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From Plunder to PreservationBritain and the Heritage of Empire, c.1800–1940$
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Astrid Swenson and Peter Mandler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265413

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265413.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Of Doubtful Antiquity

Of Doubtful Antiquity

Fighting for the Past in the Crimean War*

Chapter:
(p.31) 2 Of Doubtful Antiquity
Source:
From Plunder to Preservation
Author(s):

Edmund Richardson

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265413.003.0002

This chapter examines the ways in which Britain's campaigns in the Crimean War (1854–56) became entangled in the ancient world. During the conflict, British officers in the Crimea went in search of ancient sites to excavate — while newspapers in London reported avidly on their finds. The chapter centres around Duncan McPherson, a military doctor who carried out several strikingly ambitious Crimean excavations in collaboration with Robert Westmacott, son of the neoclassical sculptor Sir Richard Westmacott. It explores how difficult and frustrating the search for the ancient world became, for Britain's soldier-archaeologists — and how frequently their pursuit of the past was thwarted.

Keywords:   Crimean War, Duncan McPherson, archaeology, Britain, British Army, Ancient Greece, Homer, Robert Westmacott

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