ‘given by nature.’4 Horses are beings with similarities
that stretch beyond our grouping of them into a certain class. They are ‘obedient to our minds’ and have so much in common that, if named differently,
we would still recognise them as a kind of animal.5 Planets are more dependent on our classification. As has recently been the case with Pluto, they can
cease to be planets. Furthermore, most of the time we can only work with
representations of them. The case can also be made that the heavens actually
appeared and therefore were different before and after the Earth was placed
in line with the other planets, excluding the sun and moon. 6 Still, these formations would be there without our classification and they do carry ontological similarities and differences. Gloves however, are something entirely
different. They are created by us in order to fit a certain part of our body.
The idea, category and item developed in symbiosis. If we accept these
premises: Is Europe a horse, a planet or a glove?
In light of the political geography of the present, Europe is often thought
of as a horse. Everyone immediately recognises it on a map and the term
European, whether used as an adjective or a noun, rarely calls for any clarification. However, stripping Europe of its historic classifications as a continent, a Christian space, a top civilisation and a racial unit, what remains? Is
it still, like horses, a recognisable entity? And could the peoples living on the
landmass be neatly categorised as particular kinds of human beings? Surely
the answer must be no.
Looking at its physical delineation, the boundary drawn arbitrarily along
the Ural Mountains, through the Caucasus region, the Dardanelles, the Bosphorus and the Mediterranean, there is nothing ‘given’ about Europe. It is an
entity that demands extensive human intervention to make sense. A case
could perhaps be made if extending the scope to Eurasia and the physiographic continent. Understood as discrete chunks of land separated (preferably) by water or tectonic plates, Eurasia, Africa, North America, South
America, Antarctica and Australia are relatively distinct formations with
ontological similarities and differences. However, since continent is a historically unstable class that still lacks consensus with regard to established criteria, continents are really more akin, in this analogy, to planets. Greenland,
a large distinct landmass that matches the description of a continent is la3
Hacking 2002: 106–107.
Hacking 2002: 106–107.
5 Hacking 2002: 106–107.
6 Kuhn 2000: 220.
belled ‘the largest island’ while Australia has become ‘the smallest continent.’ North and South America are almost completely detached from each
other and located on different tectonic plates, while Europe and Asia form a
continuous landmass, sharing the same plate. Yet the Americas are often
considered one continent with two subcontinents while Europe and Asia,
today and historically, have been separated.
As a standalone object then, Europe really appears more like a glove. Or
at least something in between a planet and a glove. It is not physically created by humans, yet the borders of the landmass has changed over the ages,
rarely matching the array of lands and peoples considered European. In fact,
Europe provides an excellent example of how a process of naming things
begins once a class has been produced, conspiring to make it real.
Once upon a time there was Europe
The first known use of the word ‘Europe’ is in the Homeric hymn to Apollo
from the 7th century BC.7 In this context it did not represent the continent but
Central Greece. Europe was also used simultaneously to denote a part of
Thrace, numerous cities, and a river.8 In The myth of continents: a critique of
metageography (1997), Martin Lewis and Karen Wigen provide a critical
account of the construction of Europe as a continent. According to their historical survey, it was only in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. that Greek mariners
and geographers began to divide the world into zones, with Asia to the east,
Libya to the south and Europe to the north and west of the Mediterranean
(figure 1). Together this made up the oikouménē, meaning the ‘inhabited
world.’ Consequently, it rarely took the full spatial extent of the continents
into account.9
Written accounts on oikouménē sometimes involved ethnographic descriptions regarding Celts, Scythians, Thracians and Ethiopians, but as argued by Denise McCoskey, the aim was not to define peoples as born of
their continents.10 When discussed, specific cultural traits were associated
with climate and distance. The further away, the stranger the inhabitants.
Non-Greek speaking ‘barbarians’ in the colder northern regions were
thought to exhibit a harshness, related to (but not necessarily causing) a kind
of freedom, creativity and savagery, while peoples in the more temperate
southern regions were more complex in thought, spirit and rule. Too much
sun however, like in Asia, would lead to irrational behaviour or a slow mind,
Hom. H. Apollo 251, 291. In Erdmann 2015[2006]: Section A.
Erdmann 2015[2006]: Section A.
9 Lewis and Wigen 1997: 21–22. Based on the writings of 1 st century BC. scholar Strabo.
10 McCoskey 2012: 58–60.
a distinction that allowed Greek scholars to frame eastern enemies (like the
Persians) as naturally opposite to western peoples.11
Until Roman times, the west was therefore perceived as under-civilised
and the east as hyper-civilised, while Greece occupied a comfortable middle
position. The continental scheme highlighted this, placing the Aegean Sea at
the heart of the world.12 The division was criticised early on by Herodotus,
who called for a more complex portrayal, questioning why three distinct
‘women’s names’ had been given to what was really a single landmass.13
Yet, a seed had been planted and the partition would be reused, developed
and filled with meaning over centuries to come.
Figure 1. Reconstruction of Hecatæus’ map of the
world, ca. 550–480 BC. With the permission of Jim
Siebold. URL:
Propelled by military expansion and overseas trade, the Roman Era saw the
physical outlines of the world grow increasingly detailed. Through late antiquity, scholarly representations of the world began to resemble the maps of
today. Ptolemy’s Geographia, a second century compilation of geographical
knowledge (the first to introduce a global coordinate system), 14 resulted in a
This paragraph draws on chapter 1 in McCoskey 2012, especially the discussion on the
Hippocratic essays Airs, waters, places.
12 Lewis and Wigen 1997: 22.
13 Lewis and Wigen 1997: 22. Herodotus also pointed out the relative nature of barbarianism
(McCoskey 2012: 60).
14 Originally written in Greek at Alexandria around AD 150, Ptolemy’s topography of Europe,
Africa, and Asia remained the most detailed and extensive account for centuries to come. It
was translated into Arabic in the 9th century and Latin in 1406, and became highly influential
in late medieval and Renaissance Europe (Fritscher 2015[2006]; Berggren and Jones 2000).
much smaller Europe, positioned at the left hand corner of the world, while
Africa and Asia grew larger. The border to the east, previously drawn by
Herodotus at the Phasis River in the Caucasus (modern Rioni), was moved to
the Tanais (modern Don River). The terms Europe and Asia were sometimes
used to mark political subdivisions within Roman territory,15 but as a continent or meaningful division of the world, Europe was not yet a category that
bore much weight. Although the Celts and Gauls were created as Others –
perfectly matching the climatically conditioned traits of northern ‘barbarians’ –16 there existed hitherto no ‘Europeans,’ either as Other or self.
The proportionally more balanced portrayal of the continents was largely
forgotten during the early Middle Ages, when conceptual depictions of the
world became dominant. The three part division remained however, and as
maps turned increasingly Jerusalem-centred – designed according to the
Christian cosmological order in the shape of a circle divided by a T – the
populations on the continents were declared descendants of the three sons of
Noah. Notably, as all important biblical locations were to be found in Asia,
the lands of Sem, the European continent was not considered the homeland
of Christianity.17
This infused the landmasses with some religious and cultural significance,
but Europe remained an unstable territorial notion.18 Although famously
named ‘Pater Europae’ (in a single text by an anonymous poet in 799), the
use of Europe as a reference point during the realm of Charlemagne and the
Carolingian Empire should be understood within this context.19 Europe was a
term sometimes used in court circles when referring to the old Western Roman Empire, but there was no unified ‘medieval Europe’ or a European consciousness at this time.20 While the tighter economic, political, religious and
linguistic currents of this time have led historians to search for the birth of
Europe in this period, it has often been at the expense of diversity and the
variety of responses to Carolingian culture.21 The key reference point for
self-identification at this time was Christendom, a notion stretching far beyond the western territories.22
Lewis and Wigen 1997: 23.
McCoskey 2012: 78–80.
17 Lewis and Wigen 1997: 23–24.
18 Balzaretti 1992: 187.
19 Since the start of European Community building after World War II, Charlemagne’s role as
the ‘father of Europe’ has been hoisted out of proportion by historians, receiving undue attention due to its contemporary appeal (Balzaretti 1992; Oschema: in print).
20 Nevertheless, Klaus Oschema (in print) points to some instances in which Charlemagne
was named as the leader of Europae regna (the realm of Europe) by later medieval authors
situated on the margins of the landmass, especially Ireland.
21 Balzaretti 1992: 190–191.
22 Riekmann 1997: 68.
Along with the early Renaissance revival of the classical legacy – facilitated by the work of Arabic scholars and Byzantine monks – the continental
scheme from late antiquity made a comeback. Aside from a renewed scholarly interest, the European continent seemed an increasingly good political
match. Christian territory needed to be reaffirmed, both in light of northward
expansion to the Baltic and in face of looming collapse in the East.23 As a
result, by the 15th century Europe had become a replacement label for Christendom,24 especially among the growing number of Renaissance humanists.
When the Ottoman conquests finally separated Christian traditions, a trope
of Europe as the last bastion of Christendom developed in the sphere of Latin Catholicism, standing strong but alone in a fallen world.25 For instance,
after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Pope Pius II referred to Europe as a
cultural unity and fatherland.26 This transition meant that as a concept, Europe inherited the opposition to Islam which had intensified since the 11th
century, paving the way for its reinvention as a civilisation in its own right.
It was from the late 15th century onwards, when this legacy of religious
opposition merged with the political interests to differentiate Europe against
a whole range of new Others, that it transformed fully from planet into
glove. It slowly became what Borneman and Fowler has termed ‘a strategy
of self-representation and a device of power’ (figure 2).27 The voyages of
exploration and the “discovery” of the New World turned the long standing
continental scheme upside-down. Reality had to be redrawn both mentally
and physically into four world quarters, a process that took nearly a century.28 In this process, Europe was increasingly depicted as a standalone space,
occupying the first page in world atlases.
Soon, the continental border also began to stabilise, largely due the Swedish army officer and German scholar Philip Johan von Strahlenberg (1676–
1747), who argued successfully for the abandonment of the Don River as
Europe’s eastern boundary. Instead he drew it along the Ural Mountains, the
Caspian Sea, the Caucasus and the Black Sea.29 He thereby boosted the Russian Europeanisation programme – culturally excluding Siberia while conveniently including the Ottoman possessions in the Crimea within its sphere
of influence.30 Although the continental scheme has since been extended,
Strahlenberg’s European border has persisted.
Lewis and Wigen 1997: 25.
Davies 1996: 7.
25 Schmale 2010: 169; Bugge 2003: 67.
26 Erdmann 2015[2006]: Section C.
27 Borneman and Fowler 1997: 489.
28 Lewis and Wigen 1997: 26.
29 Strahlenberg 1730: 106.
30 Davies 1996: 7, 10–11; Lewis and Wigen 1997: 27.
Figure 2. Europa Regina, 16th century cartographical personification of
Europe as a regal woman. Originally reproduced from engraving by
Johannes Putsch at the Hapsburg court. Comenius Museum in Naarden,
Netherlands. Wikimedia Commons. Contributor: Aida 2006, URL:
(accessed 15.11.15).
In tune with cartographic Eurocentrism, monographs on the history of Europe started to appear.1 More importantly, by the 18th century the genre of
travel literature had become popular. Full of curiosities and exoticising descriptions of places and peoples far away, it created a meaningful difference
between that which was considered European and that which was considered
non-European. Although distant peoples were often considered bizarre and
uncultured, the genre also popularised the trope of the ‘noble savage’ or the
‘good savage.’ The savage was an outsider who had escaped the corrupting
influences and constant wars of European societies, symbolising a kind of
purity and innate goodness.
Europeans were also classified biologically, most famously in Linnaeus’
(1707–1778) work Systema naturae (1735). Drawing on classical writings
regarding human temperaments and contemporary categorisations of peoples, he defined the continents by geography and human ‘types.’ Starting
from humans as a single species, Linnaeus named four subspecies. One of
these were Europaeus, which, in line with current European notions about
their own superiority, was described as white, strong, inventive and governed by law. Asiaticus was defined as yellow, stiff, melancholic and governed by opinion, and Afer – the African subspecies – as black, sluggish and
ruled by impulse.2 Americanus, considered red, ill-tempered and ruled by
custom, was placed beneath Europaeus in the first edition, but as the trope of
the noble savage grew in popularity it was moved to the top, shifting emphasis to Americanus contentment and freedom from the shackles of civilisation.3 Despite this division, Linnaeus’ schemes were more horizontal than
vertical in nature. To rank the human types was not a goal in itself.4
During the development of 18th century Enlightenment, the maps and
historical accounts of the continent merged with biological, geographic and
anthropological classifications, into the idea of a unique European civilisation.5 Instead of representing a last bastion of Christendom, Europe became a
unit of choice for scholars seeking to explain the world through more secular
perspectives. The model allowed for multiple civilisations placed on a stepladder of development, where man progressed towards a morally just society
through knowledge, skills (arts) and virtue.6 In contrast to others, Europeans
owned the complete set, while at the same time remaining capable of selfcriticism.7
Burke 2006: 237.
Schmale 2010: 171.
3 Marks 2001: 50.
4 Zack 2002.
5 The word ‘civilisation’ is a neologism from 18th century French, used as an opposite to
‘barbarity’ and to mark the passage to a civilised era (Braudel 1987: 33).
6 This ‘potential for progress’ would later fuel the French and American revolutions, and be
incorporated into the UN declaration on human rights after World War II (Bugge 2003: 67).
7 See for instance Adam Ferguson’s An essay on the history of civil society (1767).
During the Enlightenment, a strong Orientalism emerged in the late 18th
century.8 According to rationalists like Voltaire, it was the Orient which
stood as the cradle of everything of value that the West possessed.9 This was
considered plain to see from both historical accounts of the Near East as well
as objects and ancient monuments, things which had recently become the
task of national institutions to collect, study and protect.10 Yet, Orientalism
simultaneously worked to support ideas of European superiority. It was the
Europeans’ consciousness of their own barbarism, their unique intellectual
and physical abilities – their rational minds, morals, strength and light complexion – that settled the verdict. Eastern civilisations and peoples, although
once great, were considered static due to ages of despotic rule. After the
demise of the Roman Empire, the Olympic torch of development had been
passed on from East to West.11
During the 19th century, facilitated by the monarchs’ loss of divinity, the
separation of cosmology and history, and the domestication of national languages through print-capitalism, the nation-state fraternities cemented a new
sense of unescapable belonging.12 Now, a vertical biological taxonomy of
physical and behavioural traits married models of cultural evolution and
ethnic conceptions of ownership and identity. Just as you could not choose
your family, you could not choose your race or nation. Genealogy, race and
the ancient homeland became neutralised constants.13 In an extended framework, this also applied to continents. As argued by the influential 19th century human geographer Carl Ritter: ‘Each continent is like itself alone; its
characteristics are not shared by any other. Each one was so planned and so
formed as to have its own special function in the progress of human culture.’14 Ritter used this idea of continents as living organisms as a base for
racialist interpretations of the world.
Enlightenment models of civilisation were built on the premise that, at
least in theory, everyone could become civilised. Along with the emergence
of European imperialism, this potential for movement was dampened. European states were considered sanctioned in their colonisation of what science
and popular assumptions deemed flawed or stagnant peoples, a project in
which the emerging disciplines of anthropology and archaeology was of
particular assistance. Darwin’s On the origin of species by means of natural
selection, or, the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life
(1859) inspired theories of social evolution based on racial difference, which
in turn inspired early prehistorians like John Lubbock (1834-1913). In his
Said 1978. See also Marchand 2012 on Orientalism in Germany.
Schulze 1994: 61.
10 For antiquarianism and collections see Díaz-Andreu 2007.
11 Shennan 1987: 367.
12 Anderson 2006[1983]: 46.
13 Anderson 2006[1983]: 143; Trigger 2006[1989]: 212.
14 Ritter 1881: 183.
thesis Prehistoric times: as illustrated by ancient remains, and the manners
and customs of modern savages (1865) – a work that became especially influential in the context of European colonisation – Lubbock argued that not
only had natural selection rendered Europeans culturally different, it had also
made them biologically more able to use culture.15 Due to their deficiencies,
non-Europeans in non-industrialised societies were considered hopelessly
stuck in various states of barbarism. From exhibiting potential for progress,
they became regarded as lesser human breeds. Through them the ancient past
could still be observed, while Europeans had moved on and had acquired
‘History.’ As a consequence, expressed aptly in the 1899 poem The white
man's burden by Rudyard Kipling, colonised peoples came to be seen both
an encumbrance and a duty, and “caring” for them an act of benevolence.
Of course, the process of defining the nation-states built heavily on differentiating oneself from ones neighbour. Arguably more so than the comparison with faraway peoples. Scholars began to establish national histories
and mythical golden ages that worked to justify social change, idealised
points in time when politics and religion converged and ethnic consensus
defined the homeland.16 Towards the late 19th century, an increasing number
of prehistorians directed their gaze inwards, finding merit in a nationalist
barbarian past, while Classical scholars moved towards Hellenism. Ian Morris has called Hellenism a ‘continentalist’ approach to the past. It upheld
Greek Antiquity as the cradle of European civilisation, a nexus of belonging
for the wider racial and cultural club called the West.17
Figure 3. Bench from the Apartheid period in South
Africa. ‘District 6’ Community Museum, Cape Town.
Photo courtsey: Yael Marom.
Trigger 2006[1989]: 171–176. See Kehoe 1998 for the sociopolitical context of Lubbock’s
16 Smith 1997: 37.
17 Morris 1994: 11.
Evolutionary models of explanation had helped uphold these ties, making it
possible to detach ancient civilisations like Hellas, Egypt and Babylon from
their present populations.18 Their relics were considered safer and more spiritually at home under Western and Central European stewardship. Thus,
from the perspective of cultural appropriation, the nationalist obsession with
ethnic origins actually stimulated a broader transnational awareness than in
previous centuries. Importantly, the ages of imperialism and colonialism also
meant that Europe was increasingly defined from the outside, by overseas
Empires, emigrants and peoples under colonial rule. With the rise of the
United States of America, Europeanness fused with the idea of the West on
the one hand, while for Americans it became a bygone homeland.
By the dawn of the 21th century, the term Europe had long since inhabited
scholarly and political realms and its various classifications. This lead to
serious consequences for many classified as non-European (figure 3). Yet, I
would argue that Europe had never been a political entity or governmental
concern in any real sense. Napoleon and the First French Empire, just as
Charlemagne, used the concept of Europe, but their key source of inspiration
was ancient Rome.19 Neither did the European Concert, the agreement between European rulers that resulted in the Hundred Years’ Peace (18141914), indicate the start of Europe as a self-regarding political community.20
And while the Third Reich – also inspired by the Roman Empire – fostered
grand visions of a unified Empire on the continent, they did not draw on
ideas of Europeanness or a European civilisation as much as a self-styled,
racially conditioned utopia.21
It was only in the wake of World War II that the notion of Europe met
with actual political interest for the first time. From a state of diplomatic and
economic urgency, Europe was created as a self-aware and future-oriented
international project based common values of freedom, democracy and human rights. However, as envisaged by the logic of modernity, it could only
be considered legitimate if it had a history and peoples which identified with
it. Rather than adopting a new idea of what it means to be European, the
Community leaned on established notions of a ‘common inheritance,’ seeing
the unification as the ‘recreation’ of the European family. Although they
predate the founding of the Community, Churchill’s famous post-war
speeches on a ‘United States of Europe’ offer a window into contemporary
discourses.22 In 1945 he regretted the previous lack of substance given to the
For the consequenses of this detachment in Greece, see Hamilakis 2003.
Huet (1999) argues that this was not Napoleon Bonaparte’s own making, but a joint creation by him and his artistic advisers. For ancient Rome and Napoleon I–III, see also Trigger
2006[1989]: 213.
20 According to Elrod (1976), the concert was more of a diplomatic instrument that depended
upon individual leaders. It did in no way challenge the doctrine of national sovereignty.
21 Loosemann 1999.
22 See Gusejnova 2012 for extended analysis.
idea of Europe, stressing that unification would bring together the continent
‘in a manner [unknown] since the fall of the Roman Empire.’23 This bond
would not be new in spirit, but founded on the heritage of Western civilisation:
This noble continent, comprising on the whole the fairest and most cultivated
regions of the earth, enjoying a temperate and equable climate, is the home of
all the great parent races of the western world. It is the fountain of Christian
faith and Christian ethics. It is the origin of most of the culture, arts, philosophy and science both of ancient and modern times. If Europe were once united
in the sharing of its common inheritance, there would be no limit to the happiness, to the prosperity and glory which its three or four hundred million people would enjoy.24
Although Churchill was on the extreme end when it came to promoting a
future European Community, his use of Enlightenment discourses on European superiority reflects the climate in which the first steps toward an economic and political bond was forged. By actively collecting and meshing
together previous ideas on Europenness into a new institutional discourse,
the story of Europe started to be told to a degree it had never been before. As
argued by Sonja Riekmann,25 Europe was raised as a kind of magical formula and moral concept already in the Schuman Declaration (1950), the first
proposal for a European Coal and Steel Community. Only by concealing
Europe as a geographical concept, and using it as a synonym for the new
cooperation, could it become a driving force for integration later on.26 Ironically, the political conflicts surrounding the Iron Curtain did not seem to
threaten this vision. Rather, the splitting of Europe into East and West confirmed its natural state as a whole.
Since then, even if it was specified in the Treaty of Rome that only European states can be members of the EU,27 the Community’s definition of Europeanness has remained indistinct.28 As late as 1992, the following was
written in relation to the enlargement process:
The term European has not been officially defined. It combines geographical,
historical and cultural elements which all contribute to the European identity
… The Commission believes that it is neither possible nor opportune to establish now the frontiers of the European Union, whose contours will be shaped
over many years to come. 29
Churchill 1945. In Mauter 1998: 69.
Churchill 1946. In Churchill 2013: 356.
25 Riekmann 1997.
26 Riekmann 1997: 64.
27 Art. 237 of The Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community in 1957.
28 Holmes 2000: 30–33; Shore 1993.
29 1992 Commission report, Europe and the challenge of enlargement. In: EC Bull. 3/92: para
7, p. 11.
This passive approach has led to serious problems in the Community’s politics of belonging. Religion has become a factor in discussions on Turkish
membership and the cultural heritage of democracy has become a rhetoric to
keep Greece in the union despite economic collapse in the 2010s. On the
other hand, a floating idea of Europe has also proven effective. The EU has
by and large become synonymous with Europe and despite the constant state
of crisis and democratic deficit, they have managed to create Europeans. If
not as a specific ‘type of person,’ at least as bodies registered and classified
through European passports. Political terms like ‘third countries’ and ‘nonEU nationals’ have developed, sharpening the border toward ‘nonEuropeans.’30 This exclusionary rhetoric became palpable when Morocco
applied for membership in 1986. According to Iver Neumann, their application was dealt with ‘in no uncertain terms; Rabat was simply told that the
organization was open only to Europeans, and that was that. There was no
room for ambiguity here, only unequivocal exclusion and marking of Morocco as clearly “non-European”.’31
The origins of Europe in archaeology
Within archaeological storytelling, long dominated by meta-narratives such
as Marxism or evolutionary theory, Europe has figured as everything from
an interpretative geographical frame – the backdrop or stage upon which the
plot has played out – to starring as the main character or phenomenon to be
explained. Sometimes it has turned out be the very explanation in itself.
When it comes to research on pan-European prehistory, it is safe to say that
no one has ever started from a series of local archaeological assemblages and
simply found Europe. Although studies have always built on observations
about technology, environment, subsistence patterns and sociopolitical structures across the landmass, fitting these into a single frame has required an
Other. Europe has been born as a culturally conditioned space out of competition and contrast, most often in relation to the Orient.
Enclosed by the long standing trope of barbarism versus civilisation,32
these contrasts have sometimes rendered Europe a backwater to more advanced societies, or depending on perspective, an individual force going its
own way. The former take has emphasised external cultural transfers, especially from Mesopotamia or Egypt to Classical Greece and ancient Rome. In
this model, European civilisation is placed on standby after the fall of Rome
to ‘barbarian hordes,’ only to be activated again in the Renaissance. The
second approach has sought the cradle in barbarianism itself, as an uncor-
Shore 1993: 786.
Neumann 1998: 400.
32 Kristiansen 1996, 1998; Rowlands 1988; Wailes and Zoll 1995.
rupted and creative force standing against Oriental despotism. 33 The element
of competition here lies in which civilisation or system would come out on
top: bound to rule the world. Of course, this competition was always rigged,
seeing as capitalism, science and Western democracy were deemed the
crowning achievements.
Aside from these fundamentals, something more is often needed to make
Europe seem like a relevant frame in which to order our facts. Such relevance has usually been established in relation to recent historical developments, through queries like: ‘Since capitalism, and more specifically industrialism, developed in western Europe, it has posed the natural question: why
Europe?’34 Or ‘[When] did Europe acquire the distinctive character that it
was later to impose on much of the rest of the world?’35 Here, the question
‘why?’ draws upon the historical idea of Europe, while the ‘when?’ alludes
to origins.
Narratives structured around such historical ideas hold explanatory pow36
er. Combined with the search for origins, a figure since long recognised for
its ability to (re-)order reality, these questions tend to guide narratives on a
given course, relating and juxtaposing prehistoric societies in a European
patchwork with a predetermined end point. They also frequently entail a
value judgement or imply an ancestral bond between the scholar and the
object of study. Bernard Wailes and Amy Zoll has referred to this as ethnic
partisanship,37 while Neil Asher Silberman has spoken of the archaeologistas-hero narrative, namely: ‘when the discoverer proclaims his or her connection to a modern population that claims decent from the group under study.’38
This being said, it is important to note that among the archaeologies of
European nation-states, the study of Europe as an entity with its own prehistory has never been a major concern.39 Owing much of its success to its usefulness in nationalist discourses – as one out of many technologies for exclusion and identity building in the 19th century – most archaeologists have followed suit and specialised in specific fields tied to their own countries, conducting research on interregional and local scales.40 As a result, many of
those who have written grand narratives of European prehistory have be-
Kristiansen 1996: 138–139.
Kristiansen 1998a: 13.
35 Sherratt 1997: 29.
36 An historical idea, as argued by Franklin Ankersmith, is a claim about how the most important features of a phenomenon or epoch hang together (2002: 1–14).
37 Wailes and Zoll 1995. See also Trigger 1984.
38 Silberman 1995: 253.
39 Milisauskas 2011; Shennan 1987.
40 See Lang 2000 and Kristiansen 2001 for discussions on national publication patterns and
languages in archaeology.
come well-known,41 making both their texts and their persons into popular
objects of study.
In the following, I will use examples from their narratives to point toward
techniques of Europe-making in archaeology. The aim is not to evaluate the
credibility of specific interpretations or to undermine archaeological understandings of prehistoric life on the continent, but to look at what such narratives set forth as Europeanness and to what kind of Europe they refer. Almost all selected narratives stem from the Anglo-Saxon tradition in archaeology. This is not only a result of my own linguistic limitations. Although
there are archaeologists who have written narratives on a European scale
outside this tradition, most do stem from Great Britain and Scandinavia. The
dominance of the English language in academic circles have of course assisted in the spread of these accounts, but another reason may be their position on the edge of the physical landmass of Europe, making the continental
perspective seem somehow more accessible.42
Europe between barbarism and capitalism
One of the key tropes which has defined Western society’s self-image since
the late Renaissance is that of ancient Greece as the birthplace of a European
spirit. The Hellenism which developed during the nationalist disputes and
imperialist aggression of the late 18th and 19th centuries was not overly concerned with archaeology. However, after the break between Greece and the
Ottoman Empire, it became important to distinguish Greece from the occupying power and ‘re-identify’ a truly European Greece. In this quest many
European powers were ready to assist.43 Traditionally, tropes on classical
antiquity such as ‘the cradle of Europe’ had stressed early influences from
the Near East, while barbarians were considered destructive elements.
Through Heinrich Schliemann’s excavations at Troy (1870s), Tiryns (1880s)
and Mycenae (1870s),44 and Arthur Evans’ work at Knossos (1900–1931), a
prehistoric antiquity for the Classical World was established. This construct
brought nationalist archaeologies concerned with barbarian Europe and classical archaeologists closer together.45 The site of Knossos, upon its unearthing, was immediately characterised as European, both by Evans and other
researchers. According to critical accounts, Evans’ creation of Minoan archaeology as a cradle of Western civilisation was deliberate and highly polit41
Sarunas Milisauskas has remarked upon the disproportional amount of attention given to
pan-European scholars, while the majority of national archaeologists have been forgotten
(2011: 7).
42 Oschema (in print), argues that this was why medieval scholars in Ireland were some of the
first to take a continental perspective during their own time, since the territories on the continent appeared as a unity if seen from the margins.
43 Morris 1994: 34; Whitley 2001: 29–31.
44 Michaelis 2012[1908]: 215–216.
45 Trigger 2006[1989]: 216.
ical.46 Thus, even if scholars in the classic tradition produced few grand narratives of continental Europe, their works preconditioned the creation of
Europe as a unique entity in prehistory.
Oscar Montelius (1843-1921) was the first to carry out a comprehensive
artefact classification on a continental scale, a work made possible by the
rapid construction of railway networks in the mid-19th century. His syntheses
on European prehistory did not present Europe as a superior civilisation,
rather the opposite. In his works on the relationship between Europe and the
Orient, Montelius advocated a diffusionist model in which civilisation entered Europe in bits and pieces from the outside.47 Although it was a lack of
refined technology that defined European societies, the juxtaposition nevertheless created Europe as an entity. An interesting example of how this was
done can be found in the text ‘Typologien eller utvecklingsläran tillämpad på
det mänskliga arbetet’ (1900). Produced in relation to a natural science conference, he starts by explaining pedagogically that the ‘type’ is for the prehistorian what the species is for the natural scientist.48 After going through
series of Bronze Age axes from Scandinavia and Italy, he sorts them into
cultural periods in a relative chronology, concluding that:
A comparison between Europe and the Orient in typological terms shows a far
greater liveliness within our continent than in the lands of the East. In Europe
we encounter a richness in shapes, a vigour, a readiness for change … and
consequently a speedy development, which makes a strange contrast to the
Oriental predilection for keeping the old forms unchanged … This opposition
between the West and the East, which appear early on, and which has continued since, is closely connected to the peculiar differences in folk-character49
in mentioned parts of the world, that has been of such great importance for
these peoples’ whole development and therefore so decisive for their history
and their current relationship to each other.50
McEnroe 2002. Se also Hamilakis and Momigliano (eds.) 2006, especially the chapters by
Morris, Hamilakis and Sherratt.
47 Montelius 1899, 1903. See also Baudou 2012; Trigger 2006[1989]: 222–232.
48 Montelius 1900: 237.
49 The Swedish word ‘folkkaraktär’ is an ambiguous concept, referring to the traits of a people
based on ethnicity or culture. However, Montelius did not adhere to racial models of interpretation (Trigger 2006[1989]: 230).
50 Montelius 1900: 267. Translation mine. Original in Swedish: ‘En jämförelse mellan Europa
och Orienten i typologiskt afseende visa en vida större lifaktighet inom vår världsdel än i
Österns länder. I Europa möter oss en formrikedom, en lifaktighet, en benägenhet för förändringar … och i följd häraf en snabb utveckling, som bildar en märklig motsats mot Orientens
förkärlek för att bibehålla de gamla formerna oförändrade … Denna motsats mellan Västerlandet och Österlandet, som redan mycket tidigt framträder, och som sedan ständigt fortlefvat,
står i nära samband med den märkliga olikhet mellan folkkaraktären i nämnda delar af
världen, som varit af så stor betydelse för dessa folks hela utveckling och därför så bestämmande för deras historia och deras nuvarande förhållanden till hvarandra.’
Here, despite Montelius’ belief that early Oriental impulses had developed
civilisation, he drew upon current evolutionary frameworks to explain the
diversity seen in the material.51 Contemporary understandings of what set
Europeans and Eastern peoples apart were used to rationalise as well as naturalise a distinction between Europe and the Orient over time. In this process,
although Montelius’ work focused on nation-states to a much higher degree
than continents, he underpins Europe as a natural overhead category.
The 20th century archaeologist V. Gordon Childe (1892–1957) is probably
the one to have written the most influential grand narratives of a European
prehistory.52 He entered into archaeology through Classical studies, and like
many others he was interested in the origins of the Indo-European languages.
After travelling extensively around Europe by train in the early 1920s,
Childe published one of his first and most influential works, Dawn of European civilisation (1925). By combining all the bits and pieces available to
him in a modified cultural historical approach based on diffusion,53 Childe
pronounced the late Neolithic and the Bronze Age as the start of an indigenous European civilisation, a period when man became ‘master of his own
food supply’ through technological skill, organized co-operative labour, and
The plot assigns the Egyptian and Sumerian centres – in conjunction with
the Minoans and Mycenaeans – the role of muses, radiating civilising influence onto the peninsula. In Central Europe the Danubian peasants were considered the pioneers of progress, while westward diffusion to the civilisation
of Los Millares in Spain and successive Arabic societies resulted in a process of slow degradation. According to Childe, they may have been ‘too
oriental to survive on European soil.’55 The struggle towards an independent
civilisation also contained an ‘Other within:’ the tragic Megalith cultures of
western Europe. From their ‘gloomy’ rituals and sacerdotal conservatism
According to Trigger, Montelius took advantage of the popularity of Darwinian thought to
increase the importance of archaeology (2006[1989]: 227).
52 See especially Childe 1927[1925]; 1930; 1958.
53 Childe was inspired by the German prehistorian Gustaf Kossinna (1858–1931), the founder
of the culture-historical model in which Montelius’ artefact series was turned into distinct
ethnic groups sharing a language and culture. Kossinna had entered into prehistoric studies
through linguistics, obsessed with finding the homeland of the Indo-Europeans. His research
was a reaction to the central role of Classical archaeology in Germany and the preoccupation
with Greek Antiquity as the cradle of European civilisation (Baudou 2002: 178). Instead, he
put forth the Finno-Ugrian barbarians of the Stone Age in northern Germany and Scandinavia
as the true engineers, creating a nationalist and racist account of prehistory that served the
political interests of the nascent German nation and the Nazi movement. Childe embraced the
basis of the culture-historical approach and the idea that archaeological cultures represented
peoples, but dismissed Kossinna’s racialist interpretations (Trigger 2006[1989]: 135–241).
54 Childe 1927[1925]: 1.
55 Childe 1927[1925]: 301.
originated nothing, Childe states.56 During the course of the Bronze Age,
however, the invading Celts finally imposed civilisation upon them.57
In contrast to Montelius, Childe’s motive was to defeat the idea of the
absolute supremacy of Oriental civilisations and to demonstrate the relevance of Europe’s barbarian past. Childe argues for a middle position, in
which the Orient was seen as a key influence but that ‘the peoples of the
West were not slavish imitators:’58
The true originality of our ancestors was displayed not in inventing what early
climatic conditions had reserved for others, but in the manner in which they
adapted and improved the inventions of the Orient … and thus before the second millennium they had outstripped their masters and created an individual
civilization of their own.59
Not only did Eastern societies owe their initial success to favourable climate,
as is suggested here, they were also deemed static, totalitarian and far too
preoccupied with ‘ghostly things.’60 Europeans on the other hand possessed
‘energy, independence and inventiveness,’61 something which Herdis Hølleland, who has analysed Childe’s texts in relation to discourses on European
identity, discusses in terms of ‘European personhood.’62 When linking assemblages in the archaeological record to prehistoric societies, much of the
explanatory power in Childe’s argument came to rest in the perceived immaterial qualities of Europeans versus other peoples.63 Childe also establishes
ethnic partisanship by calling Europe ‘our continent’ and naming the prehistoric Europeans ‘our predecessors,’ ‘our nameless forerunners’ and ‘our
ancestors.’ That Childe was Australian in nationality did not appear to have
been an obstacle when making such connections, as his intended audience
was most likely the British.64
Childe’s take on culture and his materialist view of history drew on 19th
century frameworks of evolutionary progress and remnants of Enlightenment
discourses on European uniqueness.65 Even if he attempted to stay clear of
ethnic and nationalist interpretations and was nuanced compared to many of
his contemporaries, paying attention to local variations and uneven speeds of
progression, a continental chauvinism is manifested in his narratives. This
Childe 1927[1925]: 284f.
Childe 1927[1925]: 285.
58 Childe 1927[1925]: xiii.
59 Childe 1927[1925]: 23–24.
60 See Hølleland 2012: 13 or 2008: 40 for a scheme of attributes given to the pair.
61 Childe 1927[1925]: xiv.
62 Hølleland 2010; 2012.
63 These Others did not just include Near Eastern peoples, but also Egypt India and China
(Childe 1927[1925]: xiv).
64 Childe spent most of his life in Britian (Trigger 1980: 9–10).
65 Hølleland 2012: 13; Shennan 1987: 367.
chauvinism was already implicit in the description of his subject as ‘the
foundation of European Civilization as a peculiar and individual manifestation of the human spirit.’66 That a Europe mirroring that of his own time was
the outcome – defined by individualism, innovation and commerce – was not
surprising. In his later works, stressing the importance of the Bronze Age
smith, Childe continued to build upon this narrative of the Bronze Age as the
cradle of modern capitalism.67
Childe’s approach to European prehistory was not the only one put forward in the first half of the 20th century. For Christopher Hawkes (1905–
1992) and Grahame Clark (1907–1995), the first a supporter Childes theories
while the other took a critical stance, the environment became a more important factor. Hawkes argued that the process of Europeanisation was mainly driven from within, but that it was the peripheral position and physical
character of the continent that gave rise to the vitality of its peoples. The
conclusion remained similar to Childe’s, although he saw the fall of Knossos
in the Middle Bronze Age as the key turning point, marking the break-up
between Europe and the Orient, after which a ‘coherent unity of European
civilisation’ came into being.68 Grahame Clark’s approach stripped Europe of
some of this Europeanness. In his most famous work, Prehistoric Europe:
the economic basis (1952), Europe became an environmental laboratory in
which ecology, economic practices and subsistence patterns could be observed within their active ‘social units.’ Although he had argued in Archaeology and society (1939) for the need to interpret data in terms of social history, his narratives on Europe were more clinical in nature. This was probably a result of his approach as well as his interest in the Mesolithic, a time
period that has proven difficult to turn into a usable past.69 In the end however, even if Clark’s Europe was more geographical than cultural, he demonstrated a way of thinking about continents as natural entities.70
If the version of Europe discussed up until now has been a highly masculine creation, occupied by patriarchal Indo-European warrior cultures, male
engineers and elites, archaeologist Marija Gimbutas’ (1921–1994) Europe
was of a different character.71 Focusing on the same time period as previous
scholars – the Neolithic and the Bronze Age – Gimbutas argued for the existence of an Eastern European civilisation which she named ‘Old Europe.’72
Childe 1927[1925]: xiii.
See Rowlands 1987, and Rowlands et al. 1987 for a critique of ‘primitive capitalism.’
68 Hawkes 1940: 381, also in Hølleland 2008: 39.
69 As commented by Bradley in relation to Mesolithic studies, who wants to think of huntergatherers, whose goal in life was to ‘have ecological relationships with hazelnuts,’ as our
ancestors? (Bradley 1984: 11, in Zvelebil 1996: 160).
70 This especially manifest in popularworks like World prehistory: a new outline (1969).
71 Gimbutas 1956, 1970.
72 This was also her home turf. Lynn Meskell (1995) has argued that her theories were inspired by Stalin’s invasion of the Baltic countries at the time of World War II.
It was a proto Indo-European society that worshipped female deities and had
a more balanced relationship between genders. It was later overrun by the
warlike Indo-European ‘Kurgan culture’ from the steppes, but left some
lasting influences. In this form, Europe acquired an even more original version of itself, an earlier starting point in prehistory when an even freer people inhabited the continent. Although this theory never gained wide acceptance among archaeologists in the West, the choice of connecting Europe
with ‘Urheimat’ clearly shows its power as a construction, as something that
can be partially detached from geographic Europe.
From the late 1950s onwards, narratives about Europe changed direction.
In the aftermath of World War II, objections arose with regard to the ethnic
assumption resting in the idea of archaeological cultures, and the vague nature of cultural boundaries was increasingly explored.73 The search for Indo
European origins, especially Aryans, came to be seen as distasteful. The
culture-historical framework was also criticised for being unscientific, relying too much on guesswork.
As a reaction, processual approaches based on logical positivism developed in the 1960s. Initially called ‘New Archaeology,’ cultural evolution
was perceived as a scientifically predictable process that could be studied in
relation to environmental factors. Adaptation and change were to be studied
based on quantitative data, an approach which was fuelled by new technical
tools and testing equipment such as radiocarbon dating.74 In this climate,
processual archaeologists like Colin Renfrew continued to write grand narratives of Europe, challenging the ideas of Childe on the one hand while reinforcing notions of an autonomous European development on the other.
In Before civilization: the radio carbon revolution and prehistoric Europe
(1973), Renfrew compares diffusionist approaches to a ‘chess game of migrations’ that rarely led to any sensible conclusions. Instead, he argues that
archaeologists need to see ‘the events of European prehistory as the result of
a purely local process, in essentially European terms.’75 Using radiocarbon
dates corrected against bristle cone tree ring chronology, he places the origins of Europe in the early Neolithic. With dates pushing back the presence
of metallurgy in the Balkans and structures like Neolithic passage graves the
North-West of Europe by millennia, the influence from the Near East was
marginal, Renfrew argues (even in the Mycenaean and Minoan cultures). He
also concludes that ‘while farming in Europe depended largely on Near
Eastern plants and animals, the manner of its adaptation and the way of life
were themselves characteristically European.’76
See Ucko 1969; Hodder (ed.) 1978.
Clarke 1968, 1973.
75 Renfrew 1973: 121.
76 Renfrew 1973: 132.
The ‘European terms’ and characteristics referred to throughout the text
remain inexplicit.77 Interestingly, they are often accompanied by the view
that each prehistoric society should be analysed in its own right. The early
civilisations in the Aegean are seen as the ‘result of a European development,’ which should be explained largely in ‘Aegean terms.’78 Just as in the
culture-historical interpretations, Europeanness appears to be an inherent
quality in the places and peoples on the landmass.79 It becomes a glove, knitted around a wide range of prehistoric societies that sometimes only share
the label itself. A continental chauvinism is especially noticeable in the celebratory attitude toward the lack of influences from the East, seemingly a
positive outcome of re-interpretation. Putting himself in the position as hero,
Renfrew announces that ‘at last Barbarian Europe emerges as a society, or as
a group of societies, where striking developments and changes were taking
place all the time.’80
At this time, the European Community was (as we shall see in the next
chapter), working hard to gain popular support, and its very existence meant
that the topic of the history of Europe gained new interest. Scholars from a
variety of scholarly fields began to re-interpret events from a continentalist
viewpoint.81 This political reality is something that should be taken into account in regard both to Renfrew’s and to later grand narratives of Europe.82
In debates on archaeology and European identity during the 1990s, Renfrew
critically addresses questions of ideological bias, ethnicity and Eurocentrism
in archaeology. In ‘The identity of Europe in prehistoric archaeology’
(1994), he reflects on archaeological responsibilities in the face of political
misuses of the past, arguing that we need to move away from the idea of a
single origin by re-defining the critical questions, formulating them ‘in relation to frameworks of thought that do not themselves offer or determine a
ready-made answer.’83 At the same time, he starts from the conviction that
‘each continent on the earth is unique,’84 a statement echoing that of Carl
Ritter described in the first section of this chapter, that ‘each continent is like
itself alone’ and therefore destined to play a different part in the progress of
the world.85
As pointed out before, continents are themselves cultural constructs and
in this sense Europe is just as problematic as the frame of the nation-state. Its
Renfrew 1973: 121, 186, 210.
Renfrew 1973: 211, 234. For an extended account on early Aegean civilisation as the result
of internal developments, see Renfrew 1972.
79 See also Trigger 2006[1989]: 259–260.
80 Renfrew 1973: 132.
81 Goddard et al. 1994.
82 See Larsen 1989: 121. Also in Kristiansen 1996: 142.
83 Renfrew 1994: 171.
84 Renfrew 1994: 157.
85 Ritter 1881: 183.
constructed nature is addressed by Renfrew in another text, where his incentives are more clearly articulated. Recognising that the past does not offer
any ‘ready-made formula’ for extracting anything like a ‘European identity,’
he suggests that it is the task of contemporary Europeans to construct such
identities and that if they should wish to do so, there are an abundance of
ingredients available: ‘linguistic, genetic, cultural, religious and in terms of
shared history from which a common myth may be created.’86 This would
suggest that creating a European identity is indeed something which archaeology can assist with.
As a reaction to the positivism and lack of human agency in processualist
research, the highly varied approaches crowded under the umbrella of postprocessualism emerged from England (and later Scandinavia) during the
1980s. Postprocessualist themes were largely concerned with post-modern
subjects such as symbolism, ideology, gender and critical theory, and included efforts to recognise the situated role of the scholar in interpretation. Due
to these foci, and the academic criticism of grand narratives that marked this
period, few syntheses on European prehistory emerged from the movement.
Ian Hodder’s The domestication of Europe: structure and contingency in
Neolithic societies (1990) is an interesting exception. Using a contextual
approach, he argues that domestication should be viewed as a cultural phenomenon, something that can be observed through symbolic evidence from
homes, settlements, and burials in Europe and the Near East. In his narrative,
the spread of agrarian society starts in the Levant ca. 7500 BC., spreading
across Anatolia, the Balkans and Central Europe to Scandinavia and the British Isles over a period of 4,000 years. As a basis for interpretation, he tracks
changes in the symbolic structures of what he calls the ‘domus,’ the nurturing and female home and the ‘agrios,’ the wild and male outside.87 Having
defined the role of the domus-agrios in South East Europe, the structural
concept ‘foris’ – representing boundaries – is introduced in order to explain
the differences throughout Europe, incorporating them into the theoretically
posed dichotomy. Southern Scandinavia turns out to fit this pattern rather
poorly, while northern France and lowland Britain work better. Under the
title ‘Europeans and Indo-Europeans’ Hodder admits that his interpretation
may need more comparative material from other parts of the world. Still, it is
suggested that the roots of this symbolism may be observed already in the
European Palaeolithic, that the presented model of long term internal structural change can accommodate Palaeolithic cave paintings in France, the
tripartite Indo-European system and the stranger-king concept in a ‘possible
perspective on Indo-European unity.’88
Renfrew 1996: 134.
Hodder 1990: 302–305.
88 Hodder 1990: 307.
On the whole, compared to the narratives previously discussed, Hodder’s
account is more concerned with prehistory in Europe than a specifically European prehistory. Yet, the reasons for using Europe as a framework are not
made entirely clear. Hodder writes that the very idea for the book came from
a conversation with an anthropologist who had suggested that the Palaeolithic cave art of south-west France – one of the places in which Hodder’s narrative ends up – could not have been made anywhere else but in Europe, leaving Hodder with an ‘unthinkable thought.’89 Thus, in some ways it was the
very same question about European uniqueness as before, which prompted
the study. Hodder also explains how it was at sites located in the Nuba
mountains of present-day Sudan, that he first saw the symbolic patterns of
domus-agrios, making it possible to recognise them at Çatalhöyük.90 To start
the investigation from a regional perspective, cutting across continents therefore comes across as a more sensible choice, especially since large parts of
Europe did not seem to match this model.
Perhaps the answer is embedded in his statement about how ‘we can only
change the structures that bind us once they have been thought.’91 Europe is
definitely such a structure, but was it changed through this narrative? Taken
together, despite the fact that Hodder engages with questions of bias
throughout the book, admitting that his model might apply to Europe as well
as the Near East or the whole world, and that prehistory often works to create an ‘illusion of understanding the present,’92 the continental mould still
creates Europe as a unity in diversity during the Neolithic. The ‘unthinkable
thought’ appears not to have been so unthinkable after all.
As stated previously, the 1990s saw a flare-up of critical articles and
compilation volumes dealing with archaeology and Europeanness. This was
sparked by a number of things. Major events such as the fall of the Berlin
Wall (1989), the cultural agenda set out in the EU Maastricht Treaty (1992)
and the urgent need of cooperation showcased by the invocation of an ethnic
past in the Bosnian War (1992–1995), motivated the work on the Valetta
Convention (CoE 1992), and the start of the Journal of European Archaeology (1993) and the EAA (1994). This ‘EUphoria’ was especially visible in
the CoE campaigns and exhibitions: The Bronze Age: the first golden age of
Europe (1994–1997), and Europe in the Time of Ulysses: the European
Bronze Age (1998–1999).93
One of the front figures promoting the pan-European perspective was
Kristian Kristiansen. His narratives on European prehistory build upon
Hodder 1990: 3.
Hodder 1990: 4–5.
91 Hodder 1990: 19.
92 Hodder 1990: 274.
93 For critical reactions see Bolin and Hauptman-Wahlgren 1996; Gramsch 2000; Gröhn
2004; Hølleland 2008.
world-systems approaches to social change,94 looking at the ways in which
Europe have been interconnected on a macro-scale in the past, as reflected in
cultural, social, and economic patterns.95 In Europe before history, he introduces his topic as ‘the prehistoric foundations of the historic Europe that
emerged with the Roman Empire,’ establishing a foundation for the study by
declaring that the Bronze Age represents ‘the first industrialisation in the
history of Europe,’ the time when Europe entered the world system.96 His
narrative is one of interaction and extensive trade networks between the Near
East, the Mediterranean, and Central Europe, putting forth Mycenaeans as
clever entrepreneurs and middle hands between Eastern and Central European societies. Going from small-scale luxury trade in the early periods, to
large-scale trade in commodities later on, Europe gradually enters the world
stage, a development particularly driven by the emergence of European warrior elites and the rise of metallurgical centres from 1900 BC. 97 It is both the
regional differences in Europe and the similarities, Kristiansen argues, that
later determined the success of Roman expansion and thus European history.
Overall, Kristiansen’s argument is centred on the uniqueness of the
Bronze Age rather than the uniqueness of Europe. The centre-periphery division in this approach echoes the diffusionist models of previous scholars and
the entities of the Near East and Europe are still in play, but their relationship is more equal and intertwined than oppositional.98 Nevertheless, Europe
is still treated as an entity, sometimes referred to as an interconnected region,
sometimes as a geographical area and sometimes as a culturally conditioned
space. It is the historical idea of Europe as the cradle of capitalism, the question of when and why it developed in Europe, which structures the narrative.
This is a question which Kristiansen refers to as ‘natural.’99 Even though he
critically addresses topics like ideology, European origins and uniqueness –
opposing Renfrew’s perspective on Europe as an isolated subcontinent – he
still proposes that European prehistory has to be ‘understood in terms of
Europe’s position for several thousand years,’100 affirming it as an entity
already at the outset. These ingredients, a continental thinking mixed with
the search for the roots of a phenomenon tied to modern Europe, is the very
recipe of a narrative of – as Rowlands has put it – a present that ‘rediscovers
Most famously, it has been put forth by Immanuel Wallerstein, as a non-nationalist and
multidisciplinary way to address the rise of industrialisation and capitalist economy in the
West (1974). For archaeological uses see Hall et al. 2011.
95 See Kristiansen 1998a, 1998b; Kristiansen and Larsson 2005.
96 Kristiansen 1998a: 1.
97 Kristiansen 1998a: 378.
98 See also Hølleland 2008: 55.
99 Kristiansen 1998a: 13.
100 Kristiansen 1998a: 5.
itself ideologically in the past,’ and doing so ‘precisely because such
schemes are available as the conditions within which people think and act.’101
From this point on, narratives of Europe have continued to be written in
archaeology. Newer texts usually relate to and take the scholarly critique of
European frameworks since the 1990s into account (as did Kristiansen), but
this does not mean that the questions have changed. An example of this can
be drawn from the introduction of the compilation Becoming European: the
transformation of third millennium northern and western Europe (2012):
Are recent and contemporary agendas and ideological dreams all that construct the concept of Europe? Or are there authentic material and social institutions, ideology and experiences – a common heritage with roots in the third
millennium BC – that render concepts of Europe still viable in archaeology?102
Here, the same old question about specificity is asked, only with the critique
baked into the formula, an approach often justified based on the argument
that the empirical evidence does supports the idea of a specific European
development after all, a fact that cannot be ignored.103 A more active way of
relating to the critique has been to argue for the necessity of creating grand
narratives and myths about Europe that are relevant to current society, otherwise others will write them for us. Aside from these reactions, there are
certainly many fractions in archaeology that continue to use Europe as a
natural category, uninterested in its political relevance and history.
There seems no end to the potential of a pre-existing cultural rhetoric to categorise and exclude people. But it clearly is one notion of origins … that has
had a powerful influence in organising what is taken to be, at any particular
time ‘contemporary thought.’104
Europe has a long history, and unlike ‘horses’ – in keeping with Hacking’s
metaphor – it has never been ‘obedient to our minds.’105 Yet, ever since its
first mention by Greek geographers, a process of filling the notion with content has conspired to make it real. As a geographical entity it has been an
artificially cropped frontier, altered based on perspective and political wills.
Rowlands 1989: 44.
Prescott and Glorstad 2012: 1.
103 While deconstructionists first look to the premises of research, constructionists often turn
directly to the data. What is the valid starting point depends on philosophical standpoint in
regards to the ontology/epistemology divide.
104 Rowlands 1988: 60.
105 Hacking 2002: 106–107.
As a cultural unit, it inherited the meaning of Christendom and opposition to
Islam, a separation which transformed into a division of civilisations during
the Enlightenment. Crowning Europeans as the rightful owners of the world
paved the way for the concept’s unceasing entanglement with racism. More
than being defined from within, however, Europe as a class has been dependent on the classification of things, peoples or places as non-European,
often exerting violence on that which has fallen outside of set criteria. As a
self-regarding political and economic entity founded on a selection of secular values, it is a recent creation, but even if no two ‘Europes’ have been
identical, each has inherited something from older representations. This is
certainly true of EUrope.
What I have attempted to show in this chapter then, is the basic but essential fact that just as there has long existed a naturalised way of thinking in
nation-states, there has also existed a habitual way of thinking in continents.
While the national frame has been re-politicised in archaeology through critique of methodological nationalism, Europe – while not undisputed – has
endured as a more unbiased frame. This way of thinking is intimately connected to what Martin Bernal has called a ‘continental chauvinism inherent
in all our historiography, or philosophy of writing history.’106
By this I do not mean to suggest that archaeologists should call the landmass something else, or that there are no empirically warranted panEuropean studies. Though I have argued that the ontological status of Europe
is that of a ‘glove,’ a signifier which was formed along with a function, it
would not be wrong to call present Europe a ‘horse.’107 If some otherworldly
creature were to describe the world today, the continents would probably be
identified without much effort. Still, knowing the history of Europe as a representation, it should be considered to the same degree as when using the
nation-state as a spatial delineator, whether it is a relevant container in which
to organise our knowledge of the past, or if it is in fact a question that should
never have been asked.
Bernal 1991: 32
See Macdonalds 2013 for an in-depth study on the present ‘content’ of Europeanness in
different parts of Europe and the notion of a ‘European memory complex.’
Chapter 3. Archaeology in the EU: Narratives of
During my fieldwork in Brussels, I often discussed my research topic with
persons active in other areas of EU policy than that of culture. More often
than not, the reaction was one of mild surprise:
I had no idea the EU ever supported heritage or archaeology! But culture is a
pretty insignificant field in the EU, is it not?
Even officials directly engaged in heritage issues sometimes felt compelled
to explain to me that:
There is not really any EU policy dealing with heritage. We have no competences in that field, and what counts as culture policy are really just recommendations and actions limited by the rules on subsidiarity.1
For those who share the view of the first commenter, this chapter may serve
as an introduction to the contexts in which EU officials and parliamentarians
have concerned themselves with heritage and why. As for the latter reaction,
I readily admit that there is no such thing as an EU heritage policy, but in
this chapter I will argue that there is and has been a political economy for
heritage in the European political project and that in this economy, archaeology has occupied distinctive locations. On its own, or as a part of ‘cultural
heritage,’ archaeology has been activated in disparate policy fields such as
culture, regional development, neighbourhood policy and research.
Within these directions, archaeological sites, buildings and monuments
have been seen variously as a means to further European integration (as embodiments of a shared European past), as a way to promote European ‘excellence’ in research, as a professional sector where the enhancement of skills
could increase employment and create a competitive advantage in a global
perspective (in conservation methods for example), and as an economic opportunity for the tourism market. It has also been used as an asset in external
relations, either by boasting of European heritage as the richest in the world
Excerpts from Fieldnotes, November 20, 2011.
or to strengthen ties to countries aspiring to membership through funding the
restoration of archaeological heritage sites.2
From these locations, archaeology has operated as a tool or resource to
draw on in political deliberations. Importantly, however, archaeology has not
been passive. It has influenced the political environments, the debates and
the documents in which it has been activated. I will argue that archaeology,
as a specific discursive figure is brought into the EUropean political context
carrying certain properties. In the setting of EU cultural actions, archaeology
becomes both a promise and a problem. Starting from the ‘hands-on’ connection of funding, I will trace where archaeology has appeared in EU budgets and supporting documents, on whose initiative, in relation to what issues
and carrying what meanings. In so doing I hope to build a broad (albeit not
all-inclusive) understanding of archaeology’s role in EU cultural initiatives.
On heritage and the figure of archaeology
Sitting at the breakfast table one early morning in March I found, among the
headlines of the day, a Swedish article on the conflict between Israel and
Palestine. It read: ‘The Palestinians claim this is their land, but they have no
proof.’3 The article presented the perspectives of a Jewish settler on the West
Bank. He told the reporter that they could prove, by way of archaeological
evidence, that grapes for wine had been grown in the area 2000 years ago,
confirming the presence of Jewish people in the region over the past two
millennia. The example illustrates well the Janus faced nature of the domain
of archaeology. Archaeological finds were expected to prove ownership in
the present, a request linked to positive feelings of belonging on the one
hand and negative practices of war and exclusion on the other. Such expectations and desires align in what I shall call the figure of archaeology. It is a
rhetorical figure rooted in popular imagination, the legacies of archaeology
as a discipline and in modernity’s need of History, it does not take the current diversity of the domain into account, only what archaeology is thought
to ‘bring to the table.’
Since the late 19th century, archaeology has, in the minds of government
representatives and institutions, been considered “good for” something: for
the individual, the region, the nation, the European Union or the world. The
figure is positively charged. Archaeology is expected to further the
knowledge of humankind by unveiling the lost and forgotten, to educate us
about where we come from and produce records for future generations. Ar2
For a brief overview and description of heritage in these different policy areas see the Commission report: Mapping of cultural heritage actions in European Union policies, programmes and activities [hereinafter: Commission mapping of cultural heritage (2014)].
3 ‘Palestinierna påstår att det här är deras mark. Men de har inga bevis.’ Aftonbladet 2015.
(accessed 17.3.15).
chaeological sites are expected to create a positive image of a village or region, in order to increase tourism. It can satisfy desires to alter selfperceptions and appearances, turning persons or political entities into more
‘cultured’ or ancient versions of themselves. Either by consuming authenticity in museums and antique shops, or by promoting an archaeological destination as the cradle of a nation. Archaeology could be expected to legitimise
claims to power and territory, or to become a therapeutic agent in mending
old wounds, like in the case of the restoration of the Mostar Bridge after the
Serbo-Croatian wars.4 Importantly, archaeology is expected to delight, letting individuals partake in a journey of discovery, touching objects that no
one has touched in millennia. As argued by Cornelius Holtorf, such expectations are what makes archaeology a popular ‘brand,’ and if engaged with,
they can contribute to entertainment, openness, and reflection.5
These expectations and desires rely on the notion that the remains of the
past carry intrinsic values or potentials, both by default and because of the
accumulated feelings and meanings invested in them over the ages. On the
flipside, they are what makes archaeological monuments and sites useful in
warfare (as in Afghanistan 2001 or by IS in 2015), ethnic conflict, and in
political agendas of exclusion.6 It is why ultranationalist groups find archaeology appealing, and what gives segregating origin myths like that of Alexander the Great as the forefather of Macedonian citizens, their power.7 They
also turn archaeology into a rather expensive problem for institutions and
governments who by law are assigned to care for them. The Janus faced
nature of archaeology means it can change sides at any moment, and that
archaeologist can never choose just one side. Political (mis)uses of archaeology do not occur independently through outside interferences or infiltrators,
but are things made possible by the figure of archaeology.
I believe that we are all suffering from a consuming fever of history, and
ought at least to recognise that we are suffering from it. 8
The figure of archaeology is not unfounded. Over the last centuries archaeologists have made claims about the past which others have listened to. Developed as a child of modernity in the context of 19th century Western nation
building, the discipline has (as discussed in chapter two), assisted in the
search for early civilisations and human origins. Often based on ethnic crite-
Nikolić 2012.
Holtorf 2007.
6 See Meskell (ed.) 1998 and Hamilakis and Duke (eds.) 2007 for papers on negative effects.
See Shanks 2012 for a more positive take on the ‘archaeological imagination,’ and Holtorf
2005, 2007 for the benefits of popular images of archaeology.
7 Gori 2014.
8 Nietzsche 1983[1874]: 60.
ria.9 By offering scientific evidence of continuity, it has legitimised claims to
territory and ownership, helping to create collective identities through mechanisms of exclusion.10 Furthermore, it has contributed to ‘the creation of a
linear cumulative temporality, and the establishment of a homological link
between space and time,’11 separating places and monuments from everyday
life, declaring them in need of protection.12 As part of an archaeological record, they were regarded as a source of objective information to be uncovered
and interpreted by specialists.13
In the role of specialists, archaeologists have had a long historical engagement with the legitimisation of heritage, both as a concept and a unit of
management.14 As a result of this engagement, Laura-Jane Smith argues that
a ‘hegemonic, self-referential discourse favouring monumentality, scientific
objectivity, aesthetic judgment and nation building’ has emerged.15 This
discourse, named the Authorised Heritage Discourse (AHD),16 ‘tends to
privilege archaeological conceptualizations of heritage,’ placing emphasis on
the instinsic value of physical remains and their non-renewable character.17
Smith argues that archaeologists and heritage professionals have used this
discourse to maintain their own positions and roles as experts. Hence, it correlated closely to my proposed figure of archaeology.
I do not see archaeology as hopelessly self-servicing and elitist, or as
something heritage needs to do away with, but what articulating the AHD
effectively demonstrates, is that if modernity has represented ‘the condition
of the possibility of archaeology,’18 then archaeology has represented a condition for the possibility of heritage. As highlighted by Kathryn Lafrenz
Samuels, archaeology and heritage management operates within the same
value regimes.19 By looking at how ‘significance’ is established, she argues,
‘Archaeology was not the handmaiden of history’ Silberman once wrote, ‘It was the delivery
boy of myth’ (1989: 32). Here he referred to Schliemann´s removal of “unsuitable” archaeological layers in his obsessive search for Homer’s Troy.
10 See Sassen 2006 for discussion on how claims to territory and ownership defined the nation-states spatio-temporal order by establishing a founding myth in the past.
11 Hamilakis 2007: 16. See also Schnapp et al. 2004.
12 Thomas 2004.
13 On archaeologists and the expert role see Meskell and Pels 2005. For an interesting study
on how archaeological authorising practices work see Pruitt 2011.
14 As stated by David Lowenthal: ‘Archaeological legacies become pawns of personal feuds
and nationalist goals, ruins and refuse sites fashioned into metaphors of identity. What gets
excavated and how reflects heritage needs more than scholarly aims’ (1998: 235).
15 Smith 2006: 3.
16 An adapted version of AHD, called Authorised Archaeology Discourse (AAD), has been
suggested by Linde in relation to the production of values and mechanisms of exclusion in
archaeological research projects. Like AHD, it prioritises archaeological and scientific values,
but it is focused on collaboration, research and site management (2012: 83f).
17 Smith 2006: 11.
18 Thomas 2004: 2, my emphasis.
19 Samuels 2008.
we can see clearly how heritage practices frame the past as an object, and
how archaeology, shaped as a study of the past, empowers heritage.
Thus, by articulating this figure of archaeology – a tool to be employed in
the following discussions – I want to stress that not only are society’s expectations on archaeology why it is considered worthwhile to invest in, but it
also configures the values of heritage at large. Depending on the setting, it
can render the archaeological domain a problem and a promise. Popular images may be contested or ignored within the discipline, but archaeologists
rarely hesitate to draw upon them when trying to achieve funding. Due to the
Janus faced nature of the domain, this figure should neither be disregarded
nor used only when convenient, but always critically engaged with. In light
of this, the task of examining the figure of archaeology as part of the meaning given to cultural heritage in the EU, becomes an important one.
Material and method
Aside from taking advantage of existing research on the topic of culture in
European integration, and the few but immensely helpful contributions discussing heritage in the EU that have been written by archaeologists and heritage scholars, this chapter will mainly rely on EU documents obtained
through archival research. They include a wide range of texts, as summarised
Types of documents:
 Treaties . Agreements under international law. Binding document.
 Decision. A legislative tool binding those to whom it is addressed. A decision is generally taken in direct relation to a Treaty.
 Resolution. Written proposals, motioning an assembly to take certain action.
Can be adopted as binding or non-binding.
 Recommendation. A legal device that, without obligation, suggests the member states or EU citizens act in a certain way.
 Communication. A policy document with no mandatory authority or legal
effect, published on the initiative of an institution when it wishes to put forward its own thoughts on a subject matter.
 Reports. Technical or diagnostic guidance documents, produced prior to or
following an action to assist in decision-making and evaluation.
 Memorandums. Explanatory briefing notes accompanying texts.
 Call for proposals. Contains the essential rules and conditions to apply for
funding under specific programmes and actions.
 Guides/Instructions. Regularly updated documents explaining the details of
the application and evaluation procedure.
These various texts originate from the following institutional bodies:
 The European Council. Brings together national and EU-level leaders about
four times per year, setting the broad priorities of the EU but without power
to pass laws.
 The Council of the European Union (the Council) [not to be confused with
Council of Europe (CoE)]. In the Council representatives of national governments defend their country’s national interests. They pass laws, coordinate broad economic policies, sign international agreements, approve the EU
budget, develop foreign and defence policies, and coordinate cooperation between courts and police. The Presidency is rotated and shared between
member states.
 The European Parliament (EP). The EP consists of elected MEPs assigned
on a five-year basis to represent European citizens. The EP has three main
roles: debating and passing laws (with the Council), inspecting the work of
the Commission, debating and adopting the EU’s budget (with the Council).
 The European Commission (Commission). The Commission represents the
EU as a whole. In principle, although the system is far less coherent in reality, the Commission proposes new laws and the Parliament and Council adopt
them. The Commission and the member states then implement them and
manage the EU budget. The Commission is organised in departments known
as Directorates-General (DGs). The president and the 28 Commissioners are
appointed on a five-year basis by the Council, but it is the president who assigns each Commissioner its policy area. The lion part of the staff consists of
administrators, lawyers, economists, translators, interpreters.
 The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is an advisory body representing local
and regional authorities in the European Union. Issues ‘opinions’ on Commission proposals. The Commission, the Council and the Parliament must
consult the CoR before EU decisions are taken on matters concerning local
and regional government.
Figure 4. Confusion at the Commission historical archives. Brussels 2012.
Photo by author.
Several factors have made the archival research difficult. To begin with, the
EU archives are divided by institution, the Parliament, Council and Commission all having their own archives. Some are located in Brussels, others in
Florence and Strasbourg. At the Commission historical archives in Brussels,
I quickly realised that my limited knowledge of French and vague idea of
what I was looking for made the task of finding relevant documents almost
impossible. Not only was access limited to documents 30 years or older, but
you also had to know the type, year and context of the documents. Upon
asking the archive staff for help, I was presented with a cardboard box containing thousands of mixed (and often duplicate) files, whose topics revolved
around cultural issues, stretching from the 1960s to the late 1980s (figure 4).
Going over the files I found many useful bits, but ultimately the experience
worked more as a way to familiarise myself with the nature and range of
sources rather than something that could be systematically catalogued. Having collected and studied a large number of documents, it was through previous research by political scientists and anthropologists into EU policy on
culture that I could piece everything together.
Figure of archaeology
Figure 5. Analytical approach used in chapter three.
Two methods have worked to delimit the material. The most basic of these
can be called “following the money.” It means taking the allocation of funds
seriously. When actual money is involved, especially within such a complicated decision making structure as the EU, it signals that some agreement
about the importance of a matter has been reached. A discourse has taken
shape and become stable enough to allow it to be translated into action. I
therefore started by creating a database of all the budget lines and descriptions relating to cultural heritage in EU historical budgets from the 1970s
until the 2010s. Naturally, I first had to know what type of transactions to
look for. Since the EU budgets rarely listed supported topics or projects in
detail, this initial search was directed by my survey in the archives.
