Thursday, April 30, 2009

Transitional archaeology in a Transitional Country (2)

1996
Archaeological map of The Republic of Macedonia vs. Internet access


I deliberately chose 1996, due to a number of reasons, of which are most important:

- The definite independence of Macedonian archaeology after the disintegration and the war in former Yugoslavia.
- Publishing of the Archaeological Map of The Republic of Macedonia in Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts edition
- The global expansion of the Internet.

The Archaeological Map of The Republic of Macedonia is a project that has been ongoing for 20 years and which provides basic information about the archaeological sites on the territory of R. Macedonia. One of the more significant remarks (not criticism) that can be made about this three-volume edition is the determination of a space, or should I say place as an archaeological site only on the basis of a few surface findings. Even the unlicensed excavators rarely use this Archaeological Map because the information contained there is general in character and determines a location according to the surface note, as for example, a settlement with architecture.

While Macedonian archaeologists were preparing the Archaeological Map of Macedonia for years so that at the date of its publication some of the data was more than 20 years obsolete, at the same time Greece was buying the macedonia.com domain on the Internet. For more than ten years, the Greek non-profitable organisation “Pan European Network” has been the owner of the Macedonia.com domain. On its website this organisation presents itself as an official web server for Macedonia and offers information about history, sport, tourism, and everyday life in Greece.

Currently, this is a very big problem because if you type the tags Macedonia + archaeology in a search box, the search engine will return thousands of web sites, most of them Greek, Bulgarian or Albanian propaganda denying our past, culture and language. The problem with the “illegal” registration of a country name is not just the case with our country. But taking care of our cultural heritage on the internet is. Still, not a single institution in Macedonia cares about the promotion and protection of our name and heritage on the Internet.

continue ...

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