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uni'wissen 01(3)-2011_ENG

pillars: Field research produces the finds, and historical and cultural interpretation places them in their context. Whereas classical archaeology used to see itself primarily as a form of art his- tory, today its role is often in danger of being re- duced to the execution of excavation work. But von den Hoff finds that these two activities fall short of describing the true breadth of the field: “Archaeology also involves the study of images. We ask ourselves: How do images and their per- ception function in the context of culture?” In so- cieties without mass media, like those of the an- cient Greeks and Romans, images played an immensely important role in the construction of identity. Von den Hoff views the archaeological finds not just as works of art, but first and fore- most as evidence of the daily lives of people, of society, of life in Pergamon. Clothed Citizens, Naked Athletes “A piece of stone coat, for instance, indicates a clothed statue, and a clothed statue a citizen whereas athletes were portrayed without clothing,” says von den Hoff. Artistic production in these times was not completely free; it followed certain rules, and the statues had certain functions. By determining when the finds were made and where they stood, the archaeologists succeeded in piec- ing together the history of the Gymnasium’s image program bit by bit. One of their main findings is that while the public space was dominated by the kings during the Hellenistic period, it was rede- signed by the citizens after the kingdom’s collapse. And they invested it with new splendor: “The citi- zens began to install marble floors in rooms that had previously only had simple clay floors.” A host of new statues was erected: “There are scores of sculptures portraying citizens in coats.” Most of the statues in the elegant rooms portray patrons and benefactors. They represent the civic ideals of the polis and were thus intended as a model for public behavior. But the statues of kings were not removed from the Gymnasium. In fact, a close examination of the finds indicates that they were even maintained and restored during the period of Roman rule: “The statues served to remind the citizenry of their own history as a kind of memory repository for civ- il society,” says von den Hoff. The statues of self- confident and affluent citizens were simply placed alongside those of kings. Later on, a separate room was reserved for sculptures representing Roman emperors. The Gymnasium as a space for images and civ- ic education: Even if this wasn’t the explicit func- tion of the edifice, it is legitimate to interpret its history as an expression of the formation of iden- tity in an urban civil society, says von den Hoff. And these insights can be integrated into other historical and archaeological findings: The work of Ralf von den Hoff and his colleagues is part of a large-scale Pergamon project coordinated by the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) in Istanbul, Further Reading Hoff, R. von den (2009): Hellenistische ­Gymnasia. Raumgestaltung und Raumfunk­ tionen. In: Matthaei, A./Zimmermann, M. (Eds.): Stadtbilder im Hellenismus. München, p. 245 –275. Mathys, M. (2009): Der Anfang vom Ende oder das Ende vom Anfang? Strategien vi- sueller Repräsentation im späthellenistischen Pergamon. In: Matthaei, A./Zimmermann, M. (Eds.): Stadtbilder im Hellenismus. München, p. 227–242. Petersen, L./Hoff, R. von den (Eds.) (2011): Skulpturen in Pergamon. Gymnasion, Heilig- tum, Palast. Ausstellungskatalog. Münster. Only the pedestal remains: While most of the statues from the Hellenistic period were of kings, they were joined later by statues of affluent citizens. “In the gymnasium one learned all one needed to know as a citizen” 34