Upon finding relevant lines I took a genealogical approach, tracing the
family tree of the political decisions and other documents motivating the
transaction.20 This analysis guided me towards what I call breaking points,
times when a sudden increase in funds occurred or when archaeology enters
(or leaves) the description attached to a budget line. I have chosen the points
1976, 1983, 1996 and 2007. From these years I have moved backwards in
time to find the reasoning behind the funding decision, outwards to understand the wider context, and inwards to view the figure of archaeology (figure 5). The points have been explored as ‘discursive events,’ instances in
which power is constituted simultaneously through texts, discursive practice
and social practice.21 This means compelling numbers, parliament sessions,
official documents and other sociopolitical circumstances to enter into a
conversation about the role of archaeology in EUropean heritage-making.
As argued by Samuels, genealogies are useful because they direct attention towards ‘the
creation of objects through institutional practice, as well as towards the political interests
involved in writing history’ (2008: 73).
21 Fairclough N. 1992: 12, 1995.
1976. Archaeology enters the scene: a token
 20,700 U.A.22 in 1976.23
The first time archaeology can be connected to a line in the EU budget is in
1976, when a modest sum was dispensed as a ‘token entry’ for ‘Expenditure
on cultural projects.’ Although no details about the target of the entry were
given, it was stated in a Commission communication issued the year after,
that scholarships had been granted for ‘craftsmen’ to attend expert centres in
Rome, Bruges and Venice.24 These centres specialised in different types of
techniques for the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage. The
sponsorship, which also included a ‘large-scale Community information
campaign’ by the Nuclear Research Centre in Grenoble, was said to be anchored in a 1974 resolution dealing with, among other things, architectural
Tracing the steps back leads us to May 1974, when the resolution on
measures to protect the European cultural heritage was adopted in the EP.26
As the first Community resolution dealing directly with heritage, it was to
provide stable footing for Community documents on the topic for decades to
come. Drawing attention to ‘the impoverishment of the European cultural
heritage’ and the need for preservation and increased public awareness of
‘historic and artistic relics of the past,’ the resolution suggests that an ‘inventory of the European cultural heritage’ should be created and educational
measures should be taken in order to disseminate this information. Presenting the preparatory report, drawn up on behalf of the Committee on cultural
affairs and youth,27 the rapporteur MEP Elles (UK) justifies the initiative as
The Unit of Account (U.A.) was created in 1962 due to a need for common market organisation to sell products at a guaranteed price. It was a fictive currency or measuring standard
whose value corresponded to the gold parity of the US Dollar registered with the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). After the creation of the European Monetary System in 1979, the u.a.
was replaced by the ECU.
23 Token entry. Art. 393 of the financial year 1976. In: O.J. L 67: 322.
24 1977 Commission Communication. On Community action in the cultural sector. In: EC
Bull. 6/77 [hereinafter: Community action in the cultural sector (1977)].
25 All four centres were to receive support for several years to come (Community action in the
cultural sector (1977): 19–21).
26 1974 European Parliament resolution. On the motion for a resolution submitted on behalf of
the Liberal and Allies Group on measures to protect the European cultural heritage. In: O.J.
C 62/5 [hereinafter: EP resolution on European cultural heritage (1974)].
27 1974 European Parliament report. Projet de rapport sur la préposition de résolution présente au nom du groupe des libéraux et apparentes sur la sauvegarde du patrimoine culturel
européen, by Diane (Lady) Elles. Reference: PE 35.928/rév (Commission archives).
To sum up, we realize that a long-term programme is needed, covering both
financial measures and measures to secure the awareness of states in order to
attain our stated objectives. We possess thirty centuries of irreplaceable
wealth – the visible products of man's creative and imaginative genius and the
one unifying thread through all our member states. In view of the intention
expressed by the Heads of State or Government in the Declaration of Copenhagen in December 1973 to create a European identity, there can be no firmer
foundation than the wealth that transcends all political parties, all national
frontiers and all centuries, a cultural heritage which brings a deeper value and
meaning to our daily lives beyond the economic, financial and material considerations which so beset us.28
Breaking this statement into parts, two things stand out as especially relevant. The first is that cultural heritage – represented by three thousand years
of tangible remains – simultaneously appears to confirm and offer building
material for a ‘European identity.’ Secondly, the need for such an identity –
rooted in a longing for something that transcends everyday struggles – is
activated and deemed necessary in the face of crisis, something that can fill
the emptiness and lack of spirit felt at the time.29 Remembering these two
things, we might first want to look at where – if anywhere – archaeology is
Looking at the texts surrounding this resolution, it is clear that archaeology – although often hidden under the wide umbrella term ‘architectural heritage’ – was securely fastened within the definition of European cultural
heritage.30 It was part of a heritage in need of protection both from and by the
peoples of Europe. Because, as expressed by MEP Broeksz (NL) when
speaking in favour of the resolution: ‘if the pyramid of Cheops still stands,
this is only because man has not been able to destroy it.’31 As the discussions
went, the best way to remedy this situation was by educating the young to
become stewards of this heritage and to share ‘treasures’ between member
states (harmonizing taxes and laws), although the most urgent task was to
create a list of sites and incentives for increased conservation. It was recognised that it would be difficult to establish criteria for sites to be included on
the list, but that a mix of universal and culture-specific features would have
to do.32
Debates of the European Parliament, 1974–1975 session. Report of proceedings from 13 to
15 of May 1974. In: O.J. C Annex 176/9 [hereinafter: EP Debates (1974)].
29 This crisis was also referred to as the ‘vacuum’ left behind when Europeans had abandoned
‘traditional and spiritual values.’ EP Debates (1974): 7, also in Calligaro 2013: 84.
30 Doubly so in fact. Aside from adopting the main definition of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention – including buildings, sites and monuments – the resolution incorporated the
more conflict-ridden part of the convention dealing with illicit trade and ownership of cultural
property, such as artefacts from archaeological excavations. EP Debates (1974): 8.
31 EP Debates (1974): 9.
32 EP Debates (1974): 7.
Overall, in the resolution text itself and in the parliament proceedings,
‘archaeological treasures’ and sites are mainly highlighted as a problem. It is
considered a particularly threatened aspect of European heritage, victim to
neglect and decay in the ‘veritable race against time,’ and connected to theft
and illegal trafficking of cultural property: ‘the new phenomena of our time
which demand international cooperation.’ Interestingly, the focus on educating the young, on democratising ownership of heritage assets and doing
away with ‘foolish nationalism’ in favour of exchange, directs the spotlight
toward a central aspect of the figure of archaeology, namely that it is marked
as different from other ‘artistic treasures.’ In the discussion that followed the
presentation of the report, Italian MEP Premioli pushed both for increased
‘academic’ training to enable Italians to ‘enjoy and appreciate their cultural
heritage,’ and for a new open-mindedness toward other member states who
also appreciated it and wanted to purchase or borrow parts of it, exclaiming
that ‘we must not deny other peoples the opportunity to enjoy our works of
art.’33 In response, his fellow countryman MEP Cifarelli stated, that although
educating and sharing were both honourable pursuits, they should keep in
mind that:
There are many people, especially among the young, whose view of archaeology is rather like Schliemann's: they all imagine that they are going to discover the seven walls of ancient Troy. This involves a very serious danger because this is how the Etruscan vases will quickly finish up in the museums of
Washington or other cities and we are faced with the destruction of much cultural property … What archaeology needs is that public authority, the State, or
the commune, or the province, or the “Land,” should be allocated property
rights in areas of archaeological importance, where no factories shall be built
and no roads dug.34
This makes it clear that even at this early stage archaeology turns into an
exception of sorts, something in need of help but at the same time too precious to meddle with. Going back further, this is precisely the way archaeology was highlighted the very first time it was mentioned in Community documents, in the Treaty of Rome, establishing the European Economic Community.35 The protection of ‘national treasures of artistic, historical or archaeological value’ was listed as an exception to the rules on free movement
of goods. Due to its deep connection to territory and identity – highlighted in
the figure of archaeology – archaeology was both a barrier and an attractive
piece to include when laying out the puzzle of a European heritage.
EP Debates (1974): 11.
EP Debates (1974): 12.
35 The Treaty of Rome 1957: Art. 36. Its forerunner, The Treaty of Paris (1951) established
the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Both Treaties were signed between Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany.
In many ways this is true for the realm of ‘cultural heritage’ as a whole –
having always been jealously guarded by the nation-states within Community discourse –36 but conservative components like archaeology were one of
the reasons why heritage did not make its entrance before the late 1970s. In
addition, there was certainly a lack of both interest and money. Archaeology
was considered a chiefly non-commercial field and the collaboration was of
a more strictly economic nature at this time. So why did the topic appear at
this time? Two explanations can be identified. One relates to the bigger picture, to the unstable political environment and to the work of other actors
like CoE and UNESCO. Another is connected to personal politics and the
promotion of national agendas within the institutions.
The bigger and smaller picture
Returning to Elles reference to the ‘considerations which so beset us,’ we are
reminded that the late 1960s and early 1970s were times marked by recession and slow economic growth. The member states were heavily affected by
external issues like the failure of the Bretton Woods system37 and the 1973
oil crisis,38 as well as internal conflicts about the need for integration
measures and how to use the limited budget.39 On top of this, popular support
for the Community was decreasing rapidly. Unlike in the functionalist visions that had guided them thus far, in which the integrated management of
economic sectors was thought to create a European sense of belonging as a
natural bi-product, the cooperation and its legitimacy capital appeared to
stagnate.40 The political project seemed to stand on very shaky grounds, and
was in need of a makeover.41
Staiger 2013: 23.
The Bretton Woods system of monetary management established the rules for commercial
and financial relations among the world's major industrial states in the mid-20th century. The
system dissolved between 1968 and 1973 followed by the 1973 dollar crisis, a key factor in
opening the way for creating global financial markets (Fabbrini 2009: 6).
38 The 1973 oil crisis started when the members of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) proclaimed an oil embargo. The shock-rise in prices had both short
and long-term effects on world politics and economy.
39 According to Staiger, a dualism between intergovernmental policymaking and supranational law-making were characteristics which caused problems during this period in the Community (2013: 23).
40 De Witte 1987: 133; Rosamond 2000, Shore 2000: 18.
41 In a famous letter to the European Council (1975), Belgian Prime minister Leo Tindeman’s
described the situation as so severe they had to ‘save what has already been achieved’ and
‘take drastic measures to make a significant leap forward.’ This leap toward a more ‘humane
society,’ was to be built on mutual respect for cultural characteristics but focussed on ‘the
factors uniting us’ rather than on those ‘dividing us.’ To achieve such a society, European
citizens needed to be educated in the languages and cultures that ‘constitute the common
heritage, which the European Union aims specifically to protect’ (1975 Tindemans report on
the European Union, Bull. In: EC Bull. Supplement 1/76: 28).
Figure 6. Work meeting during the Copenhagen Summit 1973. Date: 15.12.1973.
Reference: P-009548. © European Union. Source: EC Audiovisual Service.
The document referenced in the resolution, the Declaration on European
Identity,42 can be seen as a response to this identity crisis. The text, signed in
1973 by the Heads of state and Government in Copenhagen (figure 6), was
an attempt to identify some core beliefs and attributes distinguishing the
constellation of the nine member states from other countries and alliances.43
In the endeavour of defining a European identity, the first necessary step was
‘Reviewing the common heritage.’44 The act is framed by the next section,
1973 Declaration on the European Identity, Copenhagen Summit. In: EC Bull. 12/73 [hereinafter: Identity declaration (1973)]. The groundwork for the declaration was laid at the summit in Hague (1969) where Europe was declared an ‘exceptional seat of development, culture
and progress’ which was ‘indispensable to preserve’ (EC Bull. 1/70), and Paris (1972) where
it was stated that ‘Economic expansion is not an end in itself … It should result in an improvement in the quality of life as well as in standards of living. As befits the genius of Europe, particular attention will be given to intangible values and to protecting the environment’
(EC Bull. 10/72: 14–26).
43 The member states at this time were; Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Italy, Ireland,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany. In 1973, Britain, Denmark and Ireland had
just been included, which also provided new impetus for cooperation. Britain had applied
before, but the request was vetoed both times by President Charles de Gaulle due to their trade
preferences and military bonds with the United States. De Gaulle’s retirement in 1969 opened
the door for accession (Bache and George 2006: 540–542).
44 Identity declaration (1973): point 2502.
stating that ‘unity is a basic European necessity to ensure the survival of the
civilisation which they have in common.’45 Framed by this common civilisation, the ‘originality’ and ‘own dynamism’ of European identity would then
emerge out of the ‘diversity of cultures within.’46 In other words, there was a
wish to define an identity which (as made clear by the attempt itself), was
simultaneously taken for granted and non-existent.47 This was perceived as a
basic homogeneity framed by a shared ‘European civilisation,’ as well as
something that would come about through the cooperation.48
This tension between confirming and building a European identity, also
present in the quote by Elles, relates to much broader aspects of modernity’s
relationship with the remains of the past, to the interplay between the intrinsic and cohesive values of heritage. In fact, opening the door to this discussion of the intangible values of heritage was what allowed Community involvement in the first place, seeing as they had no legal competence in the
field and no territory under its jurisdiction. The impetus to view heritage in
this way did not come from within the Community however, but from CoE,
in essence, the muse of early Community discourse on the subject.49 The
European Cultural Convention (1954), aimed at setting up goals to ‘achieve
a greater unity between its members,’ stated that citizens of the states signing
the convention should be encouraged to learn about each other and the ‘civilisation which is common to them all.’50 Conceived of as shared ideals and
principles, this commonness was extended to ‘objects of European cultural
value’ as ‘integral parts of the common cultural heritage of Europe.’51 As
such they were in need of protection, requiring the contractors to ‘safeguard
and to encourage the development of its national contribution to the common
cultural heritage of Europe.’52
Identity declaration (1973): point 2502.
Identity declaration (1973): para. 3.
47 See also Stråth 2010: 403, Hølleland 2008: 47.
48 This is further exemplified in the final paragraph, where it is stated that ‘The European
identity will evolve as a function of the dynamic of the construction of Europe,’ but that the
Nine should be more progressive in defining their identity when it comes to external relations
with other countries or groups of countries (Identity declaration (1973): para. 22).
49 The Council of Europe (CoE) is an international organisation promoting cooperation in the
areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural
cooperation. It was founded in 1949 and has 47 member states (as of 2015).
50 Introduction. European Cultural Convention. Paris, December 1954. CoE, ETS No. 018.
51 European Cultural Convention: Art. 5. Archaeological sites were discussed by CoE in
different capacities in the decade after this convention entered into force. They were recognised as objects of European value in the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage adopted by CoE in London 1969 and revised in Valetta 1992. Later,
archaeological sites were also specifically adhered to in the European Charter of the Architectural Heritage, adopted by CoE in October 1975, and the Convention for the Protection of the
Architectural Heritage of Europe, in Granada 1985.
52 European Cultural Convention: Art. 1.
This is echoed in a Commission communication based on the 1974 resolution, that the heritage ‘which reflects Europe's cultural identity is seriously
threatened with decay and disappearance and urgent measures are needed.’53
Therefore, while already in place, this commonness also had to be realised
through joint action. Here we see the same kind of tension. Heritage is valued for its intrinsic properties, representing an already existing common
civilisation manifested in objects of European cultural value, and is, at the
same time promoted for its potential in building a European culture. Importantly, joint action also meant joint responsibility, and the declaration of a
common system of values transformed it – by design – into a common asset
and issue. Interestingly, Oriane Calligaro has also pointed to this function,
how the blend of European ideals and objects into common European heritage made the convention fruitful soil for the European Parliament’s first
resolutions in the area.54
However, the inspiration behind using heritage for its cohesive capacity
did not only come from other European initiatives. The discourse on European heritage under threat – of archaeological sites and historical buildings
being in acute need of attention – was fully in motion at the time, stimulated
by the ongoing professionalisation of the heritage field. CoE and UNESCO
appear consistently in the documents, especially the European Architectural
Heritage Year (1975), the Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (1969), and the newly established World heritage Convention
(1972).55 In fact, heritage had become something of a hot theme and the
Commission wanted a piece of the action. This is evident from upset voices
of actors warning that Community activities might come to overlap with
those of the CoE, that the Community should not take credit for something
that was not their idea nor their domain in the first place.56 Ironically, the
Commission, in search for something tangible on which to rest the idea of a
European identity, had to compete with both the nation-states and other actors with stakes in European heritage.
This brings us to the second level, concerning the institutional actors in
the Commission and the European parliament. One of the main reasons cultural heritage came up on the agenda at this time was the will of one person,
Robert Grégoire, member of the Commission DG for Education, Research
and Science at the Commission. As shown by Calligaro, who has delved
deep into parliament records from this time, he was the ‘ghost writer’ of
Commission recommendation of 20 December 1974 to member states concerning the protection of the architectural and natural heritage (75/65/EEC). In: O.J. L 21: 22–23 [hereinafter: Commission recommendation (1974)].
54 Calligaro 2013: 82f.
55 See Ashworth 1999 for a discussion of these events in relation to a European sense of place.
56 Sassatelli argues that this overlapping was why culture was dismissed in the early days of
European integration (2006: 25).
Elles report as well as the subsequent 1974 resolution.57 In charge of the
newly established division dealing with cultural issues,58 he worked relentlessly to find ways of putting culture on the Community agenda despite the
fact that it was a sensitive topic and one that did not fall under their jurisdiction. In reality, Calligaro argues, cultural heritage was but a ‘Trojan horse,’ a
means for specific actors to promote action in the cultural sector.59
Aside from the presence of a strong character like Grégoire and the key
role played by Italian MEPs, Eliot Tretter has pointed out that the growing
economic sector of culture was something the Community simply could not
avoid getting involved with at this time.60 Taken together with the strong
French protectionist stance towards American and Japanese cultural industries at the time, Tretter further argues that the ‘development of the Community’s cultural policy was like any other industrial policy designed to ensure
the Community’s economic competitiveness.’61 Was this really the case?
In the document cited at the beginning of this chapter, the 1977 Commission communication,62 we can see that it is indeed clearly angled towards a
cultural sector.63 Concerned with the conditions of cultural workers and harmonising copyright and tax laws, the document highlights the economic
values of cultural heritage, presenting conservation specialists as ‘active
agents in developing regions and promoting tourism.’64 Yet, the actual treatment or exchange of physical artefacts and sites was still dealt with as an
exception and something particularly connected to national identities. Conservation measures were discussed under ‘Other actions’ as contributions
made ‘over and above the application of the treaty to the cultural sector.’65
However, when it comes to the part focussed on raising awareness, ‘articles
of archaeological or historical interest’ were included in a pilot scheme
Calligaro 2013: 84.
The ‘Cultural problems division,’ DG Education, Research and Science (DG XII) was the
result of a Council memorandum from 1972, reacting to the Paris summit's (1972) call for
‘non-material values and wealth and to protection of the environment’ in the name of a ‘European spirit.’ 1972 Mémorandum de la Commission au Conseil des Ministres des Communautés européennes pour une action communautaire dans le domaine de la culture. Reference:
working documents 1973–1975 (BAC 144/1987 65).
59 Calligaro 2013: 79; see also Psychogiopoulou 2008: 9.
60 Tretter 2011.
61 Tretter 2011: 944.
62 Community action in the cultural sector (1977): 5. On March 8 1976 the Parliament unanimously approved of a preliminary working paper prepared by the Commission on the subject.
It references the 1974 resolution, and Tindemans report on culture as a means of arousing a
greater feeling of belonging and solidarity among Europeans (supra note. 41).
63 The Commission defines the cultural sector as ‘the socioeconomic whole formed by persons and undertakings dedicated to the production and distribution of cultural goods and
services.’ Community action in the cultural sector (1977): 5.
64 Community action in the cultural sector (1977): 17.
65 Community action in the cultural sector (1977): 19.
planned for 1978, which would create ‘European rooms’ in museums. ‘The
peoples of the Community do not yet know each other well enough’ the motivation goes. The member states should therefore be encouraged to show the
diversity and the ‘cultural similarities, links and affinities between all the
countries and regions,’ so that ‘the peoples of the Community will be able to
reflect on this phenomenon’ and better see the benefits of economic and
political cooperation.66
The figure of archaeology
We can now see a myriad of circumstances leading up to the first actions
supporting tangible heritage in the budget of 1976. The legitimacy crisis in
Community institutions led to a ‘normative’ shift in Community discourse,67
rationalising efforts to outline a European identity based on a common European civilisation. This created opportunities in which national and personal
agendas overlapped with market oriented ambitions for the field of culture.
Due to the professionalisation of the heritage field and the recent conventions concerning its protection, focussing on the topic was a strategic move.
Rather than demonstrating its irrelevance, the fact that heritage could be
used as a ‘Trojan horse’ goes to show how powerful it was. In the wake of
the destruction caused by WWII, the idea of creating a European culture or
identity might not have seemed so appealing, but who would oppose
measures to restore and protect cultural heritage? Besides, it was a tool that
had worked to build a sense of togetherness and neutralise the political order
of nation-states, so why not EUrope? However, as a relatively new supranational actor, the burden of proof lay with the Community and a list of European heritage was needed, something which would effectively rebrand sites
as European in the process. This list was not something that Community
representatives could establish by themselves however. At this point the
‘relics of the past’ could only be seen as reflecting broad immaterial qualities
such as the ‘genius’ of Europe. Aside from reinforcing a type of methodological continentalism, it was a hesitant discourse, careful not to sanction
hierarchies of difference between Europe and other continents, merely stating that there were differences. The lack of jurisdiction therefore necessitated the participation of national representatives and experts.
On the question of what the figure of archaeology could do for the Community at this point, the answer is: to provide rhetorical fuel for the discourse of crisis needed in order to mobilise actions in the cultural sector. It
attached a particularly fragile and threatened feature to the notion of a common heritage. It could also tie ideas of European unity to prehistoric times,
making it possible to summon ‘thirty centuries of irreplaceable wealth’ as
‘the one unifying thread through all our member states.’ Of course, to fear
Community action in the cultural sector (1977): 23.
Staiger 2013: 24.
the loss of the past, of culture and of identity, are central conditions of modernity at large. Heritage has always needed some crisis or another in order
to flourish, and archaeologists have depended on such fears for their employment. By including archaeology in the concept of a European cultural
heritage, it became clear that it was a component closely connected to the
very things the Community tried to steer clear of at this time, such as claims
relating to territory, genealogy or blood. It was marked as an exception from
the rules of trading in cultural goods and something in need foremost of protection by the member states. Unlike other cultural fields, its objects could
not be treated as commodities. Altogether, it is evident that archaeology,
although included in the cultural heritage ‘package solution’ to the perceived
identity crisis, was featured more as a problem than a promise in the pursuit
of an integrated EUrope, exposing the main difficulties of this undertaking.
1983. Archaeology on its own two feet: EHMF
 100,000 U.A. in 1977.68
 686,500 ECU69 in 1982.70
 1.3 million ECU in 1983.71
The next budget line worth stopping at is 1983. After the first budget post in
1976, the amount reserved for cultural actions grew steadily. During this
period, limited funds had been directed towards conservation actions under
the heading of ‘Contribution towards financing the conservation of the architectural heritage.’ Aside from the expert centres, which received funding
several years after 1976,72 I have only identified one supported project with
an archaeological theme from this period, the contribution of 100,000 ECU
towards the Museum and site of Milos in Greece in 1982.73 There are however several written questions from MEPs requesting information or support.
A person by the name of Ewing asked whether protection of archaeological
Expenditure on the preservation of the architectural heritage and the development of cultural exchanges. Art. 393 of the financial year 1977. In: O.J. L 79: 330.
69 European Currency Unit (ECU) was a European account and currency unit that consisted of
a basket of all currencies of the member states. The international designation was XEU. It was
the precursor of the euro, but did not exist in terms of coins or bills. It was replaced by the
euro (EUR) on the 1st of January 1999 with the value 1:1.
70 Cultural actions. Art. 670 of the financial year 1982. In: O.J. L 31: 587.
71 Expenditure on cultural actions. Art. 670 of the financial year 1983. In: O.J. L 19: 588.
72 Ca. 50 Community scholarships a year had been financed in order to ‘to enable young
people to train in a variety of conservation skills, including craft activities.’ Commission
answer to written question No. 342/83 1983. In: O.J. C 257: 14.
73 Preservation of a neo-classical building intended to house an archaeological museum.
Commission answer to written question No. 342/83 1983 (in: O.J. C 257: 14); Commission
answer to written question No. 1740/85 1986 (in: O.J. C 99: 21).
discoveries would be within the Commissions’ sphere of responsibility,74 and
a Kavanagh asked for assistance in the preservation of archaeological remains on the medieval wood quay in Dublin.75 Both got ambiguous replies,
stating that although cultural heritage issues generally fell outside Community jurisdiction,76 their requests would be taken up for discussion. Early financial support in this area seems to have been distributed almost at random,
something also noted by other scholars.77
In 1983, however, something happens: the amount of funding for culture
and heritage is suddenly doubled. About half of the money was directed to
two new provisions in the budget, the European Historical Monuments and
Sites Fund (EHMF) (220,000 ECU) and ‘Support for the restoration and
conservation work on the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis’ (500,000
ECU). The older entry on conservation remained (100,000 ECU), as did
other posts on cultural cooperation, but an archaeological heritage site and a
new programme had appeared.
Below the budget lines, we find a new supporting document listed, an EP
resolution on architectural and archaeological heritage (1982).78 The text
revolves around very similar themes to those presented in 1974 and 1977,
stressing the ‘importance of the architectural and archaeological heritage for
our European culture and history and awareness of our European identity’
and the ‘moral obligation to ensure that future generations inherit a humane
world.’ Harmonisation of laws, support for conservation, and awarenessraising in different forms were highlighted, the main addition being the importance of tourism. It also dealt explicitly with individual sites in need of
care due to decay, development, and looting.
The idea of creating a dedicated monuments and sites fund was not new,
but this was the first move towards its realisation.79 As a pilot scheme, it
would support a selected site from a different member state every year. This
was considered the best way to secure funding for monuments of ‘European
significance’ which were in need of special attention. Among the support
actions in the resolution, we find: Archaeological excavations at Skylletion,
the prevention of further destruction of ancient archaeological sites in Eleu74
Written question No. 50/76 1976 (PE 44.188/Fr. Commission archives).
Oral question No. H–395/77 1978 (SEC 78/102, Commission archives).
76 Reference was made to 1977 Community action programme on the environment (in: O.J. C
139), and the 1976 European Parliament resolution on Community action in the cultural
sector (in: O.J. C 79) [hereinafter: EP resolution on Community action (1976)].
77 Psychogiopoulou 2008: 14.
78 1982 Resolution of the European Parliament of 14 September 1982 on the conservation of
the European architectural and archaeological heritage (in: O.J. C 267: 25).
79 See previous resolutions: EP resolution on European cultural heritage (1974): 5, EP resolution on Community action (1976): 6, and 1979 Resolution embodying the opinion of the
European Parliament on the communication from the Commission of the European Communities to the Council concerning Community action in the cultural sector. In: O.J. C 39: 50.
sis, the protection of ‘valuable Bronze Age sites’ in the Netherlands, and
preservation activities at the Acropolis of Athens (figure 7).80
The justifications accompanying these proposals were included in the 26page preparatory report.81 In most cases, the relevance for the Community
was vaguely formulated, such as protecting ‘archaeological sites as an outstanding record of our civilisation.’82 The Acropolis however, enjoying its
very own budget post, acquired an almost spiritual aura. The site was said to
represent ‘the embodiment of Europe’s entire history,’ which was now ‘succumbing to the onslaught of technical progress.’83 Admitting that the site was
but one part of the worldwide ‘record of the human adventure,’ MEP Beyer
de Ryke (BE) insisted that:
… it goes without saying that the European Parliament is a remote descendent
of the parliament of Athens, and the birthplace of European democracy certainly merits the attention of the elected members of the European Assembly.84
Figure 7. Parthenon, Athens. Press photo from the signing of the Accession Treaty
of Greece to the Community 1979. Date: 28.05.1979. Reference: P-002719/14-30.
© European Union. Source: EC Audiovisual Service. Photo: Jean-Louis Debaize.
IT, Doc. 1–876/80; GR, Doc. 1–363/81; NL, Doc. 1–680/81; GR, Doc. 1–557/81. Included
in: 1982 European Parliament report on the protection of the architectural and archaeological heritage, by Hahn [hereinafter: EP report (1982)].
81 EP report (1982): 45.
82 EP report (1982): 40.
83 EP report (1982): 43.
84 EP report (1982): 45.
Here, we clearly see the figure of archaeology at work. The Acropolis is
referred to as a record, a mirror of EUrope’s past. It is presented as an origin
myth for the Community, a usable past and golden age. Overall, there was a
new emphasis on archaeology in the resolution. It is noted twice that heritage
to be protected ‘includes not only urban, rural and industrial architectural
works but also archaeological monuments and sites.’ This would suggest that
archaeology was something that was not previously included in the process.
In the preparatory report however, the author MEP Wilhelm Hahn (DE) suggests that frequently ‘the notion of an architectural or archaeological asset
conjures in people’s minds the idea of an ancient monument which leads on
to the subject of promoting archaeological excavations.’ He argued that this
heading should be viewed in much wider terms.85 This would suggest that
conventional archaeology had been seen almost as the equivalent of heritage.
Another interesting ambivalence concerns the reasoning regarding what
makes archaeological and architectural assets European:
… cultural assets reflect the universal values of art which cannot be reduced
to purely nationalist terms. But this does not prevent us from using the general
expression of European cultural identity or European culture since we are
dealing in this case with our entire continent. This is why we insist that
awareness of European culture is essential if we are to define and give substance to European identity. It is in no way inconsistent with the foregoing to
reaffirm that the architectural and archaeological heritage is a universal asset.86
This lopsided somersault pinpoints the contradictions inherent in the construct of European heritage, balancing between universal and European values, its importance simultaneously taken for granted and neglected. When it
comes to the EP debate on the report however, things are presented in a more
seamless manner:
Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, just as there is today a powerful environmental protection movement, which has realized that we shall not survive if
we destroy nature around us, man has also become aware of his history …
Only the continuity of the past, present and future can ensure that mankind
will overcome the problems of the future and survive. But no aspect of culture
gives stronger and clearer expression to the link with the past than architectural monuments and archaeological sites. They are the silent but revealing testimony to our European cultural history, because monuments have a European
character. They are not national, styles from ancient times to the present being
European. They therefore kindle the awareness among Europeans that, despite
In the report, Hahn replaces the word ‘monuments’ with the word ‘assets,’ because it conveys the legal connotation of ownership that is passed down through the generations (EP
report (1982): 11). The change in terminology can be linked to the increased socioeconomic
value placed on heritage as the workforce of professionals and the tourism industry expanded.
86 EP report (1982): 12–13.
the great variety, they have a common culture, and this, even more than a
common economy, is what is really needed for a united Europe. 87
According to this statement, archaeological sites are not only European in
spirit, as in the more hesitant rhetoric of the 1970s, but also in physical form.
Through their European styles they link a European past to a EUropean present. As before, a tension can be found between the awareness of a European
identity already in existence and one yet to be realised. It is a sharper rhetoric in which a common culture and cultural identity lies dormant in the monuments, ready to be awoken and taken to heart, offering a ‘tangible experience of a common destiny.’88 The discourse of crisis is still strong and saving
archaeological sites is still a problem, especially in the face of things like
‘the unending cancer of suburban growth,’ that was destroying the ‘social
fabric’ of society.89 Now, however, ‘man has also become aware of his own
history.’ The tone is more hopeful and archaeology gets to play a more positive part.
In the debate that followed, just as in 1974, worries were expressed about
where the money should come from and whether not the Community actions
would overlap with those of UNESCO and CoE.90 Simmonds (UK), made it
clear that the idea of financial support coming out of the Community pockets
worried him deeply, while Italian and Greek MEPs promoted the resolution
strongly. They emphasised their extra need for support in view of their
abundance of treasures, and name-dropped numerous archaeological sites
not included in the resolution. Greek MEPs even seized the moment to call
for the return of the Elgin marbles, showing the wild card potential of archaeology as a figure in political conflicts of ownership and territory. In the
closing speech, reinforcing the positive tone set by Hahn, Commissioner
Natali (IT) declares that the Commission:
… is firmly convinced that a discussion of European culture, of the essence of
our past, is one which should not be neglected; rather it should be emphasized,
for through the knowledge of these common traditions and origins we can rediscover the primary components of the European identity. 91
The bigger and smaller picture
The time between the first resolution in 1974 and the one in 1982 was one of
slow but sure institutionalisation of cultural heritage in the Community, in
which archaeological sites went from being handy symbols and rhetorical
Debates of the European Parliament, 1982–1983 session. Report of proceedings from 13 to
17 September 1982. In: O.J. C Annex 1–288: 7–8 [hereinafter: EP Debates (1982)].
88 EP report (1982): 26. See also Calligaro 2013: 94.
89 EP report (1982): 14f.
90 EP Debates (1982): 7–8.
91 EP Debates (1982): 16.
fuel to something also deserving financial attention. It was still a passive
discourse and heritage remained a minor point on the agenda, but the 1977
communication on action in the cultural sector had showcased its marketoriented values. This is neatly summarised in the follow-up communication
on Stronger Community action in the cultural sector (1982):
There is no need to dwell upon the cultural justification for conserving the architectural heritage, given the splendour of that heritage in the Community
and the value that Europeans attach to it. The point to stress is rather that the
legal basis for the Community's contribution to preserving this heritage lies in
the fact that it is a contribution to a rich resource that generates economic activity (tourism, scientific research, art, publishing, etc.) and that conservation
is itself an economically and socially viable activity for the firms and workers
connected with it.92
This should be seen against the backdrop of the slow economic recovery that
marked the early 1980s, after a decade of recession and high unemployment
in the West. Times of crisis led to a restructuring of land development,
marked by massive abandonment and replacement of industries and infrastructure. At the same time, economic sectors focusing on services gained
new impetus. In the parliamentary debates, it was pointed out that the member states needed common rules in relation to the distribution of costs between developers and states at ‘sites of archaeological discovery.’93 Thus,
while changes in the pace of land development provided a necessary sense of
acuteness, viewing heritage as a service sector allowed the Community to
get involved with matters for which they had no legal basis. This becomes
particularly clear in relation to cultural heritage tourism, an area which now
began to receive steady support from the European Regional Development
Fund (ERDF).94
Aside from their growing importance as international bodies at the time,
the lack of legal basis is why UNESCO and CoE are referred to constantly in
the documents as partners in these issues, included in everything from formulation of actions to processes of selection of sites.95 Although the forces
pushing for the establishment of a specific Community culture policy was
not to succeed in their mission for another 20 years, they had now managed
to legitimise the extension of Community influence in the area. As was pas92
1982 Commission Communication. Stronger Community action in the cultural sector. In:
EC Bull. 6/82: point 19, p. 13.
93 EP Debates (1982): 13.
94 Between 1980 and 1982 the ERDF assisted ca 40 cultural tourism and infrastructure projects with 7.5 million ECU. Most funds went to Italy and the UK. Examples mentioned were:
The conversion of a coal mine in Wales into a museum, restoration of the medieval castle of
Teggiano, preservation of the buildings and monuments near Herculaneum. Commission
answer to written question No 342/83 1983 (in: O.J. C 257: 14).
95 See Vos 2011b for relations between CoE and the Commission.
sionately expressed by a French representative of the Council of the European Communities at the time:
There is no political power without economic power. There is no economic
power without political and cultural purpose.96
A single major factor in the relative success of the 1982 resolution was the
inclusion of Greece as a member state in 1981. As clear from the records of
the early 1980s, and supported by the observations by Tretter, Italian MEPs
were now joined by Greek politicians in the quest to place tangible heritage
firmly on the Community agenda. In other words, representatives of the nations that, based on the relative size of their heritage industry, had the most
to gain from such funding.97 Through their membership, they pushed a topic
that generated both prestige and funding. Discursively, it was a match made
in heaven.
The figure of archaeology
If cultural heritage was the ‘Trojan horse’ used to put culture on the agenda,
the Acropolis can be said to have put the final nail in the woodwork. By
tweaking the discourse into being about the actual material remains of the
past and its financial support, the political wills within the Community
hoped to give new urgency to the idea of establishing a cultural agenda.
Through the new support programme, sites like the Acropolis could work
even better as an origin myth for the Community. The political power of a
single archaeological site in legitimising Community involvement in culture
can be directly connected to the figure of archaeology. Although the symbolism of this particular site was established long before the archaeological
discipline took root, it has since become an archaeological entity. As such it
has been preserved, controlled and protected from citizens by way of fences
and studied as part of a scientific record. Though the site was already used to
neutralise the political order in Greece at this time, activating the figure of
archaeology in this new political setting allowed both Greece – the new recruit – and the Community, to boost their symbolic capital. It lent itself well
to a type of methodological continentalism, imitating the discourses of belonging developed within Western nation-states.
At this point, this is how archaeological sites were discussed in the Community, as plain evidence of a diverse yet common identity and culture in
EUrope, waiting to once again be recognized in this capacity. The discourse
of crisis was still prominent at this time, and the fruitful paradox maintained
in the Community – of heritage being useful due to its market-oriented val96
1981 Memorandum on revitalization of the Community, presented by the French government. In: EC Bull. 4–11/81: point 3.5.1. See also Tzanidaki 2000.
97 Tretter 2011: 930. See also Smith 2004: 26.
ues while in need of immediate protection from the destruction caused by
need of the market (for ex. modern development) – had afforded it a more
stable place on the agenda. Furthermore, with the general improvement of
the political and economic situation in the member states, archaeology had
become slightly more of a promise and less of a problem. What archaeology
was expected to “do” for the Community was still mainly to provide symbolic capital, but what the Community could do for archaeology was marginal.
Although the early initiatives did provide some financial support, it was
for the most part a one-way street. Archaeology entered the agenda, but few
archaeological projects benefitted from this until the mid-1980s. However,
this was about to change. As we move on to the next breaking point it is
important to remember that, although archaeology stood in the shadow of
architectural heritage during most of the 1970s and 1980s, many supported
projects did involve representatives from the field. This was partly because
conservation experts often have some archaeological expertise, but mostly
because the EU definition of conservation activities has always been very
wide, including ‘identification, recording, presentation, display, conservation, restoration, documentation and management.’98
1996. Archaeology from diversity to unity: Raphael
 1.7 million ECU in 1984.99
 12.4 million ECU in 1993.100
 26 million ECU in 1996.101
During the consolidation phase in the early 1980s, it had been confirmed that
archaeology, as part of the cultural and architectural heritage of Europe, had
a part to play within the Community if it was connected to the wider economic ‘cultural sector’ anchored in the Treaty of Rome.102 As the activities in
the culture sector increased, we see a subsequent rise in budget provisions
for culture. The sum directed towards the broad domain of tangible heritage
amounted to about half of the total up until 1995, and a bit below half from
then on. The chosen breaking point of 1996, has less to do with a change in
funding amounts, than it does a structural change in how tangible heritage
1996 Amended proposal for a European parliament and Council decision establishing a
Community action programme in the field of cultural heritage: the Raphael programme.
COM/96/0333. In: O.J. C 265: 4–19 [hereinafter: Amended proposal Raphael (1996)].
99 Expenditure on cultural actions. Art. 670 of the financial year 1984. In: O.J. L 12: 662.
100 Culture. Art. B3–300 of the financial year 1993. In: O.J. L 31: 816–824.
101 Culture. Art. B3–200 of the financial year 1996. In: O.J. L 22: 902–915.
102 The Treaty of Rome (1957) is used as a reference in the budgets from 1987 onwards.
Articles used to justify cultural action were: 117 promoting ‘improved working conditions
and an improved standard of living for workers,’ 118 ‘promoting close co-operation between
Member States in the social field’ and 128, promoting a ‘common vocational training policy.’
projects were funded. After having been supported under many separate
posts with various headings, sometimes by themselves and sometimes
grouped together with other types of actions,103 heritage initiatives were now
combined in the new Community action programme in the field of cultural
heritage – Raphael.104 It was the first Commission funding programme entirely dedicated to cultural heritage, engaging archaeologists and heritage
professionals both as beneficiaries and in its design.105 As such, it marks a
break with a previously more passive and unstructured engagement with
tangible heritage.
Another important development visible in the budget at this time is the
inclusion of cultural heritage in other policy areas. The topic had been featured within the field of environment and regional development from
1974,106 but only since 1989 had it been specifically listed in the budget.107 In
1990, it also made a first appearance in a budget line within research, included in the programmes STEP (science and technology for environmental protection) and Epoch (climatology and natural hazards).108 This brought archaeology into a different context.
First, however, looking back at the previous decade, what had been
achieved since funds started to be distributed? From 1983 to 1996, financial
support for the flagship sites of Parthenon and the Acropolis had amounted
to 5.5 million ECU.109 Additionally, projects in Lisbon (PT), Coimbra (PT)
and on Mount Athos (GR) had been awarded grants (ca. 4.7 million ECU).110
After 1983, the name and content of the budget posts involving cultural heritage changed.
Three separate posts dealt with heritage in 1983–1986 and just one post in 1987, called ‘Support measures for the architectural heritage.’ In 1991 four posts concerned heritage, including
the new ‘Cultural cooperation with third countries’ and ‘Operations to heighten European
consciousness through culture.’ In 1993, the name of the major post on heritage changed from
protection and ‘promotion’ of the European cultural heritage to protection and ‘development.’
104 Raphael was joined by two other programmes: Kaleidoscope 2000 (supporting artistic and
cultural activities with a European dimension); Ariane (supporting the field of books and
culture) and an extra post of ‘other cultural measures’ and cooperation with third countries.
105 See Niklasson 2013b.
106 As early as 1974, the European Commission issued a recommendation within the field of
environment, stressing the need for preservation of the rural landscapes which are ‘characteristic of Europe.’ Commission recommendation (1974): 22–23.
107 ERDF support for conservation programmes in Lisbon and Palermo. Art. 500 and 548 of
the financial year 1989. In: O.J. L 26: 554, 566.
108 STEP and Epoch (environment). Art. 7314 of the financial year 1990. In: O.J. L 62: 710.
109 Figures from 1983 to 1991 are based on are based on information in: 1992 Commission
Communication. On new prospects for Community cultural action. COM/92/149, Annex A: 5
[hereinafter: New prospects for cultural action (1992)]. Figures from 1992 to 1996 are based
on Commission answer to written question No. 1369/96 1996. In: O.J. C 306: 88.
110 Figures from 1983 to 1991 are based on are based on information provided in New prospects for cultural action (1992), Annex A: 5. Figures from 1992 to 1996 are estimated based
on budget descriptions and indicated yearly allocations (see ‘EU Budgets’).
Figure 8. Roman walls in Tongeren. Wikimedia Commons. Contributor:
Reinhardhauke 2012. URL:
R%C3%B6mische_Stadtmauer_120.JPG (accessed 15.11.15).
Under the EHMF annual heritage scheme, 42.7 million ECU had been distributed to restoration actions with a European dimension. Although the programme officially began in 1984 and ended in 1995, the pilot sites funded in
1983 have also been included in this sum. The amount had been shared between 459 projects (out of a total of over 7,739 applications).111 Examples of
projects are: ‘Help in raising the East Indiaman Amsterdam from the Channel’ (NL, 1983),112 restoring Roman walls in Tongeren (BE, 1984) (figure 8),
preservation of Trajan's Column in Rome (IT, 1984) and the Temple of Epicurean Apollo (1984, GR).113 Overall, sites in southern Europe had received
extra attention by the Community. Heritage in this region was seen as a
‘special possibility’ and in need of serious conservation efforts.114
Figures for 1983 has been collected from Commission answer to written question No.
1740/85 1986 (in: O.J. C 99: 21–22). Figures for 1984–1991 are based on New prospects for
cultural action (1992), Annex A: 5. Figures for 1992–1994 are based on Call for proposals:
1992 (in: O.J. C 261: 11–16); 1993 (in: O.J. C 275: 16–20); 1994 (in: O.J. C 283: 7–11). The
sum for 1995 has been obtained from the EP proceedings on the Raphael programme, October 12, 1995 (in: O.J. C 287/4: 170). Number of applicants and projects funded in 1995 is
based on Commission answer to written question No. 1525/97 1997 (in: O.J. C 391: 96).
112 The wreck was never raised from the channel but excavations were carried out through the
1980s and the grant might have been used for this purpose instead.
113 Commission answer to written question No 1740/85 1986 (in: O.J. C 99: 21–22).
114 1988 European Parliament report on the conservation of the Community's architectural
and archaeological heritage, by De Ventos EP 1988: 19 [hereinafter: EP report on archaeological heritage (1988)].
At the outset, calls for applications were kept very short and directed toward national and regional ‘monuments and sites of European renown,’ financed due to their ‘artistic value’ or ‘historical interest.’115 From 1988 the
Commission became more ambitious, introducing more rules and yearly
themes.116 The reason for financing the projects was now the ‘effect that
investment in Europe's past can have upon its future cultural, social and economic development,’117 an articulation that reflects a contemporary movement toward viewing tangible heritage as political tools rather than just symbolic assets (active rather than passive agents).
The inclusion of more details also had to do with Commission officials’
growing frustration with the large amounts of low quality proposals they
kept receiving. In the late 1980s, they had had enough and decided to publish
a paper on the selection criteria and guidelines for presentation.118 Given the
vaguely formulated half-page description offered in the call during the first
years, the high number of unqualified applications is not surprising. More
surprising, or telling even, is that Commission officials only decided to provide clearer rules and descriptions halfway into the scheme (a recurring feature in the decades to come).
Despite this clarification, there still seem to have been issues concerning
transparency. The stated criteria, talking mainly about the overall quality and
the public impact of the projects, did not only fail to give a clue about what
phrases like ‘Europe’s past’ or ‘European dimension’ included, but there
were also questions concerning the selection process itself. In 1996, MEP
Guido Podesta asked the Commission why the comments of the jury were
never recorded and why there were no lists accounting for the order of preference applied. On behalf of the Commission, Mr. Oreja replied that lists
were created based on ‘the jury’s appreciation, which reflected the votes
received by each Member State.’ The criteria were said to be twofold, their
‘historic, cultural and architectural importance as well as the quality of the
technical intervention proposed.’119 This answer certainly leaves room for
interpretation. The overall lack of coherence of this scheme – visible already
in the budget lines – was commented on by the EP when it came to an end,
explaining that the ‘lack of a legal basis and the limited resources’ had led to
Pilot projects in heritage 1984. In: O.J. C 145: 4 (see ‘Call for proposals’).
The themes were: civil and religious monuments/sites (1989), characteristic town or village buildings (1990), industrial, agricultural and artisan heritage (1991), historic buildings in
public spaces (1992), gardens of historic interest (1993), buildings and sites related to entertainment and the performing arts (1994), religious monuments (1995). See Pilot projects in
heritage 1988 (in: O.J. C 308: 3–6); 1993 (in: O.J. C 275 16–20), under ‘Call for proposals.’
117 Pilot projects in heritage 1988. In: O.J. C 308 (Call for proposals).
118 New prospects for cultural action (1992), Annex A: 6.
119 Commission answer to written question E–3433/96 1997. In: O.J. C 60: 57.
this situation, going so far as to deem the actions ‘inadequate’ and with ‘no
real impact on society.’120
In 1996, Raphael was supposed to pick up where the prior scheme, just
described, left off. However, due to political difficulties in launching the
programme there was an in-between period during which preparation actions
were supported.121 That year, an interesting call for cooperation proposals
involving archaeology was published.122 It was aimed at ‘movable archaeological sites, monuments and objects belonging to a chronological or unitary
stylistic context, conserved in situ.’ The ‘movable’ part appears rather contradictory.123 The jest of it seems to be that sites and monuments should be
moved into, or preserved in such a way that ‘the aesthetic and historical balance between the sites/monuments and their context’ could be reestablished.124 Authenticity and significance in terms of civilisations and
‘bygone ways of life’ was emphasised, but it was now the project rather
than, as before, the site that had to present a ‘real European dimension.’ It
would be the result of the cooperation of at least three partners from different
countries, one or several sites and specialists from multiple fields (including
archaeology, architecture and conservation, economics, tourism, and communication).125 Priority would be given to ‘projects associating several movable sites/monuments/objects.’126 This shows the shift to a more active
Commission approach to heritage, wherein both professionals and objects of
study would be tied together in a holistic ‘European dimension.’
Aside from the schemes mentioned here, many other types of grants not
directly implicating objects or sites had been open to archaeologists, such as
networking events, professional training, enlargement-related actions in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as public outreach campaigns. For instance,
archaeological lectures and exhibitions were funded under the public awareness award scheme called Platform Europe launched in 1990, aiming to en120
1993 European Parliament resolution on preserving the architectural heritage and protecting cultural assets. In: O.J. C 72: 162. See also Banús 2002: 161.
121 According to the Commission, 392 projects were financed under the preparatory pilot
period for Raphael (1994–1997). It is unclear whether these projects overlapped or were the
same as those funded under the regular pilot scheme (1998 Proposal for a European Parliament and Council decision establishing a single financing and programming instrument for
cultural cooperation: Culture 2000 programme. COM/98/0266. In: O.J. C 211: 7 [hereinafter:
Proposal for Culture 2000 (1998)].
122 Call for proposals 1996. In: O.J. C 67: 12–14.
123 In fact, it is clear from the documentation of a consultation meeting with professionals in
the domain of cultural heritage held on March 13 th 1992 that the emphasis on movable heritage originated from the stakeholders (New prospects for cultural action (1992), Annex B: 6).
124 Call for proposals 1996. In: O.J. C 67: 12.
125 Cooperation was defined as activities favouring ‘the scientific knowledge, study and handling of cultural, technical and economic problems related to protecting cultural heritage’
(Call for proposals 1996. In: O.J. C 67: 13).
126 Call for proposals 1996. In: O.J. C 67: 13. My emphasis.
courage a sense of citizenship through events emphasising the diversity and
‘common roots’ of Europeans.127 It was turned into the Kaleidoscope programme in 1991, set to foster creativity and ‘knowledge of the European
cultural heritage’ in order to enhance a ‘sense of belonging’ among European citizens.128 As part of this widening of activities, the EU started to work
more actively with CoE, contributing 70,000 ECU yearly toward the European Heritage Days from 1994 up to the establishment of a joint partnership
in 1999.129 Taken together, it is clear that a substantial amount of the budget
for cultural actions had been directed towards heritage.
If we look at other areas such as research, environment and regional development, the amounts offered in culture are less impressive.130 Under the
environmental programmes in FP1–FP4 (the EU framework programmes for
research 1986–1998), 59 projects dealing with the ‘protection and conservation of the European cultural heritage’ were funded, and in only one programme (STEP 1989–1992) eight projects got to share approximately 6 million ECU (compared to the 70–150,000 ECU per project offered in the annual scheme under Culture).131 The majority of projects were explicitly concerned with scientific techniques, for example, one project focused on
conservation techniques for megalithic monuments made of granite and another on methods to preserve archaeological iron.132 In other frameworks
such as ‘The Financial Instrument for the Environment’ (LIFE, 1993–1995)
we find less technical projects connected to archaeology. This includes projects such as Development and enhancement of the Carnac megalithic sites
(1994–1998, 254,614 ECU), which aimed to restore an archaeological site
and its natural environment and better adapt it for seasonal tourism according to a new, transferable model.133 In other areas that promote researchers
directly, archaeologists benefitted in terms of mobilising networks, courses
and conferences, in programmes such as ‘Training and mobility of researchers’ (1994–1998).134
Conditions for participating in Platform Europe. In: O.J. C 167: 2 (Call for proposals).
Conditions for participating in Kaleidoscope programme. In: O.J. C 205: 19 (Call for
129 Commission answer to written question No. 3194/98 1999. In: O.J. C 207: 36.
130 For a brief overview see Chapuis 2005.
131 The programme had 75 million ECU, out of which 8% was directed towards heritage
projects (Council decision of 20 November 1989 on two specific research and development
programmes in the field of the environment – STEP and Epoch (1989 to 1992), 89/625/EEC.
In: O.J. L 359: 9).
132 For list of funded projects see Chapuis (ed.) Vol I (2009) and Vol II (2011), Preserving
our heritage, improving our environment (Commission publication).
133 1996 Commission Communication. First report on the assessment of the cultural aspects
in European Commission action. COM/96/0160: 76 [hereinafter: First report on cultural
aspects (1996)].
134 First report on cultural aspects (1996): 67.
Lastly, hundreds of projects tied to the archaeological domain were supported through the ERDF and The European Investment Bank during this
period. These projects were selected and administered on national or regional bases under headings connected to tourism infrastructure or sustainable
development and land use. The use of the structural funds for cultural heritage projects varied greatly from one member state to another. For example,
in light of its regional economic potential, 2.9 million ECU went towards the
restoration and protection of archaeological sites at Pompeii, Herculaneum
and Stabias in 1984.135
Supporting archaeology with no ‘ulterior motive’
Now we know more about what was funded, but why was it funded and with
what motivation? Looking at the supporting documents for culture, amassing
from three in 1983 to no less than 35 in 1996, we can see they are to a large
extent concerned with topics like books and reading, music, theatre and flagship events like the European Cultural Month and European Cities of Culture.136 The nine documents listed for cultural heritage stretch back to 1986,
dealing as before with conservation and protection but also with cooperation
with partners in Central and Eastern Europe. Tracing these records back in
time opens up an ocean of supporting documents. I have therefore chosen to
focus only those of specific relevance for the figure of archaeology, an EP
resolution from 1988 and a group of documents relating to Raphael.
The 1988 resolution on the conservation of Europe's architectural and
archaeological heritage,137 the successor to the 1982 resolution, was drawn
up based on 37 motions for resolutions submitted by MEPs over a four year
period.138 It basically meant the reinforcement and widening of previous
actions, confirming that the historical, cultural, economic and social arguments for supporting architectural and archaeological heritage were ‘still
completely relevant’ and that action undertaken should be ‘stepped up.’139
The more emblematic side of the justification, previously shaped in the irreconcilable tension between confirming a European identity and the moral
obligation to save the cultural property of the member states, was now taken
a step further:
Commission answer to written question No. 1740/85 1986. In: O.J. C 99: 21–22.
For European Capitals/Cities of Culture see Sassatelli 2008 and Staiger 2013.
137 1988 European Parliament resolution on the conservation of the Community’s architectural and archaeological heritage. In: O.J. C 309: 423–427 [hereinafter: EP resolution on
archaeological heritage (1988)]. See also EP report on archaeological heritage (1988).
138 The motions for resolutions concerned aid for conservation work related to the Integrated
Mediterranean Programmes, grants to safeguard and restore historic city centres, voluntary
work camps for young people, training in conservation of art and artefacts, training in cultural
heritage management, the taxation of privately owned architectural monuments, preventing
art theft, and recovering stolen art (EP resolution on archaeological heritage (1988): 424).
139 EP resolution on archaeological heritage (1988): 424.
Whereas the Community's archaeological, artistic and architectural heritage
affords a vision of the European nations in which their identity is no longer
constituted by epic feats at the expense of their neighbours, but rather by a
gradual transition from one form to another in which the differences and the
continuity, the overlapping and mutual influences, reveal both the identity and
diversity of European culture, a civilization which cannot be misrepresented
in the service of any form of political ulterior motive and whose national cultural identity must not be allowed to be distorted either by the Member States
or, indeed, by the states associated with the Community. 140
Rather than just stating the need to raise public awareness through showcasing the common ‘European character’ of monuments and sites,141 the Janus
faced nature of the domain was recognised. The age old tendency of civilisations and nation-states to destroy each other’s heritage was commented upon
in the documents. Because of past conflict, creating a European sense of
belonging would require a ‘gradual transition’ over in which national identities and differences were protected. Importantly, it was the other nationstates that presented the great threat while a European culture/civilisation
was put forth as an all-inclusive frame that could accommodate these differences, the Community offering to become steward of national heritages for
their own good. As put forth in the EP report backing up the resolution, the
‘original traits’ of each country or region ‘fit harmoniously into the common
structures that underlie the styles.’142 Clearly, national cultural differences
were conceived of as a bittersweet predicament that needed, if not to be
overcome, at least to be domesticated by the Community. Naturally, the
Community would not be doing it ‘in the service of any form of political
ulterior motive.’
The focus areas of the resolution responded to this idea of a gradual transition through highlighting education, information and tourism. Conservation
work that would result in increased tourism to archaeological monuments
would be prioritised, scholarships would go to training of guides and site
managers. Based on the campaign on A People’s Europe (1985),143 voluntary
heritage work camps for young people would also be organised. The expectations on what archaeological monuments like the Parthenon could “do” for
the Community was thus to offer ready at hand and positively charged points
of identification, bridging the gap between Brussels and the people. The sites
could be used as ‘trademarks,’ offering learning experiences.144 However,
just as in 1974, it appears as if these goals were not considered to be fully
compatible with archaeology. After a passage on the need to document the
EP resolution on archaeological heritage (1988): 423.
EP Debates (1982): 8.
142 EP report on archaeological heritage (1988): 18.
143 EP resolution on archaeological heritage (1988): 425. See also Shore 1993.
144 See also Calligaro 2013: 96.
cost-effectiveness of conservation actions, it was suggested that principles
should be established so as to facilitate:
… the resolution of conflicts between more archaeologically or anthropologically-inclined approaches, that is between approaches which set more store by
the aesthetic value of a building and its ‘aura’ and those which stress its educational and social value.145
Here, archaeologically inclined approaches are juxtaposed with those emphasising the very values that the EP and the Commission were trying to
promote, turning archaeology into a conservative force. Looking back at
Smith’s notion of the AHD, of how archaeological perspectives have steered
selection processes in heritage,146 this passage illustrates how such value
criteria could become a problem in a new political setting. The figure of
archaeology, in this case projecting the domains alleged unwillingness to
move beyond valuing objects for their own sake (i.e. age, wholeness, greatest specimen), created frictions with Community wishes to use them in identity building. A strained relationship between national legacies and supranational aspirations. This did not mean that archaeology became less included
in Community discourses on cultural heritage however, at least not yet.
Moving forward to the documents leading up to the Raphael programme,
we find – for the first time since the 1974 resolution – an attempt to actually
define the potential contents of a European culture and European heritage. In
the proposal put forth by the Commission in 1995 it was stated that ‘cultural
heritage is the expression of national and regional identities and the links
between peoples.’147 In the Annex to the proposal this was developed further
by stating that ‘cultural heritage is the interface between our differences and
our similarities, finding expression in movable and non-movable forms.’148
These forms were defined as ‘heritage, archaeology, museums and collections, archives and underwater heritage.’149 The ambiguous term ‘interface’
is here best explained in relation to the general objectives stating that ‘cultural action is intended to highlight the common heritage of the peoples of
Europe and illustrate our dual cultural identity as being both national and
At this point, archaeology is discussed in a setting clearly connected to
the expectations of the figure of archaeology. As a strong component of her145
EP resolution on archaeological heritage (1988): 425.
Smith 2006.
147 1995 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council
of the European Union. Proposal for a European Parliament and Council decision establishing a Community action programme in the field of cultural heritage: the Raphael programme.
COM/95/110: 9 [hereinafter: Commission proposal Raphael (1995)].
148 Commission proposal Raphael (1995), Annex: 25.
149 Commission proposal Raphael (1995), Annex: 25.
150 Commission proposal Raphael (1995), Annex: 24.
itage, it is assumed to be able to show the ‘interplay of diversity and constancy’ which ‘perfectly illustrates the regional, national and European roots
of Europe’s citizens.’151 In using the word ‘roots,’ a discourse on origins and
indigenousness is activated, clearly tying into questions of territory. The
symbolic interface that tangible heritage is thought to represent becomes not
just the connective surface between different peoples within the landmass
called Europe, but the surface between the peoples of Europe, with different
European cultural identities rooted in land and blood. To make people recognise this dual identity, the following objectives were included:
 pooling of knowledge;
 improving expertise and preservation practices;
 increasing public access and information to ‘contribute to the affirmation of
a European citizenship;’
 promoting best practices to ‘realize Europe’s potential;’
 foster cooperation with non-member countries and the Council of Europe. 152
To the Commission, this idea of cultural heritage sounded completely feasible and was perfectly in line with the previous EP resolutions. However,
because of the poignant phrasing and the issues with the financial framework
it took no less than three years for the programme to get the official goahead. According to an EP report, there were at times ‘intense confrontations’ between the EP and Commission, leading to ‘several informal meetings, in the guise of technical meetings or trialouges.’153 An extra committee
was created after the proposal failed to go through a second reading in the
Parliament (usually the final step) and at the committee meeting, the report
states, ‘the dispute was brought into the open but no agreement was possible.’154 In the end, the programme was passed with 40 changes (out of 72
The most content-related objection came from the advisory body Committee of the Regions (CoR), who were concerned about the definitions of
culture and heritage.155 Asking for a broader definition that takes into account
the shifting nature of the concept, they state that it should ‘be borne in mind’
that the material cultural heritage ‘always has its immaterial side,’ objects
Commission proposal Raphael (1995), Explanatory memorandum: 1.
Commission proposal Raphael (1995), Explanatory memorandum: 5.
153 1997 Report on the joint text, approved by the Conciliation Committee, for a European
Parliament and Council decision establishing a Community action programme in the field of
cultural heritage: the Raphael programme. EP working document A4-0267/97, B–
Explanatory statement: 5–6 [hereinafter: Report conciliation committee 1997].
154 Report conciliation committee 1997: 5–6.
155 1996 Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on the proposal for a European Parliament
and Council decision establishing a Community action programme in the field of the cultural
heritage: the Raphael programme. In: O.J. C 100 [hereinafter: Opinion of the CoR – Raphael
having their ‘own ‘spirit.’156 Although CoR also referred to the roots of European peoples, they expressed worry that the narrow definition could undermine ‘cultural originality and cultural identity.’157 They criticised the
Commission’s notion of culture as being stuck in a ‘right-wrong’ or ‘highbrow-lowbrow’ dimension, hoping that, based on the relative meaning of
‘European significance,’ the Commission would make sure to avoid favouring high profile heritage. Instead, CoR argued, different heritages should be
regarded ‘with reverence.’ Furthermore, as stated in another passage they
believed that the ‘downsides of European history’ should not be denied, but
should be ‘employed as a vehicle of ethical growth among Europe's citizens.’158
That such objections should emerge from the CoR was not surprising.
Part of their mission is to balance or decentralise power from Brussels. Their
objection, that the vagueness of the concept of European culture would
(again) result in elitist or essentialist definitions, is a critique the Commission has faced continuously.159 To remain within the comfort zone of cultural
heritage, viewing it as a natural carrier of European values was, however, a
strategic move. It was and is still a crucial part of the ‘soft’ power approach
so distinctive of the EU institutions, developing recommendations, communications and non-binding agreements. This approach is especially central to
the area of culture where power has always been limited.
So what changed due to the protests? In the amended proposal of 1996,
not much was altered except for that archaeology became ‘archaeological
heritage, including archaeological sites,’160 and in the sub-action supporting
cooperation projects between research centres, ‘archaeological and/or scientific institutes’ were specifically spelled out as a target groups.161 In the final
decision of 1997 however, only the ‘archaeological heritage’ part was kept,
while other aspects, including libraries, architectural heritage and cultural
landscapes were added.162 The proposal had also been combed free of the
concept of European identity and what remained of the idea of heritage as an
‘interface’ was the reference to tangible heritage as ‘links between peoples.’163 Thus, rather than providing more concrete explanations or developOpinion of the CoR – Raphael (1996): 120.
Opinion of the CoR – Raphael (1996): 120.
158 Opinion of the CoR – Raphael (1996): 121–123.
159 See Tzanidaki 2000: 25; Calligaro 2013: 93; Sassatelli 2008: 231. See also Delanty 1995
and Shore 2000.
160 Amended proposal Raphael (1996), Annex: 14.
161 Amended proposal Raphael (1996), Annex: 17.
162 1997 Decision No. 2228/97/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13
October 1997 establishing a Community action programme in the field of cultural heritage:
the Raphael programme. In: O.J. L 305: 31–41[hereinafter: Decision establishing Raphael
163 Decision establishing Raphael (1997): Para 3.
ing the reasoning behind the action, the proposal had been stripped of uncomfortable rhetoric. The concept of heritage was broadened but still restricted to tangible aspects and no mention was made of the negative sides of
a European past.
This is mainly true for cultural actions. In ERDF the idea of heritage was
already quite broad. Although ‘dark’ heritage was not part of their agenda,
the regional support programmes had, since 1983 used the term ‘social heritage’ and were focused on how rural and industrial sites could contribute to
social inclusion, cohesion and economic stability in deprived areas.164
The bigger and smaller picture
A lot had happened in the Community since the early 1980s, and by the end
of the decade it enjoyed its strongest legitimacy as of yet. In 1986 Spain and
Portugal entered the Community, and in 1987 the Single European Act came
into force, aligning the member states to the objective of establishing a single market by 31 December 1992. It was the first major treaty reform in the
Community, afterwards considered a turning point in the history of EU. The
member states’ newfound determination to hasten economic integration, also
offered Commission president Jacques Delors an ideal opportunity to forward agendas of social cohesion. Together France and Germany drove European integration, their leaders believing that a monetary union would
strengthen the Community enough to withstand the effects of the imminent
collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe.165
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and reunification of Germany did
cause major political upheaval as well as new hopes for the future. The period to come was marked by the attempts to consolidate EU integration by
sticking to the plans set up during the previous years, while simultaneously
approaching the ex-communist states as potential members. Meanwhile, in
1995 Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the Community, bringing the total
number of member states to 15. During the same year, EU’s external borders
were sharpened through the introduction of the Schengen Agreement, activating notions such as ‘Third countries’ and ‘non-European cooperation.’
All of this required a re-definition of European culture, one that distanced
itself from tangible aspects like heritage sites, oriented more toward European values as constituting heritage (such as democracy, pluralism and humanism). European culture in singular rapidly turned into ‘cultures’ in the 1990s.
When it comes to EU cultural politics, two things had specifically worked
to make the Raphael programme possible. The first was A People’s Europe
campaign, which started in 1985. Inspired by the Solemn Declaration on the
Calligaro 2013: 99. See also During 2010.
Dinan 2014: 7.
European Union (1983),166 and gaining momentum due to the involvement
of the Ministers of culture in the European Council,167 the large scale campaign had made institutional actors view cultural heritage more positively
than ever before. They wanted to make ‘Europe come alive to the Europeans,’ a goal that materialised in the creation of the EU flag, a broadcasting
channel, the official anthem and more advanced ideas on a common currency.168 Based on a nation-state model, it was assumed that ‘Europe’ had one
‘culture.’169 As a result of this movement, the Commission realised that their
actions in heritage had been too incoherent. Funding had to be better organised to guarantee that projects really achieved a European dimension, and to
make sure that the Commission label or ‘stamp of approval’ was marketed
(figure 9). A more active stance was developed during this period, which
Johanna Tzanidaki has called ‘the popular face of heritage’ in the EU.170
Figure 9. Parachutist holding a European flag. From a public campaign depicting
the European emblem in different contexts 1997–1998. Date: 01.11.1996.
Reference: P-001343/00-24. © European Union 1996. Source: Isopress-Sénépart.
The prime objective for culture in this declaration was ‘to promote, to the extent that these
activities cannot be carried out within the framework of the Treaties: closer cooperation on
cultural matters, in order to affirm the awareness of a common cultural heritage as an element
in the European identity’ (1983 Solemn declaration on European Union. Signed 19 June 1983
in Stuttgart. In: EC Bull. 6/83).
167 In 1988 the European Council established a Committee on Cultural affairs (1988 Resolution on the future organization of their work. In: O.J. C 320: 1.
168 1985 A People s Europe. Reports from the ad hoc Committee. Adonnino. In: EC Bull.
7/85: 21–24.
169 McDonald 2012: 546.
170 Tzanidaki 2000: 23–24.
The second thing was the reinvention of the European Community as the
European Union through the Maastricht Treaty, which came into effect in
1993.171 The importance of the Treaty cannot be denied, as it turned an organisation previously intergovernmental in nature, into a supranational union
with a single voice in international negotiations. The political body, now the
EU, finally had a legal incentive to act in the field of culture. While there
were still strong subsidiary rules in place, stating that the Commission could
not in any way interfere with national interests in culture, it could set the
goals a bit higher.172
All of these events affected the world of heritage and archaeology. Networking activity soared after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the signing of
the Maastricht Treaty, inspiring the creation of new organisations and associations.173 Importantly, many archaeologists and heritage professionals participated in the creation of Raphael. Already in 1992, potential actions were
discussed with ‘professionals in the field of movable and built heritage,’ and
by 1996, ten meetings with national representatives and independent heritage
experts had been held.174 In archaeology, this increased movement was particularly connected to the CoE’s then recently issued European Convention
on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (1992), followed by the
Bronze Age Campaign (1994–1997), both morally supported by the EU.
This campaign, which later received critique for being near to political
propaganda, emphasized the Bronze Age as a prosperous time; when Europe
became truly connected for the first time.175 In fact, some projects which later
achieved funding under Raphael were initiated and developed as a result of
this campaign. In the midst of this activity, the EAA was established as a
new platform for archaeologists in Europe (1994). These were not isolated
events. Representatives within the various movements came to interact with
the EU concerning the definition of heritage and the selected areas for action
within Raphael. EU officials could work towards their policy goals sanctioned by the support of professionals, who in their turn succeeded in safeguarding already-established hierarchies of power on a supranational level.
