Myth Making by Jan Machnik: The American and Polish Cooperative Archaeological Project 1966–1978
Keywords:Archaeological history, memory, American and Polish excavations, Machnik, Bronocice
This article is my history of the archaeological project conducted by the University of Michigan and State University of New York at Buffalo and the Institute of the History of Material Culture, Polish Academy of Sciences from 1966 to 1978. Recently my colleague Jan Machnik (2014) published his recollections about this project in his memoirs Między pokoleniami (Between Generations). Since I play a significant role in his memoirs, I think that the future generations of archeologists should treat some sections of Machnik’s memoirs as storytelling, since they contain a mixed bag of facts and fiction. I present my recollections of events related to the archaeological project. As long as I worked at Olszanica and Machnik at Iwanowice 1967–1973, we had minor disagreements. In 1974 we started the cooperative American and Polish excavations at Bronocice. The attempt by Machnik to control the Bronocice excavations and marginalize my role in the project led to our conflict. My fight with Machnik was not about archaeological ideas and interpretations of archaeological data, but about the organization and control of the cooperative excavations and the personnel of the project.
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