Emre Zeytinoğlu

Emre was born in 1955 in Istanbul, Turkey. Lives and Works in Istanbul.

What they call “history” is essentially an arrangement of “important” events. Accordingly, the line of vision on
the historical objects remains within the meaning that arrangement creates. Frankly, an object that does not
conform to the created or fictionalised meaning is bound to lose its importance. For instance an arrowhead
found in a battlefield is important, a relief located in the majestic structures of the ancient times or the piece
of a sculpture excavated from a temple are also important… Nothing else can become meaningful through so
called “history”, except for the objects that have earned their legitamacy based on the fiction of a meaning and
that have achieved their value through that legitamacy.

In reality, that is an exceedingly shallow approach and it is at the same time an assured way of putting the
masses on board with the “grand history” ideology. Especially archeologist know this one thing really well:
Sometimes the most unsignificant tiny piece unearthed from an excavation site, along with certain consistent
exposition can bring down the cliches of the history and make it autonomous. The important thing is to
approach the object unprejudiced and not to mount it on an already conceived view, while trying to give a
meaning to it.
This piece is debating history using seemingly insignificant items, completely disregarding the bogus
information and based on facts entirely. And this debate folllows its own path and reaches its own conclusion
without serving for any ideology, imposition or setup. Ultimately one should call up on R. E. Wycherley’s
analysis on Pausanias (2nd century AD): What you should not undertake with Pausanias is to delve into the
backstreets and the labyrinth of dirty alleys packed with the ordinary houses of the ordinary people. Pausanias
does not tell us interesting things here; these are ‘not worth seeing’ in his own words. Fortunately, however,
we know about the Hellen houses better than we did before evidenced through archeological finds and we are
able to visualise them within the framework that Pausanias provided us with.