The figure of archaeology
It seems, indeed, that no serious thought was given at the time of the drafting
of the EC Treaty to what ‘a common cultural heritage’ signified. 176
Signed by the members of the European Community on February 7 th 1992.
Sassatelli 2006: 27.
173 See introduction, p. 19.
174 First report on cultural aspects (1996).
175 See for instance Bolin and Hauptman-Wahlgren 1996.
176 Psychogiopoulou 2008: 29.
Until the mid-1990s, archaeology had held a far less prominent position in
discourses on cultural heritage than it had in the pre-1983 discussions. The
documents leading up to the creation of Raphael represented a peak in the
discourse on sites and monuments as being able to give substance to a common European culture. Heritage was an asset thought to possess rhetorical
strength. In the words of Calligaro, whose results support my own, they saw
heritage as ‘a vast and complex web of cultural transfers that are understood
as the very essence of European identity.’177 Officials and MEPs increased
emphasis on heritage as the ideal pedagogic instrument, turning the discourse from seeing heritage as a reflection (something able to convey their
European character through citizens simply looking at them) to a more malleable resource for identity building. The difficulty of the task had also been
recognised and a more active approach had been adopted (the monuments
needed a ‘little help from their friends’). The lack of societal impact of previous schemes had been addressed in Raphael through changing focus from
the monuments themselves possessing a European dimension to viewing the
whole domain of professionals dealing with the tangible past as the producers of the same, making the people into the building blocks.
The lack of impact on society can thus be interpreted as a lack of the kind
of impact that the EU was looking for. For long, the lack of any clear definition of heritage had been a strategic move in the Community. As Hahn had
stated in 1982:
Nor is it the task of your rapporteur to define the criteria by which a specific
cultural asset or ‘monument’ comes to form part of the architectural and archaeological heritage … We shall leave it to the experts to decide …178
This is what made the critique by CoR so unsettling. The EP and Commission had relied on the power of vagueness and of taking things for granted,
as the link between old things in Europe and a European identity. By forcing
a definition, the intentions were laid bare and up for scrutiny.
The links previously taken for granted resonated, by design, with archaeology as a component of heritage. This meant two things. First, in the figure
of archaeology, archaeological (and other) objects are expected to be able to
create and confirm a new layer of collective identity, neutralising the political order of the present by collecting disparate elements under an umbrella
of Europeanness. This fit well with EU rhetoric but the model required an
Other, a non-articulated presence of something or someone left out in the
rain. Soon, the EU enlargement would lead to a ‘meaningful difference’
being developed between the words ‘European’ and ‘non-European.’ Archaeology and heritage would be considered a useful tool to bridge this di177
Calligaro 2013: 96.
EP report (1982): 11.
vide. Up until now the discourse had effectively been concerned with an
Ethnic European identity. Second, the frame of EUrope had not been contested, rather it had been filled with suitable content. The reliance on recruited experts and the influence of national rhetoric about monuments and sites
meant that its meanings were kept in line with national and disciplinary customs for what to place value on. Until 1996, having been co-created with the
expert community and especially with the CoE, it meant that when the EU
became more ambitious and endeavoured to have a say in what a European
heritage and dimension was, this created friction.
2007. The fall of a rising star: the Culture programmes
 27.9 million ECU in 1997.179
 36.5 million EUR in 2001.180
 47 million EUR in 2007.181
The formation of Raphael and its siblings marked a general turn within the
EU toward more holistic strategies for financial support. Through this programme, including its preparatory actions in 1996, archaeology became a
specific target in the EU budget for culture. Until 1999, it was allocated 10
million ECU per year in the budget, but already in the year 2000 we see a
new programme taking over. In the Framework programme in support of
culture (Culture 2000), Raphael and some of its siblings were merged into a
single action.182 The total amount was raised to 31 million EUR per year, out
of which 34% went towards cultural heritage (in other words approximately
the same amount as before).183
The work to establish ‘a single instrument for programming and financing
aimed at the implementation of Article 128’ had started in 1997.184 The
change was fuelled by the perceived failure of previous programmes, particularly Raphael. The structures and networks created through the projects
were considered short lived and the low amounts offered had impacted the
visibility for the EU and overall quality of the output negatively.185 The division of cultural actions into different programmes was said to be the main
problem, something Culture 2000 would solve. Cultural heritage now became part of a family of cultural topics and the hierarchy set in the Maas-
Culture. Art. B3–200 of the financial year 1997. In: O.J. L 44: 902–915.
Culture. Art. B3–200 of the financial year 2001. In: O.J. L 56: 812.
181 Cultural cooperation in Europe. Chapter 15–04 of the financial year 2007. In: O.J. L 40:
182 Art. B3–2008 of the financial year 2000. In: O.J. L 40.
183 Chapuis (ed.) 2009: 8.
184 1997 Council decision regarding the future of European cultural action. In: O.J. C 305: 1.
185 Evaluation GMV Conseil 2003; Proposal for Culture 2000 (1998): 9; Theiler 2005: 73.
tricht Treaty – with archaeology as a part of heritage as a part of culture –
was implemented in practice.
The point where we stop, at the budget year of 2007, the successor programme Culture 2007–2013 had just taken over. From 2007 to 2013 it received 43–55 million EUR per year. The programme firmly placed heritage
as one among many cultural themes. Heritage no longer received any dedicated sums within the program, but competed on equal terms with the Arts
under the dictum: may the best proposal win. Although resting on the same
legal basis as Culture 2000, including the goal to heighten ‘the awareness of
the common European cultural heritage,’186 the topic gradually became more
hidden beneath the heading of cultural cooperation.187 Instead, there was an
emphasis on intangible heritage (European values and traditions), diversity
and European memory. Culture had also become more articulated as a policy
area, with yearly themes such as ‘intercultural dialogue,’ and formalised
evaluation procedures,188 from this point on run by the sub-organisation
called the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).
The motivation behind this breaking point is not so much the presence of
archaeology, as its gradual disappearance, now slowly losing what standing
it had gained under Raphael. Another reason is its inclusion in other policy
areas. Aside from the continuous support under research policy, archaeology
appears in digital heritage initiatives (information and media policy), as a
product for the tourism market (Competition policy), as a tool for social
innovation and development under regional policy, and as sites of ‘diplomacy’ under External relations.189
Raphael 1997–1999: 30 million ECU distributed to 222 projects (out of
1,769 proposals). Applicant success rate of 12.5%.190
Depending on the year, the EU covered up to 50% of
the total costs.191
Despite decreasing visibility in culture, many projects in archaeology were
still funded through the programmes. Based on an analysis of the inconsistent and somewhat brief descriptions offered in the Commissions lists of
selected projects,192 at least 45 out of these had archaeological partners
2006 Decision No. 1855/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12
December 2006 establishing the Culture Programme (2007 to 2013). In: O.J. L 372: 1 [hereinafter: Decision establishing Culture 2007–2013 (2006)].
187 Cultural cooperation in Europe. Art. 1504 of the financial year 2007. In: O.J. L 77: 811.
188 See for instance Art. 1501 of the financial year 2007. O.J. L 77: 784.
189 Chapuis (ed.) 2009: 8; Commission mapping of cultural heritage (2014); Section III of the
EU financial year 2007. In: O.J. L 77.
190 Evaluation GMV Conseil 2003. Annexes: 29.
191 The other 50% was usually split between the partners based on financial capability, but
was not restricted to actual currency. It could also consist of working hours.
192 Raphael, selected projects 1997, 1998, 1999 (see ‘Culture programme materials’).
and/or included archaeology in their objectives. The leading organisations in
the projects, called coordinators, were mainly academic institutions and regional or state heritage departments from Greece, France, Italy, Germany
and Spain.193 Among the other partners, called co-organisers and usually
consisting of 3–5 organisations from different member states (sometimes up
to 20), Italy was most heavily represented, followed by Spain, France and
the United Kingdom. This pattern is consistent with the overall distribution
in Raphael. Interestingly, Greek organisations were more visible in archaeological projects than in other topics.194
On top of this, the programme supported 18 European heritage laboratories, which received a maximum of 400,000 EUR per year during the programme period. These were special actions at sites of ‘European significance,’ qualified ‘by virtue of the interest or exemplary value of their content.’195 It was in this context the support for sites like the Acropolis of Athens could continue, along with new sites and projects supported in 1998–
1999.196 The reasoning behind echoes that of the 1984 scheme, with little
emphasis on what it was that was European about the sites. Since the laboratories in Raphael were still co-selected with national authorities, it may have
worked as a compromise, fulfilling promises made to the member states.
Culture 2000:
236.5 million EUR distributed to 1,529 projects (out of
over 4,700 applications). Applicant success rate of
32%.197 The EU covered up to 50% of the total costs.
In 1999, the new framework programme for culture started through a call for
‘Experimental measures’ in which three archaeological projects received
funding (out of 55 selected).198 A year later the programme Culture 2000
started. At least 86 projects with archaeological partners and/or archaeology
in their objectives were supported, sharing a total of around 21.3 million
EUR.199 Again we see Italian partners in a dominating position. Culture 2000
also continued to support European heritage laboratories. Out of 19 funded,
seven involved archaeological themes.
Other recurring coordinators came from DK, UK, BE, NL, AT, FI, LUX and SE.
Evaluation GMV Conseil 2003. Annexes: 30.
195 Decision establishing Raphael (1997): Annex, Action I.
196 Among these were: Archives of European Archaeology – AREA (FR), Proactive earthwork management on Hadrian’s Wall UNESCO world heritage site – PEMHW (GB), Boyne
Valley archaeological park (IE), and RockCare (SE). Commission answer to written question
No. 181/99 1999. In: O.J. C 341: 61.
197 External Evaluation of Culture 2000 (ECOTEC 2008b: 69).
198 These were: Archaeology and Europe (AREA), THUCYDIDE working with European
coastal military heritage (including archaeological sites), and Pan-European Corridors, aiming to define the cultural corridors of ‘ancient pan-European trade areas.’ Selected projects,
Experimental measures 1999, see ‘Culture programme materials.’
199 Based on calculations in database of co-funded projects.
Awarded Projects Per Country: Coordinators
United Kingdom
Figure 10. Graph of the distribution of coordinating organisations between
member states in 154 projects co-funded by Raphael, Culture 2000 and Culture
2007–2013. For seven projects, no country was found.
The figures for Culture 2007–2013 are harder to estimate. At the time of
writing no final report has been presented, and the documents listing the
figures for each programme section and year remain incoherent. The programme had a total budget of 400 million EUR to be distributed to about
2000 action and projects. According to the interim evaluation, applicant success rate was sometimes as high as 45 percent.200 I have found 30 archaeological projects supported during this period, sharing 21.2 million EUR.201
German and Italian organisations were most frequent. Looking at the graph
including all three programmes (figure 10), it is clear that these two member
states had the most partners in leading positions across the board. The influence and engagement of Italian representatives and MEPs that started already in the 1970s was still reflected in the distribution of funds 40 years
During this period, cultural heritage had also entered budget lines in the
policy area of Competitiveness. For instance a pilot project called European
Destinations of Excellence was launched, intended to promote economic
growth by drawing attention to ‘the value, diversity and shared characteristics of European tourist destinations,’ meanwhile helping European citizens
to ‘become better acquainted with one another.’202
ERDF had increased their funding of heritage projects since the 1980s,
especially through the Interreg programmes from 1989 onwards (European
territorial cooperation – ETC).203 Between 2007 and 2013 it is estimated that
ERDF allocated 3.2 billion EUR for the protection and preservation of cultural heritage.204 Lastly, in relation to the objectives of the common agricultural policy (CAP) – an area of legislation that has had direct impacts on the
protection of archaeological sites and the conditions of contract archaeology
– heritage in rural areas was listed as an important resource for social and
economic sustainability.205
Culture goes intangible while heritage gets stuck in the past
Eight supportive documents are listed under the budget line ‘Developing
cultural cooperation in Europe’ in 2007, the core part consisting of the decisions securing the old, current and new programmes. Gone were the long
lists of EP resolutions of previous decades, now replaced by the treaty base
common to Raphael, Culture 2000 and Culture 2007–2013, stating that the
Community shall:
Evaluation ECORYS 2010: 55. Again, the EU covered up to 50% of the total costs.
Based on calculations in database of co-funded projects.
202 Enlargement programme for SMEs. Pilot project on European destinations of excellence.
Art. 02 02 08 of the financial year 2007. O.J. L 77.
203 See During 2010 for an anlysis of heritage in the Interreg programmes, and English 2008
for a legal perspective on heritage in EU regional actions.
204 Commission mapping of cultural heritage (2014).
205 Agriculture and rural development. Title 5 of the financial year 2007. In: O.J. L 77.
… contribute to flowering of the cultures of the Member States, while respecting their national and regional diversity and at the same time bringing the
common cultural heritage to the fore.206
This phrasing left a lot of room for interpretation, and since there were many
chefs involved in the work of translating it into action, the programmes and
actions varied in both structure and thematic focus. These variations had
consequences for the way cultural heritage was defined, and by extension for
the position of archaeology. In Culture 2000, just as in Raphael, archaeology
was explicitly referred to as a part of the definition of cultural heritage,207 but
in the decision establishing Culture 2007–2013 it was no longer listed at all
(although neither were any other sub-fields). Looking at the summaries
above, we know for sure that many archaeological projects received funding
under the programmes but the closer we get to 2007, the less archaeology
and tangible heritage appears to be discussed explicitly. At the same time
new concepts like European cultural memory take the stage. Why is this?
The opening sentence of Culture 2000 states that ‘Culture has an important intrinsic value to all people in Europe’ and ‘is an essential element of
European integration.’208 It goes on to explain culture as a socioeconomic
factor, good for business and for Europe’s image in the world, as well as for
promoting European citizenship. Although these aspects had always been
considered essential, the intrinsic value of cultural expressions was now
listed as the source of all other qualities. It was what justified the programme
as a solution to ‘the challenges facing the Community at the dawn of the 21st
century.’209 This location of value was later transferred to Culture 2007–
2013, where diversity became the central buzzword.
The new focus on a European cultural memory is significant. It was introduced in the cultural budget during Culture 2000. Suddenly, the ‘preservation of Nazi concentration camps sites as historical memorials’ appeared
next to posts such as ‘subsidy for cultural organizations advancing the idea
The Maastricht Treaty Art. 128 (Signed February 7, 1992) aimed to prepare for the European Monetary Union and introduce new political elements (citizenship, common foreign and
internal affairs policies). The Treaty of Amsterdam (Signed October 2, 1997), reformed EU
institutions ahead of enlargement. Culture became Art. 151 and it was added that cultural
aspects should be taken into account in other policy fields. The Treaty of Lisbon (Signed
December 13, 2007) aimed to make the EU more democratic, efficient and able to address
global problems. Here, culture was listed in Art. III–280.
207 The definition reads: ‘intellectual, non-intellectual, movable and non-movable heritage
(museums and collections, libraries, archives, including photographic archives, audiovisual
archives covering cultural works), archaeological and sub-aquatic heritage, architectural
heritage, all of the cultural sites and landscapes (cultural and natural goods).’ Decision No
508/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of February 14 th 2000 establishing the Culture 2000 programme O.J. L 63: 8 [hereinafter: Decision establishing Culture
2000 (2000)].
208 Decision establishing Culture 2000 (2000): 1.
209 Mainly globalisation, the information society, social cohesion and employment.
of Europe.’ 210 The former was included as a result of an EP initiative in
2003, while the latter had been long standing and pertained to ‘organisations
actively working for European integration’ and ‘raising awareness of the
European ideal.’211 The juxtaposition of negative heritage and the positively
charged European ideals is striking and one is tempted to ask: could they be
combined? The answer must be no, since in 2007 this budget post had already been redirected to another area of EU policy, the citizenship programme. This is very telling. I have noticed before that when Commission
representatives talk about aspects like Nazi concentration camps, it is often
within the trope of the EU as a peace project. The Nazi heritage is put forward as something that stands against everything that is European, in conflict with the real values and heritage that define the political project. By
being moved to the citizenship programme it is also placed firmly in the
present or recent past, detached from positively charged features, such as
Greek democracy. It cannot, it seems, become part of European culture or a
common heritage. It can only become a memory.212
Overall, the increased focus on European memories, values, and respecting diversity did not mean that the more homogenising strategies disappeared; rather they continued to exist side by side, just as with the concentration camps and the European ideals. The divide has many causes. One appears to be the sometimes conflicting views of the EP and the Commission.
During this period, the EP pushed problematic heritage onto the agenda and
the CoR lobbied for local and regional identities, while the focus of Commission still leaned towards commonness and positive symbolism. As we
have seen, personal agendas are always at play, but to a great extent, these
differences has to do with the fact that Commission act and speak as an institutional body, in charge of interpreting the treaty clauses on a common heritage, while the parliament is more interchangeable and ‘in the now,’ full of
individuals speaking from their political platforms. Different institutions
have different agendas and models, and according to Clive Barnett, this is
not merely a conflict over definitions, but indicates different models of the
administration of cultural policies at the European level.213
In the premise for Culture 2000, the direction of the programme is described as working towards ‘the development of a cultural area common to
the European people, which is open, varied and founded on the principle of
subsidiarity.’214 This area is thus mostly located in the future. The only definition of a ‘cultural area’ I could find was in a report from 1996, calling it ‘a
Support for bodies active at European level in the field of culture. Art. 150401 of the
financial year 2005. In: O.J. L 60: 848.
211 Among these was the heritage organisation Europa Nostra (EUR 80 000 yearly).
212 For memory and Europe see: Remembering National Memories Together: The Formation
of a Transnational Identity in Europe Klaus Eder
213 Barnett 2001: 416.
214 Decision establishing Culture 2000 (2000): 1. My emphasis.
space within which the association of certain cultural features is dominant.’215 Whether intentional or not, putting the concept of culture as dominant features, next to European people in singular form summons the image
of an established commonness and a shared inventory to draw upon. Any
aspiration of reproducing such associations would therefore risk transmitting
the highbrow-lowbrow division criticised in previous actions.216
Indeed, looking at the original proposal put forth in 1998, there was a
pronounced intent to reveal a common cultural heritage by endorsing ‘mutual knowledge of the culture and history of the European people.’217 However,
instead of viewing cultural heritage as the ‘links between peoples’ (as in
Raphael), values became the link, making any specific focus on heritage
redundant. It creates a loop back to the place where we began the chapter, to
the notion of cultural heritage put forward in 1974, as representing the ‘spirit’ of Europe. The difference is that back then cultural heritage was seen as
the embodiment of culture – i.e. it was culture – while it was now placed
next to a European culture and defined by values and memories.
This separation becomes visible when looking closer at the decision text,
where the word ‘diversity’ is generally paired with the word ‘cultures’ in
plural (national, regional etc.) or with societal issues (inclusion of socially
disadvantaged people or the young), but never directly with the set phrase
‘cultural heritage.’218 The opposite is true for the word ‘common.’ It appears
as if diversity is foremost a characteristic of the present, while commonness
is rooted in the past (as roots or cultural heritage) or in the future as European values, both in need of affirmation. These temporal directions seem to
work in parallel, the past becoming a constant, an object. As a sign of this
we find urgings to respect diversity by protecting minority cultures and languages, combined with sections stating that in order to integrate European
citizens ‘greater emphasis should be placed on their common cultural values
and roots as a key element of their identity.’219 What citizens have in common, or should have in common, are both values and roots, future and past.
For the applicants this meant reconciling EU goals to promote ‘intercultural dialogue’ and ‘new forms of expression,’ while endorsing ‘mutual
awareness of the history, roots, common cultural values of the European
This was attributed loosely to Fernand Braudel and examples were the fine Arts, literature,
knowledge and features ‘which characterise a society and make it possible to understand the
world.’ This definition was likened to UNESCO’s declaration on culture (Mexico 1982), as
consisting ‘of all distinctive, spiritual and material, intellectual and emotional features which
characterise a society or social group’ (First report on cultural aspects (1996), Point 3: 3).
216 CoR 1996. See Shore 2000, for a discussion on elitist interpretations of culture in the
217 Proposal for Culture 2000 (1998): 11. My emphasis.
218 This applies to the decision text.
219 Decision establishing Culture 2000 (2000): 1.
peoples and their common cultural heritage.’220 The idea of a cultural specificity connected to the peoples and landmass of Europe becomes most apparent when contrasted to ‘other’ cultures. The part of the programme that
supported cooperation with ‘third countries,’ co-funded projects based on
their contribution to ‘the fostering of intercultural dialogue and mutual exchange between European and non-European cultures.’221 A meaningful
difference is established between the two, marking the boundary between
‘us’ and ‘them.’
The parallelism visible in the decision text was, not surprisingly, manifest
in the EP debates on the original Commission proposal. Throughout the responses to the programme proposal and EP report, certain types of connections were made more often than others. These included links between heritage and origins, diversity and socioeconomic or educational aspects and
artistic expression and creativity. The Commission representative Mr. Oreja
opened the debate by referring to the culture sector as ‘sensitive,’ but important as a means to involve citizens in ‘building the new Europe.’ He went
on to say that the preservation and dissemination of the common cultural
heritage should be backed in addition to the goal of creating a ‘common
cultural area as a means of fostering creativity.’222 The author of the EP report MEP Mouskouri (GR), pointed to ‘Europe’s cultural future’ in cultural
industries, especially pushing for the inclusion of young people, while MEP
Baldi (IT) regretted the demotion of cultural heritage, concluding that the
programme ‘must aim to encourage the conservation of movable and fixed
heritage by identifying the common European origins from which the diversity of national cultures has sprung.’223 One parliamentarian, Ferét (FR),
equalled Culture 2000 to the Euro and EU enlargement in importance, and
made reference to Greece as the cradle of Europe by stating that:
Thanks to Mrs. Mouskouri, we, the children of Athena, are no longer orphans.
I will therefore be voting unreservedly and enthusiastically for her report.224
From these and other responses, it is clear that heritage was still understood
as tending to and informing about objects and sites. It was stuck in the past
and therefore separated from the notion of creativity. The merging of the
programmes into a single action in Culture 2000 did not necessarily change
the concept of culture or the idea of what archaeological sites could do for
the Union. As a subgroup of heritage they were still connected to origins
Decision establishing Culture 2000 (2000), point 1.2: 6.
Decision establishing Culture 2000 (2000), Art. 1: 3). My emphasis.
222 Debates of the European Parliament, 1998–1999 session. Sitting of Wednesday, November
4, 1998: Culture 2000. O.J. C Annex 359/8: Part I, Item 9 [hereinafter: EP Debates (1998)].
223 EP Debates (1998): Item 9.
224 Reference was made to the nationality of the rapporteur. EP Debates (1998): Item 9.
rather than European cultural memories, and to positive values rather than
The bigger and smaller picture
This period marked a progressive and contemplative phase in the EU, when
the discourse surrounding heritage slowly changed, supported not so much
on a state of crisis as on political ambition. The EU saw some of its biggest
changes yet, with the introduction of the single currency in 1999 and the
enlargement process to the east starting in May 2004, eventually leading to a
27-country Union in 2007.225 As a sign of the will to move forwards, the
Treaty establishing a European Constitution (2004) was put forth in order to
streamline democratic decision-making and management in the EU and formalise European Foreign affairs. It also demonstrated the renewed interest in
European values.226 When citizens in both France and the Netherlands voted
‘No’ to the Constitution in referendums in 2005, EU leaders declared a ‘period of reflection.’
Faced with this failure on the one hand and the integration of the new
eastern member states on the other, cultural action had to change tactics and
express European citizenship differently. The discourse slowly returned to
the intangible. This had already been manifested in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000),227 endorsing the idea of common values as a European heritage in itself. It was also marked in the Treaty
of Lisbon (2007), working toward a more democratic and transparent union,
able to tackle global challenges such as climate change, security and sustainable development. Outside the EU, currents moved in the same direction, as
demonstrated for instance by CoE’s Faro Convention on the ‘value of cultural heritage for society’ was signed in 2005.
In relation to the expansion eastwards, there was talk of a reunited ‘European family,’ of how the cultural heritage of eastern European countries had
always been ‘European in spirit.’228 Funds were dispatched for socioeconomic actions such as The Iron Curtain Trail, a touristic heritage trail presented
as an ‘example of soft mobility’ and ‘a symbol for the reunification of Europe.’229 The discursive enveloping of Central and Eastern European nations
was two-sided however. As argued by Claske Vos in relation to heritage
New member states 2004: Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary,
Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia. New member states 2007: Bulgaria and Romania.
226 See for instance Uniting Europe step by step: the founding principles of the Union. URL: (accessed 3.4.2014).
227 Proclaimed on 7 December 2000 by the EP, the Council and the Commission. Its legal
status was uncertain until the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009.
228 Gateway to the European Union, Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy. Lesson 3, URL: (accessed 19.10.12).
229 Improving the business environment for SMEs, tourism projects. Art. 02 02 03 of the
financial year 2006 (in: O.J. L 78) and Art. 02 02 03 of the financial year 2007 (in: O.J. L 77).
actions in EU’s strategy for the Balkans, the membership was promoted as a
way for the region to move away from ethnic nationalism and violence, to
‘leave its past behind,’ while at the same time keeping them at arm’s length
distance in terms of real integration.230 Tanja Petrovic has highlighted how
such strategies have led to a state of ‘thinking Europe without thinking.’231 A
habitual conflation of Europe with the space of the European Union, leading
to a type of bullying by those countries already inside the EU or ‘on their
way to Europe’ against those who do not have the option of membership.
In a larger perspective the increase of terrorist acts directed towards cultural symbols and UNESCO world heritage sites, like the destruction of the
Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan 2002,232 and the looting of antiquities during the Iraq War (2003–2011), reactivated the discourse of crisis, the loss of
ourselves through the loss of the past. In many ways this period marked a
return to the discourses of the 1970s. Faced with destruction, world leaders
were reminded of the need to protect heritage for its symbolic meaning and
not just aesthetics, as favoured in the figure of archaeology.
The figure of archaeology
Heritage wore two different sets of clothes during this period. On the one
hand, it lost its touch with the physical world, wearing a new gown of values
and languages in a diverse European mosaic. On the other, it trotted around
in the same old garments as before, representing origins, roots and common
European characteristics. This could be seen as archaeology simply being
taken for granted or as archaeology being actively marginalised due to
changing EU visions about culture. There is something to say for both.
Archaeology and tangible heritage certainly continued to achieve funding
during this period, so on a practical level it can be argued that it was such an
ingrained part of culture that it needed no mentioning. This would be supported by the observation that tangible heritage has often been more pronounced in EU political history during times of crisis, when preservation has
often been elevated as a key concern. On a discursive level, tangible heritage
has been connected to origins and sameness, while culture has been about
visions. This shows how the figure of archaeology persists even in the face
of rendering the subject matter uninteresting or incompatible with EU goals
(figure 11). When a deeper link to Europe as a kind of homogenous and inherited variety of people and things was no longer valid as a line of argument, tangible heritage became a mere responsibility, an area in which previous investments had generated few lasting benefits. Part of the problem
was still that many member states had no interest in sharing their heritage, as
it was intimately tied to already formed identities. When Europeanising her230
Vos 2011b: 224.
Petrovic 2011.
232 Meskell 2002: 561.
itage failed, rather than revamping it as a creative or dynamic field, the
Commission just talked less about archaeology. There was an unwillingness
to shake out the old clothes.
In its new outfit however, especially in other policy areas and actions
such as regional policy, heritage became a promise. The EU had, as part of
their agenda, set out to preserve local differences, a goal more compatible
with national expectations on heritage. Another feature, seemingly offering
the EU a “way out” in regard to both the difficulty of dealing with dark heritage and the sensitivity involved in the reclassification of national or regional monuments as ‘European heritage,’ was the new focus on a European
memory. However, this approach was not considered to belong in the Culture programmes.
Figure 11. Heritage frozen in time, Pompeii. Commission official Johannes Hahn
attending the launch of an EU funded preservation project. Date: 18.07.2014.
Reference: P-025936/00-13. © European Union 2014. Source: AFP-Services, EC
Audiovisual Service. Photo: Carlo Hermann.
Conclusions and further reflections
From diversity to unity
On its own
two feet
enters the
The fall of a
Culture 2000 rising star
Creative Europe
Expert centers for restoration
Culture 2007–2013
Figure 12. Archaeology in EU cultural actions. Vertical axis displays relative
financial and discursive importance of the topic. Horisontal axis shows period.
In this chapter I have argued that archaeology, as a specific discursive figure
and domain, is brought into the European political context with some already
pre-established properties that have affected the way it has been used in the
political economy of culture in the EU. By following the money invested in
archaeology and cultural heritage and tracing the motivations behind its inclusion, I have sought to understand how archaeology as a figure has been
translated into a different environment as part of a ‘European cultural heritage.’ From this, it is clear that the Janus faced nature of the domain of archaeology, rooted in modernity, has turned it into both a promise and a problem. A promise because:
 It was useful as rhetorical fuel in reinforcing a discourse of crisis. As a
child of modernity, the threat of losing one’s culture is a central condition of archaeology. By invoking this fear, archaeology and tangible heritage could be used as a ‘Trojan horse,’ putting other topics like culture
on the agenda.
 It was a well-tested method of identity building, conjuring ideas about
roots and origins. This gave it metaphoric strength. Mimicking the nation-states, the EU put forth archaeological sites as evidence of a diverse
yet common identity, a European culture which was greater than the sum
of its parts. As such, European heritage did not need to be defined further. It worked best if the member states and citizens themselves decided
the content.
 As a result of the expectations placed upon archaeology as a part of cultural heritage, of what it could “do” for the Community, sites were considered useful as pedagogic instruments, a way for citizens to learn about
their common European background.
Archaeology became a problem due to much the same things:
 Because of the protective stance toward archaeology and heritage from
within the member states, any suggestion of sharing a European inheritance in any other sense than the rhetorical and symbolic, was not well
received. Already at the outset, archaeology had to be marked as an exception from the rules of trade and exchange. The domain was considered a restricted area, its objects foremost in need of protection.
 Archaeology brings with it established ideas of what constitutes heritage
and how it should be valued. This meant that stakeholders within the
domain were happy to see investments in their field but not interested in
changing its premises. When the EU became more ambitious and endeavoured to have a say in what European heritage should be and how it
should be “done,” this created friction. In Raphael, archaeology and heritage had been less constrained by the EU goals of integration and more
adapted to the needs of the domain, while Culture 2000 was modelled
after the needs of the EU. As the EU increasingly turned towards the
present, tangible aspects of heritage became something not just stuck in
the past, but also something stuck in the EU political past. Ultimately,
the persistence of the figure of archaeology contributed to the EU losing
interest in the subject.
Taken together, up until the 1990s, the tagline can be said to have been: ask
not what archaeology can do for the Community – ask what the Community
can do for archaeology. The figure of archaeology made the domain useful,
partly because it resonated with the EU, which, just as archaeology, is a project of modernity. On the one hand, tangible heritage functioned as a kind of
anchor, mooring the notion of a common European cultural heritage to
something solid. On the other, because of its strong commitment to nationhood, what archaeology claimed for its own often undermined, by design,
the very idea of a common European inheritance. Overall, it was more of a
promise than a problem, but when the EU cultural ambitions grew, the tables
turned. The new tagline became: ask not what the Community can do for
archaeology – ask what archaeology can do for the Community. In this context, the persistence of the figure of archaeology made the domain unfit to
sustain the notion of a fluid European culture based on contemporary.
This conclusion holds true for the period considered in this thesis, up until
the final years of Culture 2007–2013. Since then, much has changed. Although the new Culture programme Crative Europe (2014–2020) takes even
less of an interest in archaeology than Culture 2007–2013, I have noted how
tangible heritage, nevertheless, has made a strong comeback in EU cultural
actions. Its return is marked by two parallel approaches. One is consistent
with the trend from 2006 onwards, to move away from homogenising aspects such as fostering a European identity and concepts like European roots.
Here, the Council’s conclusions on cultural heritage as a strategic resource
for a sustainable Europe (2014) is significant. It presents an agenda which
goes beyond highlighting the symbolic and economic value of heritage, focusing to an equal degree on participation and plurality. The conclusions and
the Commission’s response to them represent the closest thing to a real EU
cultural heritage policy as of yet, and they are the first texts that clearly describe heritage as something which is ‘constantly evolving.’233
The second approach signifies a return to the rhetoric that surrounded
Culture 2000. However, instead of the EU losing interest in tangible heritage
on account of a strong focus on European contemporary values, the connection is reforged. In 2011, the Commission adopted its perhaps most emblematic heritage initiative as of yet, the European Heritage Label (EHL). The
label is awarded to sites with a symbolic or historic value for European history and integration, concentrating primarily on Europeanising the didactic
contents or “story” told about the sites. Its chief aim is to ‘strengthen the
sense of belonging to the Union’ among young people.234 The dual focus on
history and integration creates ample space for archaeological sites to apply,
and among the first to be awarded the label in 2013 was the Roman site Carnuntum in Austria. Once again heritage is celebrated for its wished-for Europeanness, and regarded as something that citizens need to learn about.
Furthermore, just as when the Community first took an interest in heritage
in the 1970s, the element of crisis is present. Both in terms of destruction
and illegal trafficking, and by the Euro crisis, which has effected heritage
budgets in many member states. The new EU Commissioner of Culture,
Tibor Navracsics, recently connected these aspects by arguing that European
citizens’ lack of self-esteem was to blame for the Euro crisis. That is to say,
their inability to find strength in a common European identity despite their
‘rich cultural heritage’ and ‘common roots.’235 An age old Community mantra is repeated. In light of these developments it is clear that tangible heritage
and archaeology will have a part to play in the area of EU culture policy in
the future. Time will tell if it will be as a problem or a promise.
Council conclusions of 20 May 2014 on cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a
sustainable Europe. In: O.J. C 183: 36–38. See also 2014 Commission communication, towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe, COM/2014/0477 final.
234 Decision No 1194/2011/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 November 2011 establishing a European Union action for the European Heritage Label (O.J. L
303). See also Lähdesmäki 2014.
235 ‘Kultur stärker EU:s identitet,’ URL: (accessed 4.10.15).
Chapter 4. Inside the Black Box: Translations in the
Culture Programme
I was once told by an EU consultant specialising in giving courses for future
applicants that applying for EU funding is like playing cricket; it may seem
like just another bat-and-ball sport, but no matter how much you watch it
and try to learn the statistics, field positions and jargon, you never quite figure out how to score. In line with this statement, when discussing the topic
of EU funding schemes with archaeologists in workshops and on conferences, the most common emotive response has been that of frustration.
Whether based on experience or hearsay, EU funding schemes (by many
addressed as a whole) were perceived as administratively strenuous at best,
completely inaccessible at worst, with rules and selection procedures
shrouded in mystery. An archaeologist who had applied several times without success told me that you need to have at least one person in your project
who ‘knows their way around Brussels.’1 This view corresponded to the way
external consultants explained the value of their services, and the certain
smugness sometimes expressed by successful applicants over having solved
the puzzle. While the European Commission prides itself on its openness as
an institution, with rules on transparency and user-friendly guides for expert
reviewers and applicants, the results of the external evaluations of the Culture programmes and the responses received in my interviews did not mirror
this self-image.2 The metaphor of the black box comes to mind; a system that
uses certain information to produce results, but that works in a way that is
secret or difficult to understand.3
How does this system operate? A ‘call for proposals’ emerges from the
box called Culture 2007–2013. In hope of achieving co-financing, multinational constellations of individuals set to work, investing time and effort in
putting together hundreds of applications that enter the box (figure 13). A
couple of months later an expert evaluation report and a Commission deci1
28 PJ–09 2013.
In the external evaluation of Culture 2000 it was stated that a quarter of the applicants
thought the selection process and assessment of criteria were unclear (ECOTEC 2008b: 74–
76). In the 1st and 2nd interim evaluation of the Agency, transparency was also listed as an
issue. The culture unit was singled out as problematic (COWI A/S 2009).
3 Black box: Cambridge Dictionaries online. URL: (accessed 7.1.14).
sion of funding materialises in the hands of the applicants. In the end about
300 successful projects emerge out of the box every year, having pledged to
generate European added value, intercultural dialogue and sustainable networks through their various objectives. But what happens inside?
To find out, the chapter begins by examining the programme Culture
2007–2013 from within a European Commission agency. I then turn towards
the expert reviewers assessing the project proposals. The role of private consultants and EU Cultural Contact Points are discussed next, whereafter the
views of archaeologists partaking in co-funded projects are addressed. Two
analytical keys, the black box and translations, are employed to guide the
analysis and articulate the findings. The first part of each subchapter is focused on the black box, its functions and the viewpoints of different actors.
The second part considers the translation of the assessment criterion European added value (hereinafter EAV).4 The goal is to achieve a deeper understanding of the ‘hybrid process of heterogeneous engineering’ that goes into
creating and assessing EU project proposals in heritage and archaeology.5
Figure 13. Boxes of project proposals awaiting transport to the evaluation panels in
the next building. Brussels 2010. Sketch based on photo by author.
The only exception is subchapter three which is divided based on the type of actor. This is
because it includes two different types of actors.
5 Shanks 2004: 503. See also ‘Theories’ in the introduction.
Configuring the metaphors
The metaphor of the black box has been widely used both within and outside
of academia. Borrowed from the field of Cybernetics, it was used by David
Clarke in 1968 when discussing the way archaeologists and anthropologists
approach fragmentary assemblages of excavated material as clues to past
realities, or what Clarke, in the spirit of the New Archaeology, refers to as
‘culture systems.’6 Following Ross Ashby,7 Clarke talks about the ‘black
box’ (a concealed system which can only be studied based on its input and
output), the ‘very large box’ (how increasing the size of the box leads to
unpredictable outputs) and the ‘incompletely observable box’ (some parts
remain inaccessible as researchers studying the same box often look at different circuits).
Bruno Latour’s appropriation of the black box, as a type of actant that can
condense and conceal the complexities of large networks consisting of people and things, is probably the most famous one.8 In Science in action: how
to follow scientists and engineers through society (1987), he suggests that it
should be used in cases where ‘many elements are made to act as one,’ contrasting older manual cameras, which had to be dis- and reassembled for
every photograph taken, to the Kodak automatic, which acted as one piece,
not meant to be taken apart.9 Michael Shanks has likened the ‘archaeological
artefact’ to a black box in a similar manner, describing how they are often
seen as closed and mysterious entities separated from people, when in reality
no such distinction is possible.10 Ilana Gershon describes how a mathematical problem can be discussed for years, circulating through multiple nodes in
a network, each node changing it ever so slightly before it is finally solved
and published. Afterwards it turns into an accepted truth under a specific
name, a black-boxed shorthand concealing all the complexity that contributed to its creation.11 In both cases, in building facts and in building objects/machines it comes down to ‘how to ally oneself to resist controversies.’12
Can the Culture programme be understood as such a machine? It is not
really taken for granted or used as shorthand in the same sense as in the
abovementioned examples. When, for example, an applicant opposes the
results of the evaluation, or when an external audit is called for, the complex
Clarke 1968: 58–62.
Ashby 1956: 86–117.
8 See Latour 1987; 1999; 2005.
9 Latour 1987: 131.
10 Shanks 1998: 27.
11 Gershon 2010: 169.
12 Latour 1987: 131.
alliances maintained within might falter and become visible to all.13 Studying
a would-be black box usually means that you treat it as such, that you look at
the input and the output and try to figure out how it works based on that. But
since I, and other actors, already know what it looks like on the inside, does
the metaphor still work? It depends on the depth and the perspective from
which you are looking at it. As Ashby puts it:
We do in fact work, in our daily lives, much more with black boxes than we
are apt to think. At first we are apt to think, for instance, that a bicycle is not a
black box, for we can see every connecting link. We delude ourselves, however. The ultimate links between pedal and wheel are those interatomic forces
that hold the particles of metal together; of these we see nothing, and the child
who learns to ride can become competent merely with the knowledge that
pressure on the pedals makes the wheels go round.14
Similarly, one could read the massive amounts of documents released by the
European Commission every year and follow the proposed guidelines without grasping the full extent of how those documents are created and negotiated. Knowing how to ride a bike – or how to write successful applications
and approved project reports – is no guarantee that you understand why or
how one works. From the applicant’s point of view the process may appear
as a black box, while for an EU employee it is just a mass of everyday procedures linked to wider institutional contexts. Accepting this conditional
nature, the black box nevertheless offers a fruitful starting point.
In order to discover from what angles this programme appears as a black
box and what power positions and professional cultures that define it, I will
use the ANT-inspired concept of translation.15 As applied in this chapter,
translation means the act of converting interests, how certain expressions of
will or values arise in one end of a network (like award criteria), and proceed
to be translated through a number of recruited actors (like expert reviewers).
These actors transmit the will of the enabler, in this case the Commission,
while changing it in the process: consciously or unconsciously, obediently or
subversively. The list of translations involved in the Culture programme is
 One translation occurs when policy officials at the European Commission
Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) are assigned the
task of interpreting the policy goals expressed in the Treaties, transforming
them into funding programmes and assessment criteria.
In these cases Latour speaks of how black boxes, when viewed as intermediaries – actants
which transports meaning without transforming it in the process – can suddenly transform into
mediators, actants which ‘translate, distort, and modify the meaning or the elements they are
supposed to carry’ (2005: 39).
14 Ashby 1956: 110.
15 Latour 2005.
 Another is in the hands of the culture unit at the Education, Audiovisual and
Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), translating the programme decision,
i.e. the ‘blueprints,’ into guides and instructions for applicants.
 A third translation happens when applicants are recruited to interpret the
wills of the Commission. Based on the call for proposals and the programme
guidelines, they design the project to fit the programme.
 In this process, national Cultural Contact Points (CCPs) or independent EU
consultants are sometimes recruited by the applicants to assist with these
 One of the final translations takes place when the expert reviewers, recruited
based on their capacity to evaluate matters within a certain domain, are engaged to translate the translations of both the applicants and the previous recruits. Their judgements are turned into points, arranged on a list that provides the basis for a final decision.
The results of these translations are called transformations. They are the
outputs emerging from the box, such as guidelines, lists of selected projects
or narratives written by archaeologists achieving co-funding. Some of these
transformations are dealt with in this chapter, but a core part, that of the project narratives, will be the theme of chapter five.
Material and method
The empirical base in this chapter consists of ethnographic fieldnotes and
observations, as well as formal and informal conversations with persons
connected to Culture 2007–2013. Observations are recorded in two notebooks, a digital field diary and photographs taken during fieldwork. They
mainly consist of descriptions of events, meetings and my interactions with
different persons, but they also contain more intimate reflections regarding
collegues, the functioning of the funding programmes and some stressful
situations (this material remains with the author and can be accessed by other researchers upon request). Due to their relative closeness to the application process and the programme, 30 interviews have been considered particularly useful for this chapter.16 These include:
 Four interviews with Commission employees working with the Culture programme in different capacities. Three men and one woman working in policy
development and programme coordination (Commission), and programme
administration (Agency). All interviews were carried out in Brussels.
 11 interviews with expert reviewers with a cultural heritage profile. They
had participated in review panels for the Culture programmes Strand 1.1
(multiannual cooperation projects) and 1.2.1 (cooperation projects up to
three years). Seven men and four women from ten countries. 17 Four in-depth
interviews were carried out in Brussels, Austria and Sweden and seven via
email. They were asked open ended questions about the programme and
See full list of interviews in Appendix 1.
Nationalities: AT, DE, ES, FI, FR, GR, HU, IT, NL, SE. Participation in panels: 1–7 times
each, avg. 3,7 times per person.
award criteria, the socio-dynamics of participation, and the main challenges
presented.18 Their collected experiences amounted to 41 panels and over 700
evaluated projects.19 Outlooks varied based on national, cultural and professional backgrounds, as well as experiences working for the EU in other capacities. Answers were not always restricted to the topic of heritage, yet they
had bearing on the outcome of evaluations of cultural heritage projects.
 Two interviews with national contact points for the Culture 2007–2013.
They were both civil servants, one man and one woman. One worked in the
sphere of cultural heritage while the other was engaged in the cultural sector
at large. I met both in person and the main focus was placed on their roles,
their view of the programme, the criteria, the expert-reviewers, the consultants and applicants, placing emphasis on cultural heritage.
 Two interviews with one consultant who had a specific competence within
cultural heritage and the Culture programmes. I tried to get the story of the
firm, the consultant’s role in the projects and the relationship to the Commission.
 11 interviews with archaeologists involved in projects co-funded by the
Culture programmes. Ten interviews were carried out in person (in Sweden,
the United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, Germany and Czech Republic), and
one via Skype. I mainly spoke with the project leader or the person in charge
of writing the application. With the exception of one case, all project leaders
were male (this is a pattern). They were asked questions about their roles and
experiences, their view of the programme, the criteria and the experts.
Qualitative coding techniques have been applied to identify meaningful junctures in recorded observations and transcriptions. Grounded in important
aspects identified during fieldwork, I have marked keywords and passages
with labels so that data could be searched, combined in themes, and retrieved
later for further comparison and analysis. These include: criteria, key challenges, specificity of heritage, application poetry, not just about the money,
Commission-applicant relationship, and scoring techniques. Using codes can
have the effect of inadvertently directing the study towards a pre-set conclusion, creating a circular argument. With this in mind, I have allowed codes to
evolve continuously, and through their combination new ones have emerged.
For this chapter I also use Commission working drafts, guidelines for
evaluators, and official programme documents. Since these texts represent
assemblages of oral statements transferred into specific types of authorless
texts, I treat them as discursive events, created at ‘the intersection of text and
talk.’20 This allows me to address documents in combination with, rather
than separately from the ethnographic sources.
Aside from ethnographic material and interviews, I will draw on research
carried out within the fields of sociology, anthropology and political science.
A note of caution however; while much has been written on evaluation panels in relation to science funding, their results are not fully applicable to the
See interview themes and questions in Appendix 2.
Calculated based on times participated and an avg. of 17 applications per expert/panel.
20 Brenneis 1994: 30; Fairclough N. 1992: 103.
case at hand.21 Culture 2007–2013 was not primarily a tool for financing
research projects. It had an interdisciplinary focus with a clear emphasis on
mobility, circulation of cultural goods and community outreach. That being
said, a majority of the projects had a research component, and most of the
experts assessing the proposals had a background in research within their
respective fields.
The agency of the Agency: a circuit in the machine
In early October 2010, I took my first trembling steps into the corridors of
Brussels. It was the start of what was to become five humbling and instructive months at the European Commission, working as an intern for the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (hereinafter the Agency).
During the application process – in which I was accompanied by 11,756
other applicants with completed master's degrees (mainly in law, European
studies or economics) – I noticed that things in Brussels worked a bit differently from what I was used to. After passing the first step, called ‘preselection’ (now down to 2,500 applicants), I stumbled upon several online
discussion forums claiming that in order to pass the final step and become
one of the chosen 500, it was necessary to actively lobby the particular unit
you wanted to work for.
Many fellow applicants stated that they had emailed or called Commission employees early on in the process. Others said it was unnecessary and
something to be avoided since it was not an accepted practice. Not entirely
sure what ‘lobbying’ meant in this situation (I had already been shortlisted
after all and it was not clear who made the final decision), I sent a couple of
emails to ‘Heads of units,’ presenting myself as an archaeologist with a research interest in EU culture policy and programmes. I soon received a response informing me in no uncertain terms that ‘lobbying is not allowed!’22
Nevertheless, the place from which I received this response ended up selecting me. Later someone working there told me that they had liked my email.
These types of ambivalent codes of conduct and mixed messages, alongside the vibrancy and tension caused by a multi-lingual and multi-national
work environment, made my internship at the Commission both difficult and
thought-provoking. The Agency I ended up at was portrayed officially as an
administrative machinery that merely reported to, and practically implemented the programmes on behalf of the European Commission DirectorateGeneral for Education and Culture (DG EAC).23
I.e. Braun 1998; Brenneis 1994; Lamont 2009; Porter and Rossini 1985; Roy 1985.
Email: European Commission Stage Coordinator June 15, 2010.
23 To a lesser extent the Agency also operates under Communication (DG COMM) and EuropeAid Development and Cooperation (DG DEVCO).
In reality however, it was a place full of agency.24 It was a place where the
brainchildren of EU policymakers and the goals of the EU treaties were
turned into physical currency in the hands of project leaders, and where the
outcomes of their projects were evaluated. I therefore dedicate this subchapter to the agency of this particular Agency, arguing that if the Culture 2007–
2013 is understood as a sociopolitical action appearing as a black box, the
Agency can be seen as one of its key nodes.
The black box: the politics of the non-political
The Agency is best described as a quasi-autonomous institution.25 It is guided by policy and supervised by Commission officials at the ‘Parent DG,’ but
with some managerial independency.26 Compared to other types of intermediary agencies working with project funding, such as science-based or strategic funding agencies, it is clear that it belongs in a third category: political
funding agencies directly answering to a ‘ministry.’27 One of the reasons
behind this logic of power delegation, which has grown in popularity since
the early 2000s, is its alleged ability to enhance the credibility of EU actions.28 In light of the massive fraud charges and ‘cover up’ that the Commission faced in the late 1990s – leading to the resignation of the whole Santer Commission and to huge internal reforms – it is not surprising that the
EU found this strategy of delegation appealing.29 Ironically, this divide has
in itself given rise to practical issues and questions of accountability.30 As
Martin Shapiro has put it: ‘if indeed it is the low legitimacy of the Commission that fuels the move to agencies, why should we expect that the same
appeal to technocratic legitimacy which failed the Commission will succeed
for the agencies?’31
Throughout this subchapter, when using of the word agency in italics, it refers to a ‘doing’
which can be passive or active but which does not presuppose intentionality. In this context it
is specifically used to point to the ambivalence between the expected or allowed agency of
actants in a network, and the less visible or unofficial doings.
25 See Talbot 2004: 5–7.
26 The Agency employs around 430 persons and has a mandate running from January 2005 to
December 2015. The Culture 2007–2013 programme is one out of 15 actions they deal with.
It is managed by the culture unit, which carries out tasks such as formulating and adapting the
programme guide and application documents, drawing up calls for proposals, selecting experts, monitoring evaluation panels and signing project agreements. It also monitors project
development and financial exchanges (intermediate reports, final reports etc.). The staff sometimes visits projects, but mainly provide information and regulate changes in the project.
27 Braun 1998: 811.
Majone 2001: 109–110. See also Busuioc et al. (eds) 2012.
Malone 2002.
30 For instance, an evaluation of the European Research Council Executive Agency concluded
that responsibilities overlapped and that there was ‘a fundamental incompatibility between the
current governance philosophy, administrative rules and practices and the stated goals’ (VikeFreiberga et al. 2009: 40). See also Braun 1993.
Shapiro 1997: 291.
From the outside, based on my conversations with project leaders and
other archaeologists who had experiences from the Culture programmes, the
Agency and the culture unit in which I worked was considered as just another gear in the Commission machinery. This is perhaps not odd considering
that all of their communication with the Commission went through their
assigned project officers. Some said they were just administrators with no
real interest or knowledge in the project topics, while others saw them as key
players and their best chance at influencing the selection procedure. Therefore, applicants sometimes booked meetings with Agency employees to discuss their projects before the expert reviewers got involved.
So, stepping inside the machinery, who really did have the power? Despite these close ties to the Commission, legal and didactic texts concerning
the Agency often take specific care to mention its non-political character:
The programme strands managed by the Agency are all centralised and support technical projects, which do not imply making political decisions. 32
The Commission may entrust an executive agency with any tasks required to
implement a Community programme, with the exception of tasks requiring
discretionary powers in translating political choices into action. 33
This means they could not make decisions according to their own judgment
when it comes to changing the programme or the use of the budget. And
‘political decisions,’ in this context, would refer to changing the assessment
criteria or skipping the whole evaluation segment. Despite this rather loose
definition of the Agency as non-political, I found that the detachment from
politics was part of the self-image of the culture unit, especially maintained
in relation to its Commission counterpart at DG EAC. A segment from my
fieldnotes may work to illustrate how I experienced this separation:
As X had explained to me regarding the task, ‘it is all very good and analytical what you have done in the template for the program evaluation, but the
Commission don't want us to think!’ So they cut everything I added into the
new objectives out completely… The work of the Agency is so administrative
and detached in one way, whilst in another it is the one part in this whole bureaucratic machinery that is closest to the actual projects and the actions it
funds. It creates a very split vision and I can see why they do not always see
the big picture in any of the levels of the hierarchy.34
About the EACEA, URL:
(accessed 4.1.14).
33 2003 Council regulation laying down the statute for Executive Agencies to be entrusted
with certain tasks in the management of Community programmes. In: O.J. L 11/1: para. 13
34 Fieldnotes, January 12, 2011. I later brought up this particular memory in an interview with
a culture unit employee who agreed with the statement (18 EU–07 2012).
This statement should not be taken literally, but rather as an expression of
frustration at the fact that the Agency did not have a voice in the same sense
that the Commission did. Naturally, the Commission wanted the Agency
staff to be smart and effective, but without being heard; their texts remaining
authorless, their presence subtle and anonymous (figure 14). This was reflected in my fieldwork efforts in the sense that, while Commission officials
generally agreed to be interviewed, Agency employees declined. Upon asking collegues to discuss their work in relation to my research interests, one
just laughed and said no, finding the idea absurd. Another recommended
people outside the Agency, and a third simply stated that she had no time.
The few I did talk to later on were keen to steer the topic away from personal
opinions, uncomfortable with my interest in such aspects.
The incorporation of this non-political profile into their institutional selfimage had several effects. It could act as a kind of shield against claims of
wrongdoing. That is to say: ‘it is not our fault, we don’t make the rules!’ As
argued by Michael Herzfeld, such methods of trying to escape blame by
blaming ‘the system,’ is a built-in function of Western bureaucracies: a way
of internalising the publics’ stereotypical expectations of bureaucratic injustice to offset their own sense of failure.35 The profile also became a way to
form alliances in order to resist controversies with the Commission, the privileged node in the network. For instance, during my time there, a problem in
the form of a conflict of interest presented itself during the evaluation panels.
It had been revealed that one of the experts were part of a project he was
assigned to evaluate, something experts pledge to inform the Agency about
beforehand and a reason for expulsion. The person was fired, but it was decided that the matter should be sorted out internally before notifying the
Commission representatives, otherwise hell would break loose.
The internalisation of this political/non-political break depends on several
factors. One is the hasty set-up of the Agency in 2005–2006. Creating the
Agency in the middle of a running programme period had necessitated a
transfer of personnel from the Commission, meaning that some persons in
the culture unit had worked there since the very beginning. I was told the
whole thing had been a ‘learning by doing’ experience.36 Similar to the establishment of the European Research Council (ERC) and its executive
agency, the overarching principles were set out beforehand but the rules,
tasks and procedures was based on trial and error, as well as borrowing from
practices of peer review elsewhere.37
Another factor is what Maryon McDonald has described as type of ‘rolling uncertainty’ within the Commission. Due to movements of personnel,
influx of new employees, and in particular, the low status of positions in the
Herzfeld 1992: 3–5.
18 EU–07 2012.
37 Gornitzka and Metz 2013: 10–11.
culture policy area, people were always on their way to a better job, and
those who lingered felt unsafe.38 Despite the long commitment by some of
the staff, the Agency was set up on a temporary basis and a certain Othering
of the Commission was fuelled by the fact that their jobs existed at their
mercy. During my internship, employees would worry about things like the
immanent replacement of the Head of Unit, a decision they had little say in,
and about the extension of the mandate; if they would be needed in the new
programme Creative Europe (2014). As a basis for such decisions, the
Agency was continuously evaluated, something which did not help to decrease feelings of insecurity.39
In relation to the black box, the distinction between political/non-political
becomes meaningful as a way to uphold the structure and to hide an ‘arena
of interest struggles.’40 The tension between the Commission as parent and
the Agency as a ‘child’ was not something visible from the outside, but it
had certain effects. By neutralising their own political-ness, the Agency employees extended their leeway in certain situations, developing unofficial
Figure 14. An EU civil servant avoids the camera. Brussels 2010. Sketch based
photo by author.
McDonald 2012.
External consultants examined the ‘added value’ of the EACEA in 2009 and 2013.
40 Braun 1998: 811.
One such instance where the Agency staff had a lot of power was in the selection and attribution of expert reviewers. Experts were hired based on personal expressions of interest following regular ‘Call to tenders’ and their
information was collected in a database. Selected experts were then attributed to specific projects by the Agency.41 This sounds like just another part in a
bureaucratic machinery, but selecting about 35 persons within a relatively
short time-frame, preferably with high standing in their respective fields,
was not always an easy task. Unsurprisingly, one strategy to make this run
smoothly was to select experts that the culture unit staff had worked with
before and knew to be effective and not prone to conflict.42 Some of the
Brussels-based experts, who worked almost full time as evaluators for different EU programmes, were talked about as you would a close colleague.
Likewise, unsuitable experts from previous years had become the stuff of
legend, some spoken of in good humour, others as cautionary tales. One
colleague told me about a match made in hell between two stubborn experts.
Neither one would budge an inch during the consensus meeting. In the end
the colleague had to work late and basically write the evaluation report in
their place. Due to the rules stating that experts must be rotated (about every
three years), their speediness and ability to cooperate could not always be
considered, but it was definitely an unofficial criterion of some importance.
This practise enabled another type of intervention. In the process of attributing the applications to specific experts, language, experience and the
field of knowledge mattered most. Though in some cases, when “troublesome projects” appeared in the stacks of applications, involving a partner
that the culture unit had had serious issues with in the past or which had
simply replicated an old application to the same programme, the staff would
take into account during the attribution whether an expert was nice (tended
to give high scores) or hard (tended to give lower scores). Similarly, if a
project ‘ought to’ pass selections despite balancing on the line of approval –
being pushed by MEPs, for example –43 the project might have to be reevaluated by ‘nicer’ experts. These can be seen as two out of many strategies
to avoid potential threats to the status quo and to uphold the appearance of
the Culture programme as a black box.
A third intervention is connected to the bricolage of people with different
backgrounds and identities working at the Agency culture unit. Just as in
other EU institutions, the staff consisted of persons with different nationaliIn the ‘Guidance notes for experts’ it is stated that for each evaluation panel ‘the most
suitable experts are appointed by the Agency’ based on criteria such as level and field of
expertise, experience in project management or assessment, language skills and geographical
origins. Participation was denied in case of conflicts of interest (2012: 4).
42 As an example of the opposite, Braun writes about how the National Cancer Institute, a US
funding agency, deliberately chooses non-mainstream, opinionated and individualistic researchers as referees to counter existing patterns of cognitive authority (1998: 816–817).
43 In some cases they had a say in the selection of multiannual projects.
ties, such as Czech, Slovak, German, Italian, Spanish, Greek, French and
Belgian. The working language was French in speech, English in writing and
whatever suited best at the coffee breaks (mostly French). For every week
that went by, I found myself using more and more ‘Frenglish’ expressions,
such as ‘le Out!’ which was used when an application did not make it
through eligibility in the first rounds.
The certain acclimatisation that occur when persons from EU member
states are reterritorialised and start working together in Brussels has attracted
the interest of anthropologists since the early 1990s.44 The process has come
to be called engrenage, a term adopted from the civil servants in Brussels
themselves (French for ‘gearing’ or ‘enmeshing’).45 In his research, Cris
Shore found that that the civil servants in the Commission had melded traditions and created a type of European identity and culture of their own.46
While Shore has described this process quite harshly as ‘an increasingly
unaccountable Brussels-based transnational elite that is transforming itself
from a class in itself to a class for itself,’47 Marc Abélès has addressed the
idea of engranage by pointing to the anxiousness of EU civil servants. They
are constantly being torn in different directions and forced to maintain a
relativistic outlook, resulting in a culture of bargaining that neutralises political debate.48 He also found that the intercultural climate might actually reinforce national barriers rather than generate a common identity,49 similar to
what Maryon McDonald has called ‘decoding differences in national
I would certainly not call the Agency staff a self-proclaimed elite – rather
a self-proclaimed underdog – but the part about decoding differences based
on nationality ring true. The most straightforward consequence of this was
related to the division of successful projects among the Agency project officers, the personal contact persons assigned to them. This was often based
on language and nationality. Professional experiences and personal preferences also mattered, but matching nationalities facilitated the communication. There were also other ways in which this decoding occurred. An interesting example was when an Italian colleague, after cataloguing a somewhat
untidy project application with a Spanish lead partner, told me that she
loathed Spanish projects and tried to handle as few of them as possible. This
was due to an age old vendetta between nations, but also the firm conviction
that all Spanish projects were messy. For similar reasons, another officer
preferred Belgian projects. Although the constant changes of project officers,
See Abélès et. al. 1993; Bellier and Wilson (eds.) 2000; Shore 2000; Zabusky 1995.
Abélès 1996: 33.
46 Shore 1993, 2000.
47 Shore and Abélès 2004: 10.
48 Shore and Abélès 2004: 10–11.
49 Shore and Abélès 2004: 10.
50 McDonald 2012: 549. See also and Zabusky 2000 and Suvarierol 2009.
relating back to the rotation of employees, reduced the effects of this intervention, it shows how people allied themselves to keep the machine running.
Before moving on to the translation of award criteria, I would like to add
that many functions of the black box – such as neutralising political aspects
and upholding unofficial strategies – should be seen against the backdrop of
the logics of Western bureaucracies. In The social production of indifference: exploring the symbolic roots of Western bureaucracy (1992), Herzfeld
likens bureaucracies to religious systems, the deity in this case being rational
efficiency. Both are founded on, and have as their tasks, to calibrate a collective identity for a territory, state or the EU.51 Behind a mask of unity it works
silently, through its rituals, symbols and regulations, towards an ideal. Appearing as a black box is, thus, a prerequisite for such systems.
Translating European added value: escaping definition
The conversation [about EAV] is constant. In everything the Commission
does it is always about: is this something Europe should deal with? Is it something we do better here?52
In assessment procedures for grant applications, ‘the level of excellence of
proposed activities’ is an evaluation criterion that most reviewers are familiar with. In the Commission Culture programmes, this only comes in at third
place. Instead, the first and most important criterion is EAV. Projects supported by Culture 2000 needed to ‘provide real European cultural added
value,’ while Culture 2007–2013 judged ‘the extent to which the project can
generate real European added value.’53 Its importance was even highlighted
in the resolution establishing Culture 2007–2013, declaring that ‘European
added value is an essential and determining concept in the context of European cultural cooperation, and a general condition for Community measures
in the field.’54
Ever since my time at the Agency, the vagueness of the criterion has intrigued me. That it was important was plain to see, but detailed explanations
of how it was important or what it stood for were scarce, making it hard for
both experts and civil servants to work with. Although it is a condition applied in most EU programmes, it seemed to acquire added layers of meaning
within cultural actions.55 Ordinarily EAV refers to economic benefits or seHerzfeld 1992: 2–10. Quoting Max Weber, Herzfeld articulates the similarity of this ‘transcendent identity’ to Moses’ success in finding a compromise solution to class conflict by
organising the Israelite confederate under a common deity.
52 Interview 14 EU–05 2012, Official in Culture. Translation mine.
53 Call for proposals Culture 2000, year 2003 (in: O.J. C 148: 4); Programme Guide 2010.
54 Decision establishing Culture 2007–2013 (2006).
55As a consequence of what has been called ‘The value Turn in Governance and public policy,’ many similar concepts such as: Surplus value, The value chain, Common values, Nordic
value or Nordisk nytta have developed (Tarschys 2005).
curing competitive advantages, simultaneously setting the limits of EU intervention in any given area. If a project has EAV it means it can legitimately be supported by the EU. It also has ideological connotations. The Council
has stated that the concept should ‘not be based on entirely objective criteria,’56 and in relation to the EU budget the EP has argued that EAV should
contain a ‘visionary aspect.’57
For the Culture programmes, this visionary aspect has been described by
the Commission as ‘its contribution to a greater awareness of the existence
of a common European heritage.’58 This statement is intertextually interesting: a phrase copy-pasted from vaguely formulated policy aims into a setting
where it becomes something to be measured. Yet it hardly counts as an explanation. A serious attempt to nail down its content was made in a Council
resolution from 2003. In summary, it was specified that EAV should apply
to pan-European, multilateral, cooperative, visible, knowledge generating
and awareness-raising actions – primarily benefiting European citizens – so
as to create a sustainable economic development and integration of cultures.59 In other words, a sound financial justification should be matched
with positive contributions to a sense of European unity. This turns EAV
into a hub of moral concerns, signifying what is ‘good’ and ‘right’ as well as
the worth of cultural actions in an economic sense.60 It also stated, similar to
the UNESCO notion of ‘outstanding universal value,’61 that EAV should ‘be
implemented in a flexible way,’ an ambiguity leaving it at once empowered
and destabilised. Trying to find out more about how it was translated on a
day to day basis in the Commission, I asked two officials in DG EAC what
they made of the criterion. I got the following replies:
Well you know it is my understanding, the common understanding, that this is
very difficult. Added value is difficult to define but probably easier to understand, that you should support what cannot be supported on the national level
… a sort of inverse definition but still we cannot provide a clearer definition
of a value as such.62
2004 European Parliament resolution on building our common future: policy challenges
and budgetary means of the enlarged Union 2007–2013. In: O.J. C 104: 991 [hereinafter:
Resolution on building our common future (2004)]; see also 2004 Council progress report on
financial perspectives 2007–2013. Doc. 16105/4 CDREFIN 163.
57 Resolution on building our common future (2004): 996.
58 2011 Commission Communication. A budget for Europe 2020. COM/2011/0500: 31.
59 Keywords drawn from: 2003 Council resolution on European added value and mobility of
persons and circulation of works in the cultural sector. In: O.J. C 13: 3.
60 From a social theory perspective, anthropologist David Graeber has argued that as a concept, value may refer to the sociological sense of what is good, proper, or desirable in human
life, in an economic sense to how much others are willing to give up to get desired objects,
and value in the linguistic sense as ‘meaningful difference’ (2001: 1). All three relate to EAV.
61 See Cleere 2001.
62 02 EU–01 2011.
For me this criterion is very difficult to understand and to explain … when we
speak about the EAV we have to think not only about the union but all the European countries … this European value is a geopolitical issue, the symbol of
democracy and contemporary development. 63
While the first person drew on a wide but pragmatic idea of EAV, as the
geographic and legal level upon which the activities were carried out, the
second directly linked it to the intangible values of the EU. Hence, if the
architects of the programmes themselves were unsure about the concept,
how was it translated by the Agency staff who was given the job to write
instructions on how to evaluate and fulfil such a criterion?
The ‘Programme Guide,’ the manual of the programme, was a dynamic
text updated almost every year, mainly by the Agency culture unit. Reaching
the notable length of 94 pages (and still not considered exhaustive) it exerted
a certain influence of its own, both shaping and being shaped by continual
decision making. It was the first text I had to learn when I started, and the
go-to document for solving problems. When it comes to EAV, the descriptions followed a steady pattern. In the Guides from 2008, 2009 and 2010, it
was defined as:
 The way the objectives, methodology and nature of the cooperation among
cultural operators demonstrate an outlook that goes beyond local, regional or
even national interests to develop synergies at Europe-wide level;
 The way proposed activities may have a greater effect and how their objectives can be better achieved at European level than at national level;
 The way cooperation and partnership are based on mutual exchange of experiences and would lead to a final result that differs qualitatively from the sum
of the several activities undertaken at national level, thus producing real multilateral interaction which promotes the achievement of shared objectives;
 Particular attention will be paid to projects allowing cooperation involving
organisations that have not previously received any EU funding or cooperations that have been specifically designed to carry out the project in question.
The interpretation made here was much stricter than that offered by the
Council resolution from 2003. The aim of integrating cultures is translated to
‘developing synergies’ and sharing experiences. It is a more defensive take
on EAV, closely connected to the subsidiary rules.64 Still, it is not very clear,
talking at the same time about content (objectives and methodology), and the
07 EU–04 2011
The EU may supplement national activities in culture through independent actions in the
areas of: knowledge and dissemination of the culture and history of the European peoples;
conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage of European significance; non-commercial
cultural exchanges; artistic and literary creation, including in the audiovisual sector (Para. 2,
Art. 128 in The Maastricht Treaty, Art. 151 in The Treaty of Amsterdam and Art. 167 in The
Treaty of Lisbon).
nature of the cooperation, allowing for political, geographical and ideational
Not in all cases the understanding [of EAV] has been the same, so again we
have worked with the experts … for them to have the same understanding of
all criteria. But selections are quite a challenge.66
Thus, in order to explain it further the culture unit employed more unofficial
strategies. An initiative was taken during my time there to create an example
of two fictional evaluation sheets based on a collection of real applications,
one with a ‘good’ and one with ‘bad’ formulation of the criteria. They were
distributed as part of the information package received by experts, which
included a list of appropriate phrases to use in the assessment sheets.67 The
model evaluations were much appreciated by the experts, and one of them,
being there for the first time, told me he had used them extensively. Although there is nothing strange or unusual about this way of helping experts
to understand criteria, it is indeed both political and influential.
