Abstract 14 – International Conference on Safeguarding and Promotion of Cultural Heritage

Rethinking the East and West – Archaeological and Anthropological perspective on the endangered values and traditions of Europe in the processes of globalization

Ljuben Tevdovski, PhD


In the period of intensive transformations and increasing instability of European and global level many scientists and analysts are posing the question of the resilience and even survival of the values and traditions of Europe and the Western world. The dramatic demographic and migratory processes, in combination with the instability of European societies, institutions, identities and social cohesion, compose the atmosphere, which mass media, populist leaders and movements transform into apocalyptic picture of the “End of Western Civilization”.

Yet, despite the dramatic overtones and traumatized groups of citizens in many regions, the scientific analyses of the wider historical processes detect numerous forms of continuity of the past with the contemporary tendencies.

The contemporary archaeological research, as well as the new anthropological methods and analyses of different periods and geographic regions of Europe, have seriously shaken the early scientific premises and misconceptions, as well as the popular stereotypes, connected with the belief of ethnic, racial, religious or cultural homogeneity of the continent or any of its regions through history.

Even more, the contemporary scientific analyses in different disciplines, like archaeology, anthropology, cultural studies, sociology or political science are increasingly emphasizing the complex cultural, social and identity milieu of Europe in all periods of history.    

Through an analysis of the new tendencies and developments in archaeology and anthropology in the last decades this essay emphasizes the unique capacities of these scientific disciplines in overcoming the traditional East-West stereotypes and clashes and confronting with some of the most important challenges of our times.