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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2023

Thracian Archaeology and National Identity in Communist Bulgaria: The Ideological Pattern of Museum Exhibitions

From the book Digging Politics

  • Florian-Jan Ostrowski


Thracian research was first institutionalized in Communist Bulgaria during the 1960s and 1970s and became a national agenda soon after. In this context, the establishment of Thracology can be seen as a manifestation of National Communism in Bulgaria. The representations of archaeological objects attributed to the Thracians in the media played a crucial role within this process of identity formation. The comprehensive presentation of Thracian material culture in exhibitions was intended to create a positive image of Bulgaria, supporting national identity at home and the association of modern Bulgaria with ancient Thrace abroad. Today Bulgaria largely continues this practice, promoting the link between Thracian antiquities and Bulgarian national identity for tourism and profit, although we also see a broader diversification of interest groups involved in Thracian heritage.

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