That the staff at the culture unit knew what ‘good’ and ‘bad’ represented
in an evaluation text or project application was not in question. In their capacities as project officers for roughly 30 projects each at any given time,
and having seen hundreds of assessment sheets, they had developed a shared
understanding about this; a norm. Since their interactions with the funded
projects were not limited to applications and review panels, the norms were
also predicated by previous encounters with applicants and the know-how
gained from following projects from start to end. This knowledge was applied in the face to face interactions with experts, such as in briefings held
before the start of the evaluation panels.
In the case of EAV I found that the Agency’s translation resulted in a
more practical interpretation of the concept, moving away from visionary
aspects such as democracy, European culture and identity and towards experiences, geographical distribution and the physical need for cross-border
cooperation. The constructed ‘good’ and ‘bad’ applications each explained
EAV in this way, as European links: the more member states involved, the
more EAV. A culture unit employee explained that, the part of the budget
you get from the EU (50%) is there to cover the EAV: the costs incurred due
to the crossing of borders.68
For experts there existed another guide with complimentary instructions regarding the
assessment procedure, but the explanation of the EAV essentially followed the one in the
Programme Guide. EACEA: Guidance notes for experts 2012, Strand 1.1 and 1.2.1.
66 06 EU–02 2011.
67 Sending experts a really poor application in order to see what they thought of it was also
suggested, but never realised.
68 18 EU–06 2012.
Ultimately, even if the Agency employees’ translations of EAV had an
impact, it rarely involved a value judgement in terms of the topics or specific
contents of projects. The main motivation was to make things run as smoothly as possible without losing too much quality on the way. This can be exemplified by one of the ways in which the meaning of EAV was established
by the Agency: through valorisation. Every year the culture unit project officers selected a number of projects showing exemplary EAV as ‘ambassadors’ for the programme. Their results were highlighted in media and their
participants were invited to speak at Commission events.69 In this selection,
Agency staff often put forth their favourites; projects they found interesting
and well-structured, and with which they had developed a good connection.
The valorised projects became the ‘face’ of the programme, the success
stories used in Commissioners' speeches.70 They were presented as embodiments of EAV, but were not the result of active translations. They filled the
category more by default than by design. When I asked a culture unit project
officer about who then, if not them or the Commission, had the most power
to define EAV, he told me it was the business of the experts. The assessments depended very much on what they felt was an added value.71 He
shared this view with most of his colleagues, placing the role of making the
assessment criteria operational – the act of translating application texts into
points – fully into the hands of the expert reviewers. Therefore, the next part
will be devoted to them.
From paper boxes to points: the expert reviewers
When it came to the selection panels, it seemed that everyone had some unanswered questions or suspicions. A Cultural Contact Point, assigned the
task to promote and inform about the programme at national level, commented on their limited insight into the intricate workings of the panels: ‘It is
right there [in the expert groups] that practices are really designed, but that is
precisely what they keep so quiet about.’72 A month earlier, an external consultant with long experience in assisting Culture programme projects had
remarked: ‘I don’t know if the projects belonging to a certain field are assessed by people from the same field … sometimes I have the impression
that certain projects that are quite specific or quite technical are not understood by the assessor.’73 From the project corner, a person in charge of a
successful project application explained that, naturally your application has
to be good content wise but you also have ‘to speak the language of the ju69
For full description see the interim evaluation of EACEA (COWI A/S 2009: 38).
See Banús 2002.
71 18 EU–07 2012.
72 24 OT–05 2012. Translation mine.
73 12 OT–02 2012.
ries,’74 while another person involved in an unsuccessful application stated
that he did not trust EU experts at all and the comments he got showed that
they had not even read the application properly.75
These fragments of conversations work to illustrate two things evident in
the material. Firstly, that from several angles the expert panel is the part of
the black box that appears most hidden.76 Secondly, the questions raised in
this research project are not only my own, but shared by many. What goes
into the judgement of a project proposal? To what extent do the frames of
the programme matter and what is this language of the juries? To address
these aspects, I will start by looking at the dynamics of the expert panels,
including the normative and social function of interdisciplinary peer review.
The goal is to understand how the black box appears from the point of view
of the experts, while critically discussing the practices they partake in and
the potential consequences for the outcome of selections. After that, focus
will shift to the question of how the notion of EAV is co-created by experts
in relation to the topic of cultural heritage.
The black box: socialisation and controversy in the expert panels
When studying this node in the machinery, three aspects stood out as particularly interesting, aspects that made the wheels turn but which also caused
 The first was the dynamics created by the interdisciplinary character of
the panels.
 A second thing was the social and professional bonds created between
experts, which had effect on the outside.
 The third was the strategies and bargaining that occurred during the
‘consensus meeting,’ where experts had to agree on a final score.
Starting with the first aspect, one of the opening questions I posed to experts
was simply: Is this a good programme? It elicited very similar answers. Everyone agreed that the programme was worthwhile but there were doubts
about whether it really fulfilled its goals. The ‘Europeaness’ of the project
proposals was questioned and the contours of the programme were considered vague. ‘The thematic diversity of the entries is sometimes extremely
05 PJ–03 2011.
31 PJ–10 2013.
76 The external evaluations of the programmes and the Agency support this view. Up to 40%
of applicants found the selection process non-transparent (PLS Ramboll 2003: 87; ECOTEC
2008b: 75). According to one evaluation, unsuccessful applicants were more likely to criticise
experts or state the unfairness of the selection process, than to criticise the content of the
feedback. It also states that ‘stakeholders have commented that the broad and multidisciplinary nature of the fields concerned makes it more difficult to define experts’ levels of
understanding and experience’ (ECORYS 2013: 44–46).
wide,’ complained one expert.77 The interdisciplinary character of the programme, divided into six altogether different subjects (cultural heritage;
visual arts; performing arts; literature, books and reading; architecture; design, applied arts; and mixed projects) had consequences for how the panels
operated and how topics were viewed.
Upon asking experts with a listed competence in cultural heritage about
how the topic fared in this setting, the majority agreed that it fit in quite
well.78 However, they also stressed that it was not given enough attention,79
that it lacked clear definition,80 and that it was ‘more complex and expensive’
than other topics.81 In part, this had to do with the vagueness built into the
formulation of the programme, which in turn was based on vaguely formulated policy goals. This gave, as one expert noted, ‘a large freedom to people
to submit all what they want … there are everything and nothing among the
nominations.’82 The lack of definition meant that cultural heritage projects
funded under Culture 2007–2013 dealt with everything from ‘the heritage of
fishing’ or ‘European puppetry theatre,’ to interdisciplinary research on
‘Roman textiles.’ While this result was partly wished for, the question becomes: What expert is suitable to assess fishing traditions, puppet theatre
and textile archaeology?
As discussed in relation to the Agency, the process of attributing the applications to specific experts was based primarily on the field of expertise
and language, and efforts were made to hire people with competences in all
the programme areas. However, due to lack of time, experts sometimes had
to be recruited before the final quota of applications in each topic was fully
known. At times this led to an imbalance in the attribution of proposals.
Some of the experts interviewed mentioned how they had been asked to
evaluate projects completely outside their area of expertise:
38 EX–11 2014. Some remarks were made in comparison to their experiences from other
EU funding schemes, such as ERDF and the research programme FP7, which were thought to
attract higher quality proposals.
78 It was for example stated that: ‘to me it fits very well in, it is another sector, but eventually
the effects are the same as in culture’ (35 EX–09 2013).
79 ‘Cultural heritage could have a stronger position. Contemporary stage productions are very
prominent. Cultural heritage, in itself very broad, is well fit to embody the common European
cultural roots’ (33 EX–07 2013).
80 ‘As I have been evaluator on a big number of entries concerning cultural heritage, I would
say that this topic is sufficiently present among the other issues of the programme. Another
question would be the definition or content of cultural heritage. In this aspect I would give
more concrete definitions’ (38 EX–11 2014 OL).
81 32 EX–06 2013.
82 25 EX–03 2012.
I had to evaluate last year a project in music which I was not feeling comfortable at all with … in the last briefing we said so and they listened … but that
has been an element that in previous years has influenced the decision.83
Complaints made by unsuccessful applicants as to the level of understanding
of the assessors may thus not be entirely unfounded. Rather than the experts
being unqualified however, the “creaking” originates from a broken hinge in
the black box, a structural problem. Knowing this, one of the questions I
posed to experts was whether they found it important that the assessor was
knowledgeable in the field of the application. There were experts who answered that it was indeed important, since you cannot evaluate theatre productions – ‘how much time it takes to stage something’ – if you have no
experience in that area.84 There were also experts who argued that if you
have a type of ‘cultural understanding’ or ‘familiarity with cultural projects
and activities at large,’ specialised knowledge was not necessary.85
As demonstrated by Michele Lamont, who has written several studies on
the function and dynamics of peer review panels in science funding in the
US, experts participating in interdisciplinary review panels in research funding tend to develop a mutual understanding of the evaluation process, while
insisting that award criteria should be assessed differently depending on the
discipline.86 In her research, the meaning of ‘excellence’ – sometimes called
the holy grail of academic life – was found to differ greatly among fields of
expertise.87 This idea of a ‘cultural understanding’ therefore provides an
interesting contrast. I found it to be rather in line with the vague programme
goal of developing a ‘common cultural area.’
It also resonated with my experiences as administrator and participating
observer of the panels. The completed ‘evaluation grids,’ documents used to
score the project applications, all tended to repeat the same phrases no matter
what the topic was. Thus, aside from a mutual understanding of the evaluation process, there was also a common language adopted by experts. No
matter how much negotiation went into the assessments, they came out looking very similar. A norm about what constituted a good ‘cultural project’
appeared to grow out of the shared work experience and a general idea of
what an EU project should look like rather than topic specificity.
Thus, the overlapping and mixing of competences in the panels created a
type of fluency, merging topics into the frame of ‘European culture.’ This
approach was also a consequence of the sometimes extensive workload.
Everyone I communicated with mentioned the lack of time to properly read
the applications, saying that ‘it was exhausting, confusing and impossible to
01 EX–01 2011.
32 EX–06 2013.
85 25 EX–03 2012; 30 EX–05 2013.
86 Lamont 2009. See also Braun 1998 and Wessely 1998.
87 Lamont 2009.
give time enough to study thoroughly all the aspects of the proposals,’88 or ‘I
had to switch to a mode to make decisions when you do not have all the information.’89 For cultural heritage, the result of the interdisciplinary panels
and the structural inconsistencies meant that it was located nowhere and
everywhere. It was considered separate yet at home in the floating web of
European cultural activities, judged on the same premises as other fields.
The diversity of proposals in need of assessment and the certain unbalance led to the development of another unofficial strategy to avoid controversy within the box: the appointment of experts having competences that
were as broad as possible. They often had experience in two or more fields
covered by the programme, as well as in project management on national
and EU levels. Among the cultural heritage experts I met during panels, one
was the manager of an art museum, one was in charge of heritage tourism in
a region, one worked as an expert for UNESCO and one was an archaeologist specialised in Middle Eastern prehistory. Since any previous EU experiences were considered valuable, many had also participated in EU-funded
projects themselves. The whole thing becomes a ‘loop.’ The programme
mirrors the vagueness of the treaties, the variety in applications mirror the
vagueness of the programme and the experts are hired to match the diversity
of applications. This is not a failure, but a sign that the box works and produces meaning, establishing overarching frames but letting the actors recruited to translate their wills fill notions like EAV with content.
European experts or expert Europeans?
The second aspect listed earlier derives from my repeated encounters with
the experts I met during panels at other events in Brussels, such as at stakeholder meetings for EU cultural actions and the yearly information days for
the Culture programme. They often attended in pairs or groups, visiting the
events together as colleagues or friends. It made me think of the statement
by Shore, that the only real Europeans are the ones working close to or inside the EU institutions.90 Was not one of the main outcomes of the programme, at least in terms of European integration, the interaction between
experts facilitated through the panels?
By doing this type of work, professionals acquire a type of European profile. This profile can be expressed simply by listing their experiences as expert evaluators for the EU prominently in their CVs and on websites. It can
also be asserted by using the knowledge gained from the panels in networking. The experts contacted in this project described the panel experience as
overwhelmingly positive, rating things like networking, reading interesting
research proposals and an overall camaraderie highly, adding things like ‘I
33 EX–07 2013.
30 EX–05 2013.
90 Shore 2000: 127.
think the way we cooperate is a very European way.’91 In fact, half had long
since been engaged in evaluation panels for other EU programmes, or had
become so since I first met them during the panels. I also came across three
expert reviewers by chance via their business websites, where they offered
consultancy services to applicants seeking EU funding. Moreover, two had
since started their own EU projects.
One reason for this pattern is likely the fact that experts are selected from
a list based on self-application. From the responses to the question of how
they first got involved in the Culture programmes, the most common were:
through people working with the EU at state level, via other European institutions like CoE, or through pure interest in the topic and task. After recruitment, participation seemed to produce a craving for more.92 The system
of keeping a list of experts seemed to attract people who were already committed to the political cause, or engaged in the world of EU funding.93
Figure 15. Exhibition at the Commission historical archives. Brussels 2013.
Photo by author.
30 EX–05 2013.
Not least due to the reasonable compensation. In-house work in Brussels on the Strand 1.1
and 1.2.1 panels amounted to, on average, 500–600 euro per day plus travel expenses. Evaluations lasted between 3–9 working days. EACEA 2006, Terms and conditions for experts in
the framework of the next Culture Programme 2007–2013.
93 While this was not a question specifically asked, some experts readily identified themselves
as idealist, promoting EU values and the importance of the EU political project.
Based on this, I expected that the culture panel experience would contribute
to building expert communities. Yet, when asked about networking and additional benefits of participating in these evaluations, I received very mixed
answers. One person stated that ‘it does not really build expert communities
unless you work in the same field,’94 while another said that ‘certainly the
exercise helps to build a community … the network built in evaluations can
and has been useful in other contexts outside the evaluation.’95 Of course
people might not, for different reasons, like to reveal in an interview if their
participation afforded them certain privileges, but my impression was that on
its own, Culture 2007–2013 had not contributed to any lasting collaborations.
The more cohesive element seemed to be Brussels itself. There, hundreds
of experts on temporary contracts move between review panels in a sort of
‘expert economy,’ spawned by the EU institutions’ demand for speciality
knowledges. The persons I had met at events and the ones who had participated most frequently in panels were also Brussels based, while the one- or
two-time participants and the long distance travellers experienced less networking effects as a result of participation. This Brussels economy has an
indirect effect on the constitution of the panels in the sense that experienced
experts may gradually become ‘experts at being experts,’ much like EU civil
servants become ‘experts at procedure.’96
This circular movement, whereby experts becomes socialised into the
normative frames of EU funding mechanisms, acquiring new bodies as ‘EUropean experts,’ can be considered a type of feedback loop; a function required to keep the black box intact which also worked to change the people
and things passing through, ultimately affecting the whole system (figure
15). Seen from this angle, the act of bringing together experts from a wide
range of fields in peer evaluation panels under an EU flag – with award criteria that are more concerned with creating a cohesive effect among Europeans than research or artistic outcomes – is one of the most Europeanising
functions of the programme.
On consensus
During my internship I participated as a moderator in the evaluation panels
for Strand 1.1 dealing with multiannual cooperation projects, and 1.2.1 cofunding one or two-year cooperation projects. Out of the available ‘strands’
in Culture 2007–2013 – i.e. sections for specific types of projects – these
32 EX–06 2013.
35 EX–09 2013.
96 As an employee of the Secretariat for the EP Culture Committee told me, she should not
even have been talking to me since she was an ‘expert on procedure,’ not someone who
should have an opinion on the files she dealt with (11 EP–01 2012).
two were the largest.97 The panels generally lasted from one to two weeks.
The first days consisted of individual assessments of three to five applications per expert and day.98 The boxes often contained over 200 pages of information, including the application form, budget sheets, CVs and activity
reports. In total each expert assessed around 15–25 applications during the
first week. The second week consisted of ‘consensus meetings,’ during
which two experts wrote a joint ‘evaluation summary report’ for each project
and tried to merge their points (figure 16). If they could not agree, a third
expert was called in to make a final judgement. What really mattered in the
end was the total amount of points, the hard currency of the programme.
Aside from the guidelines and unofficial strategies discussed in relation to
the Agency, I found this meeting to be one of the most interesting aspects of
the box. I approached the topic by asking experts about independence, willpower and manners, as well as whether they had experienced any difficult
negotiations. Everyone agreed that they had felt wholly independent during
the panels, but when it came to willpower and hard negotiations, almost everyone had a story to offer. Very hard negotiations were said to be quite rare
and I was assured that everything was done in a general spirit of fairness,99
but their accounts also told of preferential treatment based on personal agendas (linked to fields of expertise or favouring their own nations), and how
persons with dominant personalities could influence the decision. The following reasoning by one expert echoes the voices of many:
There are differences in the aspects from knowledge and skills to personal
qualities and so on. In some cases I had to face with other experts that seem to
reserve the exclusive right to decide about the matter and no argumentation
and compromise could be reached about the issue. This procedures strain on
the people and then they have to continue their work in a depressed mood … I
had very few occasions when the written arguments on the quality of the investigated project differentiated in great extent to the other evaluator. This
would suggest that there exists a general sense of a good project among experts. On the other hand, there were often big differences in the scoring related to the other opponent. This means that there are very different scoring habits from tolerant to punishing attitudes … The most embarrassing situation is
when the conflict escalates and one of the experts has to give up because of
other reasons, like lack of time.100
The strands are cooperation projects (Strands 1.1, 1.2.1, and 1.3.1), literary translations
(Strand 1.2.2) and organisations active at European level (Strand 2). It also deals with management aspects (CCPs, Strand 3.1) and information initiatives on EU-funded cultural activities (Strand 3.3). The panels for Strand 1.1 and 1.2.1 occurred once a year. There were four
other panels: book translation, ambassadors, festivals and cooperation with third countries.
98 The last two years of the programme the individual evaluations were prepared remotely.
99 According to their estimations, one in ten negotiations were hard and one in fifty would fail
100 38 EX–11 2014.
Figure 16. Experts discussing scoring during a consensus meeting while writing a
joint evaluation report. Brussels 2010. Sketch based photo by author.
Several issues are identified here regarding the processes of translation. First
of all, things like personality and preference matter and affect the outcome of
selections. This may come as no surprise. Although review panels have a
normative function, 101 in which socialisation processes lead to certain common ways of interpreting the criteria set by the enabling body, ‘experts’ are
no grey mob. They represent a mosaic of personalities with their own wills
and agendas. Power struggles are inevitable and necessary components of
such environments. Furthermore, and although they are reasonably well
compensated for their work, the persons recruited are not doing it ‘just for
fun’ or taking the responsibility lightly, but struggle with the fear of making
the wrong decision.102
The second issue concerns the tolerant and punishing approaches to scoring, which was mentioned as part of the strategies in the attribution of projects by the Agency staff. Even when two experts were of the same opinion
or had the same understanding of a concept such as EAV, they could still
give it entirely different scores. Therefore, specific strategies were said to be
used in order to bargain about points during consensus. If two experts were
in agreement over a project being of good overall quality, they would remove or add a point here or there on a specific criterion while making sure
Braun 1998.
As stated by one expert: ‘We always know that every individual applicant put a lot of work
into the application, so we really sometimes also feel bad that we have to destroy hopes you
know’ (30 EX–05 2013).
the end result remained the same. This is a good example of how practices
that are crucial for the functioning of the machine can remain completely
hidden to the outside viewer.
All selected examples discussed here – the dynamics of interdisciplinary
peer-review systems, adapting to structural problems through the recruitment
of pre-listed experts, the nourishing of a Brussels based expert economy, and
the strategies used by experts in the consensus meeting – can be placed under the category of ‘business as usual.’ This is precisely what makes them
interesting. As pointed out by Donald Brenneis in relation to his extensive
research on peer review panels, it is the ‘moments of accommodation, complicity, and seduction,’ the ‘processes of ongoing socialization,’ that makes
all the difference: ‘it is not just kid stuff.’103
Translating European added value: detective work
Lamont has argued that studies dealing with evaluation mechanisms have a
habit of neglecting the meaning given to criteria of evaluation.104 To avoid
this tendency, as well as the trap of coming to see experts as ‘bodies characterised by unity and common function,’105 I will now take a step back and
discuss in more detail what goes into this bargaining about points. What do
experts bargain about and how are criteria like EAV understood in relation
to notions like a ‘common heritage’?
First of all, while most experts stated that the criteria were useful, many
pointed out that they were quite vague. The most difficult one was not EAV
but the second criterion: ‘relevance of the activities to the specific objectives
of the programme.’ This was mainly because it contained the ambiguous
concept of intercultural dialogue. EAV came in at second place, considered
hard to assess but easier to agree upon than the former. One expert reasoned:
There might be different interpretations of this criterion … I had one project
that was about Charles V … an important European for sure, but the project
was taking place to 98 or 100% in Aachen … Charles V might be a very important aspect of a European identity … [but] this, for me is not EAV.106
The translation of EAV in terms of space was the most common among experts. It also correlated well with the ‘by default’ translations at the Agency.
One expert, recognising this pattern, stated that ‘it is common to look at this
geographically, but to me this is not the most important factor.’107 By this
expert and several others, more aspects were taken into account. Upon asking experts how they think EAV should be defined in relation to cultural
Brenneis 1994: 26.
Lamont 2009: 14.
105 Verlot 2001: 351.
106 30 EX–05 2013.
107 35 EX–09 2013.
heritage – geographically, geopolitically, economically, culturally and symbolically or something else – many stated that projects done in the bordering
regions of all listed characteristics were the best. It may be difficult at first,
one expert reasoned, but ‘the groups quickly establish a dominant meaning
for heritage.’108 Nevertheless, I soon found a tension between cultural or
symbolic meanings of EAV and more pragmatic or technical interpretations.
Two ‘extremes’ emerged. For this programme, one expert reasoned:
It would seem natural that the field concerned be the EU space. But the EU
has decided to open it to countries under discussion for adhesion and, among
them Turkey (and Georgia?) why certainly has a great culture but not belonging to the European one. At the same time, the programme is not open to
Norway, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, which certainly belong to European
Here, the idea of a common European culture was a defining ingredient in
the assessment of projects in archaeology and heritage. In connection to this,
Christianity, Indo-European languages and Greek and Roman influences
were brought up as a basis for Europeanness. Two other experts argued that,
especially when it came to projects in history and cultural heritage, the ‘cultural terms’ were most important, and that preferably projects should maintain a European perspective when looking to the past.110 These responses are
not without nuance but they clearly put forth cultural heritage as something
to be evaluated in terms of cultural/symbolic properties, relating to pre-set
ideas of Europeaness. Even if I had invited such reflection by offering the
above stated keywords in regards to how EAV could be interpreted, their
answers surprised me. Especially as no religious or symbolic aspects were
mentioned in the guidelines.
At the other end of the spectrum, where the geographic/technical interpretations prevailed, there was a negative reaction to some of the characteristics
I had suggested. One person said that geographic spread, economic and cultural considerations play into EAV for heritage but that she did not think a
‘European culture’ existed.111 On the same note, another expert stated:
For me this is not about looking upon it as strengthening some European identity or that kind of bullshit … the very questioning of such identities could add
European value, and that would more likely catch my eye. 112
34 EX–08 2013.
25 EX–03 2012. Parenthèses in original (email interview).
110 One expert stated that ‘for an historical project such as medieval castles it is a combination
of geographical and cultural terms … both the European perspective in the past and the present’ (33 EX–07 2013). Another said he would define cultural heritage projects ‘in cultural
terms, with a strong link to their history’ (34 EX–08 2013).
111 35 EX–09 2013.
112 29 EX–04 2013.
This knee-jerk reaction again points toward the difference between the two
directions, where persons in the latter not only questioned but also undercut
the assumptions made by the former. As most experts were very well aware
of the integrational goals behind the programme, this could almost be seen as
a subversive stance. The vagueness of the criterion clearly leaves enough
room for both sides. Some stressed the need for clarity, but many thought the
vagueness offered freedom: ‘you can take it to mean what you want … that
is good if more radical and rethinking experts come in … but there are conservative powers working in the other direction as well.’113
Within this space of ambivalence, experts can be seen as forging associations to advance certain interests,114 both as a group and individually, each
one taking criteria to mean something slightly different. We can assume that
those experts taking the symbolic and sometimes essentialist views of Europe and European culture into account, will argue differently and promote
projects correlating to those characteristics, and vice versa. During my work
at the Agency I read evaluation texts written by experts, stating that projects
were ‘European in themselves’ since they involved particular prehistoric
periods or traditions. Thus, even if the consensus meeting had a neutralising
function and the common uses of phrases streamlined the texts, the various
understandings discussed here had bearing on the outcome of selections.
On Eurospeak
Despite some experts considering the notion of European culture or identity
pointless, many applicants used these phrases. Earlier in the chapter I asked:
to what extent do the frames of the programme matter and what is this language of the jury? Previously, I touched upon the mixed languages that result from the unique work environment of the EU institutions. In negative
terms, this is also called ‘Europeak,’115 an overly bureaucratic and ambiguous
semantic with unwarranted use of complicated words. Just like any other
language, it creates and transports meaning. Learning it is described as a
skill, something hard for both experts and applicants to master. Policy texts
speaking of ‘heritage of European significance’ and ‘unity in diversity’ are
written within this discourse, and award criteria like EAV can be seen as
expressions of will formulated in the same context.
We have already discussed how the experts translate these expressions,
but what is their take on the way the applicants do so? When it comes to the
29 EX–04 2013. Translation mine (SE).
Latour 1998: 48, 1986.
115 The term, also called eurojargon was coined by English native speakers to express their
dislike of EU intervention. An EU homepage says the following about the topic: ‘People in
the EU institutions … are in the bad habit of using words and expressions that they alone
understand. We call these words and expressions “eurojargon”’ (URL: http://collection. [accessed
3.1.2014]. Translation mine (SE).
extent to which proposers adapt their goals to the EU goals, the programme
aims and the award criteria, experts were in full agreement that this was
done to a large degree. This was partly because this is just the ‘way of the
world,’ that it is about competition, and partly because the goals in themselves were sensible. The real question is, as a handful of experts commented, whether this adaptation resulted in balanced and consistent project proposals. In relation to this, one problem expressed was that some project consortiums were ‘trimmed to be EU projects.’ By this it was meant that the
participating institutions had individual plans that they fitted into an EU cast,
but only in the sense that they were ‘designing an umbrella’ to make it look
like an EU project.116 It was estimated by two experts that up to half of the
projects were created in this way, just to fit the call for applications. If true,
why did so many projects use this language? Going back to the vagueness
and ambiguity concerning EU goals, one expert stated:
What has not been good is how the criteria direct the content and formation of
the projects, making them sometimes arbitrary (…) it is apparent that they
need to follow the goals and the criteria very closely in order to secure funding … I would like to see e.g. one really brilliant proposal ignoring or omitting the other criteria, but currently a really good proposal in a single area
would not be selected since it is not relevant to the WHOLE programme. 117
This also points to a more general consequence of funding programmes directly connected to political policies. It is not exactly ‘applied science,’ but
the criteria are strict enough that you have to adapt to them while being
vague enough to demand active interpretation. During longer interviews
carried out in person, I asked more explicitly about the use of a specific language in relation to these adaptations, and whether they thought applicants
really meant what they said when using buzzwords such as ‘common heritage’ and ‘European identity.’ Providing some examples of this from my own
experience, I received both laughter and explanations of tactics used during
assessment. ‘Sometimes it is just nonsense, but they think that it would give
them more points,’ one stated.118 ‘I don’t even think they themselves believe
what they are writing,’ said another.119
I mean the applicants, the more clever of them … they know exactly the
phrases that we look at and they write a text fitting to these questions that we
have to the project. But in the majority of cases I just saw that these are individual local projects that get the spin by clever agencies … a textual spin so
that it could be accepted as a European project.120
30 EX–05 2013.
35 EX–09 2013. Emphasis original.
118 01 EX–01 2011.
119 29 EX–04 2013. Translation mine (SE).
120 30 EX–05 2013.
Interestingly, as I will discuss later on, this ‘textual spin’ was central to applicants, and both sides can be said to have made accurate observations.
There was a way of approaching the evaluation, which entailed experts with
various qualifications – under serious time pressure – looking for the ‘right’
information based on the criteria. These were held to be problematic by
some experts and quite well functioning by others. Naturally, they had to
make sure the application corresponded to the programme, and perhaps some
potent phrases were added for good measure. Then, in turn, experts developed strategies to see through these phrases – described to me as ‘detective
work’ – searching for weak aspects. Thus, if projects were rejected based on
using fabricated umbrellas to make up for an unbalanced cooperation, this
means they would probably never find out that this was the issue. Instead
they might think they need to get better learn the ‘language of the jury.’ Not
all experts found these notions awkward. Some frequently used terms like
European identity themselves when discussing the benefits of the programme and EAV.
Overall, it is clear that processes of socialisation and configurations of
norms took place inside the panels, while leaving room for personal agency.
The assessment of cultural heritage projects had to do with a lot more than
the actual features and articulations of the applications, or the EU goals on
integration for that matter. Variables such as time pressure and uneven distribution of applications added a dimension to an overall impression of organised chaos. When it comes to EAV, it seems that all experts knew more
or less how it should be translated in relation to cultural heritage, yet, due to
the vagueness of criteria, interpretations differed and a tension was found
between symbolic and more technical understandings. Still, these tensions
never disturbed the functioning of the black box. Due to neutralisation processes, cultural heritage became one out of several topics in a mesh of European culture, enveloped in a certain language and assessed by experts with a
‘cultural understanding.’ Combined with the vagueness of criteria, this node
functioned similarly to the way the Agency did, in a depoliticising manner.
The go-betweens: Cultural Contact Points and consultants
If applying for EU funding is ‘like playing cricket,’ then you need someone
who knows how to play the game. This section explores two types of actors
which are more acquainted with the Culture programmes than most, as they
work on a daily basis with aspiring applicants. One is unauthorised in the
eyes of the Commission, while the other is recruited and sanctioned by the
same. They both operate outside or at the margins of the box, depending
upon it in different ways. By helping to create successful project proposals
they assist in the translation of the wills of the EU (figure 17). Connecting to
the previous texts dealing with the Agency and the experts, this section will
examine the black box and the interpretation of EAV from this middle space.
The first type of actor is the Cultural Contact Point (CCP). They function
as national information points for the programme, responsible for promotional activities, facilitating participation, exchanging information with national cultural institutions, and act as links between different EU programmes.121 These positions, of acting as ‘gateways to the Culture programme,’122 are held by civil servants working for national ministries or by
private legal bodies assigned by national governments. It is paid for in part
by the Commission.123 CCPs keep in contact with the Agency culture unit on
a regular basis, and attend information days or training events in Brussels.
The second type of actor is the independent consultant. They are hired by
applicants in order to construct a successful project. While the use of consultants is common, the Culture 2007–2013, being quite small compared to
other EU funding programmes, only has a limited number of consultancies
working explicitly toward its applicants. Out of these I have, in the course of
my fieldwork, singled out one especially interesting actor. The name of this
firm came up in many contexts during my months at the Agency culture unit
and they have been used extensively by archaeologists applying to the programme. Few people not paid by the Commission have such a long experience in both the administrative and policy-related aspects, while at the same
time participating in multiple projects.
Figure 17. EU superman. Cover illustration by Anna Wiedner
in Swedish handbook for EU coordinators. In: Bäckman 1999.
Decision establishing Culture 2007–2013 (2006).
On the Commission website it is stated that the CCPs are established in 36 countries,
acting as gateways to the EU Culture Programme. They ‘can help you develop your project,
prepare your funding application and build international partnerships,’ by providing information and guidance, networking support, info days, workshops, and seminars. Cultural Contact Points, URL: (accessed 9.3.14).
123 According to the external evaluation of CCPs (Culture 2000), it was stated that ‘the overall
financial sizes of CCPs range between more than €300.000 in the case of largest CCPs to less
than €30,000 in the case of the smallest CCPs’ (ECOTEC 2008a: 4). CCPs receive a global
support of approximately 1.600.000 EUR per year (ECORYS 2010).
Points of (dis)connection at the edge of the black box
In an external evaluation of the CCPs published in 2008, it is stated that the
tasks given to them were far too broad and not clearly explained by the
Commission. According to the report, the performance and effort put into the
task of acting CCP varied a lot between offices. For the most part, their work
had resulted in pure promotional campaigns. It was also noted that the CCPs’
‘contractual obligations limit their role to assisting potential Culture project
applicants during application times and they lack sufficient and timely information from the Commission and the EACEA on key issues related to the
exploitation of projects’ results.’124 Therefore, the report stressed diplomatically, there was room for improvement when it came to the communication
between the Agency and DG EAC.125 To nuance this rather dry information I
will now involve the voices of the two CCPs that I contacted during my
fieldwork, attempting to see what the view of the box is like from the ‘gateway’ of the Culture programme.
The first point of interest for me was the communication with the Agency
culture unit. Based on our conversations it became clear that the Agency was
well regarded by the CCPs, but that the actual information sent to them was
not considered sufficient. This issue of lacking insight resurfaced in relation
to other topics as well. Upon asking about the status of cultural heritage in
the programme, I got the answer that such things are hard to see from their
point of view, since the more intricate workings of the evaluation process
remain hidden to them. There is no openness within the EU system whatsoever, one CCP added. A specific point raised by both CCPs was that they
never got to see any of the negative results. Without information about the
failed applications, how were they to know about any potential priorities
made? If they got the same information that was available to the public, how
could they offer specialised advice? While blame was not directed towards
the Culture programme management per se, experienced differences in management philosophies made their work more complicated as they could not
access neither applications nor ‘evaluation summary reports.’ The detailed
functioning of, and discourses developed within the box remained as hidden
to them as to anyone else.
Turning to the relationship between CCPs and applicants, some general
concerns were noted. One of the CCP Offices I came in contact with stated
that they normally offer two meetings with each project that contacts them,
one about the programme goals seen in relation to their ideas, and one concerning the application text. Here it was pointed out that they could absolutely not do the job for the applicants. While there were a few projects which
kept in contact after a successful application, their work was focussed on the
ECOTEC 2008a: 8.
In the interim evaluation of Culture 2007–2013 it was noted that, although not perfect,
communication had improved under the programme (ECORYS 2010: 44).
initial stages. The economic framework was said to be the most complicated
aspect of the application, and when it came to issues like hiring external
firms to do some of the tasks, it was unclear from the Commission side what
actually applied. I was told that there was a deep mental image among applicants of complicated EU administrative procedures. It was suggested that, in
part, this image depended on personal sentiments toward the EU in general.
As a result, the job sometimes involved explaining that it was not their elected government representatives that decided to fund the Culture 2007–2013
in the first place. This is interesting as it means that CCPs, aside from being
sources of information, were pushed into the role of representing or defending the EU.
Since the CCPs were recruited to convey or translate the wills of the programme in the context of the member states in order to attract and help applicants, it was important for me to understand their preferred translation of
criteria like EAV. When asked about it, one CCP stated that the criteria were
explained in the guidelines, although: ‘I usually say… it is just about asking
oneself the question: Why are we doing this at a European level?’ EAV was
about the benefits that could be gained from looking at things from a lager
perspective. Another CCP bypassed the question by referring to the expertreviewers, frustrated that their practices and backgrounds remained hidden.
When it comes to the applicants adapting the language to fit the application, one CCP answered that there are always certain favourable ways to
express one’s ideas in applications, but that in the case of the Culture programme the preferences of the experts remained unknown. The use of jargon
was not considered a positive thing in itself, but one CCP expressed curiosity
in regards to how experts from different cultures might read texts differently.
In regards to buzzwords like European identity, it was stated that:
It depends on what you mean by all of that. I mean, European identity, maybe
we create that by meeting each other to discuss, forming some kind of European room, or mental room, which could be a part of identity. I mean, these
are really hard questions … but the programme supports the common heritage
as well as diversity, it is this duality that always remain. 126
The interpretation echo that of a CCP quoted by Monica Sassatelli. In an
article on EU cultural policy she recounts the views of a national contact
point for Culture 2000 in Italy. The person stated that EAV was about the
level of cooperation and that European identity should be seen as an inclusive mental construct.127 Despite having their own understanding of the concepts discussed, the CCPs I met with did not consider themselves as having a
Since this section only includes three informants, they will not be individually referenced
in the text. The codes are 24 OT–05 2012 and 37 OT–06 2013 for the CCPs and 12 OT–02
2012 for the consultant.
127 Sassatelli 2007: 34–35; see also Chalcraft and Sassatelli 2004.
great influence on the applicants’ translations. This does not mean that their
advice had no effect, nor that all CCPs were of the same mind, but their reasoning corresponded with the ‘non-political’ stance taken by the Agency,
where the vagueness of EU policy goals led to a broad but practical translation. Europe became a vessel that could be filled with a variety of things.
As it turns out, ‘gateways’ was a rather suitable term to describe the role
of the CCPs. They hold a middle position, not being fully inside nor entirely
outside of the box, able to look both directly at the applicants and the Commission. This made for a difficult position since the view towards the Commission was hazy. They did not always feel that they had the adequate information or appropriate insight into some aspects of the programme, limited
in their communication with applicants and in reporting the success of the
programme nationally. Thus, certain angles of the box were opaque even to
those paid by the Commission to promote it. The whole thing becomes a bit
paradoxical considering that one of the reasons for the Commissions dislike
of private consultants was that there already were CCPs active in each participating member state. Seeing as the CCPs recognised applicants’ need of
further assistance and the high administrative demands of the programme,
they did not themselves see the consultants as a problem, other than in the
sense that few can actually to afford to hire them.
Unauthorised assistance: the consultants
‘Why are you talking to them?’ a Commission official asked in a reproachful
tone after I had just told him that I would interview the owner of a specific
consultancy. I explained hurriedly that I just wanted to get the other side of
the story. He frowned and said that he did not understand why, that they had
nothing to do with the programme and were not interesting. I left with a feeling of having disappointed and upset my informant.128
In the fieldnotes taken during my time at the Agency culture unit I had jotted
down several times that consultancies did not seem to be very appreciated by
the culture unit staff and that they did not like to see them in the applications, but that they could not really forbid it. The reasons why were manifold, but overall the staff thought that some consultancies were too controlling, that they took financial advantage of the projects and did not do a good
enough job in the process. According to two of the project participants I
have talked to, the Agency culture unit staff delivered ‘friendly warnings’
about this in personal meetings after the project was accepted. To remedy the
situation the rules for subcontracting were changed for all applicants, something the Agency staff felt was necessary although they did not like the idea
of ‘punishing’ everyone for the sake of a few projects. Later on, a former
culture unit employee conveyed to me that the main problem with involving
Fieldnotes, November 19, 2012.
consultants was that some of them were not transparent enough. Although, it
was added that the Commission had ‘never liked them anyways.’129 Leaving
the Agency with a negative impression of the consultancy, I wanted to find
out why people employed them, and how come they were able to partake in
so many projects when the civil servants clearly found them objectionable.
I am conducting an interview with a consultant when a colleague walks into
the room. My informant says: ‘so we were talking about how ‘Culture’ is
working, and Elisabeth has been working at the Agency so she knows us
*laughter*.’ The colleague makes a funny grimace of being terrified and
goes: ‘So she is the enemy! *laughter*.’ My informant, catching on, says: ‘Or
a spy! Maybe a spy! *laughter*.’130
From the point of view of the consultant, the schism with the Agency was
seen as the result of miscommunication or misunderstandings:
As you know they have been changing the rules … developing a very, I would
say exclusive position towards consultants and external experts, because they
pretend that the culture institutions have to deal with these projects alone with
their own expertise, that they should have the capacity to do that.
He added that he was aware that the Agency staff thought of consultants as
too controlling, but that this was not true. Instead, he argued, they actually
helped meet the programme goals by making sure the project promoted the
visibility of the EU as funding source. The image of the Commission as having an unachievable ideal of self-sufficient projects, in terms of both administration and content development, resonates with my own impressions.
However, in this case it was also part of the consultant’s justification for his
whole line of work. As supported by the accounts of the CCPs and project
leaders, to create and implement these projects required staff dedicated to its
administration. Consultants would offer to take care of this “boring stuff:”
You deal with the project, the content, with the management … We help you
with all the practical, financial, technical issues that take a lot of time and that
prevents you also from concentrating on what is the real topic of the project,
developing cultural contents and enhancing European cultural cooperation.
Keeping in mind the widespread mental image of heavy bureaucracy, it is
easy to understand why this deal sounds appealing to applicants. Additionally, the consultancy I talked to sometimes did not ask for money upfront.
Only that they, though continued collaboration, got a percentage of the funds
once the project went through. By way of these strategies they became part
18 EU–07 2012. Personally however, he did not mind them as long as they secured quality.
Fieldnotes, June 25, 2012.
of many projects, and as long as the black box sustained its image, that of an
opaque machinery with complex rules, their business did well.
That the bureaucracy and the demands did not match with the realities of
the fields they are supporting was also recognised by a number of experts
and was something I discussed with colleagues at the Agency. It is a lot of
public money after all, one colleague protested when discussing the applicants’ complaints about budget rules, so it should take some effort to get it.
They were aware that this made it difficult for smaller organisations to apply. Ironically, the Commission could not make adjustments to allow for
such organisations (issuing smaller grants for short term projects), since the
administration would then cost the Commission more than the actual grant.
The system would trip over its own feet.
According to the consultant, it was not just smaller operators that had
trouble. Most of their clients were larger institutions connected to universities or museums. As knowledgeable as a professors may be, they still might
not know how to draw up a detailed budget for a three year project. Consequently, if they can afford it, applicants often turn to consultancies. Ultimately, the Commission feeds this market. As one Commission official told
me: facilitating these consultancies was an unforeseen by-product.
Yet, this is not only about bureaucracy. As discussed above, the CCPs and
the Agency culture unit staff did offer a lot of guidance. There existed multiple documents, tutorials and workshops to assist applicants. What consultancies could do to a much greater extent however, was precisely what the
CCPs could not: to do part of the job for them. Of course, the consultants
would not independently set up a whole proposal for their clients, but they
could get more involved in the writing process and even headhunt for possible partners:
So we are not just doing excel sheets or things like that, we are really into the
project and we try to discuss with the people if the project they would like to
develop really corresponds to the criteria of the EC.
For them, unlike the help tied to the Commission, this is about applying their
expertise in a direct way and with regard to a personal investment. In fact,
because of this investment they allegedly said no to some proposers, deciding to only work with potentially successful candidates.
So, what does someone with a background in heritage, who previously
worked for the Commission in different capacities, and who has assisted
more than 30 projects with cultural heritage partners co-funded by the Culture programmes, have to say about the ‘language of the juries’ and the notion of EAV? The applicants get a ‘textual spin’ by using ‘clever agencies’
said one of the experts quoted in the previous sub-chapter.131 Upon asking
30 EX–05 2013.
the consultant whether they apply a certain kind of language when they write
EU applications and reports, and if there is a discrepancy between these texts
and how the projects work in real life, he expressed himself in very diplomatic terms. ‘You have to be political a little bit,’ he argued. Since projects
go through a lot of organic modifications, the final report has to be written in
‘a practical way;’ not lying, but not saying it has been a catastrophe either.
The writing used in the application was said to be more ‘prospective,’ full of
promises in order to ‘sell your project to the Commission.’ On the more
leading question of the importance of ‘buzzwords’ he answered that:
You have to be precise and at the same time you have to strike the attention of
the assessors, using some specific words and putting the right words in the
right place.
Two examples were given of projects that had failed the first time around,
but subsequently succeeded after the consultants had redrafted their projects
according to clear-cut structure, demonstrating how objectives, activities and
expected results answer to each other and to the situated logics of the programme. One reason for this need to pin down the right words and set up a
rigid structure was that, as the consultant was aware, the assessment procedures tended to change and new trends appeared (such as public outreach,
communication and cultural marketing). Another reason was the unpredictability of the outcome. At times a very technical project would pass without
problems while a project focused on ‘European heritage’ would not, and vice
versa. By this he meant that there are certain patterns to the funding cycles.
A strong suspicion they had been harbouring at his firm was that reviewers
did not always have knowledge about the topic or field of the project. He
also knew about the time pressure of the panels. Thus, while many experts
are very much aware of the cleverness of consultants in terms of wording,
the consultant also knew some of the dynamics of the panels and approached
the task of application writing accordingly.
What we can draw from this is that there is a certain logic of application
writing that this consultancy has developed based on their knowledge of the
black box, and that this knowledge was converted into a rather successful
product. In one sense, it is the same logic that the experts are trying to see
through in the evaluation: Are the applicants ‘telling you stories’ or creating
an umbrella to try to ‘sell you something as a European project?’132
So far, nothing has been said about the criteria. As with the experts, the
criterion intercultural dialogue was put forth as the most difficult one to address. Along with the other objectives of the programme was described as
‘absolutely not operational.’ EAV was identified as something quite complicated and ‘experimental,’ being about the unique dimension brought about
30 EX–05 2013.
by the cooperation. However, it was added that that this was a very important dimension, because it draws the line for what should be supported by
the Commission. The interpretation echoes the texts in the guidelines and the
answers of the Commission officials, although both geographical participation and the chosen topic was considered important for EAV.
The applications I have studied in which consultants have been included
as partners, have dealt with everything from tracing the idea of a European
identity back in time to building networks and sharing data. Asking the about
the relevance of notions such as European identity, I got the answer:
What brings together all these institutions is the opportunity to work together,
not the European idea, this is very seldom brought into the project – just for
communication purposes.
The indication that the ‘European idea’ was more used for communication
purposes is interesting and something to keep in mind as we move to chapter
five, which deals with the project narratives and their different audiences. As
far as EAV is concerned however, it appears to have been viewed quite
pragmatically, in terms of cooperation. In relation to this, the European
frame was recognised as a limiting factor, but not as a problem. The context
is of course ‘politically very precise’ I was told, it is a ‘European programme
supporting European cooperation.’
The frustrations of translations
The CCPs recruited by the Commission displayed frustration over having a
limited view of the black box. They were both supported and limited by their
enabler, happy to help applicants and promote the programme but unable to
provide any ‘inside’ information. What caused this situation was, according
to one CCP, the taciturn bureaucratic culture of the Commission. The consultant on the other hand, the Commissions’ unwanted child, was sustained
by this bureaucracy and by the opportunities the programmes presented. He
also experienced the programme as a black box from certain angles, such as
the expert panels, although for them it was advantageous that not everyone
could easily understand the process. Operating on the edge of the box, the
consultancy had spent years working with its output, interacting with its
different nodes and networking with their customer base of professionals in
cultural heritage. They had figured out the system and the ‘logic’ of application writing. Although discredited and disliked by the Commission (whether
due to the quality of their work or that they wielded too much power), consultants became privileged actors in this network, while the CCPs were disadvantaged due to regulations. Ultimately, whether these actors performed
their tasks well or not, they both aided cultural heritage professionals in in
the application process, thereby feeding the box with tailor made input. As
such, they are important circuits in the machine.
This brings us to the last point, of the role of the CCPs and the consultants
in the translations of EU wills, especially EAV. If they are selling the project
to the Commission, what are they actually selling? As it turns out, both actors were very open in their interpretations of the award criteria. The main
difference was that the CCPs could only provide hints and more general
advice while the consultants actually co-wrote the applications. They used a
customised logic of writing, adapted to what they knew (or guessed), about
the dynamics of the expert panels. The consultants’ effect as translators were
therefore stronger than the CCPs. They co-created the projects with the applicants and in so doing they helped to construct the meaning of EAV.
Consultants also had the most to gain from the success of the project, and
they were therefore more likely to fundamentally adapt the applications according to the programme and to insert, as stated earlier, the right words in
the right place. At that point the pressure lies in the precision of the task, of
getting an application through rather than building allegiances and stable
content. Having employed or partnered up with someone who is an expert on
rules and format, a layer is added between the applicant and the EU, obscuring the political nature of the programme. Even if academics and cultural
heritage operators are well aware of the political nature of certain institutions, employing middle hands may still work to depoliticise the funding
context, making recruits unable or unwilling to see the forest for all the trees.
From application to implementation: the projects
In the sequence of translations covered in this chapter we have now reached
the role of applicants and their proposals. In the network which comprises
the black box of the Culture programme they represent both the first and the
last cogwheel in the machinery. Without applicants there can be no programme, and without their projects there is nothing to show for when it
comes to building new programmes. As remarked upon by experts and observed during fieldwork, because of this system the Commission sometimes
pushed through projects with a low score in order to spend all the available
funds. Otherwise they could not get the same amount or more in the next
budget. In this sense, just as with most political funding tools, applicants are
desperately needed not only to ensure a good outcome and influence on the
fields it support, but also to legitimise involvement in the sphere and uphold
the positions and interests of the persons in charge. As stated by Gerald Britain, in the end ‘the most basic goal of any bureaucrat or bureaucracy is not
rational efficiency, but individual and organizational survival.’133 The input
of archaeologists and heritage professionals was vital, and even if they decided their own topics and activities, they became part of the political econ-
Britain 1981: 11. Also in Herzfeld 1992: 5.
omy of culture in the EU through their participation. So how did project
leaders and participants look at the ‘strings attached’ and criteria like EAV?
The black box: situated perspectives
While I did not ask any direct questions about the functioning of the programme itself (as a black box or otherwise), the manner in which project
participants described their own experiences, the process of applying and
their views on other EU projects who achieved funding, was revealing. Two
connected things stood out as particularly important.
Firstly, supported by the accounts of CCPs and consultants, it was clear
that creating a project and applying for EU co-funding took a great deal of
time and effort. EU funding programmes are too much work for too little
outcome, one person explained. Bureaucracy was stated as one reason for
this, some saying that the application process and running of a Culture programme project had become more complicated over time, more fixed on
ticking boxes and estimating numbers.134 A person whose project had applied
twice and received funding the second time assigned the role of policing to
the experts, saying that they had liked the content in the first one but that
they needed more ‘sustainability,’ leading them to ‘really follow the rules’
the second time around.135 Uneasiness about the composition and reliability
of the expert panels and their judgements, was also visible among successful
project participants. After having been to Brussels and meeting with other
project leaders, when learning of the variety of different topics, one project
leader reflected:
I am pretty sure that they don’t have a reviewing board which is specialised
for every one of these topics so I guess the same reviewer has to review an archaeological project and a theatre project and that makes it … kind of wobbly
in a way.136
This insecurity leads us to the second issue that came up in interviews; a fair
deal of critique was directed towards other projects that had achieved funding from successful and unsuccessful applicants alike. Interestingly, the critique echoed the concern expressed by some of the experts about the European umbrella created by proposers who, in reality, were just a bunch of big
institutions joining up under a common flag to do their own things. Former
applicants talked about how new projects were not “European enough” in
their outlook, how they were not actually cooperating the way the programme meant them to. Although the promotion of one’s own project is
Åse Gornitzka and Julia Metz, who has studied the administration of the ERC grants,
similarly describe a clash between the expectations of scientists and the heavy administrative
culture of the Commission (2013: 12).
135 05 PJ–03 2011.
136 08 PJ–04 2011.
inevitable when discussing it with a person doing research on EU funded
projects, there were stories offered that seemed to confirm this view, like in
this description of how one archaeological project came together:
He called some of his buddies … and we got together and off it went. We put
together a good application but it was a very mixed bag, it was everybody’s
hobbies and then sort of mixed and distilled a little bit and there … So we
could do more or less what we wanted to do and it has worked out very well, a
lot of publications and research has been done that is useful but I couldn’t believe that it got funded so easily!137
In relation to such practices, another project leader argued that for some
projects, ‘if you really looked at the content then you would see that this is
not really a European project, this is just a one-university project with some
added satellites to give you the credibility for a EU proposal … really it is
just triggering a new industry of faking sides.’138 The projects produced by
this system were accused of copy-pasting their initial objectives into the final
report, smoothing over any inconsistencies. The tendency of EU funding
programmes to privilege larger institutions – through maintaining complicated rules and bureaucratic procedures – played into this critique. An unsuccessful applicant stated that this was what made programmes like Culture
2007–2013 ‘too political,’ that they mostly supported projects built on large
and influential institutions. Although these topics of conversation were
tinged with some bitterness, when it came down to who was to blame for the
sometimes unfair process or haphazard output of the box, criticism was
mainly directed towards the box itself, not fellow applicants:
It is points! Points you get through indexes and it is all extremely formal it is
not really about content, it is about following rules … [the] rational for that is
fighting corruption … [but] Increasing bureaucracy does not fight corruption
it just excludes those who are not good at being corrupt.139
Upon asking who might be good at being corrupt he answered that, rather
than worrying about the use of consultants, it is organisations which can
afford their own EU experts or know the system that really ‘can rip off the
EU.’ In fact, among the project leaders and participants I have been in contact with, over half used some type of consultancy when creating their proposals or included them as partners in their projects. Even project leaders
who had not done so in previous projects, claimed that nowadays you had to
because of the complicated bureaucracy. In a project where a consultancy
firm was a partner, a participant said that compared to applying for ERC
funding, the Culture programme was not so hard, especially ‘if you make
28 PJ–09 2013.
03 PJ–01 2011.
139 03 PJ–01 2011.
sure you have a slick character like [a consultant] around.’140 Others stated
that without consultants they would be lost. Someone involved had to know
‘the pitfalls of European regulations,’ even if they were aware that ‘the EU
Agency is not very happy with these companies.’141
The project leaders’ awareness is interesting in light of the schism
mapped out in the previous section between consultants and the Agency
culture unit. Apparently, in two of the projects I contacted, the persons in
charge had been warned about using consultancies and efforts had been
made during visits from the Culture unit staff to try and dissuade them from
doing so. Ironically, one of the reasons why the consultants were considered
so valuable to have around – aside from navigating the heavy bureaucracy –
was because they were better at answering questions and solving problems
than the assigned officer at the Agency culture unit.142 The rotation of personnel at the Agency fuelled this complaint, as three of the project leaders I
talked to described how their contact persons as the Agency had changed
twice or more during their implementation period.
Taken together, the attitudes and experiences connected to EU funding in
general and the Culture programmes in particular reveal a sense of frustration with EU bureaucracy and a mistrust towards the projects generated by it,
rather than a denouncement of other applicants. As the source of the problem
is triangulated back to the Commission, the circle is closed. The alliances
formed to resist controversies – like stricter budget rules and heavily standardised application procedures – worked in the opposite way, creating a need
for specialised support or to encourage sophisticated pretenders. The Commission shot itself in the foot, working against rather than toward the goal of
supporting self-sufficient projects with a “true” European outlook.
Then again, in a larger perspective, this too works in the Commission’s
favour. The applicants’ stereotypical critique of the EU as an ‘evil bureaucracy’ works to sustain the black box. As argued by Herzfeld, the ‘symbolic
roots of Western bureaucracy are not to be sought, in the first instance, in the
official forms of bureaucracy itself … they subsist above all in popular reactions to bureaucracy.’143 The ability to draw on a ‘predictable image of malfunction’144 or impenetrability is key to institutions like the EU and applicants alike. Comic dread is expected when speaking of bureaucracy and they
provide people with a means of coping with disappointment, a socially acceptable way of explaining failure. As a result, the culture of complaining
about bureaucracy actually removes such systems from real critical inspec140
28 PJ–09 2013.
08 PJ–04 2011.
142 As one project leader said about the Agency: ‘I am a bit disappointed of their reactions
when I send some questions … it is really terrible, four months I don’t get an answer’ (26 PJ–
07 2013).
143 Herzfeld 1992: 7.
144 Herzfeld 1992: 3.
tion; in other words, ‘I surrender to bureaucracy, who knows why the proposal failed.’
Translating European added value: application poetry
When it comes to content, some project leaders expressed disappointedly
that the Commission did not care about the content of the projects. This presents an interesting paradox when examining the application texts. While
some project leaders (putting their own projects in front of more “flawed”
ones) presented themselves as stewards and promoters of “real” European
cooperation, the rules of the Commission was said to not always favour such
projects. Although they were recruited of their own accord to translate the
wills of the Commission, some found that what the Commission wanted in
terms of content and what they actually assessed and promoted were different things. At the same time, everyone agreed that content, as far as the
words and formulations used in the application goes, was paramount. What
you write and how you write it was important, but it did not necessarily need
to have anything to do with reality. While this latter claim will be questioned
in chapter five, it is worth taking a closer look at what applicants had to say
about the art of application writing and the meaning of criteria like EAV.
Today I had my first interview with a project leader. I was unsure about how
my research topic and questions would be received. After all my topic has already raised some eyebrows among my colleagues at home. But I had nothing
to worry about. He was really forthcoming and the most interesting thing was
a concept he used. When I asked if there is a certain language you have to use
for EU applications, he answered with a conspiratorial smirk that ‘Yes, ‘application poetry’ we call it.’145
Poetry, Eurospeak, buzzwords: during my interviews many phrases were
used to describe the tactics involved in EU application writing. Out of all of
them, the phrase suggested by the project leader above, application poetry,
stuck with me. After posing the same or similar questions to other interviewees I realised that the topic resonated instantly among people working with
EU support, as well as with experts and civil servants. It triggered tales of
frustration and cunning, of failure and victory. One project leader stated:
Yes! *laughter* It is an art … one of the main things you have to know is how
to spread the right buzzwords in your application … which is hip and not. 146
It was stated that a degree of adaptation was always necessary with the EU,
that ‘of course the content has to be tempered …to make sure that your application fits well into the main strategies and targets … you just give it dif-
Fieldnotes, November 16, 2011.
08 PJ–04 2011.
ferent labels so that the labels fit.’147 This knowledge of how to write an application, especially in the context of the Culture programme, was considered as a type of skill that you have to acquire. If you do not have the skill
you have to include someone who does, such as a consultant or someone
who ‘knows their way around Brussels.’148 A project leader who had not
been in charge of writing the application text agreed that there was indeed a
certain language, but that:
I don’t know it *laughter*… But he [the person in charge of the text], knows
how to put words so that they fit the idea of the European Commission, what
they actually expect … I am too straight forward. 149
Although buzzwords change over time (‘sustainability’ and ‘creative industries’ have been popular lately), the criteria of the programme have remained
more or less the same. When I pointed out this longevity of EAV in a conversation with a former project leader, he objected:
Yes but then you get five lines in the application form where you explain what
the added value is for Europe and what is the European content of it … it is
more or less camouflage
… don’t do anything inventive because then we have to think about it, just
tick the box *laughter*.150
He connected EAV to a European content, but also recognised that the criterion was there due to the lack of a solid policy framework for EU cultural
actions, only being able to deal with culture in a way so as to not interfere
with the policies of national governments (subsidiarity). In other words, the
EAV has to be there and it is of great importance, but it is mostly for show
as far as the application goes. Some project leaders offered less cynical reflections:
That is one of the things, how do you define EAV? … I can see that they are
very keen on the outreach of those projects which I really feel is important, I
mean we are getting taxpayers’ money and I feel that we need to give the taxpayers something back for their money. So it shouldn’t be something that we
are doing in our ivory tower of archaeology but it should be of interest for the
general public as well.151
While the first person considered the EAV to be connected to the European
content and to the Commission rules, claiming at the same time that this
content was uninteresting to the Commission, the second connected it to
03 PJ–01 2011.
31 PJ–10 2013.
149 26 PJ–07 2013.
150 03 PJ–01 2011.
151 08 PJ–04 2011.
outreach and a type of tax-return. Overall it can be said that the interview
material reflects the ambiguity and variety of the experts’ responses and
those of Commission employees. Taken together with the phrases rehearsed
in the application texts, one might ask; what then did the project leaders consider to be European about their projects? Was the political frame or the idea
of Europe discussed?
The idea of Europe
Contained within the ‘European’ part of EAV, a similar tension to that discussed in the section about experts emerged, the tension between symbolic
ideas of Europe and more technical understandings. According to one project
leader, the meaning of Europe in this context depended on which way you
looked at it. When it came to the administrative or financial aspects, it was
the political borders of the EU that were in focus, but when it came to the
project content he stated: ‘…it is more the European idea that I have in mind,
the idea of a Europe without borders but still having its own local or regional
cultural diversities.’152 As archaeologists, he continued, ‘we of course know
that there were no borders until well, historical times,’ although he reasoned
that it was precisely because of this lack of modern borders that it could be
connected to the European idea in the present. There are differences in language and traditions, he added, but ‘we still are all Europeans.’153 However,
he was not positive toward the idea of ‘Fortress Europe’ and pointed out that
we need to stay connected to the rest of the world, that the Europeanness of
the project was also based on ‘exchange of ideas, knowledge, expertise, and
contacts.’ The project – which focused to a great extent on methodological
development – looked to the future and had a pragmatic stance on Europeanness, but the EU premise of ‘unity in diversity’ played a key part.
During some of the interviews I was able to draw on texts that the projects had themselves produced. In two cases, the topic of Europe was approached by asking what they meant by specific phrases they had written,
such as: ‘telling the European story.’ In this context it was explained that
people on the local level are generally not interested in the regional or European level, but that this can change if they see that European money is invested in their region, if Europe is made part of their surroundings:
How we related to people in all these different European countries and different European regions was actually through story-telling
… they do not have an abstract view of Europe, but if you can draw them into
the stories … then they understand very easily that it all relates.154
08 PJ–04 2011.
This can be compared to the reply Sassatelli recieved in an interview with an archaeologist
concerning the use of concepts like European identity: ’we all feel European, also because we
deal with a period in which Europe was really united [the Celtic and Roman era]’ (2007: 35).
154 03 PJ–01 2011.
During our talk it became clear that, application poetry aside, the goal of the
project was partly to bring European citizens closer to each other by promoting the idea of a diverse but shared past. Another person, in charge of the
content of a different project, also explicitly referred to ‘the European story’
as a way to connect the past and the present. This time, a line was drawn
from the historical period up until the EU.155 As it turns out, this take on the
idea of Europe caused some discussion among the partners. Having talked to
several participants, it became evident that the Central or Eastern European
partners had a different view than those in Western countries and that this
had played into decisions about the content:
Some partners were involved from the beginning and they are much more into
this ‘EU identity’ … I don’t remember the year we came into the EU but for
example Croatia just entered Europe this year … also in the [historic time period] we were on the borders … we had to explain also this in our project.156
Nevertheless, the conflict was valued as a good experience because it forced
them to rethink the topic. As a solution, one participant said they had decided to use the EU slogan ‘unity in diversity,’ so that every site could choose
to develop a theme based on one out of the two. ‘We have diversity,’ he
stated.157 By building a connection between the past and present in which
modern day Europe and the EU play a role, these two story telling projects
clearly connect to the more symbolic understandings of Europe.
The difficulty of coming together in a shared approach towards Europe in
the present and the past, was also addressed by another project leader. Referring to a Culture 2000 project that had dealt with three archaeological sites,
he said:
To be honest … It was very, very difficult to get the scientific connection between these three sites from the overall European perspective … breaking it
down to the general public, this was simply, well I mean it was more or less at
the same period and one could compare how things were done in various parts
of Europe at a certain time. 158
What can be concluded from this discussion is that, although many stated
that the Commission cared little about content and that the application text
was full of poetry, it did not mean that there was no such ‘European content’
or that EU ideas of a common heritage did not have an effect. Thus, going
back to the comment made by the expert about the applicants not believing
that which they themselves are writing, it is true that they wrote in a specific
way to increase their chances of funding, but a European perspective was
05 PJ–03 2011.
26 PJ–07 2013.
157 05 PJ–03 2011.
158 08 PJ–04 2011.
still there. Whether this was something inspired by the programme goals or
pre-set ideas about Europe is another question. I would say somewhere inbetween.
On ethics
One of my first thoughts upon reading project descriptions of some Culture
programme projects was: ‘surely they cannot mean this?’ Aims such as creating a European identity via access to rock art sites made me wonder about
the moments of compliance and resistance involved in the project development. As demonstrated, there are many ways to look at the funding context.
Some saw buzzwords or criteria like EAV as boxes to be ticked off, a formality at best, while others viewed them as food for thought. From the discussion of what was European in their projects it became clear that, when
scraping the surface, everyone had a lot to say about the idea of Europe.
With this in mind, returning to the question of the political context of the
programme, what did project leaders have to say about ethics?
Sitting on a hotel patio in 2013, a project participant had just explained to
me with pride in his voice that they had simply taken the EU objectives
listed in the policy texts and fashioned their project in their image. I blurted
out somewhat clumsily: ‘So if you took the goals of the programme as your
starting point, did you discuss any ethical aspects about that?’ He responded:
When you participate in a programme like that you know that’s the underlying
purpose. We did not discuss that. We discussed only how we could come up
with a proposal that would give us maximum chance of getting money, so it
was very practical.159
It was also added that from the archaeological side they rarely met with any
critique framed in those terms: ‘It is not often that you meet people who
concentrate of the problematical side of things’ and ‘anyway the nature of
heritage is political, there is no way around it, so better have it out in the
open as the EU usually does.’ This awareness was reflected in the replies of
other informants. When it comes to the connection between telling the European story and Culture 2007–2013, one project leader reflected:
What is the real aim? The real aim is, why they give money for heritage is,
because they want that Europe comes closer to the public by using the past …
If you don’t do that work you cannot be paid. It is a little bit like in the 19th
century when they used also the past to – perhaps also in Sweden – to make
the idea of real nations … it is really the same thing as in the 19th century but
now the level is bigger, there is more control on the results, that Europe becomes not a dictatorship or Nazi continent. 160
28 PJ–09 2013.
05 PJ–03 2011.
Not surprisingly, the persons I talked to were well aware of these aspects,
and the general line of reasoning was that heritage is always political and at
least the EU is a ‘good cause.’ One person who had considered this in both
past and current EU projects took the argument further. During a long argumentative conversation in para-ethnographic style, about how ideas of European identity might work to exclude certain groups in society, the project
leader objected resolutely:
You only can be inclusive if you have a very strong identity!
… the scientist simply has to say where he stands. If they know where you
stand then they can evaluate what you say. It is like with the newspapers …
people need to know what is my political point of view … If we know that archaeology can be misused … then we have to very carefully think about that
… so if I write about Europe as an archaeologist or about European identity
then I always say that I am a believing European … if I am anti-European I
should say it as well.161
Stating your premises and point of view aligns with most ethical guidelines
in the humanities and hard sciences, but can our writings really be compared
with those of journalists? And, just because the whole idea of heritage is
inherently political, should we just choose the “better” side and get on with
it? In some ways these views resonate with Christopher Tilley’s longstanding call for ‘Archaeology as socio-political action in the present’ (1989b).
Crushing the myth of value-free research, he talks about the need to recognise knowledge as practical and strategically relevant, and to understand
material culture in relation to power and ideology in the past and present.
However, the question remains as to whom, how and to what extent such
action should be carried out. Drawing on Marx, he states that ‘archaeology
has so far only interpreted the past; they should undertake to change it in
service of the present,’ and that the past ‘is not in any sense fixed… it is to
be strategically reconstructed in relation to contemporary social and historical conditions, to be actively reinterpreted and re-inscribed within the present social order.’162
While pleas such as Tilley’s and that of the informant generally rest on
emancipatory platforms, the question is whether the translation of EU wills
in projects dealing with the past – in the service of both the archaeological
discipline and a united Europe – can afford to be as disruptive towards the
idea of Europe as the material and the inclusive standpoint call for. Everyone
has their own leanings, but to what extent should these be embraced and to
what extent should they be confronted? There is no easy answer to this, but
the political nature of heritage should never be an excuse not to challenge
boundaries, including the European one.
03 PJ–01 2011.
Tilley 1989b: 111–112.
Summary and conclusions
staff EACEA
Figure 18. Interconnected nodes in the network sustaining the black box.
In this chapter I have examined the different components which form programme Culture 2007–2013, focusing on aspects associated with the support
of projects in cultural heritage and archaeology. The metaphor of the black
box, a system that requires input and produces outputs but obscures (intentionally or not) what goes on in-between, has been used as a framework for
these discussions. Added to this, the concept translating wills and the recruitment of actors to perform these translations, have been used to articulate
what happens from the time participants read the call for proposals to the
time the funding decision is sent out. In particular, this chapter has focused
on the translations of EU wills as embodied in the award criterion EAV,
understood as an operational delineator for EU involvement in the field of
culture and as an expression of what the EU wants citizens to want.
The different components, dealing in turn with the Agency, the expert
reviewers, the consultants and CCPs, and the applicants, have therefore been
approached as interconnected nodes in a relational network of influence.
Through their various interactions – inputs, outputs and feedback – these
nodes work (for the most part) to uphold and enable each other, or ‘to resist
controversies,’ but they can also destabilise one another and cause dispute.
Ultimately it comes down to how information modifies and is modified by
persons, papers and machines along the way.
Starting with the first cogwheel (figure 18), I argued that from the perspective of the applicants, the EU bureaucracy – including the application
process, the budgetary rules, reporting activities and communication with the
Agency culture unit – was experienced as something difficult to manoeuvre
and not very transparent. They were investing in and becoming dependent on
the function of the box through their participation, but felt that the work effort did not make up for the outcome. Large institutions were seen as favoured by the system, and the focus on numbers and points was seen as having a corrupting effect. Because of this, many had decided to employ consultants who specialised in the regulations and goals of this specific programme, a strategy to make the box more manageable and increase the
probability of success.
