Enlightenment can also be understood as a process by which we come to understanding an event, a crime etc. From this perspective, archeology can clearly be considered as an act of tracing, or tracking evidence, which results in enlightenment. We should take heed, however, of a number of examples from the historical past which indicate how archeology may be used as a political instrument.
In the formation of nations and cultures, for example, archeology has often served as a basis for legends and myths, for the legitimisation. This process of "mythisation“, however, must be critically examined.
Professor Hans-Joachim Gehrke is one of the most renowned ancient historians. From 2008 until 2011, he was President of the German Archeology Institute and in 2010, he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit.
Archaeology as a means of enlightenment?