Archaeology and Politics: European Powerplay

The exhibition “The Great Game” in the Ruhrmuseum just ended. The 670-page book tying in with the exhibition containing contributions from 50 internationally renowned researchers is still available however. It reveals the close links between archeology and politics in late 19th and early 20th century Europe and shows the big excavations and expeditions of the age of European colonialism. Conceived in close cooperation with international partners, it showcases more than 800 artifacts from 12 different subject areas. More than 60 internationally renowned museums and institutions as well as private collectors have committed themselves to contributing works of art, some of which have never been public displayed before. Residents of Essen – one of the Ruhr metropolis’ main cities and the site of the exhibition – have been key players in the archeology of the colonial era. Among them Carl Humann who discovered the Pergamon Altar and made more several spectacular expeditions to the Ottoman Empire, and sponsors like the Krupp family, which supported successful expeditions to the Silk Road.