The consultant I spoke with had a better view of the box. While being
uncertain as to the more detailed functioning of the expert panel, the experience gained by studying the input and output of the box, as well as being a
part of many Culture programme projects, made consultants into one of the
most influential circuits in the machinery. It was advantageous for them that
not everyone could easily understand the process. As a result of the denseness of the box consultants recruited new actors and interpreted the wills of
the Commission in their tailor-made input, enabling cultural heritage professionals to apply for co-funding. This turned them into a bit of a problem for
the Commission, who sometimes saw them as ‘cheating the system.’ They
were a consequence the programme designers had not foreseen.
In the second cogwheel we find those actually authorised to inform about
and promote the programme in the member states, the Cultural Contact
Points. Their view was blurred due to the secrecy of the Commission, who
only gave them access to official information. Again, the expert panels were
brought up as one of the least transparent nodes. This created some frustration, as well as a certain measure of understanding for why applicants who
could afford it choose to use consultants. Among the positions occupied
between the applicants and the Commission, I found that the CCPs were
more disadvantaged than other actors, limited due to their ties to the Commission, its lack of transparency and the ideal of self-sustaining projects. The
irony of this situation was that a lack of transparency was precisely the reason for the Commission’s dislike of consultants. They unintentionally sustained the consultancies. Meanwhile, the black box stayed black.
The experts participating in the review panels, one of the circuits most
hidden from the outside, actually had a good view of the part of the box that
they were involved in. They had seen hundreds of proposals and assessed
them based on the wills of the programme. Outside of that however, when it
came to the everyday operation of the Agency culture unit or the implemen169
tation of the projects, their view was blocked. Frustration was caused by the
fact that all money had to be handed out each year even though the projects
received low scores, and by the strict format of the award criteria. This created peculiar projects trying to fit everything into their proposals, twisting
their texts to match the programme. At the same time the criteria were considered quite vague, something related to the way the EU operates by setting
frames and introducing notions rather than deciding content. Although a lot
of things went into the judgement of an application, the panels seemed to be
working to uphold the box without much friction. Their output was sometimes scrutinised and opposed from the applicant side, occasionally putting
the whole functioning of the box under the spotlight, but these protests were
quickly dealt with by the Agency.
Finally, in the third cogwheel we find the Agency culture unit, whose
staff you would think had a good overall view of all the circuits that made up
the box. In one sense they did, being the node in charge of the administration, forming the guidelines, giving advice to experts, applicants and project
leaders, but they were also just a node in a much larger box. The codependent relationship between the culture unit at the Agency and its supervising parent unit in the Commission, was defined through the separation of
strategic and policy related task, versus technical and administrative tasks. In
reality, the status of the Agency unit as non-political can be seen as one of
the strongest alliances to resist controversy inside of the box.
The first consequence of the division was that without an official voice,
the agency of the Agency sometimes passed by unnoticed. The shades of
grey in which they operated enabled them to develop intricate strategies in
regards to the appointment of experts and attribution of projects. Secondly,
as the Agency was meant to insulate the funding action from changing political contexts and short-termism, it worked to depoliticise the programme. In
the very place where policies had direct impact on the outside, the Commission took their hands off.
The Agency culture unit was the place where applications were transformed into ‘successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’ applications. Here, the most significant translations were those connected to guidance and form. The staff
had to translate and explain the rather vague aims of the programme, which
were originally decided by another node, and present them to the experts and
applicants in printed guidelines. As evident from the discussion about the
black box, these translations were not entirely successful in terms of clarity.
Yet a common approach was established, strong enough to be able to showcase projects who had formulated them in a ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’ way.
The understanding of EAV proved hard to estimate as the staff, when
asked, said that this was the domain of the experts. However, based on my
own experience it was a rather technical understanding focused on geographical spread and level of exchange rather than any symbolic aspects. The topic
of cultural heritage was treated as any other topic and was, if anything, con170
sidered to be quite boring. Another important way in which the Agency culture unit affected the translations in the other nodes was through setting the
timeframe of expert evaluations, or the frames of the application form, where
big ideas had to fit into small boxes in digital documents, encouraging or
even demanding the use of standardised phrases and buzzwords.
Moving back to the middle cogwheel, it was clear that the translations in
the expert panels were of great influence in this network. First through individual assessments and later through a subsequent joint consensus meeting
with another expert who had read the same projects, hundreds of pages of
information were turned into points and a final numerical score was calculated. The conditions for and products of these translations were both the common configuration of norms inside the panels and also a great measure of
personal agency. These conditions were dependent upon dominant personalities, fields of interest, nationality and background or pure individual preference. Other important variables were time pressure and the sometimes uneven distribution of applications in relation to the expertise of the reviewers.
The dynamics of the expert panels were intricate, and power plays and
hidden strategies of bargaining over points were part of it. On the whole,
everyone was concerned about endorsing the best quality projects and had a
clear idea about what those projects should look like. Of particular interest
were the differences in the interpretation of EAV in relation to the topic of
cultural heritage. Although all experts “knew” what EAV should entail in
relation to heritage, and many expressed that this is something all experts
know, a tension was found between symbolic and more technical interpretations. Every expert agreed the EAV had to be a mix of several things, but
some meant that in relation to heritage it should be considered more in terms
of history, culture or religious aspects, while others insisted that it had more
to do with the depth and geographical spread of cooperation.
Another discovery in relation to the award criteria, was that experts found
them at the same time too vague and too controlling. Application poetry and
buzzwords were said to be frequent and everyone agreed that you had to
adapt the application to the programme goals quite extensively to achieve
funding. The real issue, from the expert point of view, was whether the applicants actually meant what they wrote or if it was just a superficial front
established in order to apply. Ironically, the experts had therefore developed
‘detective strategies’ to see through the phrases originally encouraged
through the policy base, the call for proposals and the award criteria. In other
words, please feed the box with input, deal with the administrative demands
and adapt your application to our wills, but be sure to mean it!
Moving on to the CCPs, the authorised translators of the will of the Culture programme, they recognised the existence of something like application
poetry in the sense that there are always certain expressions used in project
applications. The consultants, on the other hand, had well developed strategies and displayed a great confidence with regard to the translations they
assisted in. Like the CCPs, they were very open in their interpretations of the
award criteria. The main difference between the consultant and the CCPs
was that the CCPs could only provide hints and more general advice, while
the consultant had a lot to gain (or lose) based on the success of the application. The latter often co-wrote the applications using a customised logic that
was adapted to what they thought the experts wanted to read. Thus, in transforming project ideas to fit the framework of the programme, the effect of
consultants as translators was much stronger than CCPs. As a by-product of
this process, they also helped construct the idea of EAV for cultural heritage.
Although the content of EAV was thought to vary between projects, the applicants’ way of redistributing the task of translation, worked to depoliticise
the strings attached to the funding source.
When it came to the applicants themselves it was clear that words and
formulations, named as ‘application poetry’ by one project leader, were considered important in order to get high scores. What you wrote and how you
wrote it mattered, but mostly it came down to pretty words. Nevertheless, the
aims of the programme did seem to have had an effect on the way the project
leaders talked about their projects. There was definitely an awareness and a
level of reflexivity regarding the funding context, but when asked to describe
the Europeanness of their projects, the EU motto of ‘unity in diversity’ and
the notion of a borderless Europe – in the past and the future – were offered.
So too was a certain ‘European potential’ in archaeological sites, something
that could be highlighted through storytelling or be embodied in the consortiums. Interestingly, there was also disappointment in the lack of interest in
the proposed European content from the Commission side.
In terms of the nature of this content and the translation of EAV in regards to heritage, two directions were visible among experts. One emphasised the European symbolism of the project topics, while another focused
on exchange patterns and mere practicalities. This division also surfaced
among applicants who, in feeding ‘the box’ with input, were more concerned
about EU aims of cultural integration than the funding source itself seemed
to be. The applicants were advantaged actors in the sense that they received
financial backing, but disadvantaged in the sense that their output and feedback did not seem to matter.
Taken together I have shown how the box and the translations take different shapes in terms of influence and transparency, depending on from which
node in the network you are viewing it. As Susan Leigh Star has argued in a
critique of Latour, the very understanding of how a particular network functions (and what meaning an actor is taken to transmit) depends upon the
situated perspectives of advantaged and disadvantaged actors.163 It comes
down to position; of who makes decisions, who bears the cost, who can take
part and who gets to watch. Although the Commission decides the general
Star 2001.
framework and bears the cost (in reality the taxpayers do), the Agency culture unit and the experts wield the power of selecting where the money goes.
They do this based on the basic premises set up by the former but as translated though their various conditionality’s and strategies to avoid controversy.
Who can participate is defined based on the outcomes of this soup of personal and collective influences on the process. The consultants are not supposed
to take part but still manage to transform their location from that of disadvantaged actors to more privileged ones, using the needs produced by Culture 2007–2013 modus operandi: the black box. The applicants are those
who get to watch at first, but who, once accepted, become one of the most
pragmatic translators of EU wills through their activities, reports and use of
EU logotypes.
One could be fooled by this into thinking that the whole system is chaotic
and that it is all up to chance, but there is an influential framework in place.
The case has been made in this chapter, that the box is more of an ‘arena of
interest struggles’ than a corporate actor with a well-defined aim.164 Still, that
something is vague does not mean that it has no influence or direction. As
pointed out by Annabel Black, many civil servants are trained to express
themselves in a clear language ‘except where ambiguity is of the very essence.’165 It can be argued that the EU strategy of ‘open coordination’ and
‘soft law,’166 extends to soft goals, soft instructions for applicants and soft
guidance of experts. Ambiguity is of the very essence when you want recruited actors to start thinking through concepts like EAV. As expressed by
two media scholars:
While actors instrumentally frame situations so as to press their case, their
very understanding of what is instrumental is shaped by taken for granted
frames … frames are both strategic and set the terms of strategic action. 167
This is why cultural policies can be effective technologies in shaping the
relationship between individual and society.168 As argued by Shore and
Wright, such ‘policies not only impose conditions, as if from “outside” or
“above,” but influence people’s indigenous norms of conduct so that they
themselves contribute, not necessarily consciously, to a government’s model
of social order.’169 The question is whether this should be seen as an obstacle
In line with Braun 1998: 811.
Black 2001: 260.
166 The open method of coordination (OMC) is a framework for cooperation between the
member states to direct national policies towards certain common objectives. OMC involves
so-called ‘soft law’ measures which are binding on the member states in varying degrees but
are never forced (Borras and Jacobssen 2004).
167 Polletta and Ho 2006: 190.
168 Shore and Wright 1997: 4–5.
169 Shore and Wright 1997: 6.
or a productive force. More clearly defined criteria and articulations of value
would most likely work to decrease variety and rinse out potential subversive elements. In terms of heritage and archaeology, the inclusion of anything and everything under the banner of the Culture programmes has, as I
will touch upon in the chapters to follow, led to the funding of many archaeological projects with non-mainstream topics. Thus, as King contended in
the 1980s critical debate about the US assessment guidelines for archaeological sites, authorised notions of value such as EAV, may prove useful ‘at the
nitty-gritty level of dealing with agencies that seek every excuse to avoid
having to identify and think about historic properties.’170
Besides, so what if thinking through concepts like EAV and adapting
proposals to the goals of the programme fosters EUropean approaches?
There is nothing strange about, for instance, ancient Greece being connected
to EAV. Especially not by archaeologists and heritage professionals working
for institutions, and within disciplines, which have themselves relied on the
value of such narratives for society in order to justify their expert mandate.
Likewise, increased cooperation across borders is not a negative thing per se,
and when it comes to integration there is nothing to suggest that a European
identity would somehow be incompatible with national, regional or local
ones. As argued by Thomas Risse, it could be seen as but one layer in the
‘cake’ of individual and common identities.171
While this is all true, what is lacking is a continuous discussion about the
filling of this cake and an active engagement with the legacies and specificity of archaeology in the construction of a common EUropean heritage. Participants and project leaders, although aware of the political wills of the programme, often did not see it as worth dwelling on. Although much was left
undefined in the Culture programmes, it did define that cultural heritage is a
‘vehicle of cultural identity.’172 It was included for a reason and it belongs
within the domain of culture, as it is in itself a cultural practise, but theatre
plays and stories about ‘Europeans’ in prehistory have different consequences. The act of involving tropes on European origins in the translation of EU
political visions of creating a ‘European cultural area,’ ties cultural heritage
to discourses of belonging that are rooted in territory and ethnicity. Thereby
the figure of archaeology is reaffirmed.173 As long as the box feeds expert
economies and project participants continue to polish their application poetry, the critical discussion about EUrope in archaeology needs to continue,
and the aspects discussed in this chapter ought to be recognised as components of its political ecology.
King 1985: 171, in Samuels 2008: 74.
Risse 2003.
172 Cultural heritage as a vehicle of cultural identity, URL: portal/activities/heritage/cultural_heritage_vehic_en.htm (accessed 28.6.13).
173 For the figure of archaeology, see chapter three.
Chapter 5. European Pasts and Presents in Project
Cultural heritage offers tangible expression to the shared cultural past of European countries: it forms part of the ‘source DNA’ of the spirit that became
the phenomenon Europe. Ultimately it represents the evidence and justification of Europe as a geo-cultural entity. Consequently, in the process of forging
greater European unity, heritage institutions can play a significant role … This
5 year project starts from a historical case study: the Realm of Francia Media
… The motivation for this choice is that the countries that belonged to the
Middle Carolingian realm also stood at the cradle of the European Union in
the middle of the previous century. The project intends … to highlight the importance of Europe’s geo-cultural past in the functioning of contemporary European society. It also aims at linking the processes of identity creation, the
sense of belonging and the intercultural dialogue to the valorisation and understanding of the remains of our past… 1
The excerpt above presents a plot. The Realm of Francia Media sets the
stage upon which the lead character – the ‘phenomenon Europe’ – is to be
born, connecting this significant life-event to the much later one of becoming the EU. It is also claimed that heritage can justify Europe as a geocultural entity. How can it be, I thought when reading this project description
during my time in Brussels, that such a prospective narrative can still be
presented in a discipline which supposedly lost its innocence in the 1970s?
What would happen if we exchanged the word Europe for Asia or Africa? Or
for any given nation state? Simplification aside, it seemed to me that archaeologists exclaiming ‘Europe!’ got away with it where others, in other political settings, certainly would not. After decades of postcolonial critique and
confrontations with methodological nationalism, such attempts to mobilise a
distant past for the political needs of the present struck me as provocatively
outdated and extremely interesting. They raised questions about what conditions had made such formulations possible, what intent lay behind them, and
what kind of narratives the projects produced for other audiences.
Up to this point, this thesis has been concerned with the first of these, the
conditions. Chapter two sought to showcase the part played by Europe in
influential archaeological narratives, chapter three set out to locate archaeology within the political economy of culture in the EU, and chapter four ex1
Project description, Cradles of European Culture (CEC) 2010–2015 (ID: 93).
amined the processes of translation occurring within the EU Culture programmes. Based on these analyses, I argued that application poetry is more
than just cosmetics, a claim that will now be put to the test as I turn to the
projects themselves. Using concrete examples from archaeological projects
that have benefited from co-funding under Raphael, Culture 2000 and Culture 2007–2013, I will consider to what extent and in what ways this particular funding source and its goals are used, negotiated or debated in project
outputs. Therefore, this chapter begins with the project descriptions published on EU dissemination platforms. These are used to discuss common
themes based on the archaeological periods and phenomena studied in the
projects, and for each identified theme a number of projects have been chosen for a closer study.
On narratives and archaeology
At the end of the day, most of professional archaeology is not in the education
but in the story-telling business.2
In archaeology, just as in other disciplines, texts are written within certain
discursive and administrative environments, which may favour some ideas
and forms over others. In the search for EU-funding, benefactors and beneficiaries become part of each other’s storylines. These storylines are the object
of this chapter. Here, the analysis focuses on specific aspects of texts and
visual presentations. In order to do so, I have used an intertextual discourse
approach combined with narrative analysis. This means that I have considered narrative structures as strategies to create a sense of continuity, coherency, and meaning.3 Taking the intertextual ‘cut and paste’ tactics seriously,
I have tried to locate Europe-making events within project outputs by analysing how Europe as a signifier is used to frame archaeological content or to
tie together and past and present. A simple definition of narrative as ‘a perceived sequence of non-randomly connected events,’ has been used.4 I have
studied meta-texts – texts written by the projects about the project itself – as
well as representations of the past. These representations are not restricted to
books or reports, but can consist of exhibition material, posters and logotypes. Thus, the coherence of a narrative could be given by simply posing
three periodic illustrations with prehistoric scenarios next to each other. Depending on the audience, they can represent a common-sense view of the
So what constitutes a narrative structure, aside from coherence and continuity? Rather than active actions and characters, the key ingredients in ar2
Holtorf 2006: 172.
White 1987.
4 Toolan 1988: 7.
5 Pluciennik 1999; Joyce 2002.
chaeological narratives are often passive events, places, groups or societies,
and chronologies.6 Although they are often applied unconsciously, the selection of settings, dates and events are not ‘innocent.’ They serve a fundamental ideological function.7 Mark Pluciennik has studied the structure of several
archaeological accounts, concluding that they often present ‘not only a characteristic narrative chronological position and tense – that of hindsight offered as a sequential story of, rather than in, the past – but also a markedly
external or bird’s-eye view.’8 As in the following example, they are often
descriptive and told in the third-person to provide a sense of objectivity:
The European continent, so pregnant for the future of mankind, owed much to
geography … the Pontic steppes formed a broad corridor linking eastern and
central Europe to Caucasia and Turkmenia; and northern Europe formed a
reservoir of peoples whose vigour more than compensated in the end for their
cultural retardation … the Atlantic sea-board, which in pre-history transmitted
cultural influences of ultimately Mediterranean inspiration, provided during
the historic period a base for the expansion overseas of European power and
influence, an expansion that was ultimately to create a word market and a single nexus of scientific and historical awareness.9
In this text by Clark, a sense of continuity is created through the narrative
structure, and Europe is passively endowed with symbolic qualities. Starting
from a position of hindsight, the past is set against the backdrop of modern
progress, valuing both outside influences and peoples on an evolutionary
scale, with Europe at its centre. The choice of space and chronology, jumping between a Europe in prehistory and the present, serves an ideological
function. It forms a ‘preferred meta-narrative, pre-understanding, or
worldview – which presupposes the existence of particular types of entities
and hence ways in which the world works and may be described, grasped,
manipulated, explained, or understood.’10 It also marks an endpoint. Hayden
White argues that unless historical narratives can convey a sense of closure
and ‘be shown to have had a plot all along,’ they appear less trustworthy.
This, he states, is why ‘the plot of a historical narrative is always an embarrassment and has to be presented as ‘found’ in the events rather than put
there by narrative techniques.’11 It is from this meta-narrative perspective
that I have approached the project outputs analysed in this study.
In archaeology, unlike anthropology, these aspects have mostly remained intuitive. Exceptions are Hodder (1989) on excavation reports, Thomas (1993) on the changing associations
and content of the term ‘Neolithic,’ and Tilley on inaugural lectures as genre (1989a).
7 Barthes 1970; White 1987: 35.
8 Pluciennik 1999: 667.
9 Clark 1969: 119.
10 Pluciennik 1999: 659.
11 White 1987: 21.
Material and method
In any qualitative research project with an exploratory approach, the selection of examples for closer study has to do with more than finding a ‘representative sample.’ As stated in the introduction, I have chosen to work with
the programmes Raphael (1997–1999), Culture 2000 (2000–2006) and Culture 2007–2013 due to their relevance to my questions. However, within
these programmes there are different components, some supporting larger
cooperation projects and others aimed as special fields such as book translations, festivals and EU ambassadors (support for particular European organisations). Among these I have focused on actions supporting annual and multiannual cooperation projects between three countries or more. These categories represent the majority of those funded through the programmes and contain most cultural heritage projects.
In order to manage and analyse the information collected a database was
created, containing information about the projects from EU dissemination
platforms.12 From this information I have extracted data about the following:
Duration months
Start year
Amount of EU co-funding
Sub-field/Archaeological component
Focus period
Main objective
Geographical focus
Project description
Lead partner: name/country
Other partners: name/country
Website URL
The first issue I encountered during this work concerned the definition of
‘archaeological projects.’ Many of the co-funded projects were most often
interdisciplinary and varied widely in terms of topic, goals and project design. Even if this is the nature of larger ventures in archaeology and heritage,
a line had to be drawn somewhere. So I decided to rely first on their selfdefinitions and the involvement of archaeological partners, and secondly on
the nature of the activities, if they related to archaeological museums, materials or sites. Thus, in choosing my research material I followed the famous
saying of David Clarke: ‘Archaeology is what archaeologists do.’13
The second issue was the format and length of the information included in
the EU lists of successful project proposals. For the Raphael programme
some of the lists from 1997–1999 were sent to me as image PDF-files by a
Commission staff member. The content of each list varied in both detail and
language (French, English and German). Unfortunately, no information
about funding amounts was included. For Culture 2000, lists were accessible
See list of projects in Appendix 3. The full database remains with the author. Information
can be accessed by other researchers upon request.
13 Clarke 1973: 6.
online as scanned PDF-files, but here too the language and the included information was inconsistent.14 Partner organisations were sometimes missing
and abstracts varied in length.15 For Culture 2007–2013, the information was
richer and more accurate. The early years were available as PDF-files,16 and
the later years were published in an online platform.17 For year 2007, however, only lists on project partners and funding amounts were available. To
bridge this inconsistency, I have often pieced together information from
other sources, such as project websites and publications. When it comes to
quoting the material, I have, when necessary, translated selected passages
into English while keeping the original text in the footnotes. The frequent
spelling errors in the project abstracts have not been corrected.
When choosing examples for more detailed analysis from amongst these
records, I did not seek a representative sample. It can be argued that ‘typical’
cases are not the richest in information, and that if you can pick only a handful, it is more useful to select those which offer an interesting, unusual or
particularly revealing set of circumstances.18 Nonetheless, certain criteria
were followed in order to secure variety. The first one was a division based
on the most common themes in terms of time periods and archaeological
objects studied in the projects. The second was the length of the project, the
amount of partners and the programme under which the project applied.
Therefore, annual and multiannual projects starting between 1997 and 2013,
with 3–15 partners, were included for consideration. The third principle concerned accessibility and richness of information. In some cases, the decision
came down to availability of content. As the amount of information and outputs varied considerably between projects, I included both small projects that
had kept their websites running for decades and larger projects that had little
general information available, but with many publications. When available,
the following information was collected for the selected projects:
EU application/proposal
Final report
Website texts and images
Publications and papers
Public outreach material
News articles and other media
[Interviews – project leaders]
[Interviews – project participants]
The problem of finding this type of information is reflected elsewhere. In the external evaluations of the programme it was remarked that only half of the requested files had been provided and among those ‘few files contained all the documents’ (ECOTEC 2008b: 14).
15 Link to lists for Culture 2000 can be found under ‘Culture programme materials.’
16 Link to lists for Culture 2007–2013 can be found under ‘Culture programme materials.’
17 Creative Europe project results, URL: (accessed 2.5.15).
18 Flyvbjerg 2006: 229.
Since the list could not be completed for all projects, I decided to combine
the analysis of the database material with the analysis of project contents,
rather than using the projects as separate case studies. I have used the information gained from interviews as a way to understand the projects and their
background. For ethical reasons, I have refrained from using quotes and
involving specific voices of project participants. That would make informants easily identifiable and detract from the aim to analyse representations
(not individuals). Furthermore, I have not quoted the unpublished parts of
the project proposals as this is a semi-confidential, ‘third-party’ document
requiring approval from all project partners.
The mystery of the missing lines
While analysing the collected abstracts I realised that the early ones, from
the Raphael programme and Culture 2000, were somehow too streamlined
and often formulated in third person. Although short and impersonal abstracts are common in academia, phrasings like ‘In this project they will’
made me wonder who actually wrote them. Was it the project applicants
themselves or the Commission staff? The question led to a critical assessment of the sources, and an interesting observation.
In the most recent programme Culture 2007–2013, the summaries were
copied from a specific box in the application form or offered by the applicants upon request once projects were approved for funding. The text, limited to 2000 characters, was accompanied by a notice that the EU had the
right to use it for dissemination purposes. After checking the online information against full application texts, I could confirm that they correlated.
Similarly, the Culture 2000 application forms included a section called
‘Brief description of the project (maximum 10 lines) in English or French.’
In this case, a comparison between original application texts and the EU lists
revealed a slight dissonance. A similar pattern emerged for other projects,
and based on the knowledge gained during my fieldwork, I concluded that
the changes in the abstracts had likely been made by EU civil servants in
order to shorten the texts for publication. For instance, the following formulation in the original application:
Sharing and highlighting of common cultural heritage of European significance, and the promotion of mutual knowledge of culture and history of European people; the use of state-of-the-art technology to make European heritage
more visible and accessible to all; improving access and participation in culture and in new technologies for citizens of the EU, including young, elderly
and people with physical impediments; PR initiatives and cooperation activities between cultural operators and technological experts, for spreading European culture through the newly established International network.
Was shortened to:
Sharing and highlighting the common cultural heritage; the use of state-ofthe-art technology to make European heritage more visible/accessible; improving access and participation in culture and in new technologies; initiatives
and cooperation activities between cultural operators.
Thus, when the (most likely hurried) shortening of the summaries was done,
information on the content and main activities of the projects was kept relatively intact, while lines copied from EU policy such as ‘cultural heritage of
European significance, and the promotion of mutual knowledge of culture
and history of European people,’19 were considered superfluous.20 Such
phrases were likely considered commonplace enough to be rendered expendable. This is a sign of the dominance of a discourse. That these things did not
merit mention indicates that the EU staff already operated fully within its
limits. At the Agency I often noticed how concepts like common heritage or
European identity were only used occasionally at promotional events, and
rarely brought up in daily work. Others had surpassed them in the hierarchy
of concept demanding articulation, like ‘synergy effects’ and ‘economic
value of heritage.’
With regard to source criticism, this shortening action has been taken into
account when looking at specific projects. From 2007 and onwards this is
not an issue, but for the years 1997 to 2006 the level of adaptation to EU
goals can be more difficult to assess without complimentary texts from web
pages and publications. However, rather than the shortened texts distorting
the original objectives of the projects, the problem for my analysis is that
vital information concerning applicants’ ways of interacting with EU policy
aims could be missing. In any case, I see no obstacle in citing and discussing
the information that actually is included in the collected abstracts.
Original in Art. 128 of the Maastricht Treaty: ‘improvement of the knowledge and dissemination of the culture and history of the European peoples; conservation and safeguarding of
cultural heritage of European significance.’
20 In another example the line: ‘increasing awareness of the common European heritage by
promoting Rock art,’ became summarised to: ‘promoting the common heritage of rock art.’
European times and things
The task of reading and collecting EU listings on proposals selected for cofunding can be rather confusing. In some ways, the 161 projects that made it
into the database are so strikingly similar that it is hard to tell them apart. In
others, they are peculiar enough to become firmly lodged in your memory.
They are similar because they all include two or more of the following:
A database, a new research platform or an innovative approach.
Networking and exchange between professionals and scholars.
Awareness actions targeting the public, especially young people.
Exhibitions and didactic material, especially travelling exhibitions.
They are peculiar because they often deal with themes or objects which are,
if not unconventional, at least not representative of mainstream trends in
archaeology and cultural heritage. For instance, there are more projects in
the fields of underwater, aerial and landscape archaeology than projects dealing with site studies and excavations.21 Many heritage projects also incorporate archaeology under topics such as the study of antique murals or 19th
century mining complexes. One project containing archaeological aspects
concerns something as particular as ‘the production and consumption of
There are several reasons behind these similar yet varied topics. The programme guidelines and calls for proposals established some of the basic
parameters for each application. They have always required exchange of
information, innovation and outreach to young audiences. For Culture 2007–
2013, the ambitions of the Commission did not stretch much further than
that. Refraining from content specific or thematic calls with regard to cultural heritage, they relied on general criteria applicable to all topics covered by
the programme. These included the promotion of transnational mobility,
intercultural dialogue and the circulation of artworks and products. It is
therefore easy to forget about the specificity of some of the calls in Raphael
and the first years of Culture 2000, for which the instructions were sometimes so detailed that they would fall under ‘applied research’ today.23
For these earlier programmes, certain priorities were plotted out beforehand through preparatory studies and meetings in the EU parliament and
The agendas promoted through UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001) and CoE’s European Landscape Convention (2000) were vital.
22 ELEA – Producing and Consuming Olives: a contribution to European culinary heritage
(Raphael 1997, ID: 121).
23 In the final external evaluation of Raphael, it was stated that applicants had been unhappy
with the detailed themes, and that they were not satisfied with the new Culture 2000 either.
They said there was an ‘inadequacy of the thematic approach … compared to the expectations
of operators, leading them to contort their project presentations in order to be selected,’ and
that it was ‘irrelevant’ (GMV Conseil 2003: 54).
with specific stakeholders in heritage and archaeology. Each call then highlighted specific themes such as antique murals, pre-industrial heritage, landscapes or underwater archaeology, sometimes even suggesting the time periods the projects should address (for instance Greco-Roman).24 In one extreme example, the Raphael call for 1997 included a section for thematic
networks between European museums, welcoming projects on ‘textiles,
weaving and traditional costume,’ ‘history of landscapes,’ ‘sea routes and
inland waterways and vessels in the Middle Ages’ and ‘European funerary
rites and traditions.’25 Several archaeological projects managed to tie into
these categories. Similarly, in the second year of Culture 2000, projects dealing with ‘concrete pieces of conservation and restoration work’ had to involve ‘civil, military or religious elements of non-movable heritage of European significance from the 10th to 15th centuries.’26 Furthermore, if choosing
to apply as an awareness-raising project during that year, applicants needed
to ‘highlight the common European roots and dimensions of similar or comparable elements of the non-movable and archaeological heritage.’27 Again, a
surprisingly large number of projects involving archaeological sites and professionals managed to fit into this mould.
Naturally, these conditions had an effect on the applicants’ interaction
with the goals of the funding source. This is because they outline certain
priorities in terms of structure (comparisons of similar things) and content
(period and topic), and because they communicate to the applicants what the
EU ‘wants them to want’ in terms of integration. Ultimately, this is what the
EU wants them to make other people want. In this sense, they have made for
an interesting source material, representing a midway translation between
the programme decision and the detailed guidelines for applicants. The calls
are more interchangeable and dynamic than both of the former categories,
something which has to be taken into account during analysis. This means
that it is not so much a question of whether projects adapted to EU goals, but
how they interacted with and translated them. Despite the sometimes itemised themes, it was up to the projects to create something out of the process.
Buzzing with Europe
Starting with the most pressing question, how did the calls for proposals
translate the policy goal of promoting a common European cultural heritage,
and how did the applicants respond? Raphael, Culture 2000 and Culture
2007–2013 all rested on the will first expressed in the Maastricht treaty,
stating that ‘the Community shall contribute to the flowering of the cultures
of the Member States, while respecting their national and regional diversity
See 1996–2006 under ‘Call for proposals.’
Call for proposals Raphael 1997. In: O.J. C 219: 3.
26 Call for proposals Culture 2000, year 2001. In: O.J. C 21: 13.
27 Call for proposals Culture 2000, year 2001. In: O.J. C 21: 13.
and at the same time bringing the common cultural heritage to the fore.’
Translated into calls for proposals, this wide aim was actualised in slightly
different ways for each programme. In Raphael, it could be phrased as:
… to encourage cooperation through events of a European dimension which
bring to the fore the common European cultural heritage roots and currents in
a variety of sectors (e.g. archaeology, architecture, rock art, ethnography,
crafts, etc.)
… to increase European citizens' awareness of the importance of the protection and enhancement of their rich and diverse cultural heritage through which
one can witness the considerable similarities and common roots of Europe's
In Culture 2000 the main aim simply became ‘the promotion of a cultural
area common to the peoples of Europe,’29 while phrases like addressing ‘the
common European roots,’30 or ‘linking the past and the future,’31 still guided
applicants. By 2007 it had evolved into ‘enhancing the cultural area shared
by Europeans and based on a common cultural heritage … with the view to
encouraging the emergence of European citizenship.’32 Talk of European
roots, common traits and a European civilisation – phrases that were never
included in the original policy base to begin with – was removed and the
focus was increasingly shifted away from confirming a European past towards building a European present.33
Figure 19. Word cloud. Common words in 161 project names and
abstracts sized according to frequency. Starting at 40, highest at 206.
Call for proposals Raphael 1997. In: O.J. C 219: 1–2.
Call for proposals Culture 2000, year 2000. In: O.J. C 101: 17.
30 Call for proposals Culture 2000, year 2001. In: O.J. C 21: 3.
31 Call for proposals Culture 2000, year 2002. In: O.J. C 230: 5.
32 Call for proposals Culture 2007–2013, year 2007. In: O.J. C 184: 5.
33 See chapter three for the evolution of EU cultural actions relating to archaeology and heritage.
Several interesting observations can be made when looking at the responses
to these expressions in project descriptions. A simple keyword search reveals
that the most common word used is ‘European,’ closely followed by cultural,
heritage and archaeological (figure 19). While the pattern may be far from
surprising, it definitely indicates the hierarchy of words considered important. Added to this, more than half of the projects use Europe or European
in their title, such as Early Farmers in Europe, OPPIDA – The Earliest European Towns North of the Alps, or ECSLAND – European Culture Expressed in Sacred Landscapes.34 Thus, a practice of naming things as European already becomes visible already at the outset. If we look closer at the
potent phrases from the calls for proposals, they appear to resonate on different levels in the project descriptions. Appeals to a certain ‘commonness’ are
Objectives: Facilitate the access of different public groups to a common European cultural heritage, the ancient pottery. 35
The project goals are to: improve European cooperation regarding scientific
data, interdisciplinary dialogue and work on this important part [of] our common heritage; improve … public awareness of the Roman heritage. 36
OpenArch connects 10 archaeological open air museums, furthering panEuropean interest in our local and common European past. 37
Of course there were projects, especially among those with shorter descriptions in the early programmes, which did not mention anything about a
common heritage. One project simply stated its goal as: ‘the conservation
and valorisation of four archaeological parks from the Roman period …
partners will carry out excavations to throw light on the urban phenomenon
in Roman society.’38 A handful of projects also had a different take on the
when and where of this commonness. One working with archaeological archives turned towards archaeology itself:
European archaeology constitutes a common cultural, scientific and socioeconomic heritage … the role it has played in the construction and consolidation of identities at regional, national and transnational levels, are of direct
concern and interest for all European citizens. 39
ID: 157; ID: 62; ID: 206. Out of the 161 collected projects, 69 use Europe or European in
their titles. Frequently project titles have been shortened in the EU documents. In 12 cases I
have discovered that the full titles used by the projects did in fact include Europe.
35 2006, ID: 65.
36 2006, ID: 69.
37 2010, ID: 99.
38 1998, ID: 139.
39 2005, ID: 63.
When it comes to the Commission’s desire to link ancient sites and objects
across member state borders, one of the most frequent starting points for the
projects, this was also done in different ways. Some allured to European
similarities in the past:
The aim of this project is to highlight the Viking maritime heritage in the
countries and regions of North-West Europe and to identify similarities and
common European roots.40
This project aims at showing the European public the existence of a common
culture for prehistoric men from different regions throughout Europe through
the promotion of rock paintings.41
It will interpret the mutual cultural history and development of 3 centres of
power on the Atlantic rim of northern Europe during the first millennium AD.
They will demonstrate that these areas shared common systems of dealing
with power, influence and transition. 42
Others took it a step further, making the wished-for connection between past,
present and future:43
The project aims to make tangible, informative and fun parallels between
three ‘cultures’ of the Iron Age … The tool of this awareness is archaeology,
which discoveries have revealed to the public the cultural continuity of Europe.44
Objectives: To enable organizing countries to improve the state of knowledge
on a twofold technological and human phenomenon [prehistoric flint blades];
Allow the general public to become aware of a certain uniqueness of Europe
well before the establishment of the European Union.45
[The European music archaeology project] will establish a lasting flagship for
ancient European music culture and the development of a supra-national sense
of citizenship through a deeper awareness of Europe’s interconnected past,
achieved through the power of sound…46
1997, ID: 118.
1999, ID: 163.
42 2002, ID: 23.
43 This link was only specified in Culture 2000 calls from 2002 to 2004.
44 2013, ID: 107. Ttranslation mine. Original in French: ‘Le projet vise à rendre tangible,
instructif et ludique le parallèle entre trois “cultures” de l’Âge du Fer … L’outil de cette prise
de conscience est l’archéologie, dont les découvertes ont révélé au grand public la continuité
culturelle de l’Europe.’
45 2006, ID: 67. Translation mine. Original in French: ‘Objectives: Permettre aux pays
coorganisateurs de faire un état des connaissances sur un double phénomène technologique et
humain; Permettre au grand public d'avoir connaissance d'une certaine unicité de l'Europe
bien avant la mise en place de l'Union européenne.’
46 2013, ID: 108.
In certain cases all of the above elements were woven into a narrative that
resonated with tropes on European origins:
This travelling exhibition presents an overview of prehistoric art in Europe
and provides an insight into the cultural roots of the continent's first Homo sapiens populations and the forms of artistic expression common to them. The
project aims to stimulate an awareness of European identity, particularly
amongst young people … documenting some of the events and experiences
which form the very foundations of European civilisation. 47
Based on the analysis of the policy-inspired phrases and EU buzzwords used
in the collected project descriptions, exemplified here in this brief overview,
I would like to introduce some initial observations which warrant further
 Firstly, archaeological projects often appropriate the language of the
policy base, the programme decision and the calls for proposals, even
when not directly prompted to do so, sometimes turning the notion of a
‘common heritage’ into a common or European past in the process.
 Secondly, in the pursuit to compare common elements and reveal likenesses (encouraged in calls up until 2003), the related EU creed on ‘diversity’ is often missing, and when urged to pick something ‘European’
as an object of study, few projects aimed at increasing the knowledge of
the past choose topics that challenge the idea of a common heritage.
 Thirdly, when a leap is made between past and present, a narrative structure is often used to bridge the gap.
 Fourthly, it is primarily when citizens (especially young people) are to
be made aware of the type commonness studied or promoted through the
projects that notions of a European past or identity become activated.
Bearing these observations in mind, it is time to look at what these projects
were about and if they continued to interact with EU notions on a common
European heritage after achieving co-funding. If we begin with the idea that
the Commission was the exclusive target and intended reader of the descriptions discussed here, then how did the projects describe their activities and
research in other forums? As main points of entry for the following discussion I have decided to use two discernible thematic directions among the
collected projects, which at the same time correlate to archaeologically relevant points of entry, namely: European times and things.
1997, ID: 124.
European times
The Bronze Age was an exciting period of Europe’s history when contacts between the various parts of greater Europe began to develop, mirroring the
modern interaction between the member states of the Council of Europe. 48
In the quoted campaign folder, originating from the initiative The Bronze
Age: the first golden age of Europe, it is suggested that the Europe of today
can be linked to a specific archaeological time period. Recounting how they
came to settle upon the Bronze Age as a means to increase public awareness
of archaeology, a representative of the campaign stated that out ‘of all possible epochs of the past, the Bronze Age was regarded as the most appropriate
for this specific purpose. It is the most glorious and rather unobserved period
in European prehistory. It has conspicuous monuments all over Europe and
trade routes.’49 Based on their project descriptions, many collaborations cofunded by the Culture programmes have reasoned in a similar way when
deciding upon the scope and theme of their projects, seemingly without
much hesitation. Although the Bronze Age has acted as a focal point in the
archaeological grand narratives of Europe as well as for researchers taking
issue with EUforic representations of the past,50 this study shows that periods
such as the Roman Era and the Early Middle Ages have been far more relevant when appealing to a common European heritage.
Classical Antiquity
Middle Ages
Recent History
Mixed Periods/Method
Figure 20. Graph of the distribution of time periods among 161 projects.
CoE 1994. The campaign was carried out 1994 to 1997 in connection to the European
Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (1992) and the European Plan
for Archaeology (1992) (See Pickard 2002).
49 Trotzig 2001b: 4.
50 Gramsch 2000; Gröhn 2004; Hølleland 2008.
As can be seen in the chart (figure 20), more than half of the projects dealt
with prehistoric times; that is to say up until the Early Middle Ages (as defined in the projects).51 Some projects within this category had a very wide
focus that did not allow for finer temporal definition, but at least ten concerned the Palaeolithic, seven the Neolithic, 11 involved the Bronze Age
(three on Minoan Bronze age), four the Viking Age, seven on Iron Age and
four the Celtic Era. Another big piece of the circle represents the parallel
time period Classical Antiquity.52 Within this category, 11 projects worked
with various aspects of the Greco-Roman period (Etruscans, Ancient Greece,
Thrace, Picenum and early Byzantium) and at least 28 with the Roman Empire.53 Among the projects studied, the ones dealing with the Middle Ages
are almost on par with those studying the Roman Era. Within this section
there were few sub-divisions, aside from two projects working with the
times of the Crusades and two with the Carolingian Empire. The small but
diverse category of projects dealing with the period from the Renaissance up
until mid-19th century included two on the 15–16th century (Synagogues and
Ships) and two on pre-industrial heritage (mines and hydraulic complexes).
In the recent history group, the focus was mostly placed on the late 19 th to
mid-20th century, with one project concentrating on the World Wars and four
on archaeological archives (out of which three were actually the same consortium receiving funding several times). The group named Mixed Periods
hides a great variety of projects with time spans that either breach the (artificial) prehistoric-historic divide, like one developing archaeological models
of the Alps from prehistoric to historic times, or projects which sought to
improve archaeological survey methods for better site management in general. Within these narratives, we find many replies to the question ‘when was
Europe?’ and I will now take a closer look at three possible answers: the
Palaeolithic, the Roman Era and the Early Middle Ages.
The first Europeans
Among the co-funded EU projects dealing with early periods of human history, especially the Palaeolithic, I found several which spoke of ‘Europeans’
and rehearsed policy phrases about a common heritage. Considering how far
back some of these projects reached, it made me wonder wherein the commonness resided. Was Europe simply used as a geographic frame, or did
they actually mean that something dating back a hundred thousand years was
Projects were divided based on subject and stated time period after which the categories
Prehistoric and Historic were superimposed. As many concerned methods, networks and best
practice, projects focused on, say, management of medieval castles, were marked as ‘Middle
Ages’ and projects creating a European standard for 16th century shipwreck sites as ‘Historic.’
52 Classical Antiquity is in a sense also prehistoric, but it is used here to designate the interlocking spheres around the Mediterranean at the time of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, including the colonies and neighbouring peoples.
53 Three ‘Mixed Period’ projects dealing in part with the Roman Era have been included.
connected to present-day Europe? Amid the projects studying early hominids
and their material culture we find two cooperation projects involving museums and universities. They were funded under calls for proposals that asked
applicants to emphasise common cultural themes or trends in relation to
European heritage, but without any specification of temporal period.
The first is named [email protected] In the project EU abstract the objectives stated include ‘The creation of a common European heritage’, and
their research focus was with human fossils, early tools and artistic representations of ‘early man.’ Two databases were promised, one scientific and one
‘mainstream.’ What was not clear from the EU project description, although
this could be assumed based on several partners being museums, was that
creating an exhibition was a key activity.55 On the partner websites, the project output was described as a virtual museum about the developmental history of people in Europe, a history said to represent a ‘common prehistoric
heritage.’56 An updated catalogue of human fossils found in Europe as well
as databases for the general public and scholars were listed as final outcomes. To see when Europe might be found in this project, I started by taking a tour of the virtual museum.
Figure 21. Affirmation of EU backing before entering [email protected] website.
Screenshot, URL: (accessed 1.1.16).
ID: 110. Financed under Culture 2000 (call for ‘Experimental Actions’ 1999). Duration 1
year. Coordinator: Institut Royal de Sciences Naturelles de Belgique (BE). Co-organisers:
Universitá di Torino (IT); Musée national d’historie et d’art (LU), Musée national de Préhistoire les Eyzies (FR); Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Mueum (NL); Neanderthal Mueum (DE),
The Natural History Museum London (UK).
55 The role of archaeology was smaller than that of physical anthropology, but the French
partner had an archaeological profile (URL:
[accessed 16.2.15]) and several archaeological publications are included under ‘Papers’ on the
web platform (American Journal of Archaeology; Antiquity; International Journal of Osteoarchaeology; Journal of Archaeological Science; Journal of Field Archaeology etc.).
56 Forschungsprojekte, URL: (accessed 16.2.15).
Upon entering the web platform, the project logo swoops in from the sidelines and an EU flag appears, accompanied by a text identifying the EU Culture programme as financial backer (figure 21). Only after this procedure is
it possible to reach the page. Under the tag called ‘project’ I found the following text:
[email protected], the virtual museum of the first Europeans, brings together
pieces both rare and scattered over several countries. It offers thus a global vision of a heritage common to all Europeans: fossils, original reconstructions,
and artistic representations. The Evolution of Man in Europe in four clicks! 57
These four clicks are: history, science, culture and representations. Stepping
into the first part of the museum, the history theme, we find the whole world
as the stage but Europe as the place of important discoveries, and Europeans
as ‘great men’ of science (not a woman in sight). This is noted already in the
introduction to the theme outlining the plot: ‘Europe occupies a central position in the history of human palaeontology. It is indeed in Europe that the
first remains of fossil Men were brought to light.’58 In the sub-sections, a
line-up of more than 20 scholastic characters anchor the scientific history,
beginning with the early collections of curiosities in the 18th century and
ending with the rewriting of the stages of hominisation through new methods
like mitochondrial DNA analysis. The section ends with a note on how new
theories have rendered older ones toothless, but that at least, during the last
50 years ‘the first theories suggesting the transformation or replacement, 35
000 years ago, of Neanderthal Men into or by modern Men were based on
the European discoveries.’59
The science section is devoted to biology, and here the hominids are first
introduced as one primate among many on a global scale. The focus gradually resolves until it reaches the last section called ‘The first Europeans,’ a
narrative told through images of skulls plotted on a map of the European
continent (figure 22). For every skull there is a story of the scholars, the excavations and the interpretations of the finds. In the case of the Homo Heidelbergensis the text tells us that he ‘was considered for a long time as the
oldest European’ but was trumped by another find later on.
In the next section, called ‘Culture,’ the visitor is presented with a teleological timeline beginning with the lower Palaeolithic and ending with the
‘European neolithization.’ Here Europe acts as the frame for a passive narrative of steady progression in which tools, burials, art, clothes, animal keep-
[email protected], URL: (accessed 16.2.15).
Introduction, URL: (accessed
59 History, URL:
(accessed 16.2.15).
ing and dwellings all come together as a whole.60 The sense of completeness
is due in part to the nature of the display, dealing with a huge time span with
short bits of text on each topic, making it seem more like a chronicle than a
saga. This linear time scale and small bits of text are typical of how narrative
structure can work to create coherence where there is little to be had. Europe
still acts as stage in this narrative, and things are rarely named as European.
Instead, it is highlighted that both agriculture and domesticated animal species spread from the Middle East.
Figure 22. Project web-platform. Web clips. Left: Entry to ‘The first Europeans’
exhibition. Right: Skulls plotted on map of Europe in ‘The first europeans’ section.
URL: (accessed 15.3.15).
The final section differs from the other three in that it discusses popular representations of early hominids through time and how they change according
to contemporary ideas.61 20th century racial interpretations, placing Europeans at the top of an evolutionary hierarchy, are addressed, as are notions of
prehistoric men as savages, beasts and pioneers. A study of hominids illustrated on stamps is included, five of which portray ‘the first Europeans.’
Here, in the recent past and with a critical twist, the story ends.
The next question is whether this European frame was also applied in the
more academic output of the project. Based on my examination of the publication listed in the abstract and featured on the website, Neanderthals and
modern humans: discussing the transition,62 the geographical frame remained in place, but without any developed storyline. In the compilation,
which consists of scientific papers from a conference held at one of the partner institutions in March 1999, Europe is a de facto continental frame. When
directed towards colleagues and without any narrative ambitions, ‘the first
Culture, URL: (accessed
61 Representations, URL: (accessed 16.2.15).
62 Orschiedt and Weniger (eds.) 2000.
Europeans’ becomes ‘the emergence of anatomically modern man in Europe.’63 In fact, no connection to the EU project is made.
The second project, called Archaic Europeans and Neanderthals/The
Homo Project: hominids, technology and environment in the Middle and
Early Upper Pleistocene,64 also describes their aim in the EU abstract as
creating an ‘exhibition about the life and environment of the first Europeans.’ In this case it was a physical exhibition which travelled between the
partners. It was said to be ‘didactic and multidisciplinary, with material chosen to make young people aware of this heritage.’ The topic was narrower,
dealing mainly with the deposits of Neanderthal remains found on the archaeological sites of Sima de las Palomas and Black Cave, located in the
community of Murcia in south-eastern Spain.
Although there is far less information available about this project, a general picture can be constructed based on photos and exhibition texts from the
coordinator’s website.65 Here, no larger aim appealing to a common heritage
is presented. The project is simply described as an international exhibition
financed by the European Commission. The theme is angled more towards
archaeological interpretation than defining biological origins. Starting from a
global perspective on human evolution as it occurred in Africa, North America and the Middle East, the story proceeds to list the earliest evidence of
human presence in Western Europe, as represented by the selected sites.
What comes next is the real focus of the narrative, the Neanderthal man,
dubbed the ‘the lead actor.’ From then on, under titles like ‘Lifestyles of the
Archaic European’ the exhibition elaborates on appearance, physical and
mental abilities, subsistence strategies, material culture and rituals surrounding the deceased. Unlike the first project, there are no contemporary aspects
included. In fact, connections to Europe as well as present times are sparse.
This is probably the result of the exhibition being a means of displaying the
results of a much larger research project with extensive excavations and
publications, rather than an independent initiative.
After looking at these two projects about the first Europeans, the question
‘when was Europe?’ remains uncertain. According to both projects, there
Orschiedt and Weniger (eds.) 2000: 7 (introduction).
ID: 2. Financed under Culture 2000 (call 2000). Duration 1 year. Coordinator: Ayuntamiento de Murcia (ES). Co-organisers: Disputacio de Barcelona Oficina de Patrimoni Cultural (ES). Naturhistorisches museum Wien (AT), Oxford University Museum of Natural
History (UK) Université de Liége – Service de Prehistoire (BE). In the EU abstract it is
called: Homo, hominidos, technologia y medio ambiente en el pleistoceno medio y superior,
but elsewhere Europeos arcaicos y Neanderthales is added. The English title is from a partner
website (About us, URL: [accessed
65 Exposición Europeos, Arcaicos y Neanderthales Ayuntamiento de Torrepacheco. URL:
codMenu=27 (accessed 14.11.13).
were indeed Europeans during the Paleolithic, and by that logic there was
also Europe. Being the ‘oldest European’ or an ‘Archaic European’ appears
to be a source of some prestige, but the stories presented relate more to
tropes of human evolution in a general sense. As demonstrated by Misia
Landau, who has analysed the plots of scientific texts on human origins,
such narratives often build on the universal hero tale in folklore and myth. 66
These include nine steps, Landau argues. In summary, they introduce a
humble hero (a nonhuman primate) who sets off on a journey (leaving the
native habitat), and obtains vital help or equipment from a benefactor (natural selection). From there on the primate goes through a series of tests (harsh
climate, predators or competitors) – aka ‘slays a dragon’ – and finally arrives
at a higher and more human state.67
In the project exhibits, Europe becomes the stage upon which these heroes – the early hominids – come to life. In the sections dealing with material
culture this stage is filled with props, but it is still the location of finds that
matter rather than their European qualities or types. The only part using European as an adjective is the [email protected] segment celebrating the pioneers in the field, demonstrating excellence and progress through their scientific undertakings, traits traditionally connected to the West (oddly, this was
kept separate from the critical part about popular representations, perhaps
reflecting the different interests of the persons involved). Ultimately, what
makes these particular heroes European is simply that they were found within the borders of what we now call Europe.
Nevertheless, even if the words Europe and European predominantly
work as geographic delineators in these projects, their meaning is expanded
in the interaction with the EU. Educating young people about ‘the first Europeans’ takes on new significance in a funding programme seeking to stir a
sense of belonging to Europe and to create a cultural area common to the
European people(s). No explanation is offered as to why Europe should be
studied separately as a spatial or cultural container, and the joining of potent
words like Europe and ancestors in [email protected] certainly activates the
idea of a common origin.68 Simultaneously, when ancient human fossils are
designated a ‘heritage common to all Europeans,’ the potential of these
phrases to be used as mechanisms of exclusion is amplified.69 Although the
references to EU policy are consigned to the packaging of the projects – such
as titles, logotypes and introductions –70 first impressions matter. Many visitors never engage beyond that level.
Landau 1991.
Landau 1991: 10–14.
68 See Ascherson 2008 for discussion of Europe as a ‘container.’
69 According to Wolpoff and Caspari (2013), racialist legacies haunt the disciplines studying
human evolution, making words like ‘European’ precarious.
70 In the case of [email protected] this packaging was even more prominent on their own web
platform than in the texts collected from EU platforms.
The Roman Empire as the first common European space
For the first time since the fall of the Roman Empire we have the opportunity
to unite Europe.71
Such were the hopes of Commission president Romano Prodi in 1999, ahead
of the upcoming enlargement of the EU. Like many political constellations
over the last millennia, the EU and its representatives have often drawn upon
the legacy of the Roman Empire, in political speeches as well in the distributions of funds. The very signing of the treaty which founded the Community
took place in Rome, among frescos of Roman history. At this time, and in
subsequent commemoration events, the symbolic importance of the location
was highlighted.72 The allure of Ancient Rome as a usable past has subsisted
in its model of citizenship and inherited aspects of its legal system, and perhaps even more in its ability to “unite” a vast and culturally diverse territory.
Since this territory also corresponded somewhat with the borders of the
Community up until the 1990s, its popularity as a cultural reference among
MEPs and EU officials is not startling, particularly when taking the historical influence of Italian representatives on EU cultural actions into account.73
Of course, the Roman Empire did produce a lot of material remains for
archaeological projects to gather around. One example is the long running
project Frontiers of the Roman Empire,74 which central target was the Limes,
an archaeological feature running through numerous member states.75 Such
physical features, combined with the fact that Italian institutions have dominated the list of participating countries within the projects studies, makes the
Roman Era a predictable choice. Nevertheless, attaching the signifier Europe
and the political institution of the EU to events so far back in time requires a
large measure of ‘creative anachronism,’76 and in projects studying this period I found the links drawn between the past and present to be quite distinct.
Romano Prodi. On enlargement. Brussels, October 13, 1999. Original language.
Hansen-Magnusson and Wüstenberg 2012.
73 See chapter three for the most influential member state and representatives in EU discussions on heritage.
74 ID: 64. Culture 2000 (call 2005). It was led by Historic Scotland and originally consisted of
11 partners from different countries. Stated objectives were to create ‘European standards for
the creation of a European database on archaeological sites,’ ‘guidelines for best practice in
the field of archaeology and virtual reconstruction,’ ‘exchange between archaeologists and
between archaeologists and other experts,’ ‘educational projects addressed to the general
public and youth.’
75 According to Meier (2013), the project revived the dichotomy between ‘us, the civilised’
and ‘those, the barbarians,’ by using the border as a divider.
76 Lowenthal 1985: 363.
The first project that caught my eye was Simulacra Romae:77 Roman provincial capitals – a common European heritage.78 The EU description states
that the project will carry out a ‘Comparative exam of the different Roman
provincial capitals; through their big works and public monuments.’ The
rationale offered is that the architecture of these colonies has ‘marked the
character of a “common” past in the history of the different mediaeval and
modern European nations.’ The main objectives were research on urbanisation processes and dissemination of knowledge, foremost through the creation of a website and the organisation of an international congress to ‘frame
the different archaeological evidences.’
Figure 23. Project website, Simulacra Romae. Screenshot, URL: (accessed 1.4.15).
‘Simulacra Romae’ means ‘Images of Rome.’ Again there was some confusion regarding
the full name of the project. In the EU lists it is only named Simulacra Romae. On one of the
partner web pages the English version is put forth as Simulacra Romae: Rome, the provincial
capitals and the development of the first European urban landscape, while the final publication is named Simulacra Romae: Roma y las capitales provinciales del Occidente Europeo:
estudios arqueológicos (2004). In this text I have used title from the website.
78 ID: 15. Financed under Culture 2000 (call 2001). Duration 1 year. Coordinator: Consorcio
Urbium Hispanie Romanae (ES) Co-organisers and Associate partners: Cultura Provincia di
Venezia (IT); Ayuntamiento de Cordoba, Oficina de Arqueología (ES); CNRS Archeometrie
et Archeologie Lyon (FR); Instituto de Arqueología de Merida (ES) Sovritendenzia dei Fori
Imperiali (IT); Universitá de Cordoba (ES); Service Regional d’Archeologie d’Aquitane (FR);
Unidade d’Arqueologia Universidade do Minho (PT); Museo Arqueológico de Cartagena
(ES); Universedad de Murcia (ES); Groupe de Recherches Archeologiques du Narbonnais
The theme of the project is elaborated upon under the presentation section of
the project website (figure 23). Rome is described as a power that forcefully
imposed their authority in the formation of provincial space (200 BC – 100
AD), but which also created new cultural and social elements that can be
considered ‘the first common European space.’79 The elements were: a ‘single political entity’ that could accommodate diversity within, the ‘unification’ of the free populace under one law and a unique kind of ‘citizenship,’
and the building of a ‘common economic area’ with common administrative
and fiscal mechanisms and a shared army. The presentation also covers the
meaning of the terms colony and province, the types of sites examined, and
the need to develop good practices and methods in terms of their protection,
preservation and presentation. It concludes by stating the aim to present research of public interest from a scientific and informative aspect, and by
affirming the link to Culture 2000.
In another description written by the Venetian partner, included on both
the project and the partner website, participation is said to be based on:
…sharing the idea that the full integration of all the states of the European
Union can only be achieved through the recognition of the common historical,
cultural and social heritage.80
According to the partner, the comparative research sheds light on ‘a historical journey of extraordinary importance for the birth and evolution of a first
common European space,’ unifying people under one political entity.81 Two
options for how to understand the Romanisation process are offered: one of
European social and cultural unification and one of resistance to forced assimilation by the Imperial power. Either way, it concludes, the influence of
Romanisation on the formation of European nations cannot be denied.
The website is shaped like an archive of sorts, collecting a wide range of
resources from each city and their numerous sites. Looking at the rich content, the references to commonness fade away and the promised comparison
seem to consist of presenting cities next to each other according to a common design (chronology, history, documentation, related publications, con-
Precentació, URL: (accessed
3.3.15). Translation mine. Original in Spanish: ‘primer espacio común europeo.’
80 This quote is based on the English version on the partner website. Simalacra Romae, URL: (accessed 3.3.15).
81 Translation mine. Original in Italian: ‘un percorso storico di straordinaria importanza per la
nascita e l'evoluzione di un “primo spazio comune europeo” unificando i popoli in una singola
entità politica.’ URL: (accessed 3.3.15).
nected museums and institutions as well as visitor information).82 By way of
a list of cities or alternatively the interactive map, we are guided through
images and thick descriptions of the objects and sites that have been assigned the ‘character of a “common” past:’ Roman aqueducts, forums, theatres, baths, circuses, memorials and road works. Yet, each presentation is site
specific, without visible links to other sites or to Europeaness.
Seeking a fuller picture, I turned to the published proceedings of the project congress, said to convey a ‘purely archaeological perspective.’83 I found
that it mirrored the structure of the website, each contribution dealing with
questions on urbanisation, political and economic context, or the current
state of research on a specific site or place. The last contribution consists of a
presentation of the website. Here the compartmentalised design is explained
by stating that the project aim was simply to perform a comprehensive data
collection. The role of the network, it states, was to guide and comment objectively on published content, letting readers draw their own conclusions.84
In other words, the project did not make comparisons as much as provide
a base upon which to make comparisons possible. As a result, the website
and the introduction to the volume is the only thing clearly tying the project
together, at least from an outsider’s point of view. The introduction contextualises the project and elaborates on the shared problem of dealing with
preservation and protection in cities that are constantly expanding. In relation to this problem, it states the need for new ways to enhance archaeological heritage for the public, making it possible to present it ‘under a common
prism that help us understand the origins of our European entity.’85
Thus, although commonness is never built by explicitly comparing the
sites, the theme of a common European heritage underlines the reasoning in
the passages defining the purpose of the project. In several places, explicit
references linking ‘the first common European space’ to the Europe of today
are made. At the most basic level this effect follows from the use of ‘first’ or
‘birth,’ or by emphasising characteristics like unification, citizenship and a
common economy over the aggressive and imperialist aspects of Romanisation. It is implied that the EU is a second common space. This space is tied
to the present by using phrases like ‘the origins of our European entity.’ The
Venetian partner also formulated EUropean integration as something to be
fostered through knowledge about Romanisation processes. Taken together it
is clear that Europe is not solely an operational concept in this project. It is
not the scene upon which the story is played out, but a geopolitical entity
The Roman cities were: Roma, Tarraco, Emerita, Córduba, Chartago Nova, Bracara, Narbo,
Lugdunum, and Burdigala. Modern cities involved: Rome, Tarragona, Córdoba, Mérida,
Venezia, Cartagena, Braga, Lyon, Bordeaux and Narbonne.
83 The congress was held in Tarragona 2002. Proceedings: Ruiz de Arbulo (ed.). 2004a.
84 Fernández 2004: 346.
85 Ruiz de Arbulo 2004b: 8. Translation mine. Original in Spanish: ‘mostrado a la población
bajo un prisma común que nos ayude a entender los orígenes de nuestra entidad europea.’
reincarnated in the present. Even if references to Europe as a space are frequent, it is the idea of Europe that structures the narrative.
This picture is consistent with the follow-up project, Simulacra Romae II,
which started in 2007 (this time without EU funding). It included both old
and new partners and resulted in another symposium, held in Reims 2008. I
bring it up because of an interesting passage in the foreword of the symposium publication.86 After going over the aims and implementation of the first
project, using the same phrases of a ‘common past’ and the ‘first common
European space,’ the text turns toward the question of Rome as a culturally
charged idea and how it has been used over the ages. Its role in romanticism
and nationalism are mentioned but so too are current times. ‘The interest of
the European Union for this project is proof,’ it states, that ‘the remains of
these cities must indeed be shown to the public under a common prism that
helps us understand the origins of the idea of Europe, and a first draft of
what is now called globalization.’87 This is followed by reflection about
how, in the age of postmodernism, the history of their own research will
certainly not escape scrutiny and that the time is now ripe to nuance and
challenge the utopian image of Roman colonisation. There was clearly
awareness about the funding context and a genuine will to contribute to the
development of the EU, as well as to reflect upon the idea of EUrope.
There are several projects that at first sight seem strikingly similar to
Simulacra Romae. The multiannual project Transformation: the emergence
of a common culture in the northern provinces of the Roman Empire from
Britain to the Black Sea and up to 212 A.D,88 and Rome's Conquest of Europe: military aggression, native responses and the European public today
are two of them.89 Both introduce a narrative of European unification in the
Villaescusa and Ruiz de Arbulo (eds.) (2010).
Ruiz de Arbulo 2010: 11. Translation mine. Original in French: ‘Les vestiges de ces villes
doivent en effet être montrés au grand public sous un prisme commun qui nous aide à comprendre les origines de l’idée d’Europe et une toute première ébauche de ce qu’on appelle
maintenant la mondialisation.’
88 ID: 48. Financed under Culture 2000 (call 2004). Duration 3 years. Coordinator: The Museum for Ancient Shipping, Mainz (DE). Coorganisers and associated partners: Tyne & Wear
Museums, Arbeia Roman Fort & Museum (GB); Rijksdienst voor Archeologie, Cultuurlandschap en Monumenten (NL); Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut Wien (AT); Eötvös
Loránd Tudományegyetem – Régészettudományi Intézete Budapest (HU); Institutul de Arheologie şi Istoria Artei, Academia Romănă Filiala Cluj-Napoca (RO); Arheologicheski Institut
s Muzej pri Bulgarskata Akademija na Naukite Sofia (BG); Uniwersytet Warszawski – Instytut Archeologii (PL); Archeologický ústav AV ČR Brno (CZ); Slovenské Národné Muzeum –
Archeologické Muzeum, Bratislava (SK). Other partners: Departamento de Ciencias de la
Antigüedad de la Universidad de Zaragoza (ES) Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Paris (FR);
Dipartemento di Scienze Storiche del Mondo Antico, Università di Pisa (IT).
89 ID: 56. Financed under Culture 2000 (call 2005). Duration 10 months. Coordinator: Sa
Nitja Association, Gestión del Patrimonio Mediterrano Sanisera (ES). Co-organisers and
associated partners: Dunsberg Verein E.V. (DE); University of Edinburgh (GB); Forstamt
Wettemberg (DE); Gemeinde Biebertal (DE).
past in their EU abstracts, albeit with a slightly different emphasis. Transformation seeks to ‘show in detail how one cultural sphere from the Atlantic
Ocean to the Black Sea came into being for the first time in European history.’ However, rather than stressing unity, the project will ‘propose that integration does not automatically eradicate regional characteristics.’ The
presentation on the website stays true to this.90 In the EU description to
Rome's Conquest of Europe, the phrasing and goal is very similar to that of
Simulacra Romae, even creating the dual perspective of how Romanisation
as both an aggressive and a positive coming together:
The only time in history when most of the population of Europe and the Mediterranean formed part of a single political entity for centuries was under Roman rule. The material traces of this unification through military aggression as
well as through successful political integration form part of our common cultural heritage and are of truly European significance … The project will focus
on three sites, which form ideal case studies to demonstrate how European
cultures were progressively integrated into the Roman world. Objectives: The
project will address the citizen through innovative display techniques and encourage reflection on what lessons emerge from our shared European past for
future integration.
The anchoring to policy is very clear in this text, as is the tying together of
past, present and future under the keywords common heritage, integration
and European cultures/past. Unfortunately, there is no remaining website,
but only a few descriptions in other sources. In a meta-text written by the
German partner, the goals from the abstract are listed, although in even more
general terms.91 One of the goals replicated from the EU Treaties is interpreted in a very liberal way, stating that they would promote ‘mutual
knowledge of the history of other European countries’ by simply ‘informing
the public about this project.’92 According to the text this is exactly what
happened, the three sites did their own exhibitions and publications in which
they also displayed information about the EU project.93 Thus, to a higher
degree than in many other projects, the policy inspired language seems to
boil down to application poetry.
Home, URL: (accessed 3.3.15).
Seite 1. URL: (accessed 3.3.15).
92 Translation mine. Original in German: ‘Förderung von wechselseitigen Kenntnissen über
die Geschichte anderer europäischer Länder durch Informierung der Öffentlichkeit über dieses Projekt.’ 'Keltenstadt' Dünsberg im Fokus internationalen Interesses, URL: (accessed 3.3.15).
93 Sites were: a Celtic Town in Dünsberg, Sanisera at Menorca and Alchester Roman Town.
Figure 24. Map and database structure, Transformation. Screenshot, URL: (accessed 1.4.15).
Transformation had as part of their goal the creation of an online database
and a travelling exhibition. The website and database are similar in style to
that of Simulacra Romae, with extensive information on areas and ancient
cities arranged under uniform subsections. In this case however, the organising principle is not names and categories from the Roman past, but ‘Modern
Countries’ and ‘Themes’ (figure 24). Under countries, the information is
site-specific, with chronology, historic developments and archaeological
remains, but under the thematic entry we come as close to a comparison as
we have yet encountered. For each theme, such as production, costumes, and
cults, we find interpretations from the different areas listed side by side.
The posters that make up the travelling exhibition offer a condensed version of the database, highlighting comparable elements from different places
and tying them together through bits of text explaining similarities and differences. References to Europe are sparse however and the narrative has no
clear ending. The frame is filled with cultural content and through comparisons a wider perspective emerges, but aside from the suggestive promise to
present how ‘one cultural sphere … came into being for the first time in European history,’ the signs of European commonness and importantly, diversity, remain in the past.
Taken together, if Simulacra Romae and Rome’s Conquest of Europe
build on the idea of Europe, Transformation balances between the idea and
the operational use of Europe as a geographically defined space. All three
projects tend to remain in the past. They interact with the goals and context
of the funding source and allude to a European continuity, some more manifestly than others. The main emphasis, however, lies on Romanisation pro201
cesses as a knowledge bank which can contribute to better integration in the
EU, not on Rome as the direct ancestor of the political project. Overall, the
answer to the question ‘when was Europe?’ is clear in these projects: Europe
came into existence for the first time under the Roman Era.
