Oana Dichel

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Oana Dichel


Oana Alina Dichel is a PhD student at the “Babeş-Bolyai” University in Cluj-Napoca, field History, Civilization and Culture. Her PhD thesis addresses the problem of Public Archeology, concepts and methods, case study Romania, being coordinated by Professor Gelu Florea (“Babeş-Bolyai” University). From 2018 she a beginner archaeologist and at the moment she participates in the archaeological research of the historical monument of the Evangelical Church in Cisnădie (Sibiu county). Over the years she has participated in several archaeological excavations, of which, the archaeological site Grădiștea de Munte (Hunedoara County), being part of UNESCO heritage, from 2009 until now. Besides public archeology (current field of study) she is interested in promoting and protecting the cultural heritage, implicitly the archaeological one, as well as the relation between archeologist / archeology and education, economy, politics and the media.

Involvement of the political factor in the research and promotion of archeology in Romania post ’89

It is well known that during the communist period, especially the last two decades, nationalism reached its maximum levels in Romania. During this period, history was one of the most important manipulation tools of the communist regime. Archeology and archaeological discoveries were no exception, they were put at the service of communist propaganda that led to the creation of a forged image on prehistory. An edifying example is the historiography of the second iron age that served the interests of President Nicolae Ceausescu by creating and identifying his image with the “hero” Burebista and the Communist Party in the subsidiary. The phenomenon has been analyzed in recent works by several archaeologists and historians, of which we mention the studies of M. Babeş, F. Constantiniu, A. Dragoman, S. Oanță-Marghitu, L. Boia and A. Henţ, etc. After the collapse of the communist regime and the establishment of the democratic one in Romania, culture, heritage and archeology have undergone a process of transit, adaptation or reconfiguration like many other fields. The present paper aims to analyze the position of archeology in the new social, economic and political context of the last three decades, trying to identify the perpetuation of old patterns as well as the interference of the political factor in archaeological research. Has the Romanian researcher managed to distance himself from the political sphere? Can we talk about exerting some pressure on archaeological research in post-communist Romania? Does it affect populist political discourse archeology and cultural heritage? We can say that the chosen topic is taboo in Romania. Although there is an increasing number of works on archeology in the post-World War II period, otherwise, archaeologists and / or historians are avoiding addressing the topic in the current context. Do we fear or perpetuate the idea of reprisals in the minds of researchers or are we talking about their commodity in approaching this topic?