Ich bin Hobbychirurg und Hobbypolizist

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The popular archaeological witticism that there can’t be hobby archaeologists, since there are no hobby surgeons or hobby policemen either, demonstrates that many archaeologists have a severely deficient understanding of scholarship and society. Not only is the witticism demonstrably false and based on a serious logical category error, but serves, exclusively, the purpose to assume power by illicit means. This power, on top of everything, we then abuse to violate the fundamental civil and human right of freedom of research of all other citizens; a right that we not only claim for us, but that is essential for the very functioning of academic scholarship. In addition, it also demonstrates that our discipline and indeed a significant percentage of archaeologists harbour a serious inferiority complex. In this contribution, I demonstrate why we must resist this if we do not want to repeat the mistakes of our disciplinary ancestors during and since the 3rd Reich.


  • ARCHAEOLOGY, Heritage management, heritage law, amateur archaeology, public participation, community archaeology, Understanding of scholarship, Human rights, Civil rights, Academic freedom, Totalitarianism
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages13
JournalArchäologische Informationen
Early online date13 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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