The Early Middle Ages as the cradle of EUrope
Alongside the Roman Era, the Middle Ages stood out as a central theme
among the projects studied. This is in part a result of the general preoccupation with monuments and buildings within EU discourses on cultural heritage, of which this period has plenty. It can also be seen as a political and
academic response to the need for a past more suited to the EU space after
successive enlargements. As demonstrated by Ian Wood in The modern origins of the Early Middle Ages (2013), exhibitions on the Middle Ages (many
of them EU-funded), have – since the fall of the Berlin Wall – marked the
‘reintegration of Central Europe into the Western European tradition.’94 Although not a perfect match, the Carolingian Empire and the sphere of Catholic Christianity – features long highlighted as pivotal to the emergence of
modern Europe –95 have grown increasingly popular as feature of a EUropean past. Moreover, just as in the case of the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages
produced a lot of material culture and enduring structural elements (such as
village layouts) that bear striking similarities across the continent,96 making
direct cultural references all too tempting.97 To exemplify how the EU political project worked its way into project narratives of the Early Middle Ages, I
will now to turn toward the project used to introduce this chapter: Cradles of
European Culture (CEC).98 This five year collaboration was granted funding
in the same year that I worked for the Commission Agency in Brussels. I
have therefore been able to follow it during its implementation period, both
from a distance and through conversations with participants.
In the EU abstract it is promised that cultural heritage can assist in the EU
integration process, since it represents the ‘evidence and justification of Eu94
Wood 2013: 326.
Wood 2013.
96 See contributions in Geary and Gábor (eds.) (2013) for discussions on the similar material
culture of the Middle Ages that the nation-states “revised” when forging their own histories.
97 The programmes also coincided with an increased interest in European cooperation among
medievalists in archaeology, who, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the emergence of the
“new” EU, created the Medieval Europe Congress in 1992 (now MERC) (Carver 2014).
98 ID: 93. Financed under Culture 2007–2013 (call 2010). Duration 5 years. Coordinator:
Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia (SI); Coorganisers: Provinciaal
archeologisch museum Ename (BE) Provinciaal Archeologische Museum Velzeke (BE);
Université de Provence (FR); Gemeente Nijmegen (NL); The Monument Board of the Slovak
Republic (SK); Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences IBACN (CZ); Emilia
Romagna (IT); Roman-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeological Inst. (DE);
Research Institute for the Heritage (NL); Ename Expertisecentrum voor Erfgoedontsluiting
vzw (BE); University of Rijeka, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences (HR).
rope as a geo-cultural entity.’ If this is recognised, it argues, the influence of
heritage institutions could increase, but first the boundaries of the nationstates have to be transcended. The Realm of Francia Media, ‘extending from
the Mediterranean to the North Sea going through the heart of Europe between 850 and 1050,’ was therefore chosen as the main object of study. This
is a region said to signify the very ‘cradle of the European Union.’ Using the
Early Middle Ages as a starting point, the aim is described as showing the
continuous effect of Europe's geo-cultural past on European society, linking
our knowledge of physical remains to questions of identity, belonging and
intercultural dialogue. In relation to this, the selected archaeological and
historical sites are baptised as true ‘Cradles of European Culture.’ Core objectives are research, and finding new ways to make sense of, and present
this period to the public and especially young people. Aside from educational programmes and exhibitions, ‘European interpretation centres’ and a
Francia Media heritage route are listed as outputs.
As presented in this text, the aims of CEC stand out as hitherto the most
politically ambitious. The project interacts intimately with its funding context. The connection is particularly interesting since it was co-funded under
Culture 2007–2013, a programme where abstracts were left intact and no
detailed conditions dictated the subject matters of the projects. Of course, the
programme still sought to encourage the emergence of European citizenship
and spoke of a common cultural heritage, but the calls and guidelines from
this period only included overarching criteria. Out of these, only the phrase
‘intercultural dialogue’ was borrowed. What this project attempted could
thus be seen as a mix between historical revisionism and a kind of heritage
activism or ‘archaeology of action,’ an approach that recognises our situated
roles, using them to create the world we want.99
Looking at the website under the section ‘Project,’ the purpose remains
consistent with the EU abstract.100 The common past is portrayed as having
fallen victim to centuries of nationalist history writing, something that needs
to change if we are to address contemporary unrest and increase togetherness
in the ‘European zone.’ Emanating from the scientific community and
spreading outwards, heritage institutions are to become vehicles of change.
The explicit connection between Francia Media and the EU takes a winding
path (figure 25). Francia Media is a political territory defined through the
Treaty of Verdun 843 when the Frankish empire was divided into three
kingdoms after a civil war between the grandchildren of Charlemagne.101 It
was partitioned again in 855, after which Francia Media (or Middle Francia)
only became a geographic term, although the project stated its ending point
as 1033. Starting with medieval commercial routes, described as zones of
McGuire 2008; Tilley 1989b.
Project, URL: (accessed 7.1.14).
Riddle 2008: 209.
exchange and innovation, the project description emphasises the linguistic
and cultural diversity of the region and its neighbours. This, in turn, is linked
to the growth of Renaissance and humanist values. The last centuries, it continues, although marked by nationalist conflict, brought with it the ‘European idea,’ a long development crowned by the Treaty of Rome in 1957.
Figure 25. Francia Media heritage route. Map with the locations of the sites and
partners. After Callebout 2013: 202 [attributed to Tom Nevejan]. Also available in a
project information folder from 2012, and at the project website, URL: (accessed 1.2.16).
It concludes by stating that the founding member states of the Community
all belonged to this territory, making it an ‘ideal opportunity for the European citizens to find the roots of a concrete European identity in all of its unity
and diversity.’102 The introduction to the website repeats this mantra. By
shedding new light on the selected archaeological and historical sites, it is
pledged that the ‘scientific endeavor will show that the European dream has
far deeper roots than one might imagine.’103
Outlined before us is a teleological narrative featuring Francia Media as
the historical container of the EU political project and the muse to the different characters in the story, from Charlemagne and his heirs to the founding
fathers of the EU. In a united present or future EUrope, despite facing many
hardships along the way, its destiny is finally to be fulfilled. Now compare
this to the statement below, offered by a project participant in the catalogue
for one of the project exhibitions:
As CEC, too, has demonstrated, no ‘European’ cultural heritage actually exists and above all we do not need cultural heritage as a source of identity, just
as we do not need anything that focuses on unity, but rather something that
analyzes complexity…104
What happened here one might ask? And does this really represent a conclusion drawn in the project as a whole? Looking at how ideas of Europeaness
are transmitted in the different project outputs, the answer is both yes and no.
Narratives of a common European past, extending from the Early Middle
Ages to the present, co-exist with more self-reflective texts that put a question mark behind these notions. They are often presented side by side, but
rarely interwoven.
When visiting the online heritage route aimed towards the general public,
we are told it ‘consists of a network of ten European sites, which demonstrate that today’s unity goes back to the Early Middle Ages.’105 For each site
there is information about its history, places to see, practical visitor information and a gallery. ‘History’ is the section knitting the narrative together.
It creates site biographies spanning from before AD 850 to the present, extending far beyond the ‘in-situ’ archaeological and historical contexts.106
Taking the hilltop settlement Gradišče in modern day Slovenia as an example,107 the subsection ‘850–1050’ links it to the larger narrative by designat102
Project, URL: (accessed 7.1.14).
Cradles of European Culture, URL: (accessed 7.1.14).
104 Guermandi 2014: 42.
105 Heritage route, URL: (accessed 3.3.15).
106 The sub-categories for history are: Before the year 850 (landscape and early settlement),
850-1050 (history, archaeology, art and architecture, international connections), 1050–
Modern Era (historical developments on the site/area), Modern Era–Today (archaeological
research, current site), and Personalities (historical personas or scholars connected to the site).
107 An archaeological site with settlement phases from the 4 th–6th and 8th–10th centuries.
ing the area as the early medieval Carniola, a place of some interest for the
Frankish Kingdom due to its inhabitants involvement in Slavic rebellions.108
Archaeology is used to confirm that the site corresponds with the time period
(AD 790–990), and that the styles of certain excavated objects are connected
to Carolingian influences. More threads are tied together under the heading
‘international connections.’ However, as the story moves forward in time,
from 12th century countesses to 19th century hunting lodges, it loses its footing. It ends in a local setting, describing the excavation history of the site
and famous personalities linked to the area.109
In this project output, the critical questioning illustrated earlier is missing.
As in many of the other projects analysed, when the time comes to make
sense of dissimilar sites in widespread geographical locations, Europe turns
into a passive frame filled with content rather than forming a coherent narrative. Linking the local to the European level was part of the original plan for
the project, but when starting from a site-specific angle, attempts to connect
to the larger narrative go astray. Here, unity is lost in favour of diversity, but
this is not a subversive action as the premise of demonstrating a European
unity is left unharmed.
Looking at one of the physical exhibitions produced by the project, The
Legacy of Charlemagne 814–2014,110 the parallelism re-emerges. The exhibition was originally meant to deal with a narrower theme, however the fact
that 2014 marked the 1200th year since the death of Charlemagne made it
politically and thematically attractive to extend the theme.111 In the exhibition leaflet, visitors are promised the story of the forgotten realm of Francia
Media, the home of the ‘founding fathers of the European idea.’112 To this a
twist is added, saying that the exhibition will show how the Carolingian past
has been used to legitimise struggles to bring ‘unity in diversity’ to Europe.
The EU motto ‘unity in diversity,’ runs as a red line through the project and
here it is used as a way to highlight European unification attempts over time.
Since this is one of the sites not actually within the historic realm of Francia Media, the
links made are few and rather weak. At other sites, like Prague castle, the link is more taken
for granted: ‘Bohemia was annexed to the Empire in 805 and despite political changes has
since then been a natural constituent of the Western European cultural sphere’ (URL: [accessed 3.3.15]).
109 Mostly, these personas are archaeologists or local celebrities. For Prague Castle, St Adalbert and St Wenceslas or St Ludmila are included, the latter said to have played a ‘symbolic
role as the first “Czech European” at the accession of the Czech Republic to the EU’ (URL: [accessed 3.3.15]).
110 Ename, Belgium: 10 May 2014–30 November 2014.
111 Callebaut 2014a: 20–24. The extension also made it easier to incorporate the project members that were located outside Francia Media. The next exhibition Impertiituro (Ravenna)
became even wider, presenting an ‘imperial idea’ from antiquity until the Europe of Charlemagne to the Ottomans and to the present.
112 Flyer Ename 2014, The legacy of Charlemagne (814–2014), URL: (accessed 12.12.14).
In relation to the concept, it is remarked that ‘the European Union is the
ultimate embodiment of this aspiration and the exhibition will show how it
finally came into being.’113 Again, the preamble is already set; a myth of
origin for the EU is in the making.
In the exhibition itself, as the story goes, Europe was budding in the Roman Era, an empire acting as inspiration for Charlemagne. Under his rule a
type of unity grew, owing much to Christianity. This unity suffered fragmentation under the rule of Charlemagne’s descendants, but within this fragmentation a unity in diversity re-surfaced in the realm of Francia Media. After
this, new dreams of Europe were created and broken, dreams in which Charlemagne and his realm became fuel to legitimise the visions of Charles the
Bold and Napoleon. In the 20th century the dream became a nightmare and
Europe was abused in war, with fascists and Nazis using symbols of ancient
Rome and the Carolingian realm as propaganda. Here and elsewhere, the
correlations between historical events, such as the frontlines of the world
wars lining up with the borders of Francia Media, are pointed out. The story
ends in the present and with the EU political project. Standing in front of an
EU flag placed in a glass showcase, visitors are asked to reflect upon the
future of the Union: if its search for unity in diversity will succeed.114
The focus on symbols and narratives as tools of legitimisation and the use
and abuse of Carolingian heritage makes the exhibition story more complex
than the one told in the online heritage route. The parallelism occurs when a
politically motivated connection between Francia Media and the EU is
sought, while simultaneously identifying other such attempts as propaganda.
Charlemagne and Francia Media are lifted mainly as positive things,115 the
Nazis and fascists’ uses of these as symbols as negative, while the EU becomes a force of good.
Looking at the exhibition catalogue, the parallel narratives become more
visible. A photograph of the head patron of the project, the president of the
European Council (EU) Herman Van Rompuy, initiates the volume (figure
26). His introductory note, a reflection on Charlemagne as a forefather of
European integration, explains that his legacy is not just the stuff of historians but an important symbol in the building of post-World War II Europe.116
A positive symbol, as is illustrated by his proud mention of the Charlemagne
The Legacy of Charlemagne (814–2014), URL: (accessed 12.12.14).
114 This paragraph is based on the exhibition catalogue (Callebaut and van Cuyck eds. 2014),
Exhibition flyer (2014, note. 112), and the ‘virtual visit’ section on the exhibition homepage,
URL: (accessed 1.5.15).
115 As emphasised on the exhibition web page: ‘Grouping countries with no common history
or ethnic identity, this temporary realm shows a beautiful example of an early attempt to reach
unity within an unsettling diversity.’ Presentation, URL: (accessed 11.3.14).
116 Van Rompuy 2014: 9.
Prize he was soon to receive in Aachen. The project itself is introduced using a similar text to that of the EU abstract, adding that in a society of constant change, they want to make the European idea clearer and more recognisable to people.117
Figure 26. Herman Van Rompuy, patron of the CEC project. Page scanned from the
Belgian exhibition catalouge (Callebaut and van Cuyck eds. 2014: 8).
The rest of the 414 pages offer a bricolage spanning from archaeological and
historical case studies on Rome, Charlemagne and Francia Media, to texts
deconstructing the uses of the past. Some celebrate the legacy of Charlemagne, making clear connections between then and now,118 while others turn
the perspective around by stating that Francia Media instead can be viewed
as a conflict zone and that, in the end, ‘Every iteration of Europe creates its
Callebaut, Pirkovič and Karo 2014: 7.
Bauer 2014.
own idea of Europe.’119 In the five texts dealing with the EU, the connection
to Charlemagne and Francia Media weakens. Instead, general topics like the
political history of the EU, or specific questions like if the EU is worthy of
the Nobel Peace Prize are discussed.
In the end note the storyline is puzzled back together by Dirk Callebaut,
one of the central figures in the project. He explains that the theme of the
exhibition, indeed the project itself, expanded far beyond the original outline, enriched by the outside specialists engaged to tell the story of Francia
Media through a multitude of angles.120 He insists that the themes did work
to show how a certain unity was created within the diversity of this historic
setting, just as the project was meant to show. Ultimately, he states, the exhibition successfully addressed the urgent European problem of unity in
diversity, showing that culture ‘really can substantiate the pursuit of unity on
all levels and help to define the idea of Europe.’121
This construction/deconstruction dynamic, or dissonance, is also visible
in more straightforward academic contexts. In 2011, when the project had
just started, the annual conference of EAC was held at the site of the Belgian
partner. The theme, which was developed in relation to the CEC project, was
‘heritage reinvents Europe.’ It is clear from the abstracts and the published
proceedings that the theme attracted highly critical contributions, undermining ideas such as the ones presented in the project.122 In the introduction,
when the project participants present the different contributions, they relate
to the critical sides by stressing that all stories are constructions and that this
goes for their ‘unity in diversity’ story as well. They also emphasise that
scholars need to be aware of the ‘interpretative dangers’ of ideological approaches and consider the Europeanisation of sites critically.123 In light of
this, it is interesting that the last contribution in the volume, dealing with the
CEC project itself, presents its purpose as questioning if and to what extent
heritage is able to bring Europe closer to its citizens. The main goal is stated
as stirring public debate on Europe.124
In fact, the conference and the questions it provoked appear to have been
formative for the self-reflective aspects of the project.125 Examples of discussion events that were initiated are the presentation in the European Parliament under the heading ‘Culture: an abused justification for national identity
and European unity?’ and a colloquium called ‘Critical biographic approach
De Schaepdrijver 2014: 370.
Callebaut 2014b: 441.
121 Callebaut 2014b: 422.
122 During 2013; Meier 2013.
123 Callebaut and Maříková-Kubková 2013: 11.
124 Callebaut 2013.
125 It is referenced in critical project contributions like Guermandi 2014.
of Europe’s past.’126 However, the pattern was not consistent as the critical
incentives seemed to come mainly from outside influences. During the 2013
conference of the EAA I sat in on a session that was organised to fill the
needs of the project in relation to the Early Middle Ages. Contributors were
asked to make comparisons and to investigate the possibility to ‘redefine’
basic chronologies in light of new findings and ‘revision excavations of various sites,’ thereby changing ‘our traditional view of early statehood in Central Europe.’127 Here it was all about making connections in the past and
about content creation. Papers mainly dealt with archaeological objects or
site-specific research, and did not include any questioning of the theme or
deconstruction efforts.
After looking at the various narratives produced by this project, twisting
and turning the different perspectives presented, the project still leaves me
feeling confused. Some conclusions can be drawn:
 EUrope started its career as Francia Media in the Early Middle Ages
(because there are clear cultural historical evidence linking it to the
founding fathers of the EU or because each Europe creates their own
Europe and they all have the fact that they are ‘Europe’ in common.
 EUrope needs heritage to successfully become one with itself. Either
by making people aware of a persistent unity in diversity through the
ages, or by using it as evidence of the multicultural complexity that
underlies a Europe based on values.
 Europe is expressed foremost as an idea, but what exactly it is that is
European about the diversity in Europe or about the historical attempts at unity on the continent remains unclear. Answers vary from
geographical location, historical power houses, trade routes, Christianity, to Charlemagne himself.128
 The critical questioning of the project theme is more prominent in
the multi-author published volumes than in narratives connected to
the heritage trails and exhibitions.129
Overall, it creates an interesting dynamic when a project simultaneously
constructs a narrative, deconstructs it and then neutralises the deconstructions so that they somehow fit into the narrative of the project anyway.
Colloquium programme 2014, URL: (accessed 3.3.15).
127 Chevalier and Maríková-Kubková 2013: 175.
128 Even in the most critical contribution, the meaning of Europe’s history is said to reside in
its specificity, making heritage an important tool to show diversity in the past (Guermandi
2014). Yet, as such diversity marks the whole world: what makes the diversity of Europe
129 The thick exhibition volumes are aimed at both academic audiences and the public, although in style they lean more towards academic research than popular writing.
Clearly, the different perspectives can be assigned to different voices within;
their dissonance is never fully in tune. Of course, this is to be expected in a
big project where a multitude of actors are recruited to translate the wills or
themes of the initiative, the full picture resting on who gets the last word and
whose translations are privileged. Here, the parallel narratives never interlace since the first aim, to prove– and the second, to question a European
identity and ‘unity in diversity,’ were incompatible. How do you reconcile
the idea that Europe should pursue a policy ‘founded on the present without
seeking historical justifications,’130 with the goal to increase the public consciousness ‘on the heritage commonalities and shared cultural identity between the European countries,’ and make them aware ‘that member states
did share a common historical past some 1000 years ago’?131
Projects change during their implementation and this one certainly has,
but the critical incentives came after the premise was set and did not manage
to overturn it. There are self-reflective and critical texts dealing with the EU
in the published volumes,132 but the project’s own political ambitions and
uses of the past to change the present are still perfectly in line with the goals
and self-image of the EU, as a saviour with deep roots, stepping up for the
complexity that is Europe at its time of need.133 To carry out a true archaeology of action or ‘heritage activism,’ this project would have to be more at
peace with itself and address why they have chosen Europe as the container
for their narrative and made the EU goals their own, becoming ambassadors
for European integration.
Before moving on to the next section, it should be added that highlighting
Charlemagne or the Early Middle Ages as a cradle for the EU is not new. As
a historical figure, Charlemagne has occupied a key place in EU rhetoric as
well as academic writing on this period.134 Restoration work on Aachen Cathedral, where he was buried, has even received EU-funding based on the
‘symbolic importance of this monument in particular to European unification.’135 In 2000, the large campaign Charlemagne: the making of Europe
increased the popularity of the topic further,136 and in 2008 the EP and the
committee of the aforementioned annual Charlemagne Prize, launched the
Guermandi 2014: 38.
Communication Plan 2013, URL: (accessed
132 Egberts 2014; Guermandi 2014.
133 See for instance the history exhibit in Parlamentarium, Brussels. URL: (accessed 10.11.14).
134 Riddle 2008; Story 2005; Wood 2013. The popular narrative of Charlemagne as ‘Pater
Europae’ is also mentioned in chapter two under ‘Once upon a time there was Europe.’
135 EP report on archaeological heritage (1988): 38.
136 Wood 2013: 319. See pages 311–327 for discussion on exhibitions about Charlemagne and
the Early Middle Ages since the second half of the 20th century.
European Charlemagne Youth Prize, recognising contributions toward European integration.
There were several other heritage projects focusing on similar themes
with similar ambitions. Examples are Il cammino di Carlo Magno: il territorio e i paesaggi della prima grande stagione di unificazione europea137 and
Foreigners in Early Medieval Europe: migration, integration, acculturation.138 The first one, ‘The path of Charlemagne’ already promises in the title
to look at the territory and landscapes of the first great age of European unification. Its aim was to identify archaeological sites dating from 775 to 900
and to provide, with the help of archaeologists, art historians and anthropologists, new research on three selected territories and their European connections during the Middle Ages. Not much remains of the project. The main
publication signals that the project used Europe as an umbrella. The research
remained compartmentalised, dealing with specific objects, sites or regions
from the period.139
The second project looks at mobility and new ethnic groups in Europe
during the Early Middle Ages, a period ‘important in the formation of Europe, as we know it.’ The objective is to collect archaeological data and
make it available, thereby linking ‘the past with the present by showing how
the past has formed the present, highlighting common cultural heritage and
learning lessons.’ Foreigners in Early Medieval Europe did create a large
database based on the graves of ‘foreigners’ from AD 400–800.140 The narrative plot in the project introduction on the website tells of migrations, alliances, personal motives, economic incentives and wars, bringing people of
different origins together during this time. ‘The fusion of different cultures
into new communities clearly is not a phenomenon of the 20th and 21st centuries’ it concludes, and it is added that the research carried out may shed
light on ‘stages of acculturation, from old identities ‘to the development of a
new, common culture.’ The references to the EU political project are not
subtle in this context, but the analogy is a bit halting since, as it turns out, the
foreigners in the narrative are the conquerors of the territories concerned, not
disadvantaged groups, ‘outsiders’ or people who were forced to relocate (as
many ‘foreigners’ in today’s Europe). Interestingly, the end note includes the
recognition that archaeological sources differed greatly between areas in
Europe. So much so, in fact, that they had to abandon the grand narrative and
interpret grave forms and customs on a case by case basis.
ID: 47, 2004. Culture 2000. Annual.
ID: 24, 2002. Culture 2000. Multiannual.
139 Gai and Marazzi (eds.) 2005.
140 Foreigners in Early Medieval Europe, URL: (accessed 1.4.15).
European things
About the same time … in different parts of Europe, using different materials
and techniques, men cut large flint blades.141
Having examined the proposed origins of Europe and EUrope in projects
taking certain time periods as their starting point, I will now turn toward
projects dealing with specific object categories. Are there any specific elements that can be considered particularly European? Or things that stand out
as especially advantageous to draw upon in these funding programmes? In
the EU abstract of the project quoted above, it is promised that the study of
flint blades will make us aware of ‘a certain uniqueness of Europe well before the establishment of the European Union.’142 To see how such points
might be argued, this section will look into two categories that have frequently appeared among the projects: prehistoric art and landscapes. Rock
art or cave art, a rather specific area of research, is listed as the topic of at
least ten projects,143 while 11 focus on landscapes: from the ground up, from
the air or via cultural perceptions (figure 27).
Figure 27. Word cloud, European things. Words sized according to
frequency, starting at two. Landscapes highest at 11. Extracted from 98
project descriptions with specified object categories. The other 62 dealt
with themes/sites based on spatial/temporal categories or methodology.
Marquet and Verjux (eds.) 2012. Editors’ introduction. Translation mine. Original in
French: ‘Sensiblement à la même époque… dans différents lieux de l'Europe, en utilisant des
matières et des techniques différentes, des hommes ont taillé de grandes lames de silex.’
142 ID: 67. Financed under Culture 2000 (call 2006). Translation mine. Original in French:
‘d'une certaine unicité de l'Europe bien avant la mise en place de l'Union européenne.’
143 The Commission documentation from the Raphael programme does not include the heritage laboratories. These have only been analysed when other reliable sources have been found.
Between a rock and a hard place: Europe and prehistoric art
Projects working with prehistoric art have been surprisingly successful in the
application rounds of the EU cultural programmes. There are several reasons
for this, however a main one is to be found in the programme design and
calls for proposals. As a result of stakeholder meetings with heritage professionals ahead of Raphael, rock art came to be listed as a topic of its own
alongside ‘archaeology.’144 Since cultural heritage and European art have
been central themes in the subsequent programmes, talking about prehistoric
art can be seen as a way to kill two birds with one stone. Another reason has
to do with the already tight international networks and institutional interests
existing in the field. The EU has always related to, and sought compatibility
with the goals of UNESCO when designing their heritage activities. In that
context, rock art is an area with strong advocates, and the ICOMOS international scientific rock art committee has played an active role in several of the
co-funded projects.
Lastly, a handful of driven individuals have influenced this pattern. Looking at the partner organisations, it becomes clear that many have received
funding multiple times within Raphael and the other Culture programmes, as
well as other EU funding schemes. Among these ‘regular customers’ who
have participated in (or led) several projects, Portuguese and Italian institutions connected to world heritage sites like Côa Valley and Valcamonica are
particularly well represented.145 Other recurrent partners come from Sweden,
Spain and Belgium. Using these programmes as a strategic source of funding, researchers have been able to sustain cooperation around a network of
sites for over 15 years. With this in mind, I have chosen to look at projects
situated within slightly different partner clusters. Two of these deal with data
compilation, documentation and networking and one deals with exhibitions.
The first project consists of the two consecutive projects called EuroPreArt – Past signs and Present Memories and EuroPreArt – Memories
Looking into the Future: signs and spaces.146 Aside from being funded sev144
Call for proposals Raphael 1997. In: O.J. C 219.
At least seven projects consist of more or less the same set of partners. I.e. Centro Camuno
di Studi Preistorici (IT), Instituto Politenico de Tomar (PT), Centro Studi e Museo D'arte
Preistorica (IT), Instituto Português de Arqueologia (PT), La Cooperativa Archeologica Le
Orme dell'Uomo (IT), and Centro Universitario Europeo per i beni Culturali (IT).
146 ID: 3. Financed under Culture 2000 (call 2000). ID: 22. Financed under Culture 2000 (call
2002). Coordinator: Instituto Politecnico de Tomar (PT). Coorganisers and associate partners:
Arqueojovem Associação Juvenil para a Preservação do Património Cultural e Natural (PT),
Acosiacion Cultural Colectivo Barbaon (ES), CEIPHAR- Centro Europeu de Investigacaoda
Pre-Historia do Alto Ribajeto (PT), CESMAP-Centro Studi e Museo D'arte Preistorica (IT),
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientifica (ES), La Cooperativa Archeologica Le Orme
dell'Uomo (IT), Centro Universitario Europeo per i beni Culturali (IT), University College
Visby (SE), Université de Liege (BE). Same partners as in 2000 with the exception of Arqueojovem disappearing and two new associate partners: University of Ferrara (IT) and University College Dublin (IE).
eral times, EuroPreArt caught my attention due to its visual profile. Based
on first impressions alone, there is no way to mistake the project as anything
but EUropean (figure 28). The website, set in blues and yellows, clearly
draws on the figurative language of the EU. The logo, as noted on the page
shows ‘prehistoric glyphs … within the stars of the European Union flag.’147
Figure 28. Top: Visual profile of EuroPreArt. Website, screenshot, URL: (accessed 3.1.16). Bottom left: EuroPreArt interactive
map. Web clip, URL: (accessed 15.2.15).
Bottom right: Front cover of: Guide to good practice (Seglie ed. 2001b).
FAQ, URL: (accessed 4.4.15).
This branding did not fully resonate with the project content. In the EU abstract, the aim is presented as creating a database of documentation about
European prehistoric art, promoting dialogue and best practices between
scientific partners, and to ‘increase the knowledge of prehistoric art as a
common European heritage’ by offering the public a ‘collection of European
prehistoric art in a new way.’ Thus, there are some buzzwords in the mix but
nothing explicit with regard to their meaning.
In the project description on the website, these goals are justified on the
grounds of the lack of initiatives trying to coordinate this knowledge, and the
vague awareness among Europeans about the variety and importance of prehistoric art. Their ‘false ideas,’ of rock art as consisting of a few major sites,
needs to be corrected it argues. Public engagement is also mentioned as a
problem, however, giving rise to issues about how to protect sites.148 Concerning the nature of European ‘commonness,’ the presentation clarifies
matters to some extent with the statement:
Prehistoric Art is among the most important components of the European Heritage. It stands as an example of the diversity of the cultural memories of the
European territories, but it also witnesses a common trend, a radical unity, in
the emergence of symbolic behaviour.149
Thus, prehistoric art represents both diversity, connected to Europe as a
place resounding with multifaceted memories, and a unity associated with
the ways in which humans developed symbolic activities, marking their
presence in the landscape over time. This clearly aligns with the EU motto
unity in diversity, also applied within many other projects. As we have seen,
the diversity side is usually easier to motivate than the unity side. As to what
is European about these ways, there is no clear answer other than that ‘this is
to be found, first in the world, in Europe.’ Due to these discoveries, especially at the site of Altamira, research related to European prehistoric art proliferated. This motivation suggests that Europe, despite the emphasis in the
quote above is used more as container than a particular quality.
Looking at the main project output, the large database, a familiar pattern
begins to emerge, a pattern that resonates with other projects working with
data compilation.150 In the web interface, data on prehistoric art – in caves,
on megaliths and other stone surfaces – can be accessed through an interactive map (figure 28), a list, or via a search tool with filtration options for
things like time period and type of art. Unlike in the Roman Era project
Transformation, the database and bibliographic archive is not adapted to any
EuroPreArt: the project, URL: (accessed 15.2.15).
EuroPreArt: the project, URL: (accessed 15.2.15).
For published version see Oosterbeek 2001: 7.
150 Available as CD-Rom and website. European prehistoric art online database, URL: (accessed 15.2.15).
particular research themes, it is only meant to be a combined pool of information. This framing and compartmentalised presentation is consistent with
the later publication EuroPreArt I, which contains a number of separate case
studies.151 The only cohesive creation appears to be the guide to best practice
(figure 28), presented as a ‘framework and a unified European Form.’152 It
contains a visitors’ etiquette with recommendations like ‘do not touch’ the
rock surfaces and respect the ‘tranquillity of the site,’ as well as some suggestions for researchers.153 While it refers to a common heritage and ‘our
forefathers,’ the emphasis is on prehistoric art as the heritage of all humans.
As a whole, a European plot is clearly visible in the imagery of the project, yet weakly anchored to the content. In the descriptions, European prehistoric art emerges as distinct because it is located on the European continent, and because of how symbolic behaviour developed there: between prehistoric art as European in terms of place and idea. In the database, the European continent acts as a container of site-specific content, remaining
unarticulated in the background. With regard to the public, it must have had
a limited effect, seeing as it was the simple existence of the database that
was the dissemination strategy, much like in the project Simulacra Romae.
The main focus was on research and networking, and it was nestled in a cluster of similar projects.154 Its greatest impact is therefore likely found within
archaeological infrastructures.155
However, a few points deserve to be repeated. Using the landmass as a
container means that content relating to phenomena that in reality transcend
continental boundaries is effectively circumcised, just as with the map of the
first Europeans in [email protected] This vessel obtains new connotations in
relation to the funding context, a connotation augmented, in turn, by the
adoption of the visual identity of the EU. This use of EU symbols is not uncommon among the projects. However, as this project dealt specifically with
symbolic behaviour it adds a certain poetic quality to the output.
The next project, RockCare – Tanum Laboratory of Cultural Heritage,156
was supported as a European heritage laboratory. This strand within Culture
Oosterbeek 2006. Published within the project ARTRISK (ID: 33).
Seglie 2001a: 5. Guide, URL: (accessed 15.2.15).
153 Seglie (ed.) 2001b: 9.
154 Other projects on prehistoric art involving the same partners are ARTSIGNS – The Present
Past: European Prehistoric Art, Aesthetics and Communication (ID: 55), ARTRISK - Risk
Control of Monuments, Art and Computer Appliances for Landscape Organization (ID: 33)
and PALEOPANTHEON - Nameless Gods of European History (ID: 78). Furthermore, partners such as Centro Universitario Europeo per i beni culturali (IT) simultanously enjoyed
funding from EU ‘operating grants’ and other EU schemes such as Leonardo.
155 To see an example of what the project meant in a Spanish context see Navarrete 2002: 384.
156 ID: 8. Financed under Culture 2000 (call 2000) (also Raphaël 1998/1999 but no EU funding agreement was found). Coordinator: Riksantikvarieämbetet RAÄ (SE). Coorganisers and
associate partners: Centro Camuno di Studi Preistorici (IT), National board of Antiquities
(FI), Parque Arqueologico Vale do Côa (PT), Instituto Português de Arqueologia (PT).
2000 aimed to conserve and protect ‘exceptional’ cultural heritage of ‘European significance,’ and to promote accessibility, dissemination and innovative methods at European level.157 Projects were funded on a yearly basis and
set up around specific sites, co-selected with national representatives. Rock
Care, supported from 1998 to 2001, focused on the UNESCO world heritage
rock art site in Tanum (SE). In this case the visual identity is not connected
to the EU as clearly as in EuroPreArt, but the logotype certainly makes a
reference to the stars of the EU flag (figure 29).
The EU abstract introduces the aim as securing ‘the rock carvings in Tanum for the benefit of future European citizens’ and to improve documentation, preservation and presentation. Among the anticipated results, the ‘promotion of European identity by facilitated access to and improved
knowledge of common cultural heritage’ is listed. Here, a passive approach
to the concept of identity is signalled. It is the knowing about and experiencing rock carving sites that would stimulate a sense of European togetherness
rather than any direct strategy or storyline developed by the project.
Figure 29. Front cover image of project report with RockCare logotype in the
middle (Bertilsson and McDermott eds. 2004a [layout: Ann Winberg]).
Preinformation on calls for proposals 2000. In: O.J. C 49: 6 (Call for proposals).
In a longer introduction to a published report, Europe is mentioned in relation to the assertion that the Tanum rock carvings ‘represent the peak of
artistic and symbolic stylisation in the European Bronze Age.’ It then widens
the scope, pointing out the continuous threats facing ‘European rock carvings’ today. The main aims are the same as in the EU abstract, but with an
added emphasis on protection against environmental degradation. It also
adds the goal to develop a database and standard European documentation
strategy that could act as ‘reference material all over Europe.’158 In this
presentation, ‘European’ is used to denote a group of rock carvings and an
archaeological period, but without any qualities attached to this delineation.
The main activities in the project were the yearly ‘documentation seminars’ or ‘Valcamonica symposiums,’ held both at the main site in Tanum and
in Valcamonica in Italy.159 On the back of one report, it is written that ‘according to historical tradition people from Scandinavia visited Valcamonica
and Lombardy in prehistoric times’ and that even though this is not certain,
the carvings in the two places are ‘strikingly similar.’160 Inside the introduction however, the fact that the seminars were held in both places was described as vital ‘since local contexts and settings highly influence the success
of the different methods.’161 The emphasis on the necessity of accurate
method development was more clearly emphasised in this project than in the
former, which appealed to a commonness in the past. The database that was
developed collected documentation and damage inventories of rock carvings
in Europe, but instead of searching for similarities and differences the underlying premises was that of European heritage under threat. This trope of a
common heritage in crisis – soon to be irrevocably lost – can be equally
powerful. As demonstrated in chapter three, this is how the EU successfully
motivated their early involvement in the heritage domain.
Even this connection is faint, however. Looking at the reports produced
by the project and the remaining information about the website and database,
there is little to indicate that there is anything especially European about
rock carvings at all. The reports contain several published papers on rock art
in places all over the world, and based on the case studies and topics in the
seminars, the borders of EUrope was breached again and again.162 One reason for this can be found in the link to ICOMOS scientific rock art committee and the project participants’ international ambitions,163 but also in the
less strict conditions of the heritage laboratories scheme. By placing empha158
Bertilsson at al. (eds.) 2003: 6.
In 2000 the seminars were held in Tanum and Valcamonica. In 2001–2002 they were held
in Tanum and Simrishamn (Bertilsson at al. (eds.) 2003; Ulf Bertilsson and McDermott (eds.)
2004a, 2004b).
160 Bertilsson and McDermott (eds.) 2004a: Back cover.
161 Bertilsson and McDermott (eds.) 2004a: 5.
162 Bertilsson and McDermott (eds.) 2004a.
163 Bertilsson and McDermott (eds.) 2004b: 5.
sis on ‘sites of European significance’ rather than a common heritage, they
allowed for a more unbalanced cooperation in terms of financing and division of work. Moreover, although the project involved students and some
educational initiatives, there was no major public outreach involved and thus
no ‘story’ to be told.164 Perhaps these conditions facilitated the development
of an international approach instead of a continental one.
The next project, L'arte Rupestre D’Europa: 40.000 anni d’arte contemporanea,165 was a travelling exhibition aimed at the public (figure 30). The
coordinator of the project also had a central position in RockCare, and indeed the first reference I found for the project was on the list of activities on
a published screenshot of the RockCare website.166 Here, the contrast between the earlier projects regarding the role played by Europe in the narrative is striking. The aim, as described in the EU abstract, is ‘to stimulate an
awareness of European identity, particularly amongst young people, and
bring people into contact with our considerable cave-art heritage.’ In the
short text, the ‘cultural roots of the continent's first Homo Sapiens populations and the forms of artistic expression common to them’ is also linked to
the notion of a ‘European civilisation.’ Using the language of the Raphael
programme, a connection is made to roots and commonness. Prehistoric art
is recognised as a shared phenomenon among the early peoples on the continent, a commonness located in the past, while the bridge between this time
and the creation of a contemporary European identity is built through the
title, signalling a 40.000-year-old continuity.
As with many older projects, the website and exhibition are no longer
available, but descriptions of the project narrative in other forums provide
some insight. The travelling exhibition seems to have taken some time to
build, as a catalogue and the first news about were published in 2000. It was
then shown in Milano in 2000, Brussels 2003, and Brescia from 2005 to
2006. According to a news piece on the exhibition in Milan, the exhibit contained photographs, summary tables, and a video produced by the project
leader. Ideograms and pictograms was also said to accompany scenic of everyday life in prehistory, giving visitors a chance to reproduce and play with
the symbols using copy markers or frottage-rubbings.167
On the website of the project coordinator, the plot is outlined: ‘European
art is 40,000 years old’ the heading tells us, and the visitor is promised a
See for instance Bertilsson 1999, 2000, 2001; Ernfridsson 2001.
ID: 124. Raphael: year 1997. Coordinator: Camuno di Studi Preistorici (IT). Coorganisers
and associate partners: Centro Instytut Archeologii, Cracow (PL), Union Internationale des
Sciences Préhistoriques et Protohistoriques, International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies UNESCO, Centro de Arte Rupestre Universidad de Zaragoza (ES),
Centre de Recherche sur les Civilisations Paléolithiques en Europe (BE).
166 Robertsson 2004: 178.
167 Exibart, Fino 29 X 2000 - 40.000 anni di arte contemporanea. URL: (accessed 2.12.15).
look into the expressions and roots of the first peoples who lived in Europe,
through rock art sites in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Scandinavia.168
The story unfolds in a linear fashion, with cave art from 30,000 BC initiating
the story, followed by the fragmented early post-glacial rock art and the
‘awakening of artistic creativity’ during the 6th to 4th centuries BC. This is
followed by more complex art spanning the Neolithic and the Iron Age. Europe stars, initially, as the scene upon which events take place, but as the
narrative develops it becomes the story. According to the outline, there was a
type of basic European unity in the past, augmented by the common traits
once existing in the figurative, symbolic and ideological elements of rock
art, said to possibly indicate a common culture or belief system. This grew
into more complex patterns as languages and ethnic groups changed and
diversified. Through these stages, the text argues, the exhibition gave an
overall view of the development of ‘modern European society,’ defined by
its economical complexity and increasingly personalised cultural patterns.
Prehistoric art thereby worked to fuel a trope of European origins, turning
periods from the distant past into a sort of golden age, something to reflect
and draw upon in the current EUrope.169
Through the visual languages of early Europeans a vision of the origins of the European culture gives us a new image of this continent and
its people; 40,000 years of human creativity …
offers a novel perception of history and a new
awareness of European identity. Europe has
acquired its present shape in this long sequence
of millennia.170
Figure 30. Exhibition poster image.
40.000 anni d’arte contemporanea.
In: Edizioni del Centro 2005.
URL: (accessed 27.2.15).
40.000 anni di arte contemporanea: una mostra sull'arte preistorica dell'Europa, URL:
(accessed 2.12.15).
169 See Smith 1997 for the creation of national ‘golden ages.’
170 40,000 years of contemporary art, UNESCO (text by Ariela Friedkin who was connected
to the organisation leading the project). URL: (accessed 2.12.15).
Thus reads a recommendation of the exhibition publication on the UNESCO
website, an introduction that correlates well to the coordinator’s introduction
of the volume. ‘Europe is searching for its unity’ it starts, a quest marking
the latest chapter in a long story of war and friendship stretching from the
times of Etruscans, Celts, Gauls and foremost the Romans, all providing
Europe with the basis of its cultural identity. But what about before that, the
text asks: What is the history of Europe from its origins, from the times of
the bands of mammoth hunters?171 In other words, the printed volume continued this type of rhetoric in a quest to deepen the story of Europe (at least
as a marketing strategy), to adorn it with prehistoric art as one of the early
common denominators of European cohesion.
Without access to the exhibition texts it is hard to tell if the project was
really as concerned with European origins as all of these clues suggest. An
Italian online review suggests that in reality the exhibition talked about
‘messages left in every inhabited part of the world.’172 The published volume
is not of great help either since it, aside from a joint introduction, consisted
of separate case studies on different sites and areas.
Regardless, these potent presentations emphasising European origins,
roots and identity were part of its public profile and transmitted into a number of different forums. In a notice for the Milan opening, the exhibition is
said to allow visitors to create a historical and cultural reconstruction of the
common origins of the peoples of Europe,173 and according to a notice on a
web page of the Italian authorities in relation to the Brussels exhibition –
held at the European parliament in 2003 – the presentation seems to have
followed the same pattern. The exhibition was sponsored by MEP Monica
Frassoni, who had talked at the opening event, stating the importance of
preserving the memory and consciousness of the ‘roots of our culture,’ and
the need to take into account both differences and ‘heredity’ in contributions
to a common European identity.174 In this case, from an outside perspective,
the funding context, the story plot and the political allegiances worked to
render prehistoric art EUropean rather than a phenomenon once developing
on the European continent.
Anati (ed.) 2000 (Italian ed.) and book abstract on the following web page, URL: (accessed
172 Fino 29 X 2000 - 40.000 anni di arte contemporanea. URL: (accessed 2.12.15).
173 La Creatività Preistorica Dell’ Europa 40 Mila Anni Di Arte Contemporanea. URL:
o_7_051219041.shtml (accessed 4.3.15).
174 News, Europa-regioni – Europarlamento, URL:
(accessed 1.2.16).
European landscapes
Cultural landscapes have long been objects of study in archaeology, but
since the 1980s ‘landscape archaeology’ has grown into an ever more distinct field.175 Land development, changes in laws on land use, and new archaeological information and methods – wider access to spatial data, large
scale surface studies, GIS – have solidified this interest, leading archaeologists to both study and engage politically in the protection of cultural landscapes. The adoption of CoE’s European Landscape Convention (ELC),176
came about in part as a result of such activities and has acted as a driving
force (and point of contention) in archaeological landscape studies since the
early 2000s. In its preamble, it is noted that the landscape contributes to the
formation of ‘local cultures,’ to ‘human wellbeing’ and the ‘consolidation of
the European identity.’177 The EU, long committed to regional development
and landscape management alongside or together with CoE, has been keen to
support this work. Heritage projects dealing with landscapes became targets
for both Raphael and Culture 2000.178 As with the category of rock art, cultural landscapes were highlighted under the definition of cultural heritage, on
par with ‘archaeological heritage.’ Therefore, it is more by design than happenstance that the Culture programmes have become a platform for landscape projects. Among those run by archaeologists, frequent sub-themes
have been the development of survey methods, aerial archaeology and landscape characterisation, and landscape biographies.179
The project called [European] Pathways to Cultural Landscapes (PCL)180
belongs to the ‘bottom up’ category, working from a multi-regional perspective and addressing local populations. In it, I found a similar kind of tension
as in CEC, between viewing Europe as an idea, a continent and political
David and Thomas (eds.) 2008. See also Willems 2001.
Also called the Florence Convention. It promotes the protection, planning and management of European landscapes, and acts as a hub for cooperation in the field. It was adopted on
20 October 2000 and came into force on 1 March 2004 (CoE Treaty Series no. 176).
177 ELC 2000 preamble. For a discussionon on the Europeanness of landscapes in relation to
the ELC see Meier 2013.
178 See Call for proposals Raphael 1997 (in: O.J. C 219); Call for proposals Culture 2000,
year 2003 (in: O.J. C 195).
179 For additional examples of landscape projects see Niklasson 2013b.
180 Sometimes just ‘Pathways to Cultural landscapes.’ ID: 7. Financed under Culture 2000
(call 2000). Duration 3 years. Coordinator: Archaeological Spessart-Project, Museen der Stadt
Achaffenburg (DE). Coorganisers and associate partners: Archäologisch-ÖkologischesZentrum (AÖZA) (DE); Lancashire County Council, English Heritage (UK); Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, Country side Council Wales (UK); Odense City Museums (DK), Estonia
National Heritage Board (EE); Finland National Board of Antiquities (FI); The Discovery
Programme, The Heritage Council Kilkenny (IE); Natural Park Paneveggio, Pale di san Martino (IT); The Bronze Age Society, County Museum of Halland (SE); Halland County Administrative board, County Council of Halland (SE); Prachenske Museum, Czech Academy of
Sciences Institute of archaeology (CZ).
space. It also had a EUropean visual language on par with EuroPreArt with a
website in yellows and blues and a logo mimicking the EU flag (figure 31).
The project began during the Raphael programme under the name European
Cultural Paths (ECP) in 1997,181 after the participants had met during the
CoE Bronze Age Campaign (1994–1997).182
For ECP there is no EU abstract available, although project introductions
in other texts states Bronze Age landscapes and monuments as its main focus, with goals including research, protection of cultural heritage and the
creation of cultural paths. Keywords were ‘knowledge,’ ‘care’ and ‘communication,’ and Europe was emphasised both in relation to the Bronze Age as
the ‘first golden age of Europe’ and to the kind of cooperation that the project promoted in the present.183 As a European heritage, cultural landscapes
were linked to concepts like roots and identity, but the content appears to
have remained on a regional scale.
Figure 31. PCL. Welcome page on project website. Web clip,
URL: (accessed 27.2.15).
ID: 138. Financed under Raphaël (call 1997). Duration 2 years. Coordinator: The Bronze
Age Society, County Museum of Halland (SE); Odense City Museums (DK); Archaeological
Spessart-Project, Museen der Stadt Achaffenburg (DE); the Municipality of Karmøy 'Avaldsnes Project' (NO); Estonian National Heritage Board (EE).
182 See also Gröhn 2004 for added information and an analysis of ECP and PCL focussing
especially on the Bronze Age theme.
183 ECP final report 1999 (provided by the project leader); Kraut 2002: 107; Sterner 1999,
In the EU abstract of PCL, the focus is placed on sustainable management,
communication and contribution to the new field of landscape archaeology.
A lack of common standards and good outreach strategies is stated as the
main motivation for the project, and the trope of a European heritage under
threat is used as justification, underscored by the then recently drafted ELC.
Concerning EU goals on integration, ‘diversity’ is the buzzword highlighted
at the expense of terms like unity and European identity. The EU abstract
was fully aligned with the aims stated in the full grant application, in which
the EAV of the project is described as: increased comparability of results
through mutual understanding and common solutions, a new appreciation of
landscapes otherwise neglected, and a European approach that can be used
when lobbying the cultural landscape to foster community interest.184 The
emphasis on European approaches as a base for commonness, and landscapes as a base for diversity is reproduced in the presentation of both projects and on the PCL website. In line with this, the task of lobbying is extended from the active engagement with the public to include decisionmakers in political and economic spheres. This shifts the focus from the
otherwise common strategy of informing European citizens about a particular time period, site or phenomenon, to an approach requiring participation.
The strong link to the ELC is repeatedly expressed, and a European heritage
under threat becomes a connector, something all the partner landscapes have
in common.185
The tension mentioned earlier, between Europe as idea and place occurs
when attempts were made, nevertheless, to argue that the 12 landscapes of
the partners all had a European character. This is done in the project’s philosophy on landscape characterisation:
Identifying likeness as well as difference will help to define what makes our
12 areas European despite their differences. 186
And in the final publication:
We think this is one of the prime characteristics of Europe’s cultural landscape: any area is simultaneously locally distinctive and unarguably European.187
A certain Europeanness of landscapes in Europe is suggested, and the set
phrase unity in diversity is put to work once more to create a sense of coher184
PCL Grant application, provided by the project leader. Culture 2000, Action 2: integrated
actions covered by structured, multiannual transnational cultural cooperation agreements.
185 Agenda, URL: (accessed 10.3.15).
186 Draft Philosophy on Landscape Characterisation, URL: (accessed 10.3.15).
187 Clark, Darlington and Fairclough (eds.) 2003: 5.
ence. In another text, the uniqueness of the English historic landscape is said
to stand out when seen from a European viewpoint, a contrast to landscapes
elsewhere, marking it as European. This unclear statement is followed by the
assertion that this ‘unifying diversity reflects several thousand years of
common cultural practices that are arguably more important in forming perceptions of landscape than the natural differences of topography or geography.’188 Thus, it appears that landscapes in Europe have little in common, but
what makes them European is that people in Europe have treated them and
thought about them in similar ways.
Looking at the outreach activities, including cultural paths, volunteer
groups, exhibitions, educational initiatives and presentations, this dynamic or
distinctive Europeanness does not really manifest itself. However, the symbolism of the EU does. I first came across the cultural paths in 2012 during a
day trip from Brussels to the town of Aschaffenburg in northwest Bavaria
(DE). I was there to meet with the project leader of PCL, but stopped by the
tourist information to ask about the pathways. I was handed a selection of
folders with different historical routes to take in the area. All bore the distinct project logotype from the website, displaying a rock carving motif set
inside the EU stars. Inside the folder, images and informational texts supplemented numbered sites on a path outlined on a map.
During my visit I explored Route 2 Schweinheim, following the ‘EUships’ that marked out the routes in the physical landscape.189 The ship was
the logotype of the first project and had remained as the symbol for the paths
(figure 32, logotype). Signs containing information on the background of
highlighted memorials, buildings and historical sites of local production
stood at seven spots along the route. However, except for the EU symbols
used, the path did not take me to Europe. Instead the focus was on or neighbourhood biographies and local landscapes, which only rarely linked to larger narratives.
Based on other folders and signs studied, the local focus was the same for
the paths and landscapes of the other PCL partners. Some wider connections
appealing to a European dimension were made, such as the role played by
the town of Frammersbach in the Spessart region, representing an historic
intercrossing of trading routes which affected the geopolitics in certain parts
of Europe.190 Still, it was more of a regional story than something that could
be connected to a European past or a EUropean present. In this regard, I
noticed a slight difference between the folders from the first and the second
Fairclough 2002a: 10.
Route 2 Schweinheim. Folder. Pathways to Cultural Landscapes. Aschaffenburg City Museums. Archäologisches Spessart-Projek e.V. PCL (n.d).
190 Frammersbach, Route 1 Herbertshain. Aschaffenburg City Museums, ECP 1999. Reproduced with the logo of PCL. See also Prehistoric Hessian-Bavarian Truckers, URL: (accessed 12.3.15).
project (figure 32). In a general information folder of ECP, the EU-ship logotype is said to symbolise movement and international communication, and
therefore in line with the project aim:
to stress the close and far-reaching contacts between Bronze Age people and
to link prehistory to our present day life communicating its heritage…191
In the later project, presentations emphasised diversity over similarities and
connections. In two folders concerning the same landscape, that of Bjäre in
Sweden (dominated by Bronze Age barrows, ship settings and rock carvings), the story in the early folder names the period as a European golden
age, with intimate links between the Mediterranean and Scandinavia, while
the later folder remains in Bjäre.192 It seems that when landscapes were fixed
to a certain archaeological period, tropes like the Bronze Age as a European
golden age were more easily integrated. When a broader temporal perspective was applied, like in PCL, the tropes and grand archaeological narratives
evaporated, and the Europeanness was transferred to the present.
The approach employed in the later project, in which diverse and situated
pasts were presented in EU wrapping paper but not intimately related to a
European past, is consistent with the exhibition panels and posters used in
other public outreach activities.193 A virtual exhibition on the website tells
the visitor a number of imaginative but disconnected stories about the different landscapes and their passage through time. The narratives deal with everything from ‘Golf-Age landscapes’ and Trolls to Neolithic settlements,
megalithic tombs and archaeological finds of butter in Irish bogs.194 Related
school projects focused on getting to know local landscapes through presentations and the creation of joint art exhibitions. In Untamala, Finland, children photographed the landscape from their point of view, and in Arfon,
Wales, children attending the Rhostryfan primary school explored the ‘images and feelings’ they attached to their surroundings, the things that made
the place special.195 Other than the focus on landscape perceptions and biographies, the projects EU-inspired visual identities were the only common
Paths to the Bronze Age. Fact sheet/folder, ECP 1998.
Bronsåldern på Bjäre: Norra slingan. ECP/Bronstid Association 1999; Europeiska Kulturlandskap: Bjäre. PCL 2002.
193 Exhibition panels: Årtusendena i Vakka-Soumi, the Untamala Archaeological Information
Centre (2003); Understanding the Cultural Landscape, at the ‘Natural Experience Market’
(Schlesvig-Holstein/AÖZA 2002) and the Main-Spessart-Fair (Spessart 2002); Kulturlandschaft Begriefen, at Kindergarten St. Elisabeth (Spessart n.d.). Posters: Rohstryfan Summer
Walks (n.d.); Bjäres Kulturlandskap i våra hjärtan (n.d.); Bjäres Framtid: historiens djup i
vårt kulturlandskap (n.d.).
194 Virtual Exhibition, URL: (accessed 12.3.15).
195 Didactics, URL: (accessed 12.3.15).
Figure 32. Left: Folder from PCL project (Culture 2000). Right: Folder from the
predecessor project ECP with the EU-ship logo (Raphael).
Looking at the academic narratives produced, there are some notable differences from the public initiatives. Research activities involving archaeological sites, excavations and surveys, appear to have made even less of a connection to Europe and the EU in general and the policy goals in particular,
while studies focused on creating common frameworks for landscape characterisation, using GIS and aerial photography, worked with Europe as delineator.196 The overall focus in these texts was on change as an inherent quality
of cultural landscapes,197 demanding new flexible approaches for its man196
Publications were mostly focused on specific landscapes and regions. They were also
published separately in national forums (Final report ECP 2000 and Final report PCL 2005).
197 For instance, the project aim was stated as, to manage change within the ‘European landscape in ways that respect both diversity and unity, both rare and typical areas. PCL could be
a model … to understand and monitor the historic landscape … a clear appreciation that the
landscape contains our roots and our stories but that it offers many different narratives and
identities’ (Fairclough 2002a: 11, see also Fairclough 2002b).
agement and study. Several project participants were also politically active
in CoE forums concerning sustainability and planning, laws of protection
and developing compatible frameworks. Therefore, a lot of texts deal with
management issues and ways to apply the ELC, which already endorses a
European Identity and common European heritage.198 Political agendas were
incorporated in such narratives as a matter of course. On the whole, stories
appear to be something local communities should be told, rather than heritage professionals.199 They were instead told about best practices and methods, interpretations and landscape management.
At this point, after taking the public outreach activities and the academic
output into account, I was still no closer to solving the riddle of the proposed
distinctiveness of the diverse European landscapes. In an attempt to find an
answer, I analysed the English version of the final project publication, Pathways to Europe’s landscape.200 It was angled towards a general audience,
and specifically to local politicians in the partner countries. Described as the
product of a collaboration involving seventy archaeologists and ‘landscape
scientists,’ it attempts to interlace no less than 36 landscape stories into a
‘cumulative narrative about how landscape can be constructed from an archaeological and historical perspective.’201
The book starts off following the same pattern as many other final publications co-funded by these programmes, with a foreword strongly referencing the EU, titled ‘Pathways to a European Union.’ It talks about Europe’s
cultural landscape (mostly in singular) as a diverse heritage ‘matched by an
equally rich common heritage that unites our landscapes and makes them
very recognisably and distinctively European.’ The cooperation itself is said
to illustrate how landscapes can be ‘a strong and vital part of European unity.’ This ‘work for the European idea,’ it proclaims, is worth expanding in
the future.202
In the introduction chapter, a fuller explanation is offered. Landscape is
an idea, it affirms, not an object, and the European landscape becomes cultural through peoples physical and mental interaction with it. European landscapes therefore embody history, culture and identity, making them guides to
the past – ‘to the origins and long development of our culture that has grown
in Europe, relatively uninterrupted, over ten thousand years.’203 Thus, if you
let them guide you, the stories resting there can be extrapolated, and in dis198
Fairclough 2002b, 2003; Fairclough, Rippon and Bull (eds.) 2002; Nord 2009. See also
papers in virtual library, URL: (accessed 2.3.15).
199 Although the final publication was meant for both audiences.
200 Clark, Darlington and Fairclough (eds.) 2003 [English version]. The book was translated
into ten languages, and for each version the partners in that country were listed as editors.
201 Clark, Darlington and Fairclough (eds.) 2003: 113.
202 Foreword by Ermischer and Trube (Clark, Darlington and Fairclough (eds.) 2003: IV).
203 Joint introduction (Clark, Darlington and Fairclough (eds.) 2003: 1). This statement differ
from those made in other parts of the publications, where change and fluidity is highlighted.
covering the perceptions and make up of cultural communities across Europe
over time, ‘a true understanding of the European cultural landscape,’ and of
‘European identities’ can be reached.204 A couple of things are specifically
mentioned as connectors:
 The physical: A shared ‘geography, geology and topography that often
ignores international boundaries.’
 The cultural: Family, ethnic and tribal connections; Language and its traditions; Trade of goods, of ideas, and of people; Political, economic and
social systems; Religious and spiritual beliefs; Artistic, architectural and
industrial traditions; Proximity and shared borders; A long, shared ‘history’ (taught and perceived).205
After this exposé, the stories presented throughout the book – dealing with
everything from early agriculture, bog-lands, and historic glass trade to meteorite showers and local legends – are worked into this larger narrative.
Through a creative effort, all landscapes in Europe become European. The
breaking point comes when a connection is made to the world outside, in
stating that this logic can be applied to other places too, that ‘every continent
has its own unique, long-lived culture and landscape.’206 This is then reaffirmed in the conclusions, stating that through the project they have learnt
that landscapes are connected physically and culturally, and that each one is
unique but melts together in ‘an ultimately seamless single European landscape moving from mountains to shore, from agriculture to industry, from
town to country.’207 In connection to this, it is stated that national borders are
‘meaningless in terms of landscape,’ that nations are ‘imagined communities,’ and that regions make a better focus.208
A critique of methodological nationalism is used as an argument for what
could be equally called methodological continentalism or continental exceptionalism. European landscapes are ‘witnesses,’ ‘tools’ and ‘vessels,’ that
change based perceptions and appearances. They are also considered diverse,
personal and local, but always European. This all-encompassing logic is very
close to the one promoted by the EU, where all citizens are considered part
of one big, diverse, and slightly dysfunctional family. The trick performed
by this narrative is to connect such a family to a temporally fluid but culturally delimited space, in which everything changes except for the Europeanness of the landscapes.
Taken together, there is a contradiction in the way that landscapes are
portrayed and communicated in the project. The use of EU symbols speaks
its clear language, but what is European about the ‘unique’ landscapes varies
Clark, Darlington and Fairclough (eds.) 2003: 3.
Clark, Darlington and Fairclough (eds.) 2003: 5.
206 Clark, Darlington and Fairclough (eds.) 2003: 5.
207 Clark, Darlington and Fairclough (eds.) 2003: 106.
208 Clark, Darlington and Fairclough (eds.) 2003: 107.
between the different outcomes. However, the separate focus of the different
partners was a deliberate feature of the ‘European approach.’ Commonness
was predominantly sought in the present, tied to issues such as the threats
and negligence facing cultural landscapes. A certain we-feeling resulted
from the prestige that participants, politicians and publics connected to the
EU as a brand: to the financial backing, and to the fact that EU officials and
experts considered these landscapes a worthwhile investment. In this way,
the project generated good will, as many of those involved became more
positive toward the EU.209 In the final publication, the ‘European’ put in
front of landscape did not just refer to a geographical area, but to a preferred
meta-narrative. In contrast to projects like CEC, however, diversity took
centre stage from the start and the engagement with the political wills of the
EU was not insinuated but clearly articulated.210
In the section called ‘Buzzing with Europe,’ four observations were made. It
was noted that projects tended to:
use policy buzzwords and phrases from the call for proposals.
focus on likeness rather than difference.
use narrative structures to link the past to the present.
involve ideas of a European past, roots and identity especially when
the public was to be addressed (particularly young people).211
Going back to these observations after taking a closer look at 12 projects, it
is clear that some remain valid while others need modification. Regarding
the language used, the EU buzzwords on a common heritage and European
identity were used consistently in descriptions on project websites and in the
beginning of publications. At this level, they were woven into their objectives, activities and methods. Looking at the content of the projects, it became clear that the EU notions were applied to varying degrees. The most
obvious was in the delineation of project scope and content. In projects like
[email protected] and EuroPreArt, the content was circumcised by a map of
the European continent and filled with substance, but there were no immediate comparisons made and neither objects nor sites were given any particularly European qualities. In other cases, Europe was a continental container
See Ermischer 2002 and 2005 for a description of outreach activities and the affects on
local populations and in one of the partner areas.
210 For a reflection on the project narratives in relation to the EU, see Ermischer 2013.
211 Interestingly, although project activities and target groups changed in response to the
broader focus of Culture 2007-2013, notions like European roots and identity persist in project descriptions after they disappear from the calls for proposals in 2002.
with a cultural destiny, leaning towards understanding Europe as an idea
rather than a place. The project Transformation struck a balance between the
idea and a geographic use of Europe, while Simulacra Romae and Rome’s
Conquest of Europe conjured the image of Rome as the birth of EUrope as
we know it. Overall, their focus remained in the past while looking toward
the future. The interaction with the funding context was limited to a passive
contribution to European integration through raising awareness and informing European citizens about their common heritage.
The projects CEC and PCL both interacted actively with the goals and
context of the funding source, their content and strategies echoing the EU
motto of ‘unity in diversity.’ In different ways, they forged a European continuity through narrative strategies, referring to Europeanness as an idea and
quality enclosed in landscapes, or in the historical realms Francia Media.
Both projects exhibited self-reflective and critical sides, but did not fully
incorporate critical reflections into the overall storylines.
Both of these directions can be linked to a continental thinking, which is
not that different from taking the nation state as a starting point. As discussed in chapter two, Europe is not and has never been a ‘horse.’ It is not an
autonomous object but something dependent on the creation of negative
Others.212 The question about what kind of Europe is summoned therefore
becomes important. As demonstrated in many of these projects, if not explicitly addressed, Europe is often reproduced as a natural space and a given
frame to cram with ‘culture.’
As concerns the tendency to focus on likeness rather than difference, it
turned out that most projects were not, as they claimed in the EU abstracts,
concerned with making comparisons between sites or the information gathered in databases. Most final publications were compilations of separate case
studies and the databases were not structured according to analytical themes.
Of those who did make attempts to compare the input of the different partners, like Transformation and Foreigners in Early Medieval Europe, interesting contrasts were provided but did not result in any coherent thesis. In
the latter project, it was even concluded that all things considered, a case by
case analysis had been the only way to approach the research questions. Furthermore, these publications and databases were mostly directed towards the
academic community.
This makes for an interesting contrast to other activities like exhibitions,
where the key target group was the public in general and young people in
particular. The majority of the projects studied wrote that they would address
these target groups, but only a few actually did so. Among those who did,
narratives tended to link the past with the present by using notions like European identity and culture. Projects like CEC and PCL engaged with
schools, communities and volunteers on different levels, as well as politi212
Borneman and Fowler 1997: 489; Malmborg and Stråth 2002: 7.
cians. In doing so, narrative structures and modes of representation created a
sense of continuity, coherency, and meaning around the idea of Europe. One
starred Charlemagne as the hero, whose legacy was destined to be used and
abused over time, finally ending up as a formative inspiration for the EU
political project. It reinforced an already popular origin myth for the EU by
cherry picking from the archaeological and historical record based on a clear
intent of proving the link. PCL sought to convince that no matter how different the landscapes of Europe may look; they are all part of a European diversity that stretches back in time. Europe was endowed with culturally determined symbolic qualities and the past was set against the backdrop of the EU
integration as an ending point and way forward, thereby neutralising the
political order of the present. Of course, as we have seen, none of these projects are without nuance and they clearly reflect on their own constructions.
However, when telling stories of Europe, they underline both the traditional
figure of archaeology in the eyes of publics and politicians – of archaeology
as a domain that can perform the feat of creating identities for Europe – and
support the biography that the EU has created about itself, as peace project
and saviour of the continent.
Lastly, among the projects that leaned toward application poetry, the references to phrases in EU documents were mostly consigned to the packaging. Perhaps the strongest ‘prose’ was found in the projects way of embracing EU visual characteristics, and in the joining of potent words like in [email protected] Although superficial, such features still worked to create a
meaningful link between a European past and present, and aside from storytelling, images are some of the strongest communicative devises we have.
Chapter 6. EU-funding in the Political Ecology of
The European Commission has long been interested in labelling goods, systems and places as ‘made in the EU.’1 Remains from the past are no exception, the adoption of the European Heritage Label (EHL) in 2011 being the
most recent example of such a strategy.2 When visiting archaeological sites
in member states the EU flag is often present, either flying from a flagpole
next to the national flag or printed at the bottom corner of information signs,
on folders and in books. Every so often you also find it carved on a plaque
attached to the visitors centre or monument (figure 33). Most visitors probably pay little to no attention to this common occurrence, but for professionals
working in the domain (and for politicians), it signals that the place, or people connected to it, has received financial support from the EU. This, I have
found, comes with far more assumptions and expectations than that of a couple of Euro bills changing hands.
Figure 33. EU plaque at the museum quarter in
Vienna, 2014. Photo by author.
See for example Pieterse and Kuschel 2007.
See Decision No 1194/2011/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 November 2011 establishing a European Union action for the European Heritage Label (in: O.J.
L 303). See also Lähdesmäki 2014.
During my fieldwork, I noticed early on that project participants usually
spoke about their projects as ‘EU-projects,’ not as international cooperation
projects or in terms of their focus (e.g. ‘rock art projects’). As shown in the
previous chapter, many also emphasised the link in their narratives and visual language. The financial backing from the EU Culture programmes – even
if only representing half of the total sum – seemed to define them. As stated
by a Commission official:
We have strong organisations in Europe, they can walk on their own legs.
They would probably even exist without European support, but they sort of
look for a European label.3
This observation prompted me to ask project leaders and participants if they
placed any significance on the fact that it was the EU, rather than a different
institution or source, backing the project. They did, and their answers drove
me to explore how the EU was ‘casted’ in their text and oral accounts. Rather than playing the villain or the hero, I found that the name and political
nature of the funder played a complex role, at times minimal, at times symbolic, and at times instrumental.
Therefore, this chapter aims to show how EU logotypes and lines like ‘cofinanced by the EU’ can become useful in the political ecology of archaeology and heritage. Instead of asking how EUrope is manifested in narratives
about the past, the focus is placed on how EU-funding has worked as enabler
and capital for archaeologists, both in governmental and academic settings.
Using reflections offered in interviews and ‘meta-texts’,4 I have focused on
three groups of functions that stood out as particularly important:
 EU-funding as necessity
 EU-funding as political capital
 EU-funding as a factor in building cognitive
authority and professional capital.
All groups relate to legitimacy and prestige. While tied together, they will
first be discussed separately. The first two are more outward looking, relating to administrative and governmental settings and the third more inward
looking, concerning professional spheres and hierarchies within the domain.
Throughout, the focus remains on the European Commission Culture programmes, but the discussion has bearing on EU-funding as a ‘brand’ in a
wider sense.
20 EU–02 2012.
The stories written by the project participants about the project itself (meant to promote,
inform or offer advice to fellow archaeologist as well as publics and politicians).
The bare necessities
Even with these funds we cannot cover all the expenses. Without any [EU-]
funding I don’t think it would be possible. 5
One of the most instrumental functions of EU co-funding is the money itself.
Representing about half of the individual project budgets,6 it plays a decisive
role in their initiation. For many countries, especially in Eastern Europe,
state funding is meagre and directed towards national monuments and research, while private foundations or institutes are close to non-existent. In
some cases, EU-funding is one of the few ways to make projects happen at
all, particularly when it comes to projects which transcend national borders.
