Tuesday, 1 April 2008

David Hogarth on Melos

David Hogarth had excavated at Old Paphos with the Cyprus Exploration Fund (1888) and then at Koptos in Egypt with Flinders Petrie (1894). He then joined the Egypt Exploration Fund's excavation at Deir-el-Bahari (1894), before working at Alexandria with E.F. Benson (1895), a BSA student, and then the Faiyum (1895-96).

Petrie had been the main influence on Hogarth when he went to Phylakopi on Melos to direct the BSA's excavations there. He noted:
The workmen were all native Melians, a singularly honest and industrious lot as compared with many that I have had to do with in excavation work, but possessing little experience and not conspicuous intelligence. Consequently, while they were little likely to steal, they needed constant watching and directing; and I found it not advisable to introduce among them methods that, following Mr. Petrie, I had used from time to time in Egypt, under which the men are left very much to themselves. For instance, payment by cubic metre of earth excavated, which I had contemplated introducing in order not to have to "drive" the gangs, proved not feasible in view of the large quantity of valuable pottery which the soil everywhere contained. It would have been necessary to counteract the tendency to haste, which all metre work induces, by paying a price for countless sherds which up to then had had no money value in the island. Both the disbursement would have been too great for our funds, and an unfortunate precedent would have been introduced to disturb the Aracadian simplicity of the Melians.

Hogarth, D. G. 1897/98. "Excavations in Melos 1898. I. The season's work." Annual of the British School at Athens 4: 1-16.

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