Abstract | Archaeology Through Archives: The Early History of the Archaeological Research in Boeotia Through Original Historical Archives

The paper examines the fascinating early history of the archaeological research in Boeotia during the 19th century. Based on original, yet unexploited, archival material, this study uses the extant archival sources as a unique source of information for the first steps of Archaeology in Modern Greece, the prosopography, lives, stories and ideologies of its pioneers, their struggle against illegal trafficking of antiquities and the attitudes that shaped the character of the first Greek museums and private collections. Special emphasis is given to the reconstruction of the old history of the Archaeological Museum of Thebes as well as to the history of the formation of the first archaeological collections in some of Boeotia’s major historical cities, Thebes, Chaeronea, Thespiae, and Schimatari, which still constitute the core of the exhibits presented now in the archaeological museums in the region.