The project leaders and participants I have talked to all agree that without the
EU funding the projects would have been hard or even impossible to carry
out. This is supported by the fact that, once established, constellations of
partners often reapply to the programme rather than turn to alternative funding sources.7
Aside from the money, I found that another basic need facilitated by the
Culture programme was that of collaboration. This was not just between
member states in different parts of Europe, as was the very condition to apply, but also across territorial and judicial boundaries between neighbouring
countries or regions within a country. One project leader in Southeast Europe explained that a key advantage had been the possibility to work with
and learn from colleagues close to home. Ever since Yugoslavia was divided
in the Bosnian War (1992–1995), cooperation had been limited and the national heritage offices, once part of the same system, had become more isolated. EU funding enabled such cooperation, since national funding was
committed to state activities.
Another project leader explained that prior to considering EU funding
they had tried to cooperate with colleagues across federal states within Germany. Their offices had only been separated by three kilometres, but the
border was so rigid that before contact was made the offices knew little
about each other. Once the idea to collaborate was set, they went to their
respective local and regional authorities to request support, but without success. Instead they were advised to contact the state offices, with a promise of
support if they managed to get them on board. The state offices turned it
around, advising them to contact the regional authorities and promised support if they succeeded in convincing them first.
26 PJ–07 2013.
The other half consist of local, regional or national funding, or alternatively by partners own
capital or for example working hours put into the project.
7 Evaluation ECOTEC: 2008b.
In both cases, the EU funding became a ‘loophole’, a solution to sidestep
administrative and legal obstacles. In the first case, cooperation between
archaeologists and heritage professionals who were once part of the same
state was made easier. In the second, a small civil unit in Germany could
‘bypass local and regional problems by taking a detour through Europe.’8
This first function, as enabler, is linked to the supranational level of the
funding source rather than the EU as such. But, as we shall see, the enabling
function is entangled with other meanings that have everything to do with
the nature of the funding source.
Political capital
Aside from the bare necessities, the German example sheds light on an additional function. Once EU funding was achieved, the attitude from local and
regional authorities changed:
I went to the same politicians … and told them we have got an EU project, we
need some co-financing to make it really work, please cough up the money.
And the interesting thing is they did because it was an EU project … That was
important! One of the councillors actually said: well now it is different, now it
is political.9
EU funding became the leverage the participants needed to bring additional
capital into the project. One project leader even attested that for every single
Euro they received from the EU, they were able to generate seven in local
funding. Another explained a tactic called ‘the pincer movement.’10 According to this manoeuvre, the EU was assured that the project had national support while the national funding source was assured the project had EU support. If all went according to plan, both would come through at about the
same time. Even though such strategies are in themselves interesting testimonials to the bargaining and heterogeneous engineering that goes into conducting archaeological research, it seems to be particularly related to this
type of funding source.
In a recent study on the role of EU-funding in relation to hospitals, the
partners in the projects studied were found to ‘play the European card’ when
trying to obtain backing for their project in national and regional settings.11
EU-funding became a bargaining chip. They also found that actors would
add the EU flag and logo in certain contexts, such as on official documents
and invoices, using the visual language in a strategic or even manipulative
03 PJ–01 2011.
03 PJ–01 2011.
10 39 OT–07 2014. A pincer movement, or double envelopment, is a military manoeuvre in
which an enemy formation is attacked simultaneously from both flanks.
11 Glinos and Baeten 2014.
way to make sure they were reimbursed and taken seriously.12 This can be
compared to the way the whole visual identity of some projects mimicked
the symbolic language of the EU. Why is it, then, that EU-funding could
work effectively as door opener and leverage?
…now it is different, now it is political.13
One answer lies in the legitimacy associated with EU-funding, due to its
legal status. It is a well-known and secure financier, a source that governments on different levels generally trust and know to provide large amounts
of money. Added to this, its political nature makes it a potentially useful as a
tool. An EU-funded project can be used as political capital, promoted in
speeches or included in evaluations, signifying that a place and its leaders
are engaged in matters above regional or state level. Among the projects
studied, the EU link was also cited as a source of pride and legitimacy for
local residents: ‘to get people to invest in heritage management and in managing their own cultural heritage, it was extremely important that we had the
European emblem.’14 If the EU cared about their heritage, then it had to be
important. Because of this, the volunteers participating in the project was
said to have continued using the EU logo on signs and printed materials even
after the project ended.
In the hospital study, this political capital was put forth as a reason for
why Europe was used in naming. Names like ‘European Clinical Centre’ or
‘European University Hospital’ were said to ‘add credibility and seriousness
in front of other regional and national players.’15 Among the projects studied
in the previous chapter, names like [email protected] or EuroPreArt could
have a similar function, signalling the type and status of the project to people
both inside and outside the domain, although most likely it was also thought
that this would appease the sponsor. Either way, using the EU visual identity
and using Europe in the project name was a strategic move, a way to take
advantage of the political capital afforded to them by the funding source.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the EU connection was demonstrated in
this way among many of the projects examined in the previous chapter.
We try to find the help of politicians, without politicians you are nothing. 16
Aside from using the legitimacy of the funding source to bring in more money, how could this political capital be used? In chapter four, looking at the
Glinos and Baeten 2014: 23.
03 PJ–01 2011.
14 03 PJ–01 2011.
15 Glinos and Baeten 2014: 23.
16 05 PJ–03 2011. In line with this another informant emphasised the importance of ‘winning
the hearts and minds of politicians (41 PJ–12 2014).’
EU Culture programmes as a black box,17 the need expressed by applicants
to have someone who ‘knew their way around Brussels’ was highlighted.
Complicated rules and application processes were discussed as a mechanism causing controversy, creating a market for EU consultancies, but also
something that held the box together. Apart from experts and consultants, I
found that some of the project leaders had themselves developed such expertise and acquired a more political profile. Sometimes, increased involvement
was spurred when the European Commission selected a project for valorisation, showcasing it as a role model on websites, at information events and in
Commission publications.18 Archaeologists then had the opportunity to promote both themselves and the project in stakeholder forums and at political
events, becoming influential as representatives of something more than just
the co-funded archaeological activities.
At other times, a more directed effort was involved. Many had travelled to
Brussels to talk to EU officials about their project, both before achieving
funding and after, both in private meetings and at stake holder meetings.
[In Brussels] I simply went to the regional offices of all our partners … I said
this is your project not our project, fight for it … that paid off. 19
Some projects, such as L'arte Rupestre d’Europa and Cradles of European
Culture also established connections to the European Parliament by contacting members and holding presentations, workshops and exhibitions in Brussels. This signals a level of engagement above that usually exhibited when
supported by national funding schemes. Setting up an archaeological exhibition in the government assembly hall in Sweden is not a common practice.
Turned around, it was customary to invite EU officials and members of parliament to opening events for sites, exhibitions and heritage trails, generating
attention from media and added interest from local politicians. One project,
as seen in the previous chapter, even made efforts to secure Herman von
Rompuy as their official patron.20 Project leaders thereby used the legitimacy
and capital that came with the EU-label to gain influence, promote their project and learn how to deal with people and situation in Brussels.
However, it is important to remember that this political capital was not
desirable to all archaeologists engaged with in this study. Some discarded
the whole idea of applying for such funding, endorsing the observations
made here by stating that: ‘it is too political.’ Furthermore, one project participant explained that in order to gain influence in terms of European politics on heritage you had to become political yourself and devote most of
A hidden machinery that is difficult to deal with or to understand. See chapter four.
This was also the case with the project Pathways to Cultural Landscapes (ID: 7).
19 03 PJ–01 2011.
20 Rompuy was President of the European Council (EU) December 2009 – November 2014.
your time to administration, promotion and negotiation. The participant considered this scenario highly unappealing, as it removed him from the “real”
archaeology, the reason he got involved in the field in the first place.
Professional capital and cognitive authority
Another reason why the EU brand was seen as beneficial was the prestige it
stood for. Aside from the political capital, the majority of those interviewed
considered it to be a stamp of quality. This was mainly due to two reasons.
One was the perceived challenge involved in obtaining this type of funding,
especially in light of the peer-review process:
It is always a prestigious thing, because you go through a very hard application process, so going for an EU project is seen as a peer reviewed project…basically it is always a good thing and it gives you a reputation. 21
The second was the management skills needed to make the project run
I think that the European logo is very, yes it is certainly an added value to the
project, certainly. Because it is hard to get a project and for those who got a
project it is hard to manage the project. Maybe we should develop a T-shirt
saying: I survived a European project *laughter*. 22
To achieve funding after a long application and review process became a
source of academic prestige, a sign of rigour, while a successfully managed
project indicated a level of cunning. On the one hand this prestige can be
connected to the reproduction of cognitive authority in academia, where
‘excellence’ is judged based on peer-review points and where more peer
reviewed funding equals more possibilities to spread your ideas, thereby
rising in the ranks and gaining even more funding.23 On the other hand, it can
be connected to more practical sides of the political ecology of archaeology,
collecting professional capital in the form of experience and new competences. Due to the EU machinery functioning as a black box, the organisation of a transnational project in terms of communication, monitoring expenses, fulfilling reporting demands, was seen as an extra challenge. Hence
the accomplishment: ‘I survived a European project.’
Of course, the cognitive and professional aspects are interwoven. To
achieve funding, both ‘EU-smarts’ and a convincing research plan – set
within a recognised discourse that can pass through the filters of potential
gate-keepers – are needed. Yet, the increase in rational knowledge is still
03 PJ–01 2011.
12 OT–02 2012.
23 Addelson 2003[1983].
often considered disconnected from the politics of archaeology. Being a
good broker and manager does not always mean added prestige in terms of
excellence, and vice versa. In light of this, what was the prestige good for?
Boosted by the legitimacy aspect discussed earlier, it worked mainly as
means to increase one’s own status and facilitate networking:
It is a big reference for me … I communicate with other colleagues from our
institute that have different European projects. I know the system … Before I
started I never thought that I will work on the European projects. 24
When I was trying to find new partners to broaden the network in the beginning I was asking people: wouldn’t you like to join us? At the moment there
are more people approaching me … There might be different reasons to do so,
some of them might just want to have this logo, that: we are partner in an EU
Based on the fact that many participants reappeared in other EU-funded projects and on transnational platforms such as CoE, the board of the EAA or
EAC and in UNESCO committees, this seems to have worked well. Cognitive authority and professional capital may also have been amplified by the
trend of favouring international networks in national contexts. The combined
prestige and legitimacy factors has led some universities and institutes to
value EU-funded activities above others. In Sweden, it has even been suggested that the academic success of universities be measured based on the
amount of EU grants their researchers pull in, even over the quality of their
So far the image painted makes EU-funding out to be something purely
beneficial, but there is reason to nuance this, especially in view of the special
profile of the Culture programme and the black box. Both, I have found,
could call a projects level of excellence and professional capital into question. Just as in the case with the political capital discussed above, the EU
logo could be interpreted as a stop sign, something to avoid:
I was talking to a project partner in Romania and the structure of their institution has changed … now the heads say: we don’t want to be involved in all
this EU stuff … it costs so much time and we don’t get anything out of it, it is
only this new modern stuff which we don’t like anyway. 27
Here, both the management aspects and the content of EU-funded projects
are cited as a drawback. The first angle, motivated by the black box machin24
26 PJ–07 2013.
08 PJ–04 2011.
26 Flodström 2011.
27 08 PJ–04 2011. Similar statement: ‘Especially in Belgium it is a prestigious project … but
it depends because there are many differences between the partners (26 PJ–07 2013).’
ery, is familiar. That some would rather not get into the fight at all, finding
EU-funding undesirable, takes some prestige away from the idea of ‘surviving’ an EU project, but it also reinforces it. Without opposition, there could
in fact be no base for sustaining the notion of running an EU project as walking a maze. Interestingly, the popularity of the EU as a political project overall seemed to matter little. The black box issues, although connected to a
general image of the EU as a bureaucratic bully, overshadowed any specific
Eurosceptic objections.
The second disadvantage, relating to content, is a more serious accusation
and something that affects the prestige relating to cognitive authority. This is
the idea that having a project funded by the EU is somehow not conceived as
doing “real” archaeology. EU-funding initiatives based on explicit policy
agendas such as the Culture programmes, along with certain actions within
the framework programmes for research,28 are designed to substantiate notions like creativity, innovation, sustainability, intercultural dialogue and
public awareness. Addressing such ambiguous terms, while at the same time
adhering to the different wills and competences within a multinational effort,
often makes these projects come off as fuzzy. They are hard to place in any
acceptable academic category.
This is especially true for the Culture programmes, where ‘this new modern stuff’ could refer to the comparatively new archaeological fields or
methods which appear to have flourished in this setting (especially the study
of landscapes and digital applications). Three project leaders told me they
had at times received critique in regard to their research themes being too
broad or their new methodological approaches being of no use to archaeology. However, more often the downside was perceived to be the conflation
between ‘academic archaeology’ and heritage matters and the extensive public engagement that the Culture programme called for.29 This is a dynamic
which created tension:
I think that this group of pure academics who see EU projects as secondary
because they are not purely scientific are dying out as a species, they are the
dinosaurs … We want to do science together with people [community volunteers] with a very strong participation, and of course in our own academic
world that was viewed with great scepticism. 30
It is a problem to explain to partners that we need another interpretation and
another presentation of the site than scientific … In my country this type of
European projects are really not well accepted, because it must be hard core
science, hard core archaeology.31
FP1 to FP5 1984–2013 and the current Horizon 2020 running from 2014–2020.
This is specifically evident by the order of peer review criteria, placing excellence third,
after EAV and the ability to meet the programme goals.
30 03 PJ–01 2011.
31 27 PJ–08 2013.
In some contexts, academic gatekeeping had consigned EU projects to a
lower position in the pecking order due to the subjects and the importance
placed on outreach, provoking a defensive stance from the project participants. In these contexts, the prestige obtained through the peer-review process was nullified as the thematic focus was not, using the words of Foucault: ‘within the true.’32 The claims and approaches did not meet the ‘requirements that a proposition must fulfil to be able to belong to the grouping
of a discipline.’33
Thus, although not necessarily expanding the idea of Europe (as seen in
chapter five), EU-funding became an arena for projects challenging the disciplinary borders of archaeology, in terms of both content and target groups.
These ingredients worked to turn EU-funded projects into a specific type of
project, prestigious for some but not in everyone’s taste. While this meant
that the projects were only considered advantageous in terms of cognitive
authority in certain settings, the prestige connected to the international scope
and the ‘EU-smarts’ still held.
Based on research by Claske Vos on an EU-funded regional heritage programme in South East Europe, this particular type of project could perhaps
be extended to include a particular type of sites (in essence a particular type
of European past).34 Just as in the examples made here, she points to a certain
disbelief in the EU-programme among national representatives, some considering it too administratively difficult and offering too little money. This
caused a division between the ones for and against the initiative, and the
persons who stuck with the programme said it was in order to gain experience for future jobs abroad. Because of this, she argues, the sites chosen for
restoration and development in Serbia became those that the national institutions laid no claim to, like industrial or modern heritage sites. In the end,
sites that local populations knew little about got millions of euros in support.
Archaeologists and Network Europe
Considering the functions presented so far, what might the long term effect
of EU-funding programmes be in the political ecology of archaeology?
Based on my own EU experiences and knowledge of actions in cultural heritage, one of the most compelling replies to that question is changing people:
There is a virus that has taken these people … I am sure that there is a difference between people who have never done European projects and people who
have done European projects, there is a real difference and probably that’s the
main results of these projects.35
Foucault 1971: 25.
Foucault 1971: 25.
34 Vos 2011a; 2011b.
35 12 OT–02 2012. EU consultant.
Ever since the Maastricht Treaty (1992), EU cultural initiatives have been
preoccupied with supporting networks. Aside from the general momentum
of the concept, as a postmodern zeitgeist linked to discourses on globalisation,36 networks has also been a good way for the EU to fit their activities
within the established subsidiary rules (avoiding the tangible by dealing with
intangible structures). Despite this focus, scholars like Tobias Theiler have
argued that the networks supported through the culture programmes have
remained invisible and short lived, going so far as to call them ‘ad hoc formations’ created for and driven by the prospect of EU-funding.37 Even
though the funding part may hold true – as discussed in chapter four in relation the ‘European umbrellas’ created by some projects – the ad hoc part
does not seem to apply to projects in archaeology and heritage.38
Not only did the people involved in the studied projects create, modify
and solidify relationships on a EUropean level, but they seemed to do so
lastingly. Many of the constellations that were formed at the turn of the century, during Raphael and the early years of Culture 2000, continued in one
project after another, featuring a familiar group of archaeologists and heritage professionals at their core. The list of institutions collected in the project
database shows how the same associations, university departments and academics reappear in slightly different groupings or in successor projects
where the leadership has been rotated. Out of the projects I have been in
contact with, only one was created by persons who had not previously
worked with EU funding. The project leaders in the different constellations
also knew of each other. It is the ‘bunch of usual suspects,’ one project leader explained when asked about the colleagues involved, while another talked
of calling some ‘buddies’ when organising the project. I was assured that
there was a lot of new blood coming in as well, but overall it appears that if
EU-projects are something of an acquired taste, it is one that makes you
crave more. All of this relates to the wider question of Europe-making.
Looking at it from the perspective of ‘Network Europe’, a term used in
European or EU-studies, it could be argued that these projects have created a
setting which calls into question the national logic and hierarchies of archaeology and heritage. Although most often applied in relation to the European
Axford 2009: 524.
Theiler 2005: 75.
38 Furthermore, when it comes to the question of projects being created only to apply, a consultant stated that while the opportunity attracted some applicants who looked at the amount
first and thought of a project idea later, this was not the most common way. Since their clients
were mostly large institutions with a lot on their hands, they had no time to browse for funding by chance, but had at least some idea of a project beforehand (12 OT–02 2012).
Information Society (EIS),39 Network Europe has acquired a wider meaning,
representing a node in the new deterritorialised relationships between people, places and things. This node is linked to the EU, but is just one out of
many in an increasingly globalised, technology driven world.40 Archaeologists and heritage professionals have long since become part of this network
cluster, in aspect from cooperation between national heritage boards – on
laws or campaigns on EU level (European Heritage Days or digital platforms
like Europeana) – to EU-funded cooperation platforms in research and culture. Some argue that the new relationships forged in Network Europe cannot be circumscribed within spatial or scalar confines such as the nationstate.41 Instead, they pierce traditional forms of bounded social organisation
This could apply to the Culture programme projects in several ways, the
act of travelling in itself being one of the most basic aspects. In the last decades, the average distances between the places of residence of people within
networks have increased exponentially in European countries. Schengen and
other mechanisms favouring EU citizens have created exceptional conditions
to forge network clusters on a EUropean level. The world of archaeology
and heritage has always been ‘small’ but new communication techniques and
the increased ability to travel have made it even smaller.
The interpersonal relations that have been developed, the certain taste for Europe … that’s concrete results … they become real kind of Europe addicts. 43
John Urry has argued that travel is always social and, although most of the
work today is carried out online, networks are sustained by the trust and
social relationships that can only form over face to face meetings. Meetings
and small conferences, or ‘tribal battles face to face across a shiny table,’44
were crucial to the projects studied. Excursions, culinary experiences and
nights at the pub are more important than emails and phone calls.45 This may
The European Information Society (EIS) emerged in the 1970s as a reaction to Japanese
and American advances in Information and communications technology. From the 1980s the
EU has focused a lot of resources toward the wiring of Europe, building ‘information highways’ (but leaving it up to the private sector to implement). The information society became a
discourse in which it was possible for the EU integrate many disparate ambitions, from competition policy to cultural diversity, all while adhering to subsidiary rules (Servaes ed. 2003).
40 See Axford 2009 for an overview.
41 Sassen 2006.
42 Axford 2009: 521.
43 12 OT–02 2012. EU Consultant.
44 Urry 2003: 165.
45 Archaeological ventures has been compared to tourist experiences, where persons mostly
engage with the participants in the own group, experiencing new foods and cultures. They are
‘authentic’ travellers, seeing places and things others see (Pluciennik and Drew 2000: 94).
not have done much to further European integration on a large scale and the
relationships were definitely not always harmonic:
We are many people from many different environments, from academic and
so on … It is a question of unity and diversity: people’s mentalities are very
different in Europe. In one project we worked with German people and with
Italian people and it is very complicated.46
But they did become something more than the sum of their parts, creating a
cluster of social networks tied to a node in Network Europe, positioned within the domain but outside of national hierarchies. Increasingly, important
forums like the annual conference of the EAA became part of the infrastructure sustaining the networks. So too did the positions in transnational European heritage organisations, acquired by project participants in part through
the political capital discussed earlier. Yet question remains: is this ‘something more’ actually something new? As stated by an archaeologist interviewed by Sassatelli in regards to the promotion of European identity in
Culture 2000:
That is said to be what Brussels likes. But actually, the community of academics to which I belong has always been so supranational, international, and we
all feel European.47
As research into the history of archaeology has shown, networks at European
level had already started to form in the early days of the discipline, fuelled
through participation in world congresses from the late 19th century onward.48 These social worlds were made and remade over time. The political
divides into East and West Europe during the 20th century – in which Western archaeologists enjoyed more freedom – has unquestionably had an effect
on the nature of such formations. So has the disciplinary divides of Anglophone, French, Soviet and Central European archaeology. Yet, in a wider
sense, as stated by Thomas Meier: ‘There is no archaeology but European
archaeology.’49 It is basically a European invention. Above and beyond Europe as territory and continent, archaeology and its social networks have
always been connected to Europe as an accepted extension of the nationstates. And, more importantly, to a European rationality.
27 PJ–08 2013.
Sassatelli 2007: 35.
48 Babes and Kaeser 2010.
49 Meier 2008: 36.
Figure 34. Top map shows the countries of all participating organisations in 154
projects (from 1–222) co-funded by Raphaël, Culture 2000 and Culture 2007–2013,
including associate partners when information was provided in the EU documents.
Bottom map shows the countries of leading organisations in 154 projects (from 1–
39) co-funded by Raphaël, Culture 2000 and Culture 2007–2013.
Seven projects had no listed country.
Plotting the countries and institutions of 154 Culture programme projects on
a map shows that the connections made until 2013 was quite uneven in terms
of spatial distribution of power (figure 34). The coordinators (leading partners) are mainly concentrated to South-Western Europe while the coorganisers and associate partners are spread throughout the EU territory and
to some candidate countries, decreasing rapidly eastwards.50 To be sure, this
pattern corresponds to the gradually extended borders of the EU and therefore the legal conditions of participation in the programmes. Even if not a
surprising result, it effectively points to the tension between the idea of Network Europe as a deterritorialised smooth and limitless space, and the firm
external borders of the EU, summoning the image of virtual ‘monotopia.’51
Although networks are still constituted in national practice, constructs like
‘Fortress Europe’ are far from imaginary and funding initiatives seeking to
connect EU member states will unavoidably have a clustering effect. In this
case, this clustering does not appear to have noticeably challenged already
existing archaeological infrastructures within Europe.
Figure 35. Exhibition at the Commission
historical archives. Brussels 2013. Photo by
For a graph of exact amount of projects per country, see figure 9.
Jensen and Richardson (2004) use ‘monotopia’ to denote EU spatial policies aimed at creating a seamless space of zero friction. See also Delanty and Rumford 2005.
This chapter set out to explore how EU-funding has worked as enabler and
capital for archaeologists, both in governmental and academic settings. In
the initial discussion I sketched out three basic functions: bare necessities
(enabling cooperation, money), political capital (leverage, influence) and
professional capital (cognitive authority, networking). The balance between
these functions, I argued, turned the Culture programme projects into a specific ‘type’ of project, more valuable in terms of political influence and networking than cognitive authority.
Placed in the context of Network Europe, the idea of a borderless social
space fuelled by digital society and EU policy – I found that the networks
created did build a new dynamic together – a European closeness apart – and
that this dynamic included contacts and information flows from outside of
EUrope. Although few networks challenged the legacies of Europe in archaeology, they contested disciplinary borders in terms of addressing the
public. In the interaction with EU funding sources, archaeology and its figure has been translated into a different environment.52 Archaeological sites or
professional alliances that were previously considered international, national,
regional or local become ‘European heritage sites’ and ‘European collaborations.’ While this epithet may be freshly acquired to some extent, its content
is not. Personal relationships were already formed before most projects started, and the Culture programme thereby intensified already existing patterns
of cooperation. The consortiums came off as select EUropean clubs. I believe it is in this context that issues of reflexivity and accountability have to
be addressed, and from where archaeologists need to work consciously on
the margins of any suggested European boundaries (figure 35).53
See chapter 3 on the figure of archaeology.
In line with Pluciennik 1998.
Chapter 7. Conclusions: Funding Matters
During my time in Brussels I often attended lobbying events. Except for the offer of free food (which always ensured the attendance of a large number of interns), I enjoyed observing the game of wills being played out between politicians and stakeholders. My thoughts often return to an event organised by European State Studs Association, who were in Brussels to promote National
horse breeding traditions as a European cultural heritage, including the actual fertilisation practices. There was an exhibition, a presentation and a panel
discussion on the Europeanness of stallions. The invited representative of the
Culture programme struggled to say something thoughtful on the matter.
When asked about potential funding, she reassured the association that since
heritage is a part of European identity and these horses are part of a common
heritage, it would surely be possible, adding that: ‘we have already funded a
project on fishing as European cultural heritage, so why not horses.’ 1
Heritage is a matter of the heart and not the brain, David Lowenthal once
said. For heritage to make sense, you have to follow the advice of the Queen
in Alice in Wonderland: you have to believe as many as six impossible
things before breakfast.2 The memory described above, of an association’s
desire to be recognised and the use of European identity as a short-hand in
offering such recognition, reinforce such beliefs. If the right actors were
recruited to legitimise the stated cause, under the proper ritual circumstances, it could henceforth be branded as ‘European heritage’ and the chances of
acquiring EU funding would increase. The event was, in a sense, a laboratory of European heritage-making. To identify and explore such laboratories,
from the situated viewpoint of the domain of archaeology, has been the task
of this dissertation.
This research started from two matters of concern. The first grew from the
observation that, when filling out applications for the EU Culture programmes, archaeologists and heritage professionals often used potent
phrases about European identity or roots, seemingly without regard for the
legacy of Europe as a cultural club and ethnically conditioned space. The
reasons and rules behind these translations seemed important, and although
research into archaeology and EU policy had been conducted before, few
studies had addressed both the archaeological and the intra-institutional sides
of the relationship. These issues gave rise to two questions:
Fieldnotes, November 16, 2010.
Lowenthal, Heritage Crusades. Lecture, Stockholm University September 11, 2012.
 How, and for what reasons, has the EU interacted with the domain of
archaeology as a component of cultural heritage?
 How, and with what outcomes, have archaeological projects co-funded
by the EU funding programmes in culture interacted with constructions of Europeanness?
The second matter concerned the paucity of research on the value and functioning of archaeology in the everyday work of bureaucratic machineries
such as funding agencies. One of the most important moments in the research process, the one deciding whether a project can happen at all, had
largely been left unexplored within studies on the sociopolitics of archaeology. This led me to ask:
 What processes of translation characterise this interaction, and where
does the power to define Europeanness lie?
Building upon ethnographic observations, interviews and EU documents,
these questions have been addressed in five sections. Qualitative coding
techniques and comparisons have been used to identify meaningful junctures
in the material, while discourse analysis and tools from Actor Network Theory have allowed me to structure and conceptualise these findings. Chapter
two set the stage by providing a brief overview of the cultural history of the
Europe as a concept and some traditional methods of ‘Europe-making’ in
archaeology. Chapter three, five and six were devoted to the first two questions, examining the role of archaeology as part of the political economy of
culture in the EU on the one hand, and the role and affect of the EU culture
programmes in archaeological projects on the other. Chapter four was devoted to the third question. Envisioning the programme Culture 2007–2013 as a
black box, it identified specific actors and translations that have bearing on
the process of European heritage-making in relation to archaeology.
The life of a project proposal
In order to break with the order of the thematic chapters while still staying
close to the intertwined nature of the results, I will now exemplify and recap
my points by outlining the observed elements of interaction between archaeology and the EU that take place before, during and after the creation of an
archaeological project proposal. From what happens before its arrival at the
Commission to its implementation. The journey is divided into three stages:
the pre-application phase, the application phase and the post-application
phase. For each phase I will address the central conditions, motivations and
strategies that have bearing on the meaning of archaeology in this setting, as
well as the different actors and their translations. The goal is to showcase the
role of archaeology in the construction of Europeanness in the EU institutions and the potential implications of this relationship for the domain.
Pre-application phase: archaeology – problem and promise
Key translations
Key translators
Recommendations Stakeholders:
Reports & drafts
heritage experts
EC officials
Calls for proposals MEPs
The idea of Europe
Crisis: the loss of a Political legitimacy
common past
The figure of
power strategies
Placing culture on
the EC agenda
Economic interest
vs. protectionism
To understand the setting that this proposal would enter into, the best place
to start is at the ‘call for proposals.’ This type of document represents a condensed version of the different wills that go into the making of a programme.
It is a recruitment action, offering financial support to project constellations
that are able produce a good enough translation of the expressed goals.
In chapter five, it was noted that the calls for the three selected EU programmes – Raphael, Culture 2000 and Culture 2007–2013 – varied in detail
and scope from year to year.3 If we choose the call for Culture 2000, the
minimum requirement of the proposal would be ‘to highlight common European cultural heritage (movable and non-movable heritage, architectural and
archaeological heritage).’ If a constellation applied as a multiannual cooperation project or a heritage laboratory, the project would have to involve
‘relics of European significance’ and promote a ‘European dimension’
through their work. In addition, if choosing to apply as an awareness-raising
project, we would need to ‘highlight the common European roots and dimensions of similar or comparable elements of the non-movable and archaeological heritage.’4
The call, written by officials in the Commission directorate dealing with
education and culture, was based on the goals set in the programme decision,
placing emphasis on the ‘history, roots, common cultural values of the European peoples and their common cultural heritage.’5 Neither in the decision
If addressed to the Raphael programme (1997–1999), this application would have to describe how the project would increase awareness of the ‘rich and diverse cultural heritage
through which one can witness the considerable similarities and common roots of Europe's
civilization (2001).’ In the later programme Culture 2007–2013, it would have to integrate the
goal of fostering ‘transnational cultural links’ and ‘intercultural dialogue’ (2010).
4 Call for proposals Culture 2000, year 2001. In: O.J. C 21: 13.
5 Decision establishing Culture 2000 (2000): 6.
nor in the legal base was the connection between archaeological heritage and
Europeanness made explicit, however. The treaty clause upon which all
three programmes rested, simply stated that the EU shall:
… contribute to the flowering of the cultures of the Member States, while respecting their national and regional diversity and at the same time bringing the
common cultural heritage to the fore.6
Policy scholars who have analysed this paragraph often argue that it designates the EU aim as celebrating diversity, not building a homogenous European culture.7 And yet, somewhere along the way, highlighting the common
cultural heritage turned into European roots and a search for likeness in archaeological monuments and sites. Despite the fact that the EU has changed
its approach to culture and identity since the time tangible heritage first became a Community concern, this association has lingered. Particularly, it has
appeared in translations with fewer actors involved such as the call for proposals. Emphasising these concepts has been a way to demonstrate the importance of the topic, promoting the status of the Commission representatives or units in charge.
In chapter three we learned that this was not a coincidence. Through inspecting historical EU budgets, searching for investments in cultural heritage
and their respective justifications, I was able to demonstrate how tangible
heritage in general, and archaeology in particular, had been accompanied by
homogenising terms like roots, origins and identity since the 1970s. While
other parts of the cultural sphere such as literature or visual arts were described as creative and forward looking, cultural heritage was seen as static,
devoted to the care and study of the material reflections of a European culture. The expected contribution of sites and monuments to a sense of European belonging was based on their intrinsic value and ability to confirm a
European commonness already in existence, but yet to be recognised by the
public. Sites and monuments were also, unlike other areas, regarded as being
under constant threat, something which made it possible to frame Community involvement as more of a duty than a choice.
Neither the image of a common European heritage in crisis nor that of
sites and monuments as raw material for building a feeling of togetherness
emanated from the political actors within the Community. Rather, it was an
outcome of the wedding between continental chauvinism and the figure of
archaeology. As argued in chapter two, the adoption of the concept of Europe into the name and purpose of this post-World War II economic and
political Community marked the first time that Europe as a signifier met
with “real” political interest. Despite the fresh focus on European values as
Art. 128 of the Maastricht Treaty (1992).
E.g. Costa 1994: 105; Laşan 2014: 10; Psychogiopoulou 2008: 27.
the glue between the member states – or at least more so than blood and
territory – the signifier was adopted in a passive manner, with all its previous
meanings included. As pointed out, legacies of Europe as a unique continent
defined by racial, ethnic and religious elements have re-emerged in justifications for cultural action and debates on EU enlargement.
By and large, the domain of archaeology shares these European connotations and ideological foundations. The emergence of the discipline in the 19th
century was one of several responses to modernity’s fear of losing one’s
past. During the rise of nationalism, marked by an obsession with ethnic
origins and mythical golden ages, archaeologists were entrusted with the role
of interpreting and protecting the material evidence of past societies. In this
role, they could make authorised claims with bearing on the present. In part,
this is why the domain met with political interest in the first place. Alongside
a critique of older premises from within the discipline, the expectations on
the domain from the outside, what I have chosen to call the figure of archaeology, have remained much the same. This widely recognised image is not
only upheld by politicians and the public, but also by professionals in the
domain. They often make use of it to advocate the importance of the topic
and the need for funding. Thus, when this figure met with the desire to build
a European polity, tangible heritage became a promise and a useful strategy.
This is because, as argued in chapter three, EU interests in heritage and
archaeology have rarely been a sign of any real devotion to the topics themselves. When it was first highlighted as a Community issue in the 1970s, the
attraction lay in the power to bring the topic of culture onto the political
agenda. The interest in culture was twofold. Firstly, the economic cooperation had not resulted in the popular support previously hoped for. When facing both an economic crisis and a crisis of legitimacy, some actors in the
Commission and the EP argued that what was missing was a sense of cultural unity. In this context heritage became a promise and a potential solution.
To foster a cultural belonging was the goal, sites and monuments the means.
From the late 1980s, this developed into an articulated discourse on European identity and personhood,8 which was later incorporated into the Culture
The second and more determining factor was the interest in culture as a
growing economy. Certain Commission officials wanted in on this market,
both due to potential financial benefits and to raise their own standing in the
institutional hierarchy. As a result of the potent combination of Europe and
archaeology, the rhetoric of a European heritage under dire threat became
the most effective way to push this agenda in the parliament. In the decades
to come, this strategy would chiefly be supported by those member states
that had the most to gain financially and symbolically from heritage actions,
such as Greece (cradle of democracy) and Italy (Roman legacy, rule of law).
See Hølleland 2010.
Nowhere is this more clearly phrased than in the draft proposal for the Culture 2000 programme, in which the aim of the treaty clause cited was interpreted as: ‘to capitalize on the cultural area common to the European people
by highlighting cultural characteristics common to the European people.’9
These inferences, many of which are supported by previous research,10
become especially interesting when combined with the observation that archaeological entities were some of the most potent bargaining chips within
the social construction of a common European cultural heritage. Pointing to
a longue durée, they were considered one of the strongest aspects of a
‘commonness,’ and due to damages caused by land development they were
considered to be in urgent need of attention. At the same time archaeology
was, because of its firm place within national politics of belonging, one of
the most sensitive aspects of heritage. This was something unlikely to be
willingly shared amongst the member states, even in a symbolic way. As
such, it has also hampered the development of EU cultural policy. During
the last decade, as the EU has turned towards diversity and intangible heritage, the very aspect that made heritage attractive to the EU in the first place
– allowing it to get involved in the economic field of culture – now made it
unattractive in the context of EU cultural policy. In Culture 2007–2013 the
domain became increasingly stuck in the EU past, deemed too expensive as
and having too conservative a workforce.
Ultimately, this dual nature of archaeological heritage within the EU cultural actions was both a result of the figure of archaeology already present in
the minds of EU officials, and the underpinning of this figure by stakeholders in heritage and archaeology. After all, the ‘call for proposals’ used as an
example here, was designed based on meetings with experts in the field, and
priority areas like subaquatic archaeology and European archives was a response to their wishes and those of member state representatives.
This brings us to the final observation relating to this phase: that the different EU actors have remained unwilling to define what a common European heritage should consist of in terms of actual sites and monuments. In reports and documents it is often stated that the EU wanted to leave the selection and definition to the experts in the heritage field. The stakeholder meetings that took place ahead of the Raphael and Culture 2000 programmes are
examples of this. By doing so, vagueness became a type of approach in itself, creating a frame and supplying the key aims but not the content. Thus, it
is clear what made passages on ‘common European roots’ and ‘similar or
comparable elements’ of archaeological heritage possible to write,11 but not
what became of them. That was up to the recruited applicants, translating
these concepts into their site nominations and project proposals.
Proposal for Culture 2000 (1998): 12.
Calligaro 2013; Shore 2000; Tretter 2011; Tzanidaki 2000.
11 Call for proposals Culture 2000, year 2001. In: O.J. C 21: 13.
Application phase: a laboratory of European heritage-making?
Key translations
Guides for
Evaluation criteria:
European added
Review points
Project proposals
Key translators
Archaeologists and
heritage applicants
Independent EU
Expert reviewers
The black box
Brussels expert
Legacies of
Europe in
The figure of
controversy in the
Application poetry
EU-funding as
The application phase can be said to represent a microcosm mirroring the
events of the pre-application phase. Here, the different motivations and strategies started to work towards a single point: that of the funding agreement.
In the course of my research I have studied many peripheral actions tying
into this phase, such as the promotion events hosted by the Culture programme in order to court potential applicants, and stakeholder lobbying
events aimed at the Commission. Only the ones deemed most central to the
outcome of the selections and the project narratives made it into this thesis.
The actions considered can be divided into two main groups. One concerns
the sphere of archaeologists and heritage professionals, and the creation of
the project proposals. The other focuses on the Commission side, their administration and evaluation processes.
Starting with the application document itself, the form used for Culture
2000 included a number of boxes to check. An applicant had to indicate if
their project aimed to further training, exchange and research, use new technologies, and raise awareness of the ‘history, roots, common cultural values
of the European peoples and their common cultural heritage,’ as well as their
‘cultural diversity.’12 Academic gatherings, public campaigns and educational activities relating to monuments and sites were listed as ways to achieve
these goals. There was also a section in which applicants were urged to describe the European added value (EAV) of the project. As the first one listed
out of the three most valued criteria of the Culture programmes, it was essential to the outcome of selections. Although used in most EU programmes
and actions as a way to mark the boundaries of EU jurisdiction, it was given
special meaning in relation to culture. Budget documents stated that EAV
should contain a ‘visionary’ aspect, and recommendations by the Council
Grant application form Culture 2000, provided by applicant.
explained it as relating both to structure and content, economic value and
social cohesion. Because of its importance and various meanings, it was used
as a prism to recognise potential Europe-making events.
So how did applicants go about forming a multinational project in the first
place? When setting out to contact potential partners from three or more
member states and combining everyone’s interests into a single idea that
aligned with the call, the first place to look for help was in the ‘Programme
Guide’ and the ‘Instructions for Applicants.’ They were practically oriented
translations of the programme decision and the call, providing further information about the rules and terminology of the programme. While they explained the evaluation criteria and concepts like co-organiser and cooperation agreement in greater detail, the meaning of overarching concepts like
‘European significance’ was left out. The instructions were therefore often
considered vague or unhelpful by applicants and expert reviewers.
These feelings were linked to a general frustration expressed by many
archaeologists regarding their lack of insight into EU procedures, as well as
the administrative hassle it meant to run an EU-funded project. From the
perspective of both successful and unsuccessful applicants, the Culture programmes would sometimes appear as a black box, a machine that turned
applications into points, but whose circuits were hidden from view. While
the EAV became a key to identify translations of Europeanness, the metaphor of the black box allowed me to articulate the functioning of the different nodes in the network that sustained Culture 2007–2013.
In chapter four I argued that rather than being a specific trait of the Culture 2007–2013 (which was the target of analysis), the reason for this image
of a black box could be found in the self-perpetuating functions of bureaucratic systems. Anonymous civil servants would develop and uphold administrative procedures, which became a goal in themselves. Their motivation
was to make sure the machinery ran as smoothly as possible in order to ensure its success. All the money received during a budget year had to be distributed in order to motivate the same sum or more the year after, even if the
quality of project proposals was deemed low by experts. In so doing, they
would provide justification for the continuation of the programme and consequently their own jobs, a need that was amplified in this context due to the
low prestige of EU cultural actions compared to other Commission areas.
There were several strategies in place to ensure this status quo, or what
Herzfeld has called ‘a social production of indifference.’13 One way this was
done was through separating the political and administrative sphere within
the Commission. The planners and decision makers were detached from the
personnel monitoring the selection processes and the day to day supervision
of the projects. As demonstrated in chapter four, this division caused tension,
but it also worked efficiently to depoliticise the programmes. The non13
Herzfeld 1992.
political profile of the Agency made their actions, such as changing the programme guide, selecting expert reviewers, performing the expert briefings
and other rituals surrounding the evaluation panels, seem highly technical in
nature. Many informal strategies developed to avoid controversy, such as
choosing experts known to be easy to work with, sorting and distributing
successful projects to Commission contact persons based on National prejudices, and avoiding to involve people higher up in the hierarchy when problems arose. It also worked as a way to escape blame, according to the typical
formula: we do not make the rules, we just follow them. In reality, projecting
this image of a coherent machinery, or when needed – ‘a predictable image
of malfunction’ –14 took a lot of work.
In response to the black box, applicants developed their own strategies
and alliances to increase their chances of securing a funding agreement. One
such strategy was application poetry. It was the name used by a project leader to describe a form of writing thought to match the preferred language of
the Commission and the expert reviewers. The method of placing the right
buzzwords in the right places to tell funding bodies what they like to hear is
certainly not a practice restricted to the Culture programmes or to EUfunding, but it was perceived as an extra challenge in this context due to the
bureaucracy and ambiguous concepts supplied by the Commission. This
application poetry, combined with the general challenge of developing multinational collaboration projects, led many archaeologists to hire independent
EU-consultants to assist in the project design and the translation of the programme goals. They were unauthorised alternatives to the national information points created by the Commission. In chapter four I argued that their
unique position, being involved in several archaeological projects at once,
made them highly influential translators of EU wills.
As demonstrated in chapter five, the outcome of strategies like application
poetry was that a sizable portion of projects inserted phrases from the call or
from EU treaties directly into their own objectives. Meanwhile, they filled
the set frames with their preferred archaeological content. This content mostly consisted of joint databases and web-platforms, used for exchanging information and making comparisons between sites from a specific period or
certain archaeological object categories. Projects usually included educational activities, development of new analytical or visual presentation techniques, and exhibitions. It was primarily when European citizens were to be
addressed, fostered or made aware of the theme studied in the projects, that
notions of unity in diversity, a common heritage or European identity became activated. Motivations for EAV often included these terms as well,
although what was considered European about this value varied, from geographical scale and archaeological content, to public awareness and econom-
Herzfeld 1992: 3.
ic benefits. Overall, the translations looked very similar no matter the topic
and few challenged ideas about European commonness.
One reason for this is simply that, for many archaeologists, an emphasis
on European roots and similarities may not be seen as something unreasonable or even worth noticing. As one project participant told me, if you do not
like the EU, then perhaps you would think of concepts like European identity
as problematic. Otherwise, she argued, why would they be? After all, as
illustrated in chapter two, narratives of Europe have been written in archaeology since long before the EU political project adopted it as a signifier, and
there already exists a discourse about a unique Europeanness in prehistory –
generally located in the Bronze Age and the spread of Indo-European languages, or in Classical Antiquity. Also, within the critical debates that arose
in reaction to CoE’s campaigns in the 1990s, there were voices that defended
the relevance of Europe as a scientific frame for interpretation, or alternatively, argued that politically relevant prehistories are deeply needed and
who ought to construct them if not archaeologists?
Although common ideas about the origins of Europe in archaeological
grand narratives correlated, at least to some extent, with the archaeological
time periods and objects studied in the projects, the aim of creating a European identity or a common heritage was rarely expressed as a goal in interviews with project leaders. Just one person I spoke to was openly committed
to European integration as a political cause. On the contrary, several informants reflected that EU goals on cohesion were potentially problematic in
relation to archaeology. As seen in chapter six, the actual reasons to apply
included everything from financial needs, research interests and networking
ambitions, to career advancement. Based on the conclusions drawn there,
one of the strongest motivations was the wish to use the EU-label as leverage
to secure other types of funding and to enable networking within largely
predefined academic constellations, not to bring a common heritage to the
fore. Thus, just as the EU used tangible heritage as a strategy to achieve other goals, many archaeologists used the EU to achieve their own.
By studying the circuit considered most hidden, the expert review panels,
I found another set of strategies. During Culture 2007–2013, the only programme I have been able to study in action, each application was evaluated
individually by two experts on site in Brussels. The evaluation, involving up
to 40 reviewers for every panel, was mainly defined by consensus seeking
and co-created norms on what a “good” and a “bad” project was. These
norms were configured as a result of socialisation processes occurring during
the Agency briefings, the coffee breaks and dinners, and most importantly at
the final negotiation between two experts in which the score was set for the
projects. Personal agendas, level of competence in the topic and strategies
that involved bargaining over points influenced this process. However, the
main concern was fairness. One important finding was that reviewers expressed frustration with application poetry, making it their goal to see
through buzzwords and applications that looked “too good.” The conclusion
was that the outcomes of the evaluation had a lot more to do with to time
pressure and the sometimes uneven distribution of applications in relation
expert competences than with reinforcing ideas of Europeanness.
Nevertheless, a significant pattern became visible with regard to the criterion EAV. Based on my observations as moderator during the Culture programme panels, I had noticed how motivations for EAV varied. A projects
EAV would sometimes be graded based on how well it represented a common European heritage or appealed to European identity building, and at
other times based on the power balance and geographical spread of its partners. A similar tension was found among the experts I engaged with in my
study. They agreed that EAV was a combination of things. Yet, some argued
that in relation to heritage it should be considered more in terms of history,
culture or religious aspects while others insisted that it had more to do with
the project design and the extent of the cooperation. More than this single
criterion however, I found that the criteria and conditions set by of the programme were considered at once too ambiguous and too controlling, and that
this affected the quality of the project proposals negatively.
This pattern repeated itself. Just as in the pre-application phase, the EU
frames provided a general direction and set the outer limits of Europeanness,
but the rest depended upon the person in charge of the translations and their
motivations. The process was defined by vagueness, and a number of actions
worked, not intentionally but by design, to depoliticise the wills of the EU
and project the image of a black box.
Notably, no one in this phase was concerned with creating a homogenised
idea of a European past. Some of the archaeologists I talked to were actually
disappointed that the Commission was not more interested in the European
content, but only in numbers and points. Still, the application poetry was in
place, European dimensions was said to be boosted and a common heritage
that could act as a base for a feeling of belonging to EUrope were promised.
By this means, the figure of archaeology – that is to say, the image of archaeologists as producers of evidence of past societies and of ancient things
as carrying intrinsic cultural/ethnic properties – was used to gain an advantage. Even if most expert reviewers considered this rhetoric entirely unnecessary, not all of them did, and either way it reinforced these ideas in the
eyes of the Commission. What happened, then, when the projects made it
above the funding line and emerged on the other side as ‘EU-projects’?
Post-application phase: EUropean narratives
Key translations
EU reports and
Key translators
Archaeologists and
The challanges of
Legacies of Europe
in archaeology
The figure of
Increasing chances
for future funding
showcasing results
to legitimise further
The post-application phase, the one that all the different translations of will
from the previous steps lead up to, is about the project narratives and outputs. In chapter five I used information about 161 projects, to draw conclusions about the most frequent ‘times’ and ‘things’ addressed in the co-funded
projects. Based on the trends visible regarding these archaeological time
periods and object categories, I took a closer look at 12 projects to find out
how they had chosen to translate the promises made in regard to European
commonness or identity in outputs targeting other audiences than Commission officials and expert reviewers. Ultimately, the goal was to find out what,
if anything, became ‘European’ as a result of their activities.
In terms of archaeological period studies, the broad category of prehistory
included about a third of the projects. The Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Bronze
Age and Iron Age were represented in almost equal numbers. The next largest category, Classical Antiquity, contained 39 projects, out of which 28
dealt with the Roman Era. Notably, the Middle Ages were represented in
over 20 projects. Based on this, the clearest answers to the question ‘when
was Europe?’ became the Roman Era and the Early Middle Ages.
This pattern did not fully correlate to the archaeological discourses on
European origins discussed in chapter two. Classical Antiquity was, as could
be expected, a prominent period. However, the Bronze Age, which occupies
a central place in this discourse and which has previously been studied in
relation to archaeological constructions of Europeanness, was not popular.
The matrix of wills and the vague frames that marked the previous phases
discussed would not have hindered its success as a topic. Then again, perhaps the critical backlash after the CoE campaigns had, as Hølleland has
suggested, made Bronze Age researchers more wary of political uses of the
past in relation to the construction of EUrope.15
In another way, the fact that the Roman Era and the Early Middle Ages
were so frequent was not surprising. First of all, they both correlate to political realms and historical events that have long been part of the established
canon on the development of Western society as we know it. Secondly, the
architecture and material remains of these periods bear strong similarities
over large parts of geographical Europe and therefore form convenient
points of connection between archaeologists. Thirdly, these are both periods
that have been adopted by the EU as part of their rhetoric of EUropean origins. The Roman Empire is often put forth as the first attempt to form a European unity in history, passing the flag on to Charlemagne, a historical figure who has been crowned a founding father for the political project. That
the analysed project Simulacra Romae spoke of the Roman Empire as the
‘first common European space’ and highlighted the notions of citizenship,
unification and a common economy, should therefore be seen both as a strategic move and as a likely reaction to the wills presented in the Culture programmes. The same can be said for the project Cradles of European Culture,
which connected the heritage of Charlemagne and the later historical territory of Francia Media to the founding of the European Community, arguing
that Charlemagne’s inspirational influence and the geographical correlation
offered an ‘ideal opportunity for the European citizens to find the roots of a
concrete European identity in all of its unity and diversity.’
When studying projects dealing with object categories or archaeological
phenomena, I found that the answers to the question ‘what is European?’
were foremost architecture, landscapes and rock art. Within projects in these
categories, attempts to highlight the Europeanness of the phenomena under
study were often grounded in the notion that despite their great diversity
sites and objects can be endowed with and carry intrinsic European properties. However, here the link to established ideas of Europeanness was less
clear however, and a key motivation for the choice of topic was found in the
political activities surrounding CoE’s European Landscape Convention and
networks of rock art specialists tied to UNESCO.
Stepping back to the launch of the projects, one of the first things the
constellations of partners would do, was to develop a website and a logo. As
demonstrated in chapter five, these were often tied to the visual identity of
the EU, featuring a stylised version of a specific object related to the topic
encircled by stars on a blue background. This logo and the mandatory recognition of the EU as co-funder was thereafter present on outreach materials,
publications and in exhibitions. Furthermore, despite the fact that half of the
funding originated from sources other than the EU, the projects generally
referred themselves as an EU-project. As argued in chapter six, this was not
Hølleland 2008.
just to please the European Commission. A few project participants may
have thought it gave extra points when they applied the next time, but most
considered it to a prestigious symbol. The political nature and perceived
legitimacy of the funding source made it seem a secure investment in the
eyes of other potential funders and something politically interesting to be
involved with.
The EU-brand also indicated that the project had gone through peerreview, something generally thought to boost the academic authority of the
members involved. However, and this turned out to be rather important, such
gains were minor when it came the Culture programmes. Due to the focus on
awareness-raising and other activities that differed from more academic pursuits, the project leaders and participants stated that their projects were often
not seen as real archaeology by their peers. Instead, the main gain was what I
refer to as ‘political capital.’ The cunning involved in the feat of having extracted a signed funding agreement from the black box, was a commodity in
the political ecology of archaeology. It could land you new opportunities in
other projects, and more EU projects in the future. The EU-label would also
assist those looking to get involved in international stakeholder organisations, and provide opportunities for project/self-promotion in the Commission and the EP.
The EU-label was important as a trademark, but what of concepts like
common heritage, roots or European identity? Did they only amount to application poetry or was there more to it? Within the projects studied in chapter five, I found that such phrases were mainly used when projects presented
themselves on websites, in the beginning of academic publications and in
exhibition texts. The foreword of several project publications featured a politician patron connected to the EU. This might be the place where archaeologists considered it most likely that Commission administrators looked when
preforming the final evaluation of the project – ahead of the last funding
instalment – but by the same logic it would also be the first thing most other
audiences laid eyes on.
When it came to the other parts of the academic publications, the content
would not differ substantially from any other archaeological publications,
with a joint introduction followed by separate case studies. Digital outputs
like databases or interactive maps were circumcised by the geographical
frame of the European continent and filled with substance. The content was
generally organised based on a fixed set of categories, making certain types
of comparisons possible. Nevertheless, for the most part, sites and data remained illustrated side by side with few attempts to search for likenesses or
link them together. Two projects which did attempt to make such links
leaned more towards understanding Europe as a culturally conditioned place,
a common heritage that European citizens needed to better comprehend.
Projects working with Europe in this passive way started from a position
where they thought Europe without thinking, from a point of methodological
continentalism, if you will. Their work was based on the premise that, for
instance, rock art is a unique European expression, that Rome is the cradle of
Europe as we know it, or on the idea that Europe is a good frame into which
Palaeolithic tools and early hominids can be plotted. Most projects ended up
in this category, more focused on the past than on emphasising continuity
until the present. The majority of these wrote that they would address the
public and especially young people, but few actually did so actively.
Two of the projects analysed differed due to their more active translation
of EU aims and concepts. They based their narratives and presentation techniques on the EU motto ‘unity in diversity,’ and built a sense of continuity
and meaning through narrative structures. In one project, Europeanness became a quality that landscapes could possess, and in another the link between a European past and the EUrope of the present was established by
invoking the legacy of Charlemagne. They both engaged actively with local
communities and politicians. However, projects in this category did not think
Europe without thinking. They were, in different ways, politically devoted to
the construction of a common European heritage.
By and large, in the projects in which Europe predominantly worked as
container and where the content was case-study based, the academic community was the target, while the goals relating to EU integration were more
manifest in projects working chiefly with outreach activities. In the latter
Europe was created through exhibitions and in texts directed to the public,
both at the planning stage and in the output. Later on, when Commission
sought to use projects as good examples and embodiments of EAV in publications or on so-called Valorisation events, these messages of a particular
Europeanness rooted in the past were passed on. To estimate the impact of
these narratives on the public is outside the scope of this thesis, but when it
comes to the attitudes expressed by the Commission officials interviewed,
projects working actively with the public and with creating EUropean narratives were perceived as attractive, while cultural heritage in general and disciplines like archaeology was otherwise considered backwards. I would argue that the images of the past and the links drawn in the more politically
involved projects have changed the figure of archaeology in terms of the
perception of what archaeologists do (extending it to include public engagement), but not necessarily what archaeology is politically useful for. The
Culture programmes became an arena for projects challenging the disciplinary borders of archaeology, but not the ideas of ‘Europe.’ In the places
where it really mattered – such as the interaction with publics and politicians
– their narratives worked to confirm the existence of a cultural, spiritual and
ethnic Europeanness rather than to contest it. They thereby reinforced the
expectations that constitute the figure of archaeology, in which objects and
sites, due to their presumed intrinsic cultural properties, are seen as raw material for creating a European identity.
When turned around, as argued in chapter six, the impact of the EU Culture programmes within the professional domain of archaeology was to bring
people together, and to do so over and over again. The mysteriousness of the
black box created a certain culture around EU-funding. Although applicants
were sometimes guided by independent consultants, or “shamans,” attaining
an EU grant became a rite of passage. Many archaeologists involved in EU
culture projects stayed within the EU-funding sphere for decades. They
turned into ‘Europe-addicts,’ as one consultant phrased it. As a result, many
came to be advocates of EU-funding and ambassadors of European cooperation. Some also returned to the Commission in the role of expert reviewer. In
this way, the projects became something more than the sum of their parts,
creating a cluster of social networks tied together in EUropean nodes. In the
long term this may affect archaeological infrastructures, creating wider networks, but with new borders, which can be equally problematic. On the other
hand, as the networks created through the projects often came off as exclusive clubs, the greater risk is that networks solidify further and borders to
‘non-European’ issues and cooperation are reinforced.
Implications of applications
What central points can be distilled from this description and what are the
overall implications of this research? The first point is that starting from a
specific domain such as archaeology can be more effective when attempting
to understand Europe-making in the present than starting from EU identity
discourse. Previous research on heritage and the EU has often adopted EU
classifications as their own.16 If policy texts have spoken about cultural heritage and European identity, the “meaning of cultural heritage in EU identity
discourse” has been taken as a point of departure. My research has demonstrated the importance of recognising the background of different disciplines
when studying their interaction with political institutions. Although archaeology has always been a part of the wider notion of cultural heritage in EU
cultural actions, it has, due to its own heritage, functioned in specific ways.
Archaeology’s long-standing commitment to validating claims to territory
and ethnic identity has made it a promise and a problem for European identity building. A promise due to expectations of archaeology to provide a cultural ‘glue,’ and a problem due to its perceived inflexibility, expense and
firm place within national politics of belonging. More so than other aspects
of cultural heritage, archaeology has demonstrated the political tensions and
intellectual futility surrounding the creation of European “we-ness” based on
a shared past. Because of this, to be frank, archaeology has never been of
any great importance to the EU. Its position in cultural heritage has fluctuated but there has never existed any grand scheme to create a European past or
Sassatelli 2007; Calligaro 2013; During 2010.
a united voice when it comes to promoting heritage in the union. Instead
national representatives, MEPs and Commission officials have, at different
times in EU history and when opportune for other aims, drawn upon cultural
heritage, bringing archaeology with it. Due to the reluctance of member
states to commit to a joint heritage policy in the EU, the strategy used to
keep cultural heritage within the Community’s sphere of influence has been
that of vagueness. That is, to formulate goals in such a manner that all member states can agree to them. In this climate, leaving room for interpretation
has been crucial. This vagueness has later been translated into the funding
programmes and award criteria used in peer review panels.
This brings me to the second point. By starting at the level of treaties and
other policy texts, scholars have often accepted the image of (in)coherence
produced by funding programmes like that of Culture 2007–2013. However,
as it is in fact a function of bureaucratic systems to ‘black box’ themselves it
is vital that we look beyond this image. My research has demonstrated that
by looking inside the black box of Culture 2007–2013, the notion of the EU
as an unpeopled machine driven by intentions dictated in policy – as often
described to me by archaeologists – evaporates. EU cultural actions become
the sum of a myriad of persons recruited to translate the wills pinned down
in the treaties, translations guided by personal agendas and official strategies
– all working to resist controversy and maintain influence. Together they
form a consensus-driven atmosphere where the path of least resistance is
sought, embodying the strategy of vagueness. As a result, expert reviewers,
consultants and applicants are left with the task of filling the frames with
content. They shape their activities as they see fit but under the mantel of
Europeaness. It has had the effect of making experts and applicants think
through concepts like EAV while formulating them based on their own understandings. How these translations are preformed matter for the value assigned to archaeology in the EU, affecting where the money goes and the
image of what archaeology and heritage at large can do for society.
Lastly, and most importantly, the connection between EU cultural actions
and the domain of archaeology has never consisted of a straightforward benefactor–beneficiary relationship. The task can therefore never be restricted to
critical assessments of what “they” are up to in Brussels and how “their”
actions affect archaeology. EU involvement in culture has always necessitated the participation of authorised voices. The selection of a common heritage
and the definition of ‘European significance,’ have been up to national heritage board representatives, archaeological stakeholder organisations and other experts in the heritage field. Through their participation, they have codeveloped and legitimised EU funding initiatives in culture, advocating priorities and definitions that have coincided with their own needs. Archaeologists have also been part of the review panels in charge of evaluating how
well the applicants respond to these priorities and goals. The co-funded projects are therefore only a small piece in a chain of interaction starting well
before and extending far beyond their completion. As this research has
shown, the priorities agreed upon in stakeholder meetings and what is written in a project application may have a greater impact on the production of
cultural heritage as a matter of concern for the EU than the results of cofunded projects.
This is, above all, why funding matters. Even if this thesis has not revealed any fundamental changes in regards to how archaeologists produce
narratives or any re-emergence of exclusionary frameworks (those are already there without any help of the EU or archaeology), many still respond
to concepts of identity, roots, and culture by rehearsing the figure of archaeology, writing the application poetry they believe is needed. In the 1990s,
such EU phrasings were a wakeup call for many archaeologists to start reflecting upon Europeanness as a construct. Yet, this reflexiveness means
little if it is not applied in the right contexts. By not engaging critically with
Europe as a signifier in texts aimed at the EU, archaeologists perpetuate the
tendency of placing authority in the past, evading responsibility in the present, and thereby lessening the chance that the expectations placed upon
archaeology will change in the future.
Arkeologin och det förflutnas politiska ekonomi i EU
Vid sidan av symboliska attribut såsom flagga och nationalsång, har företrädare för den Europeiska Gemenskapen (sedermera den Europeiska Unionen),
sedan 1970-talet engagerat sig i idén om ett gemensamt europeiskt kulturarv,
på ett metaforiskt såväl som ett materiellt plan. Inom dessa satsningar har
arkeologer och kulturarvsarbetare alltsedan 1980-talet erhållit finansiellt stöd
för restaureringsprojekt på platser av ‘europeisk betydelse’ och transnationella samarbetsprojekt som kan generera ‘europeiskt mervärde.’ Romfördragets vision (1957) – om att skapa ‘en allt fastare sammanslutning mellan de
europeiska folken’ – åsyftade inte ett pan-Europeiskt nationsbygge, men
ändå har retoriken kring ett europeiskt kulturarv kommit att likna den som
använts för att forma nationella identiteter. Politisk legitimitet har sökts med
hänvisning till en mångtusenårig samhörighet, där språk, religion och etnicitet på ett passivt sätt fått definiera vem som är europé.
Denna avhandling undersöker hur Europa skapas i gränslandet mellan
arkeologi, pengar och politik inom EU. Fokus ligger på de kulturpolitiska
finansieringsprogram som syftar till att öka europeisk integration och föra
fram ett gemensamt europeiskt kulturarv. Genom att lyfta finansieringspraktiker som en av hörnstenarna i arkeologiska aktiviteter, visar studien hur EUtjänstemän, expert-granskare, konsulter och arkeologer alla deltar i utformandet av arkeologiska problemställningar och byggandet av professionella
nätverk. De är medskapare i de representationer av det förflutna som tar
form i samtiden.
Ett etnografiskt angreppssätt ligger till grund för studien, där empirin
består av fältobservationer gjorda under fem månaders praktikanttjänst inom
Europeiska kommissionen, 41 intervjuer med olika aktörer, otaliga policydokument och arkeologiska texter, samt en databas med 161 arkeologiska
projekt samfinansierade av EU-programmen Rafael (1997–1999), Kultur
2000 (2000–2006) och Kultur 2007–2013. Materialet har organiserats utifrån
studiens tre centrala frågeställningar, varpå diskursanalys och nätverksteoretiska begrepp, såsom översättningar, sammansättningar och metaforen
svarta lådan, används för att begreppsliggöra meningsfulla iakttagelser.
Problemformulering och mål
De första frågeställningarna tog form för ett antal år sedan när jag fann ansökningstexter ställda till EU:s kulturprogram. I en arkeologisk projektansökan uttrycktes forskningsmålet att öka samhörigheten mellan dagens européer genom att bekräfta en europeisk identitet i det förflutna. Efter att ha
letat upp fler projektbeskrivningar kopplade till programmet visade det sig
att europeisk identitet åtföljdes av andra laddade termer, som ‘europeiska
rötter.’ Här verkade den i sig orimliga slutsatsen, att man kan spåra en europeisk gemenskap ända till forntiden, vara bestämd på förhand. Mot bakgrund
av de senaste decenniernas kritiska forskning om arkeologins roll i skapandet av nationella identiteter, samt i legitimeringen av koloniala anspråk och
imperialistiska visioner, undrade jag hur dessa formuleringar hade kommit
till och på vilka premisser.
Här fanns det redan en debatt att utgå ifrån. Konsekvenserna av EU:s
intresse för kulturarv och etiken kring arkeologers deltagande i ännu ett västerländskt identitetbygge, har diskuterats till och från inom disciplinen sedan
1990-talet. Utöver detta har EU:s kulturpolitik analyserats av antropologer,
sociologer och policyforskare sedan 1980-talet. Få har dock undersökt de
praktiska band som knyter arkeologer till EU:s politiska mål, såsom finansieringskriterier och ansökningsförfaranden. Dessa faktorer, som ofta är avgörande för ett projekts genomförande, har fått mycket lite utrymme i studier
om arkeologins socio-politiska sammanhang. Studiens frågor kom därför att
handla om de faktiska översättningspraktiker som kännetecknar mötet mellan arkeologers och politiska aktörers viljor. De tre övergripande frågeställningarna är:
 Hur och varför har EU engagerat sig i arkeologi som en del av ett europeiskt kulturarv?
 På vilka sätt och med vilka resultat har arkeologiska projekt finansierade
av EU:s kulturprogram interagerat med Europa som plats och idégods?
 Vilka översättningsprocesser äger rum inom denna interaktion, och vem
eller vad har makten att definiera vad som blir europeiskt i slutändan?
Målet är tudelat. Dels vill jag visa hur föreställningar om vad som är europeiskt aktiveras och formas i utrymmet mellan arkeologins eget arv och det
som förs fram inom EU:s tillhörighetspolitik. Dels vill jag vidga synen på
arkeologins politiska ekologi och därmed öka kunskapen om dess värde och
funktion inom byråkratiska system såsom den Europeiska Kommissionen.
Arkeologins politiska ekologi
Politiska intressen har alltid varit en del av arkeologin. Trots det gör arkeologer ofta skillnad på själva utförandet (utgrävning, tolkning, artikelskrivning) och sammanhanget det utförs i (genom EU-finansiering, i konflikthärjade länder eller politiskt laddade situationer). Med denna inställning blir
saker som finansieringskällor, grävtillstånd och möten med myndigheter
betraktade som nödvändiga, men för forskningsprocessen helt ovidkommande omständigheter.
Arkeologen Michael Shanks (2004) har lyft problemet med denna uppdelning genom att tala om arkeologins politiska ekonomi som en politisk
ekologi. Enligt honom handlar arkeologi inte främst om vetenskapliga upptäckter, utan om en kulturell produktion: en hybrid process av heterogen
ingenjörskonst där resterna av det förflutna omvandlas i samtiden. Detta gör
arkeologin till en arena för övertalning och mobiliserande av resurser, där
alla delar har bäring på dess epistemologi, vare sig det gäller kulturarvsturism, olaglig handel med antikviteter, stadsplanering eller Världsarvsmärkningen. Finansieringskällor blir utifrån detta synsätt en interagerande kraft.
En annan intressant infallsvinkel erbjuder den feministiska filosofen Kathryn Pyne Addelson (2003) när hon, i en diskussion om behovet av ett djupare självkritiskt engagemang inom vetenskapen, lyfter frågan om pengaflöden. Enligt Addelson styrs specialister inom olika vetenskapsgrenar av jakten på kognitiv auktoritet. Det vill säga hur skickliga forskare är på att övertala andra forskare vad deras problem borde vara, något som kräver
manipulering av sociala arrangemang och maktpositioner. Om man tar hänsyn till utövandet av kognitiv auktoritet blir det tydligt att finansiering påverkar akademins organisation och innehåll: att den påverkar vår förståelse
av världen.
Både Shanks och Addelsons idéer har varit användbara i studien. De visar
på betydelsen av de praktiker och tankeprocesser som sällan synliggörs inom
forskningen. Visserligen är alla dessa aspekter är inte lika inflytelserika. De
diskurser som upprätthåller politiska finansieringsprogram och vetenskapliga
discipliner ser olika ut. Det är på de ställen där de möts – där arkeologers
och EU:s mål flyter samman eller krockar – som det blir riktigt intressant.
Metod, material och avgränsningar
Studien kan beskrivas som explorativ och induktiv. Att studera kognitiva och
praktiska band mellan EU:s kulturprogram och det arkeologiska fältet innebär att ta fasta på de texter, handlingar och avsikter som styr interaktionen
dem emellan. Detta bygger på antagandet att en interaktion måste äga rum
för att erhålla finansiering från EU. Den kan bestå av alltifrån att deltagarna
aktivt marknadsför sin projekt-idé i Europaparlamentet, till att de klistrar in
EU:s politiska nyckelord i projektansökningar och rapporter. I samband med
denna interaktion förutsätter jag också att arkeologer, kulturarvsforskare och
EU-tjänstemän redan bär på vissa föreställningar om Europa. I en explorativ
ingång tas dock karaktären och effekten av dessa föreställningar och interaktioner inte för givet. De används inte för att förklara på förhand bestämda
fenomen, utan utgör själva studieobjektet i sig.
Den tidsmässiga avgränsningen för studien sträcker sig från 1970-talet
fram till år 2013, och det tematiska området avgränsas till kulturpolitik.
1970-talet markerar starten på EU:s intresse för kultursfären, ett område som
valts ut på grund av dess tydliga satsning på arkeologi som en del av ett gemensamt europeiskt kulturarv och identitet. I detta sammanhang representerar kulturprogrammen Rafael (1997–1999), Kultur 2000 (2000–2006) och
Kultur 2007–2013 EU:s kulturpolitiska viljor i kondenserad form. De projekt
inom det arkeologiska fältet som dragit nytta av dem är därmed särskilt intressanta utifrån frågeställningar om europeiskhet. Året 2013 valdes som
studiens slutpunkt då det markerar sista året för Kultur 2007–2013 och för
min materialinsamling.
Mitt etnografiska arbete har riktats ‘uppåt’ och ‘sidledes,’ mot både EUtjänstemän och akademiker. Studien har anlagt ett para-etnografiskt perspektiv, en samarbetsinriktad ingång som passar studier där informanterna är
engagerade i ett arbete som liknar forskarens egna. Den lämpar sig väl i situationer där ett argumenterande och analytiskt samtal ofta uppstår mellan
forskare och informant. Materialet består av officiella och inofficiella dokument, fotografier, fältanteckningar, ljudinspelningar, transkriberingar, samt
minnesskildringar. Merparten samlades in under min tid som praktikant i
Bryssel (1/10 2010–28/2 2011). Där arbetade jag på en byrå som ansvarade
för administration, urval och utdelning av medel till projekt samfinansierade
av Kultur 2007–2013. Jag deltog bland annat i rapportarbete, beredning av
ansökningar och moderering av de granskningsgrupper som bjudits in. Efter
denna period återvände jag till Bryssel i fyra omgångar (2–4 veckor vardera)
för att delta i kommissionens evenemang. I kombination med dessa besök
reste jag även till Belgien, Tyskland, Storbritannien, Tjeckien och Österrike
för att träffa andra informanter. Totalt har 41 semi-strukturerade intervjuer
med EU-tjänstemän, arkeologiska projektledare/deltagare, konsulter och
andra intressenter genomförts.1 Insamlat etnografiskt material kodades sedan
i relevanta kategorier i relation till frågeställningarna.
Arbetet omfattade även arkivstudier i Kommissionens bibliotek och insamling av policydokument och rapporter online. Ofta var materialet ofullständigt och oorganiserat, och ibland gjordes kompletteringar genom att
kontakta EU-tjänstemän och projektledare. Det var också skrivet på flera
olika språk. Baserat på insamlade texter har två databaser byggts upp under
forskningens gång. Den ena innehåller information om anslag till kulturarv i
EU:s officiella budgetar och den andra innehåller sammanställd information
om 161 arkeologiska projekt.
Alla informanter har anonymiserats i studien. Det främsta skälet för att undanhålla deras
namn är att det inte bedömts tillföra något till analysen, men etiska överväganden har också
haft betydelse. Studier som involverar människor i deras roll som representanter för olika
institutioner kan betraktas som särskilt skadliga för professionella identiteter.
Europa som konstruktion
Frågan ‘När uppstod Europa?’ har ställts inom arkeologin alltsedan sent
1800-tal. Med utgångspunkt i kulturella ideal och företeelser kopplade till
Europa, såsom demokrati, rättssystem eller en kapitalistisk samhällsordning,
har svaren växlat mellan antikens Grekland, romarriket, bronsåldern och
neolitikum. Avhandlingens andra kapitel belyser de villkor som gör denna
fråga om Europas ursprung möjlig att ställa. Med avstamp i historisk och
meta-geografisk forskning följer jag ‘Europas’ karriär som geografisk beteckning, som ersättningsterm för kristendom, som vetenskaplig kategori och
som namn på en politisk sammanslutning. Genom att använda exempelkategorier ifrån Ian Hackings (2002) forskning om hur klasser och klassificeringar interagerar i skapandet av verkligheten, lyfts frågan: till vilken grad
bör Europa ses som en social konstruktion?
Eftersom Europas kontinentala status har påverkats av kulturella klassificeringar och geopolitiska intressen över tid, argumenterar jag för att kategorin Europa och platsen Europa har växt fram i symbios. Merparten av denna
framväxt skedde från 1600-talet och framåt. Innan dess var Europa en relativt ovanlig term. Under renässansen och upptäcksresandets tid blev uppdelningen av européer och icke-européer symboliskt viktig, en klassificering
som under upplysningen kom att kopplas till framstegsmodeller och tanken
om en unik europeisk civilisation. Biologer och kulturgeografer försökte
även föra olikheter mellan civilisationer och folkgrupper i bevis. Deras teser
översattes under nationalismens tidevarv i rasbiologiska termer.
Slutligen pekar jag på att Europa, snarare än att definiera sig inifrån, alltid
har varit beroende av klassificeringen av saker, folk eller platser som ickeeuropeiska. Inom den politiska och ekonomiska enhet som sedan andra
världskriget skapats inom EU, har ‘europé’ blivit en kategori för att definiera
jaget snarare än den Andre. Detta är en relativt ny företeelse. Samtidigt har
EU, genom att avstå från att tydligt definiera vad Europa betyder för organisationen, har absorberat äldre och exkluderande idéer om europeiskhet.
I den andra delen av kapitel två använder jag exempel ifrån arkeologiska
narrativ för att visa hur Europa har framställts inom arkeologiska tolkningar
av förhistoriska kulturer och samhällen. Mot bakgrund av dikotomin barbarism/civilisation diskuteras alltifrån hellenismens hyllande av antikens Grekland som den europeiska civilisationens vagga, till idéer om en typ av ‘primitiv kapitalism’ som ska ha uppstått redan under neolitikum. Urvalet av
texter baseras på vilken inverkan de kan sägas ha haft inom disciplinen, varför fokus hamnar på texter skrivna inom en anglo-skandinavisk tradition.
Den viktigaste frågan för arkeologer som tagit ett helhetsgrepp på Europeisk förhistoria har varit om en europeisk ”civilisation” har uppstått till följd
av en inhemsk utveckling eller som ett resultat av diffusion, alternativt migration, ifrån öst. I samband med denna fråga lyfter jag bland annat resonemang ifrån Oscar Montelius (1843–1921), V. Gordon Childe (1892–1957),
Christopher Hawkes (1905–1992). Alla tre framhåller orientaliska influenser
som viktiga, om än i olika grad. Här pekar jag särskilt på hur dåtida föreställningar om positivt laddade karaktärsdrag, samt idéer om Europa som
civilisationens krona, överfördes på förhistorien. Genom att kontrastera
européers uppfinningsrikedom mot en orientalisk despotism och oföränderlighet, gavs en förklaring till varför Europas då så outvecklade samhällen,
skulle komma att styra världen. Härtill hör även Colin Renfrews omtolkningar av dessa teser på 1970-talet, där han argumenterar för att orientaliska
influenser – i ljuset av nya Kol-14 dateringar – i princip bör avskrivas och att
Europas utveckling bör bedömas utifrån europeiska utgångspunkter.
I samband med senare narrativ argumenterar jag för att bilden av ett förhistoriskt Europa blivit mer mångsidig men att själva ramverket inte ifrågasatts. I Ian Hodders The domestication of Europe (1990) byggs en komplex
tolkningsmodell upp, baserad på symboliska manifestationer kring hemmet,
det vilda och spänningsutrymmet däremellan. Även om Hodder menar att
modellen skulle kunna tillämpas på hela världen, är valet att ta avstamp i
Europa inte tydligt motiverat och den kontinentala stöpformen reproducerar
bilden av Europa som en enhet redan under neolitikum. Även Kristian Kristiansen använder ramen Europa i boken Europe before history (1998). Fokus
ligger på det historiska Europas förhistoriska grunder, och Bronsåldern
framhålls som en tid då Europa skapade sig en plats i det ekonomiska världssystemet. Europafrågans relevans bestäms utifrån dess roll som kapitalistisk
kraft och geopolitiskt område under historisk tid.
Sammanfattningsvis understryker jag i kapitlet det grundläggande men
viktiga faktum, att vid sidan av nationalstaten som ram för arkeologiska
tolkningar har det även funnits ett kontinentalt tänkande. Inom detta tänkande ligger de skillnader mellan européer och icke-européer som upprättades under 1600-talet och framåt fortfarande kvar. Arkeologer borde med
andra ord fortsätta ifrågasätta huruvida Europa är en relevant kategori för att
organisera vår kunskap om det förflutna.
Arkeologins roll inom EU:s kulturpolitiska satsningar
I avhandlingens tredje kapitel söker jag svar på avhandlingens första frågeställning, om på vilka sätt och av vilka anledningar EU:s kulturpolitiska sfär
har engagerat sig i arkeologi som en del av ett Europeiskt kulturarv. Med
utgångspunkt i de anslag som gått till kulturarv i EU:s årliga budget sedan
1976, spårar jag de dokument som låg till grund för besluten. Materialet
består av den Europeiska kommissionens rekommendationer, rapporter, fördragstexter och utvärderingar, såväl som av brev ifrån nationella representanter och redogörelser för överläggningar i Europeiska parlamentet. Kapitlet
innehåller en kartläggning av sponsrade kulturarvsplatser och arkeologiska
projekt, samt en diskursanalys. Jag definierar diskursbegreppet enligt forskaren Norman Faircloughs teorier (1992), där betydelserna text, praktik och
maktstruktur flyter samman. Därmed avspeglar diskurser inte enbart sociala
praktiker utan kan även förändra dem.
Kapitlet utgår ifrån diskussion om arkeologins figur. Med detta begrepp
vill jag visa på betydelsen av de förväntningar på arkeologi som ofta finns
hos allmänhet och politiker, och som konfigurerar värdet av arkeologi såväl
som kulturarv. Arkeologi måste anses vara bra för någonting om samhället
ska stödja verksamheten. Vad det anses vara bra för, menar jag, är kopplat
till idéer om monument som frusna ögonblick och arkeologiska lämningars
inneboende värde. Detta möjliggör förståelsen av föremål och tolkningar
som bevis för identiteter och ursprung, saker som anses kunna bidra till att
etablera politisk och territoriell legitimitet. Detta i sin tur, ger arkeologin sitt
Janus-ansikte, där positivt laddade förväntningar kan leda till negativa konsekvenser. Figuren gör arkeologin till ett potentiellt kraftfullt verktyg. Detta
har inte gått arkeologer förbi, då de ofta själva upprätthåller figuren.
I kapitlet tar jag fasta på fyra kronologiska brytpunkter: 1976, 1983, 1996
och 2007. Dessa baseras på skiftningar i budgetunderlaget, antingen i form
av en kraftig ökning eller en ändring i hur medel distribuerades. Utifrån
dessa årtal backar jag sedan bakåt i tiden för att hitta motivationen bakom
besluten. 1976 var det första året som kulturarv fanns med i budgeten. Satsningen riktades då till kurser i restaureringsteknik och motiverades mot bakgrund av ett Europa i ekonomisk och politisk kris. Ett Europa som inte
kunde riskera att även förlora sitt gemensamma kulturarv och därmed sig
självt. I detta sammanhang aktiverades arkeologins figur, där arkeologiska
platser fördes fram som särskilt hotade.
Att kulturarv hamnade på agendan vid detta tillfälle berodde mycket på
enskilda individer inom Kommissionen som ville etablera kultur som ett
ekonomiskt relevant område på gemenskapens agenda. På grund av sin beprövade kraft att svetsa folk samman, kunde kulturarv användas som en ‘trojansk häst.’ Beslutet om vad detta kulturarv skulle bestå av överläts dock på
experter inom kulturarvsfältet och nationella representanter. 1983 höjdes
summan dramatiskt och stödet organiserades med några års framförhållning.
Pengar gick till mindre projekt och utgrävningar, men särskilt till restaureringsarbeten på platser som Akropolisklippan i Aten. Hotbilden mot det fysiska kulturarvet och intresset för kultursfärens marknadsvärde kvarstod,
men ämnet diskuterades i mer positiv bemärkelse. Arkeologiska platser sågs
som bevis för en mångsidig men gemensam Europeisk identitet och kultur.
1996 markerade starten för organiserandet av det finansiella stödet i programform. Kulturarvsprogrammet Raphael (1997–1999) initierades med en
budget på ca 10 miljoner Euro per år. I samband med Maastrichtfördraget
(1992) hade förutsättningarna för Kommissionens arbete på kulturområdet
förändrats. Subsidiaritetsprincipen, den regel som innebar att EU inte kunde
trampa nationalstaterna på tårna i frågor rörande kultur, var fortsatt stark,
men i fördraget ingick en paragraf om EU:s skyldighet att främja ett mång-
kulturellt Europa och samtidigt föra fram ett gemensamt europeiskt kulturarv. Detta gav EU mandat att ta större initiativ på området.
De dokument som låg till grund för Raphaelprogrammet utsåg med all
tydlighet arkeologiska platser som bevis för en gemensam europeisk kultur,
men de visade också på en ny inriktning där kulturarv blev till en formbar
och pedagogisk resurs. Istället för att satsa på monument med en europeisk
dimension blev yrkesverksamma och medborgare målgruppen. Ansvaret för
vad som skulle föras fram som ett europeiskt kulturarv låg fortfarande på
arkeologer, kulturarvsarbetare och nationella representanter.
Under nästa period, från Kultur 2000 fram till Kultur 2007–2013, blev
arkeologin ett problem snarare än ett löfte. När kommissionen i dessa program slog ihop kulturarv med ämnen såsom konst och teater, och samtidigt
började intressera sig för minnen och ickemateriellt kulturarv – något som
blev särskilt viktigt under EU:s utvidgning österut – hamnade fysiskt kulturarv i skymundan. I 2000-talets debatter i EU-parlamentet framställdes det
som ett statiskt fält utan kreativ potential. Medan Raphaelprogrammet hade
anpassats mer till arkeologins behov, var Kultur 2000 till högre grad modellerad efter EU:s mål. Arkeologin hade inte bara fastnat i det förflutna i förhållande till sina studieobjekt, utan även i EU:s förflutna.
Sammantaget visar jag i kapitlet hur arkeologins figur har gjort fältet till
både ett löfte och ett problem inom EU:s kulturpolitiska ekonomi. Fysiskt
kulturarv har fungerat som ett slags ankare som har förtöjt tanken om ett
gemensamt europeiskt kulturarv i någonting solitt. Samtidigt har just denna
bild av arkeologins nytta satt käppar i hjulen när EU sökt etablera ett nytt
Europeiskt kulturområde.
Översättningar i den svarta lådan
I kapitel fyra söker jag svar på frågan om hur Kulturprogrammens mål och
kriterier omvandlas av inom-institutionella och externa aktörer. Kapitlet är
uppdelat i fem delar. Den första fokuserar på arbetet inom den byrå som
administrerar kulturprogrammet, den andra på expert-granskarna, den tredje
på konsulter och nationella kontaktpunkter och den fjärde på arkeologerna
som ingår i samfinansierade projekt. Kapitlet bygger på Bruno Latour’s nätverksteoretiska begrepp svarta lådan och översättningar (1987, 1999, 2005).
Under mitt etnografiska fältarbete beskrev arkeologer och konsulter ofta
kulturprogrammet Kultur 2007–2013, som krångligt och icke-transparant.
Programmet framstår som en svart låda, en apparat som matas med ansökningar och som spottar ut en utvärderingsrapport på andra sidan, men vars
översättningspraktiker förblir dolda. Metaforen är fruktbar eftersom vikt kan
läggas vid olika maktpositioner och perspektiv och synliggöra ifrån vilka
vinklar programmet framstår som en svart låda och ifrån vilka det inte gör
det. Begreppet översättningar används för att beskriva konverteringen av
intressen inne i lådan, hur viljor och värden – såsom europeiskt mervärde –
formuleras i ena änden av ett nätverk, och översätts via ett antal rekryterade
aktörer; medvetet eller omedvetet, lydigt eller subversivt. Resultatet av dessa
översättningar, själva slutdokumentet, kallas sammansättningar.
När det gäller upprätthållandet av den svarta lådan framstod tre mekanismer som viktiga. Den första handlade om upplevelsen av Kulturprogrammets byråkratiska system som besvärligt. Denna bild kan ses som ett resultat
av och en funktion inom byråkratins logik, att systemet måste vara krångligt
för att motivera sin egen existens. Vissa arkeologer menade att man måste ha
kontakter i Bryssel för att det ens ska vara värt att ansöka. En annan strategi
var att ta hjälp av externa konsulter. Konsulternas verksamhet hade uppkommit på grund av den svarta lådan och de tjänade därmed på att den ansågs ogenomtränglig. De matade lådan med skräddarsydda projektansökningar och rekryterade arkeologer som uttolkare av EU:s viljor. Paradoxalt
nog innebar detta att de ibland uppfattades som problematiska av kommissionens anställda. Att använda dem var lite som att “fuska”, en konsekvens av
programmet som Kommissionen inte hade förutsett. Nära besläktade till
konsulterna fanns kommissionens egna kontaktpunkter i medlemsstaterna.
Deras bild av lådan var förvånansvärt suddig, och de ansåg att kommissionens icke-transparanta procedurer hindrade deras arbete.
Den andra mekanismen som upprätthöll lådan var de externa expertpanelerna som tillsattes för att bedöma ansökningar. De var från utsidan den mest
dolda noden i nätverket. De rekryterades baserat på en på förhand etablerad
lista och deltog ofta som granskare flera år i rad. Detta ledde bland annat till
att en typ av expert-ekonomi utvecklades i Bryssel där experter socialiserades in i vissa normer och använde vad de lärt sig inom expertpanelerna för
att arbeta som konsulter eller skapa egna EU-projekt. Att detaljerna kring
dem själva och deras deltagande förblev dolda var en del av den svarta lådans funktion.
En tredje mekanism som definierade svarta lådan var arbetsuppdelningen
och den spända relationen mellan kommissionens administrativa byrå
EACEA och Generaldirektoratet för Utbildning och Kultur. Uppdelningen
mellan byråns praktiska arbete med att utveckla riktlinjer, välja ut expertgranskare och ha hand om utvärderingspanelerna var i högsta grad politiskt
men sågs inte som det i Generaldirektoratets eller administratörernas ögon.
Detta innebar att själva implementeringen av programmet avpolitiserades. I
mellanrummet skapades ett handlingsutrymme där inofficiella strategier och
allianser uppstod. För att undvika kontroverser och hålla lådan intakt valdes
experter ibland ut på grundval av deras samarbetsvillighet och rykte bland
medarbetarna. Under utvärderingsprocessen togs även beslut som inte hann
gå igenom de rätta kanalerna.
När det gäller själva översättningarna lyfter jag särskilt fram det första
kriteriet utav tre som expert-granskarna måste bedöma, nämligen om projektet tillför ett europeiskt mervärde. De två viktigaste punkterna kom att
handla om den dubbelhet som blev synlig i förståelsen av begreppet och den
strategi som av arkeologer kallades ansökningsprosa. Officiella beskrivningar av europeiskt mervärde inkluderade en mängd olika aspekter, dels sådana
som hade med projektens tema att göra och sådana som handlade om geografisk spridning eller jämlikhet mellan de deltagande organisationerna.
Redan i intervjuer med EU-tjänstemän som arbetade med policy och programuppbyggnad framkom olika tolkningar, där vissa fokuserade på det
symboliska och andra på det tekniska. Dualismen återkom inom den administrativa byråns och expert-granskarnas uttolkning av begreppet, särskilt i
fråga om kulturarv och arkeologi. Vissa granskare kopplade europeiskt mervärde till europeisk identitet eller kulturella likheter, medan andra såg det
strikt som geografisk spridning. Denna dubbelhet bör förstås som ett resultat
av kombinationen mellan arkeologins figur, där fältet länge förknippats just
med identitetsskapande funktioner, och den medvetna vaghet som bakats in i
EU:s bedömningskriterier. Andra faktorer som påverkade översättningspraktikerna var dominerande personligheter och tidspressen under utvärderingen.
Vagheten och tolkningsmöjligheterna uppmuntrade enligt granskarna
användningen av buzzwords och policyinspirerade formuleringar, något de
utvecklat strategier för att genomskåda. Arkeologer å andra sidan uppfattade
att just denna ansökningsprosa var avgörande; att de var tvungna att följa
spelreglerna. Detta innebar att formuleringar om europeisk identitet, europeiska rötter och ett gemensamt kulturarv användes flitigt, och att arkeologer
ibland tolkade europeiskt mervärde som ett gemensamt förflutet. Även om
denna prosa var väl utvecklad hos konsulter och sökande fanns det också en
tilltro till EU som politiskt projekt och en önskan att vara del i dess utveckling. Arkeologers engagemang i projekt efter projekt, år efter år, fick mig att
undra om de egentligen borde ses som en aktör inne i lådan.
Sammantaget visar jag i kapitlet att alla aktörer upprätthöll den svarta
lådan genom att mata den med ansökningar, delta i expertpaneler och genom
att skapa särskilda strategier för att undvika kontroverser. Systemet kan ses
som en arena där en kamp emellan olika viljor utkämpades, men definieras
till lika hög grad av socialiseringsprocesser och skapandet av normer. Att
reglerna för översättningen av kriterier var vaga betyder inte att de saknat
inflytande. EU har beskrivits som en mjuk makt. Genom mjuka mål och
mjuka instruktioner uppmanades aktörer att tänka igenom begrepp som
europeiskt mervärde och formulera dem utifrån sina egna uppfattningar. De
bidrog därmed, inte nödvändigtvis medvetet, till EU:s mål. Sett utifrån arkeologins politiska ekologi var det därför ramarna som sattes vid programmets
tillkomst, samt arkeologernas och konsulternas uttolkning av dessa, som
resulterade i de mest kraftfulla och långvariga sammansättningarna.
Europeiska förflutenheter: projektens narrativ
I kapitel fem analyserar jag projektens beskrivningar av sig själva, samt deras valda fenomen och tidsperioder. Jag undersöker de sammansättningar
som skapats i utrymmet mellan projektens mål, arkeologins eget kulturarv
och EU:s tillhörighetspolitik. Dessa kan bestå av en notis i slutet av en publikation eller EU-inspirerade loggor, såväl som forskningsfrågor och narrativ
som söker bevisa en typ av Europeisk samhörighet i det förflutna. Målet är
att ta reda på hur den ansökningsprosa som diskuteras i kapitel fyra såg ut,
och om den hade någon vidare betydelse efter projektens tillkomst.
Materialet består av insamlad information om 161 projekt med arkeologiska teman som samfinansierats av programmen Rafael, Kultur 2000 och
Kultur 2007–2013. Informationen hämtades från EU:s arkiv på nätet, uppgifter ifrån projektledare och ifrån projektens hemsidor. Ur denna information
extraherades projektnamn, startår och längd, finansieringsbelopp, arkeologisk komponent eller inriktning, undersökt tidsperiod, projektets huvudmål
och geografiska fokus, beskrivning av aktiviteter, deltagande länder och
organisationer, samt hemsidor och övrig information.
Kapitlet utgår ifrån en diskussion om intertextualitet och narrativa strukturer. Intertextualitet är ett sätt att analysera hur texter refererar till andra
texter i syfte att uppnå en viss effekt. Därmed ändrar eller förstärker de ofta
dess betydelse. Med narrativ struktur åsyftar jag hur utsagor om ett projekt,
eller om Europa i förhistorien, ofta är organiserade på ett sådant sätt att de
skapar en för den västerländske läsaren logisk följd. Till exempel kan en
utställning skapa ett narrativ om Europas tillkomst under historien genom att
visa bilder av förhistoriska scenarier eller fynd från olika länder.
Den första delen av kapitlet utgår ifrån de projektbeskrivningar som ingått
i ansökan eller skickats till EU för publicering på deras plattformar. Genom
att först titta på de utlysningstexter som formulerats av EU inför olika
sökomgångar och sedan på vilken respons dessa fått i projektbeskrivningar,
blev flera tendenser tydliga. För det första refererade arkeologiska projekt
ofta till programmets mål om att föra fram ett gemensamt europeisk kulturarv och identitet (även om de inte uppmanades till det i utlysningen). Ett
gemensamt kulturarv blev i vissa fall översatt till ett gemensamt europeiskt
förflutet. För det andra låg fokus vid europeiska likheter i högre grad än vid
skillnader. För det tredje hoppade projekten mellan dåtid och nutid genom
att använda narrativa tekniker. Slutligen var begrepp som europeisk identitet
mest framträdande i paragrafer som talade om kontakt med allmänheten.
Med dessa iakttagelser i åtanke, och utifrån de två arkeologiskt relevanta
ingångarna tidsperiod och studieobjekt, undersöker jag i kapitlets andra del
12 projekt närmare. Bland de 161 projekten visade det sig att den romerska
perioden och tidig medeltid vara särskilt populära val, och när det gällde
studieobjekt var samarbetsprojekt om hällbilder och landskap vanliga. Projekten valdes därför utifrån dessa tendenser. Dessa tidsperioder och till viss
del även objekten, uppvisar stora likheter i materiell kultur över kontinenten.
De hör till de gängse svaren på frågan om Europas uppkomst och det är därför inte förvånande att de dök upp i detta sammanhang. Det intressanta är
hur de motiverade kopplingen till EU.
Genom den närmare projektanalysen bekräftades vissa initiala tendenser,
medan andra motsades. Det första och kanske tydligaste tecknet på att EU
hade finansierat projekten var att många, helt på eget bevåg, hade anammat
EU:s visuella profil. Ibland såg hela hemsidan ut som en EU-flagga men
oftast var det logotyperna som innehöll gula stjärnor och blåa inslag varvat
med arkeologiska motiv. Från ett rent visuellt perspektiv hade flera projekt
redan gått förbi stadiet av ansökningsprosa. Användningen av EUinspirerade fraser om gemensamhet och identitet återkom även inom projektens egna målbeskrivningar på hemsidor och i publikationernas förord
eller introduktioner.
Själva forskningsinnehållet och aktiviteterna knöt dock an till EU:s mål i
mycket varierande grad. Det vanligaste användningsområdet för Europa var
som geografisk inramning. I ett projektet [email protected], som handlade
om de första européerna, var den insamlade informationen beskuren av en
Europakarta, men det fanns inga jämförelser mellan de hominider som beskrevs. I tre projekt som behandlade den romerska eran, blandades förståelsen
av Europa som plats och idé. Projektet Simulacra Romae anlade ett jämförande perspektiv på romaniseringsprocesser och hänvisade i beskrivningar
till en europeisk kontinuitet. På sin hemsida beskrevs temat som en historisk
resa av exceptionell betydelse för födelsen och evolutionen av det första
gemensamma europeiska området. När det gällde forskningresultat stannade
dessa projekt kvar i det förflutna. Europa användes som en ram att foga in
data ifrån olika nationella arkeologiska kontexter. Dessa riktningar kan
kopplas till ett kontinentalt tänkande, då Europa används som en given ram
för att organisera kunskap om det förflutna.
När det gällde projekt som handlade om europeiska landskap och medeltid blev anknytningen till EU tydligare i innehållet. Projektet Cradles of
European Culture och European Pathways to Cultural Landscapes relaterade båda aktivt till idén om ett gemensamt europeiskt kulturarv, samt EU:s
motto: förenade i mångfalden. Båda projekten använde sig av narrativa tekniker och riktade sig till allmänhet och samhällsrepresentanter. Kulturlandskapet och det tidigmedeltida kungadömet Francia Media framställdes här
som bärandes på europeiska kvalitéer. Medan landskapsprojektet tog ställning för ett enat Europa i sin slutpublikation och var öppna med sin identitetsbyggande ambition, var det tidigmedeltida projektet mer otydligt. Där
uppstod två parallella narrativ, där det ena skapade en ursprungsmyt för dagens EU, medan det andra undersökte Europa-idén ur ett kritiskt perspektiv.
En intressant skillnad visade sig i samband med vilken målgrupp projekten riktade sig till. I projekt som främst arbetade med datainsamling och
nätverksbyggande fullföljdes sällan de jämförelser mellan förhistoriska platser och material som utlovades i ansökan. Materialet sammanställdes enbart
och de flesta slutpublikationer var antologier med separata fallstudier. Detta
utgjorde en kontrast till de projekt som skapade utställningar och utvecklade
aktiviteter för allmänheten. Där länkades Europa förr till EUropa idag genom
att hoppa i tid och plocka russinen ur kakan. Dessa narrativ bekräftar arkeologins figur som en legitimerande kraft och källa till identitetsskapande. De
sammanföll också med EU:s egen historieskrivning som fredsprojekt och
räddare av kontinenten.
EU-finansiering som varumärke inom arkeologi
I kapitel sex vänder jag upp och ner på tidigare diskussioner genom att undersöka vad EU är bra för inom arkeologi. Vad betyder det att ha EU som
samfinansiär? Kan det ge fördelar i form av akademisk prestige och politisk
makt? Kapitlet bygger främst på intervjuer med projektledare och metatexter, såsom artiklar projektdeltagare skrivit om projektets utveckling. EUfinansieringens roll diskuteras ur tre perspektiv: som en ren nödvändighet
(pengar, samarbete), som politiskt kapital (legitimitet, inflytande) och som
professionellt kapital (kognitiv auktoritet, nätverk). I en efterföljande diskussion ställs frågan om huruvida nätverk på Europanivå riskerar att låsas i
samband med ökat EU-stöd.
Nödvändigheten av EU-finansiering för att skapa och driva projekten var
enbart i ett fåtal fall knutet till ett genuint behov av pengar. Det krävdes
mycket jobb för att hitta tre eller fler partners utomlands och summorna som
gick att söka, mellan 2–30 miljoner euro att dela på, var inte svindlande.
Oftast var önskan om just EU-finansiering kopplat till administrativa och
rättsliga hinder. Många statliga finansieringskällor hade ingen möjlighet eller
intresse av att bekosta transnationella projekt. Ibland var det till och med
svårt att få stöd för transregionala samarbetsprojekt inom samma land. EUfinansiering blev då ett slags kryphål, en lösning på ett samarbetsproblem.
En viktigare funktion av EU-finansiering var dess användbarhet som
spelpjäs i sökandet efter fler finansiärer. Det är ofta därför EU-finansierade
projekt skriver in Europa i namnet. EU ansågs vara en säker och politiskt
intressant sponsor. Projektets trovärdighet steg och andra finansiärer kunde
använda projektet i sin retorik om internationalisering och lyckade EUsamarbeten. Detta politiska kapital användes även av projektdeltagarna
själva. Flera hade utvecklat en konsultliknande kompetens på området, en
kunskap om EU-finansiering som gav dem politiskt kapital och makt. De
bjöds in att föreläsa på ämnet, deltog i internationella kommittéer och var
aktiva i andra organisationer som Europarådet.
EU-loggan sågs även som en kvalitetsstämpel. Detta berodde både på den
administrativa och logistiska utmaningen ett EU-projekt utgjorde, samt på
peer-review processen. På grund den hårda granskning EU-projekt genomgår
kan de skapa kognitiv auktoritet. Även om alla var överens om att det såg
bra ut på deras CV och att det gett dem många värdefulla kontakter för en
framtida karriär, visade sig den kognitiva auktoriteten dock vara lägre inom
kulturprogrammen än i andra EU-sammanhang. Detta eftersom projekten
innefattade många publika aktiviteter och hade väldigt breda fokus. Flera
informanter menade att de fått höra att deras projekt inte var riktig arkeologi.
Sammantaget visar jag att balansen mellan dessa funktioner skapade kulturprogrammens projekt som en särskild typ av projekt, mer värdefulla när
det gäller politiskt inflytande och nätverkande än kognitiv auktoritet. Utifrån
dessa observationer för jag ett resonemang om hur nätverken kan förändra
eller påverka arkeologins politiska ekonomi över tid. Med stöd i informanternas egna reflektioner argumenterar jag för att de människor som deltar
påverkades i högre grad än representationerna av det förflutna. På listan över
de institutioner som samlats i databasen återkom flera om och om igen i nya
eller liknande projekt. Projektledarna kände till de andra projekten och refererade till personerna och institutionerna som det gamla vanliga gänget.
Dynamiken som skapades uteslöt inte att kontaktnäten vidgades globalt,
men personliga och professionella nätverk på Europanivå förstärktes i första
hand. Arkeologi har alltid varit ett europeiskt eller västerländskt sätt att förhålla sig till det förflutna och redan i samband med disciplinens uppkomst
påbörjades byggandet av europeiska nätverk. Det fanns utrymme inom projekten att utmana dessa ramar, och till viss del gjordes detta, med det samlade intrycket är att projekten var till för de redan invigda. Jag hävdar att det
är i detta sammanhang som frågor om reflexivitet måste tas upp, och som
arkeologer medvetet borde arbeta på utkanten av politiska gränser. Annars
kan klyftan mellan europeiska och icke-europeiska nätverk stärkas på sikt.
I avhandlingens sista kapitel vävs resultat och resonemang ifrån varje kapitel
samman i en avslutande syntes. En imaginär projektansökan får agera som
en röd linje i texten. Den följs ifrån de sammanhang där den inträdde i Europeiska kommissionen fram till projektens genomförande. Här kommer jag
redogöra för syntesens viktigaste punkter.
Svaret på frågan om varför EU engagerat sig i arkeologi som en del av ett
Europeiskt kulturarv har egentligen lite att göra med ett genuint intresse för
ämnet. Till en början låg dess attraktionskraft i att det ansågs tillräckligt
viktigt för att kunna etablera kulturindustrin som ett ekonomiskt samarbetsområde. Vissa tjänstemän vid kommissionen ville ta del av denna marknad.
Dessutom hade det ekonomiska samarbetet inte lett till det folkliga stöd som
förväntats. Anledningen till att det fysiska kulturarvet ansågs var lämpligt för
att adressera båda dessa bekymmer, menar jag har att göra med arkeologins
figur: de sällan artikulerade men alltjämt kvarvarande förväntningarna på
vad arkeologi och kulturarv kan stå till tjänst med. En potential ansågs ligga
i arkeologiska platsers inneboende europeiska värde. De behövde bara visas
upp och förmedlas till befolkningen. Denna inställning skapade en spänning
mellan på förhand antagen samhörighet och en som ännu återstod att skapas.
Medan andra delar av kulturområdet, som litteratur eller konst, ofta beskrevs
som kreativt och framåtblickande i EU:s dokument, sågs kulturarv som statiskt. En ständigt upplevd kris låg också till grund för kulturarvets behov av
stöd. Att gynna området formulerades som en plikt snarare än ett val.
Idén att arkeologi och kulturarv är ett fält som skiljer sig ifrån andra visade sig även i översättningen av huvudkriteriet europeiskt mervärde inne i
den svarta lådan. Inom Kultur 2007–2013 förhandlades programmets mål
och kriterier emellan EU:s olika enheter och granskningskommittéer. Medan
vissa granskare menade att kulturarvsprojekt bör bedömas utifrån kulturhistoriska kriterier och symbolisk investering i europeisk kultur, menade andra
att europeiskt mervärde var en teknisk detalj som handlade om geografisk
spridning av deltagare. Samma dynamik kunde ses bland de ansökande.
Denna ambivalens och dess konsekvenser är en av de viktigaste observationerna i avhandlingen. Under de tidiga finansieringsinitiativen, ända fram
till Kultur 2000 så deltog representanter ifrån fältet i designen och valet av
prioriteringar för programmen. Medan EU-tjänstemän och parlamentariker
satte de europeiska ramarna för programmen så var det arkeologer och kulturarvsarbetare som fyllde idén om ett gemensamt europeiskt kulturarv med
innehåll. I och med denna mjuka styrning hamnade makten att definiera
europeiskhet i spänningsfältet mellan kulturpolicy och arkeologer. Denna
samverkan har varit effektiv för både EU och för arkeologer då den uppmuntrat deltagare i samfinansierade projekt att tänka i europeiska termer.
Även om detta på många sätt kan ses som någonting positivt, så visar jag i
avhandlingen att det innehåll ramen fylldes med ofta förstärkte arkeologins
figur, det vill säga idén om att arkeologi är ett verktyg för att skapa territoriell legitimitet och kulturella/etniska identiteter. Arkeologer som sökte till
EU:s kulturprogram, kopplade ofta idén om ett gemensamt kulturarv till
(för)historien, antingen som ansökningsprosa eller på grund av ett uppriktigt
politiskt intresse. Återigen fanns spänningsfältet där. De ansökande tänkte att
denna prosa var nödvändig för att lyckas. Även om deras bild inte stämde
överens med experternas – de försökte ju se igenom sådan prosa – så var det
EU:s byråkratiska maskineri som skapat förutsättningar för missförstånd
genom upprätthållandet av den svarta lådan.
Oavsett anledning så ledde denna spänning till att arkeologins figur, i alla
fall i EU:s ögon, ofta bekräftades. Möjligheten att utmana bilden av arkeologins nytta i EU:s framtida satsningar kan därför begränsas, en effekt som är
synlig i samband med den nya Europeiska Kulturarvsmärkningen (2011) och
EU:s deltagarbaserade kulturarvspolicy (2014). Den ena bygger på terminologin om europeiska rötter medan den andra försöker komma bort ifrån en
essentialistisk syn på kulturarv. Utvecklingen visar på behovet av att fortsatt
uppmärksamma EU:s kultursatsningar, och policybaserade finansieringskällor i allmänhet, som en del av arkeologins politiska ekologi.
Figure 1. Reconstruction of Hecatæus’ map of the world ......................................... 42
Figure 2. Europa Regina, 16th century cartographical personification of Europe ..... 45
Figure 3. Bench from the Apartheid period in South Africa ..................................... 48
Figure 4. Confusion at the Commission historical archives. ..................................... 70
Figure 5. Analytical approach used in chapter three. ................................................ 71
Figure 6. Work meeting during the Copenhagen summit 1973 ................................ 77
Figure 7. Parthenon, Athens. Press photo from the signing of the Accession Treaty
of Greece to the Community 1979. ................................................................. 84
Figure 8. Roman Walls in Tongeren. ........................................................................ 91
Figure 9. Parachutist holding a European flag ........................................................ 101
Figure 10. Graph of the distribution of coordinating organisations between member
states in 154 projects ..................................................................................... 107
Figure 11. Heritage frozen in time, Pompeii. Commission official attending the
launch of an EU funded project ..................................................................... 115
Figure 12. Archaeology in EU cultural actions ....................................................... 116
Figure 13. Boxes of project proposals awaiting transport ....................................... 120
Figure 14. An EU civil servant avoiding the camera .............................................. 129
Figure 15. Exhibition at the Commission historical archives ................................. 141
Figure 16. Experts discussing scoring during consensus ........................................ 144
Figure 17. EU superman. ........................................................................................ 150
Figure 18. Interconnected nodes in the network sustaining the black box. ............. 168
Figure 19. Word cloud. Buzzing with Europe ........................................................ 184
Figure 20. Graph of the distribution of time periods among the 161 projects ........ 188
Figure 21. Affirmation of EU backing before entering [email protected] website. . 190
Figure 22. Project web platform. ‘The first Europeans’ exhibition ........................ 192
Figure 23. Project website, Simulacra Romae. ....................................................... 196
Figure 24. Map and database structure, Transformation ......................................... 201
Figure 25. Francia Media heritage route. Map with the locations of the sites and
partners. ......................................................................................................... 204
Figure 26. Herman Van Rompuy, patron of the CEC project ................................. 208
Figure 27. Word cloud. Eropean things .................................................................. 213
Figure 28. Visual profile of EuroPreArt. ................................................................ 215
Figure 29. Front cover image of project report with RockCare logotype ............... 218
Figure 30. Exhibition poster image. 40.000 anni d’arte contemporanea. ................ 221
Figure 31. PCL. Welcome page on project website. ............................................... 224
Figure 32. PCL and EPC folders ............................................................................. 228
Figure 33. EU plaque at the museum quarter in Vienna. ........................................ 235
Figure 34. Two maps showing the countries of coordinating and coorganising
organisations in 154 projects ......................................................................... 248
Figure 35. Exhibition at the Commission historical archives ................................. 249
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Appendix 1: Interviews
All audio recordings and transcriptions remain in safe storage with the author. Anonymised versions of transcriptions can be obtained upon request.
EX: Expert reviewer
EU: European Union actor
Reference code
01 EX–01 2011
02 EU–01 2011
03 PJ–01 2011
04 PJ–02 2011
05 PJ–03 2011
06 EU–03 2011
07 EU–04 2011
08 PJ–04 2011
09 PJ–05 2012
10 OT–01 2012
11 EU–01 2012
12 OT–02 2012
13 OT–03 2012
14 EU–05 2012
15 OT–04 2012
PJ: Project participant
Relevance for the thesis
Expert: Culture 2000, Culture 2007–2013. Also
experience from framework programmes in research.
European Commission: two project officers in DG
Research and Environment. Interviewed together.
Project coorganiser: Raphael, project coordinator
Culture 2000.
Project coorganiser: Culture 2007–2013.
Project coorganiser/content leader: Culture 2007–
European Commission: Culture programmes, policy and administration.
European Commission: cultural policy development.
Project coordinator: Culture 2000, Culture 2007–
Project coordinator: Raphael, project coorganiser
Culture 2000.
Archaeologist with long experience in EU settings.
Participated EU evaluation panels during the
Raphael programme.
European Parliament: Culture Committee, secretariat. Working with the European Heritage Label.
Consultant: working with and advising EU projects
in archaeology and cultural heritage.
Europa Nostra: representative of international heritage organisation co-funded by the EU.
European Commission: representative for Commissioners cabinet in culture.
Reflection group on EU and cultural heritage within European Heritage Heads Forum: representative
of national heritage board.
16 EU–06 2012
17 EU–02 2012
18 EU–07 2012
19 EU–08 2012
20 EU–02 2012
21 EX–02 2012
22 EU–09 2012
23 PJ–06 2012
24 OT–05 2012
25 EX–03 2012
26 PJ–07 2013
27 PJ–08 2013
28 PJ–09 2013
29 EX–04 2013
30 EX–05 2013
31 PJ–10 2013
32 EX–06 2013
33 EX–07 2013
34 EX–08 2013
35 EX–09 2013
36 EX–10 2013
37 OT–06 2013
38 EX–11 2014
39 OT–07 2014
40 PJ–11 2014
Archaeologist with long experience in EU settings.
Mainly within the EU framework programmes in
research but also involved in Raphael and Culture
2007–2013 in some capacities.
Project coordinator: Raphael, Culture 2000.
41 PJ–12 2014
Project coorganiser: Raphael, Culture 2000.
European Commission: director of the EuroMediterranean Heritage Initiative (EUROMED),
tied to the policy area of External Action.
Permanent representation of Sweden to the European Union: counsellor for cultural affairs.
European Commission: project officer at the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.
European Commission: cultural actions (European
Heritage Label, European Capitals of Culture).
European Commission: Culture programme policy
and administration.
Expert: Culture 2007–2013.
European Commission: heritage advisor under the
policy area of Enlargement. Working with heritage
rehabilitation and reconciliation in Eastern Europe.
Project coordinator: heritage project funded within
the policy area of Information Society and Media.
Cultural Contact Point: national information officer
for the Culture programmes.
Expert: Culture 2000, Culture 2007–2013.
Project coordinator: Culture 2007–2013.
Project coorganiser: Culture 2000, Culture 2007–
Project participant and expert: Raphael, Culture
2007–2013. Archaeologist with long experience in
EU contexts. Also involved in ERC funding and
EU framework programmes in research.
Expert: Culture 2007–2013. Also experience from
EU framework programmes in research.
Expert: Culture 2007–2013.
Project coorganiser: Culture 2007–2013.
Expert: Culture 2007–2013.
Expert: Culture 2007–2013.
Expert: Culture 2007–2013. Also experience from
EU framework programmes in research.
Expert: Culture 2007–2013.
Expert: Culture 2007–2013.
Cultural Contact Point: national information officer
for the Culture programmes.
Expert: Culture 2007–2013.
Appendix 2: Interview Questions and Themes
The content of the semi-structured interviews varied based on what type of
actor I talked to and their individual experiences. Before each interview I did
background research on the institutional contexts or the projects the persons
participated in, and adapted my questions accordingly. Outlined below are
the raw version of the questions and themes developed.
European Commission and European Parliament
Development and promotion of programmes and cultural initiatives.
 The role and importance of cultural heritage in cultural initiatives.
 Collaboration with other EU bodies in this area, and with the CoE.
 Lobbying activities and cooperation with the stakeholder organisations in heritage.
Position of cultural heritage within Cultural actions:
 Key challenges – it is an easy or difficult topic?
 Similarities and differences compared to other supported areas.
What are the key benefits of supporting cultural heritage?
 Economy.
 Social/cultural integration.
 Symbolic value (European identity).
 Protection/preservation.
On the role of the Culture programme in supported heritage projects:
 Perceptions by applicants: Administration, guidelines and process.
 Willingness of projects and organisations to affiliate themselves
with the EU label.
 Willingness of projects and organisations to affiliate themselves
with goals on culture and integration.
 Attitudes and perceptions toward the programme, as experienced on
events and in meetings.
Working with Culture policy: Language, criteria, concepts and slogans:
 Unity in diversity, balance and meaning.
 European Identity, European added value and a common heritage –
meaning and applicability.
 Differences in interpretation within the Commission.
 What is a common European heritage? Examples?
Power and agency:
 Dependence and freedom in regards to interpreting the EU treaties.
 The importance of personal commitment.
 Effect of personal agendas within the Commission and Parliament.
Project leaders and participants of co-funded EU projects
Project background:
 Why an EU project?
 Coming up with the idea.
 Thematic choices.
 Selecting partners.
 Use of consultants?
The application process:
 Meetings and administration when setting up the project proposal.
 Interpretation of award criteria, especially European added value.
 Writing techniques and buzzwords used in the application.
 Thoughts on the review process.
Implementation and dissemination:
 Importance of EU co-funding for the development of the project.
 Challenges and benefits relating to scope: European/regional/local.
 Differences between Eastern and Western European partners.
 Coordination and linking results between partners.
 Communicating with publics and national/regional politicians.
 Communicating with European Commission representatives: reception, valorisation and feedback.
 Reactions from other archaeologists: prestige and academic capital.
On a common European heritage:
 Attitudes toward the goals of the programme, especially the promotion of a common heritage and common cultural area – importance
and meaning for archaeology.
 Understanding of Europe in the project: an idea, a cultural unit, a
geographical unit or geopolitical space?
 Breaking borders and reinforcing borders. International versus a European perspective in terms of collaboration and networking, data
collection, interpretation, and writing narratives.
Expert reviewers
Registering as an expert for the EU and the Culture programme:
 Why did you sign up?
 How many times have you participated?
 Have you worked as an expert for other EU programmes?
Positive/negative aspects about working as an expert evaluator:
 Social aspects, new experiences, stress, income etc.
 Are new friendships or professional networks built?
 Is the knowledge gained useful outside of the evaluation panels?
The Culture programme and heritage:
 How would you describe the benefits and shortcomings of the programme? Is it a good programme? What could be better?
 How does the topic of cultural heritage and especially archaeology,
fit in with or compare to the other topics of the programme?
The selection process:
 Does the individual evaluation and consensus procedure assure that
the “best” projects get funded?
 Did you feel independent or restricted when you worked as an expert
for the Culture programme?
 Does it matter if the expert is knowledgeable in the project topic?
 Does personal preferences and willpower matter when working with
other experts?
 Can you think of any examples of hard negotiations over proposals
that you have evaluated?
The criteria (European added value, excellence of the proposed activities,
relevance to the specific objectives of the programme etc.):
 Do they assure that the “best” projects achieve funding?
 Which criterion is the most difficult to assess?
 Which criterion is the hardest to agree upon?
 Based on your impressions, to what extent do projects adapt their
own goals after the EU programme goals and criteria?
European added value:
 How should European added value be defined in relation to cultural
heritage and archaeology? In geographical, geopolitical, economic,
cultural or symbolic terms (or something else)?
 Are the instructions of the Culture programme clear on this point?
Appendix 3: Projects Included in the Database
Project Name
Crafts – Structure, implantation et role economique de
l'artisanat en Italie et dans les provinces occidentales
de l'Empire Romain
Culture 2000
Homo, hominidos, technologia y medio ambiente en
el pleistoceno medio y superior
Culture 2000
EuroPreArt – Past signs and Present Memories
CAA – Conservation through Aerial Archaeology
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Alps before frontiers: cultural changes, adaptations
and traditions from prehistoric to historic times
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Origen, topografía y desarrollo urbanístico del área
central de Roma
PLC – Pathways to Cultural Landscapes
Culture 2000
RockCare – Tanums Kulturarvslaboratorium
Archaeology Without Barriers
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Signes des civilisations pre-romaines sur le territoire
et le paysage: le cas des Etrusques dans l'aire de
L'Europe et la Gaule Romaine: voies commerciales et
moyens de transport
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
European World Heritage
Canaux d'irrigation des pays méditerranéens
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Torre Alemanna: interventi multidisciplinari di archeolgia e restauro
Culture 2000
Simulacra Romae: Roman provincial capitals, a common European heritage
Culture 2000
Espacios de ocio, convicencia y cultural en el Arco
Atlantico: los banos publicos como simbolo de la
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
MoSS – Monitoring, Safeguaring and Visualising
North-European Shipwreck Sites: common European
underwater cultural heritage, challenges for cultural
resource management
AREA – Archives of European Archaeology
Culture 2000
Archaeological Records of Europe: networked access
Culture 2000
Walled towns: from division to co-division
The Peregrinus Project
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
EuroPreArt – Memories Looking into the Future:
signs and spaces
FMP – The First Millenium Project
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Foreigners in Early Medieval Europe: migration,
integration, acculturation
Culture 2000
Ubi erat Lupa
Un laboratorio alle terme
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Taller arqueologico y arquitectonico Europeo
MOMENTPAST – Landscape Producers: symbols
and architecture marks of past
Getaria: equipamientos culturales y recursos arqueologicos
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Cultura in Corso: Torre Alemanna
From Underwater to Public Attention
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
The Significance of Cart-ruts in Ancient Landscapes
ARTRISK – Risk Control of Monuments, Art and
Computer Appliances for Landscape Organization
European Fluvial Heritage
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
CHASM – Cultural Heritage, Archaeological Surveying Models
Culture 2000
Living and dying in the Roman Empire: new perspectives of funerary archaeology – cultural influence on
the periphery exterted on the centre
Culture 2000
Citadels – Conservation and integrated documentation
of fortified towns through advanced digital elaboration systems
Culture 2000
The Heritage of Serenissima
FAITH – First Aid for Wetland Cultural Heritage
Finds: Tradition and Innovation
European Vernacular Architecture: cultural heritage
Forum Euro-Méditerranéen: patrimoine culturel et
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Delpi – House of Questions
VIROM – Vikings and Romans: the life of and contacts between Europeans in the first millenium AD
INTEGRATIO – Places of Cultural Integration in
Tradition and Perspective: from visiting to meeting –
the Coast, the Upper Ribatejo, The Golden Coast and
the Dobrogea Province
Culture 2000
Orpheus – A virtual museum
Culture 2000
I segni delle divilta pre-romane nel territorio e nel
Il cammino di Carlo Magno: il territorio e i paesaggi
della prima grande stagione di unificazione Europea
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
AlpiNet – Apline Network for Archeological Sciences: best practices to increase public and scientific
awareness to the common past of the cultural diversity
of the Alps
TARCHNA – Towards Archaeological Heritage, New
European Landscapes: past, present and future
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Recovery and valorisation of medieval historical sites
of the 14th and 15th centuries in order to better understand the creation of different European countries
Culture 2000
A Laboratory at the Hot Springs: research, utilisation
and new communication languages applied to archaelogical hot spring areas
Culture 2000
History Lost: the looting of European heritage
ARTSIGNS – The Present Past, European Prehistoric
Art, Aestethics and Communication
Rome's Conquest of Europe: military aggression,
native responses and the European public today
Cultural landscapes of the Past: recovering crop fields
and gardens in archeological parks of Europe
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Progetto Classe: archeologia di una città abbandonata
Mens, Lands and Seas: research models applied to the
study of archaelogical Mediterranean coast sites
The Heritage of the Serenissima: presentation of the
architectural and archeological remains of the Venetian Republic
ARCHSIGNS – Building Space and Place in Prehistoric Western Europe
OPPIDA – The Earliest European Towns North of the
AREA – Archives of European Archaeology
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
FRE – Frontiers of the Roman Empire
South-Eastern European Pottery: archaeology and
scientific techniques
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Piceni and Europe: the role of a prehistoric community in shaping of European cultural heritage
Culture 2000
L'Europe, déjà, à la fin des temps préhistoriques: de
grandes lames en silex dans toute l'Europe
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
To Touch or Not to Touch
Stone-relief-inscription: integration, public access and
long term avaliability of inter-disciplinary data regarding Roman stone monuments
The Villa-society in Europe: from the Roman time to
Western modern civilization
Monastiraki: a nursery of European culture
Culture 2000
The Vanished Cities
An Opportunity to Learn by Living our Past
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Mittelalterliche Burgen im Rhein-Donau-Raum als
Schützenwertes Kulturelles erbe einer Europäischen
Culture 2000
Netconnect – Connecting European Culture through
New Technology
Culture 2000
MACHU – Managing Cultural Heritage Underwater
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Paleopantheon – Nameless Gods of European History
Un patrimoine Mediterraneen syncretique: chateaux et
fortifications de l'epoque des croisades
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
PaCE – Plants and Culture: seeds of the cultural heritage of Europe
Culture 2007–2013
DressID – Clothing and Identities: new perspectives
on textiles in the Roman Empire
Culture 2007–2013
ACE – Archaeology in Contemporary Europe
Culture 2007–2013
Culture 2007–2013
Sur et Sous: la ville européenne, le patrimoine archéologique et architectonique dans le contexte urbain
de villes de taille moyenne
Culture 2007–2013
Heritage Without Borders: redefining cultural values
through the built heritage of SE Europe
Culture 2007–2013
MAX – Museum at Public Access and Participation
Culture 2007–2013
Culture 2007–2013
Suspended Spaces
Art and Parks
Culture 2007–2013
Culture 2007–2013
CRHIMA-CINP – Cultural Rupestrian Heritage in the
Circum-Mediterranean Area, Common Identity, New
Culture 2007–2013
Economic Value of Cultural Heritage
Archaeolandscapes Europe
Culture 2007–2013
Culture 2007–2013
CEC – Cradles of European Culture
T-PAS – Tourist Promotion of Archaeological Sites
along the road Aquileia-Viminacium
Culture 2007–2013
Culture 2007–2013
Europäische Burgen als herausragende Zentren frühen
Kulturaustausches im Mittelalter
Etruscanning 3D
Culture 2007–2013
Culture 2007–2013
EUROlog – Europäischer Dialog über antike Kulturen als Instrument zum Verständnis der fremden
heutigen und vergangenen Kulturen
PITOTI – Digital Rock Art from Ancient Europe
Culture 2007–2013
Culture 2007–2013
ARCHES – Archaeological Resources in Cultural
Heritage: a European standard
Culture 2007–2013
Culture 2007–2013
European Conflict Archaeological Landscape Reappropriation
Culture 2007–2013
Clash of Cultures
EuroVision – Museums Exhibiting Europe
Culture 2007–2013
Culture 2007–2013
GestArt – Artistic Gestures Revisiting European
Artistic Diversity and Convergence
Culture 2007–2013
Engaging Volunteers in European Heritage Discovery
ECSLAND – European Culture Expressed in Sacred
Culture 2007–2013
Culture 2007–2013
Archéologie et cultures de l’Âge du Fer en Europe
EMAP – European Music Archaeology Project
Culture 2007–2013
Culture 2007–2013
NEARCH – New Scenarios for a Communityinvolved Archaeology
Culture 2007–2013
[email protected]
Archaeology and Europe (AREA)
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Le Navi antiche di Pisa
Advanced On-site Restoration Laboratory for European Antique Heritage Restoration
Revitalization of the Carthusian monastery of at Zice
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
Moderne Erforschung und Praesentation von Burgen
CROSSINGS – Movements of Peoples and Movement of Cultures: changes in the Mediterranean from
ancient to modern times
Colloque international de peinture murale antique:
exposition au royaume des ombres
Valorisation du patrimoine maritime Viking dans les
pays et regions du Nord-Ouest de l'Europe, Irlande,
Royaume-uni et France
THERA ASHES – A Datumline for European History
Culture 2000
Culture 2000
MEDIA 98 – Les jeunes et la sauvegarde du patrimoine
ELEA – Producing and Consuming Olives: a contribution to European culinary cultural heritage
RITROVA – Reconstruction Inphographique de la
Topographie de Rome et des Vestiges Antiques
IKUWA – International Kongress Schutz des Kulturerbes unter Wasser. Sensibilisierung hierfür Veränderungen europäischer Lebenskultur durch Fluß- und
L'arte Rupestre d'Europa: 40.000 anni di arte contemporanea
ЛЯСНДЕОСОЗМОЗ – Educational presentation of
ancient coins and mosaics from the ancient town of
MINE – Mining and History in Europe: the European
mining heritage
Seafaring Textiles: interdisciplinary approach
Landscape changes in relation to the humanenvironment relationship in Southern Europe during
the Pleistocene
Museological and Archeological Network on the
Revitalisation of early Ship-finds
Tombs of the Bronze Age and Iron Age in Europe
Un art funéraire tyrolien en Luxembourg: les pierres
tombales de Recht XVIII/XIX siècles artyrolux
Funurary Tradition in the Mediterranean
Proyecto para mejorar la formaciòn y molividad de
los profesionales en el ambito de la conservación del
patrimonio cultural Europeo en el yacimiento arqueológico de Santa Maria
Formation théorique et pratique pour la connaissance
des techniques de préservation et de restauration des
décors muraux intérieurs réalisés à base de chaux
Survey Exploration and Protection of the Archaeological Heritage
Plan de revalorizacion del complejo preindustrial
hidráulico de Agorregi
Treasures of our Common Past in Europe: history
written in the earth (Luftbildarchäologie in Zentraleuropa)
European Cultural Paths (ECP)
Pilots Raphael
URBANITAS – Cultural and Touristic Development
of Antique Towns
Keltische Siedlungsarchäologie im europäischen
Vergleich: Schulung im Rahmen der Ausgrabungen in
AIHAE – Akamas International Heritage and Archeology Exchange Project
THASOSPISTYROS – Exchange of professionals
who work in the excavation sites of Thasos and
La roue du temps
Cultural Heritage, Technology and Sustainable Development
Les grands navires de la Renaissance
VII Congrès international sur la céramique médiévale
en Méditerranée
FRAME – Fragments du moyen âge
Commercial and Cultural Routes between the Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea
MIPS – I Muestra Internacional Audiovisual del
Patrimonio Cultural
ECCL – Europe’s Celtic Cultural Legacy
Navis II
PRAD – Digital Reconstruction of the Ara of Domitius
Mapping the Future of the Past: new information
technologies for managing the European archaeological heritage
Holistic approach and digital recording of the structure, technology, decay, conservation and promotion
of archaeological and historical leather artifacts and
natural history collection specimens
Early Farmers in Europe
Digitale Rekonstruktion Mittelalterücher Synagogen
PEPEE – Préhistoire et Pédagogie en Europe
Gateway – The Well of Husaby in a European context
Interscientific course of study for the selection of
conservation methods compatible with research on
organic archaeological materials
Stockholm Studies in Archaeology
Series editor: Anders Andrén
1. KYHLBERG, Ola 1980. Vikt och värde. Arkeologiska studier i värdemätning,
betalningsmedel och metrologi. I. Helgö. II. Birka.
2. AMBROSIANI, Kristina 1981. Viking Age Combs, Comb Making and Comb
Makers, in the Light of the Finds from Birka and Ribe.
3. SÄRLVIK, Ingegärd 1982. Paths Towards a Stratified Society. A Study of Economic, Cultural and Social Formations in South-West Sweden during the Roman Iron Age and the Migration Period.
4. BLIDMO, Roger 1982. Helgö, Husgrupp 3. En lokalkorologisk metodstudie.
Helgöstudier 2.
5. CARLSSON, Anders 1983. Djurhuvudformiga spännen och gotländsk vikingatid. Text och katalog.
6. DURING, Ebba 1986. The Fauna of Alvastra. An Osteological Analysis of
Animal Bones from a Neolithic Pile Dwelling.
7. BERTILSSON, Ulf 1987. The Rock Carvings of Northern Bohuslän. Spatial
Structures and Social Symbols.
8. CARLSSON, Anders 1988. Vikingatida ringspännen från Gotland. Text och
9. BURSTRÖM, Mats 1991. Arkeologisk samhällsavgränsning. En studie av vikingatida samhällsterritorier i Smålands inland.
10. VARENIUS, Björn 1992. Det nordiska skeppet. Teknologi och samhällsstrategi
i vikingatid och medeltid.
11. JAKOBSSON, Mikael 1992. Krigarideologi och vikingatida svärdstypologi.
12. RINGSTEDT, Nils 1992. Household economy and archaeology. Some aspects
on theory and applications.
13. Withdrawn.
14. JOHANSEN, Birgitta 1997. Ormalur. Aspekter av tillvaro och landskap.
15. ZACHRISSON, Torun 1998. Gård, gräns, gravfält. Sammanhang kring
ädelmetalldepåer och runstenar från vikingatid och tidigmedeltid i Uppland och
16. CASSEL, Kerstin 1998. Från grav till gård. Romersk järnålder på Gotland.
17. CARLSSON, Anders 1998. Tolkande arkeologi och svensk forntidshistoria.
18. GÖRANSSON, Eva-Marie 1999. Bilder av kvinnor och kvinnlighet. Genus och
kroppsspråk under övergången till kristendomen.
19. BOLIN, Hans 1999. Kulturlandskapets korsvägar. Mellersta Norrland under de
två sista årtusendena f. Kr.
20. STRASSBURG, Jimmy. 2000. Shamanic Shadows. One hundred Generations
of Undead Subversion in Southern Scandinavia, 7,000–4,000 BC.
21. STORÅ, Jan 2001. Reading Bones. Stone Age Hunters and Seals in the Baltic.
22. CARLSSON, Anders 2001. Tolkande arkeologi och svensk forntidshistoria.
23. HAUPTMAN WAHLGREN, Katherine 2002. Bilder av betydelse. Hällristningar och bronsålderslandskap i nordöstra Östergötland.
24. ADAMS, Jonathan 2003. Ships, Innovation and Social Change. Aspects of
Carvel Shipbuilding In Northern Europe 1450 – 1850.
25. HED JAKOBSSON, Anna 2003. Smältdeglars härskare och Jerusalems
tillskyndare. Berättelser om vikingatid och tidig medeltid.
26. GILL, Alexander 2003. Stenålder i Mälardalen.
27. WALL, Åsa 2003. De hägnade bergens landskap. Om den äldre järnåldern på
28. STENBÄCK, Niklas 2003. Människorna vid havet. Platser och keramik på
ålandsöarna perioden 3500 – 2000 f. Kr.
29. LINDGREN, Christina 2004. Människor och kvarts. Sociala och teknologiska
strategier under mesolitikum i östra Mellansverige.
30. LAGERSTEDT, Anna 2004. Det norrländska rummet. Vardagsliv och socialt
samspel i medeltidens bondesamhälle.
31. von HEIJNE, Cecilia 2004. Särpräglat. Vikingatida och tidigmedeltida
myntfynd från Danmark, Skåne, Blekinge och Halland (ca 800-1130).
32. FERNSTÅL, Lotta 2004. Delar av en grav och glimtar av en tid. Om yngre
romersk järnålder, Tuna i Badelunda i Västmanland och personen i grav X.
33. THEDÉEN, Susanne 2004. Gränser i livet – gränser i landskapet. Generationsrelationer och rituella praktiker i södermanländska bronsålderslandskap.
34. STENSKÖLD, Eva 2004. Att berätta en senneolitisk historia. Sten och metall i
södra Sverige 2350-1700 f. Kr.
35. REGNER, Elisabet 2005. Den reformerade världen. Monastisk och materiell
kultur i Alvastra kloster från medeltid till modern tid.
36. MONIÉ NORDIN, Jonas 2005. När makten blev synlig. Senmedeltid i södra
37. FELDT, Björn 2005. Synliga och osynliga gränser. Förändringar i gravritualen
under yngre bronsålder – förromersk järnålder i Södermanland.
38. RUNER, Johan 2006. Från hav till land eller Kristus och odalen. En studie av
Sverige under äldre medeltid med utgångspunkt från de romanska kyrkorna.
39. STENQVIST MILLDE, Ylva 2007. Vägar inom räckhåll. Spåren efter resande i
det förindustriella bondesamhället.
40. BACK DANIELSSON, Ing-Marie 2007. Masking Moments. The Transitions of
Bodies and Beings in Late Iron Age Scandinavia.
41. SELLING, Susanne 2007. Livets scener och dödens platser. Om bronsålder i
södra Bohuslän utifrån en gravläggning i Faxehögen, Kareby socken.
42. ARNBERG, Anna 2007. Där människor, handling och tid möts. En studie av det
förromerska landskapet på Gotland.
43. BERGERBRANT, Sophie 2007. Bronze Age Identities: Costume, Conflict and
Contact in Northern Europe 1600-1300 BC.
44. FRANSSON, Ulf, SVEDIN, Marie, BERGERBRANT, Sophie & ANDROSCHUK, Fedir (eds.) 2007. Cultural interaction between east and west.
Archaeology, artefacts and human contacts in northern Europe.
45. MYRBERG, Nanouschka 2008. Ett eget värde. Gotlands tidigaste myntning, ca
46. BRATT, Peter 2008. Makt uttryckt i jord och sten. Stora högar och maktstrukturer i Mälardalen under järnåldern.
47. BACK DANIELSSON, Ing-Marie, GUSTIN, Ingrid, LARSSON, Annika,
MYRBERG, Nanouschka & THEDÉEN, Susanne (red.) 2009. Döda personers
sällskap. Gravmaterialens identiteter och kulturella uttryck. (On the Threshold.
Burial Archaeology in the Twenty-first Century).
48. REGNER, Elisabet, von HEIJNE, Cecilia, KITZLER ÅHFELDT, Laila &
KJELLSTRÖM, Anna (eds.) 2009. From Ephesos to Dalecarlia: Reflections on
Body, Space and Time in Medieval and Early Modern Europe.
49. LINDEBERG, Marta 2009. Järn i jorden. Spadformiga ämnesjärn i Mellannorrland.
50. JONSSON, Kristina 2009. Practices for the Living and the Dead. Medieval and
Post-Reformation Burials in Scandinavia.
51. von HACKWITZ, Kim 2009. Längs med Hjälmarens stränder och förbi – relationen mellan den gropkeramiska kulturen och båtyxekulturen.
52. MONIKANDER, Anne 2010. Våld och vatten. Våtmarkskult vid Skedemosse
under järnåldern.
53. FAHLANDER, Fredrik & KJELLSTRÖM, Anna (eds.) 2010. Making Sense of
Things. Archaeologies of Sensory Perception.
54. FAHLANDER, Fredrik (red.) 2011. Spåren av de små. Arkeologiska perspektiv
på barn och barndom.
55. SJÖSTRAND, Ylva 2011. Med älgen i huvudrollen. Om fångstgropar, hällbilder och skärvstensvallar i mellersta Norrland.
56. BURSTRÖM, Nanouschka M. & FAHLANDER, Fredrik (eds.) 2012. Matters
of scale. Processes and courses of events in archaeology and cultural history.
Ylva (eds.) 2012. Encountering Imagery: Materialities, Perceptions, Relations.
58. BACK DANIELSSON, Ing-Marie & THEDÉEN, Susanne (eds.) 2012. To Tender Gender. The Pasts and Futures of Gender Research.
59. MC WILLIAMS, Anna 2014. An Archaeology of the Iron Curtain: Material and
60. LJUNGE, Magnus & RÖST, Anna (red.) 2014. I skuggan av solen. Nya perspektiv på bronsåldersarkeologier och bronsålderns arkeologiska källmaterial.
61. RUNESSON, Gunilla 2014. Bronsålderns bosättningsområden och boplatser på
Gotland. Många syns inte men finns ändå.
62. KLEVNÄS, Alison & HEDENSTIERNA-JONSON, Charlotte (eds.) 2015. Own
and be owned. Archaeological perspectives on the concept of possession.
63. ENGSTRÖM, Elin 2015. Eketorps veckningar. Hur arkeologi formar tid, rum
och kön.
64. CARLSSON, Anders 2015. Tolkande arkeologi och svensk forntidshistoria.
Från stenålder till vikingatid.
65. LJUNGE, Magnus 2015. Bortom avbilden. Sydskandinaviska hällbilders materialitet.
66. NIKLASSON, Elisabeth 2016. Funding Matters: Archaeology and the Political
Economy of the Past in the EU.
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