Editor’s note: Students in Rome, quarantined on campus, have had to find creative ways to divert themselves. One of these diversions is the Heinrich Schliemann Society, which is named after the infamous archaeologist who effectively bulldozed ancient cities. Both the society and this article are satirical in nature.
The newly established Heinrich Schliemann Society, now a staple of the Due Santi Campus in Rome, has made what they claim to be “a breathtaking archeological discovery” on campus. Shortly after the club’s founding, an expedition of over 30 people trekked to an ancient on-campus cistern and conducted a successful search for the coveted “Wine Bottle of Odysseus.”
Heinrich Schliemann was a 19th-century German archeologist, most famous for finding the ruins of Troy, Priam’s treasure and the Mask of Agamemnon, but his methods weren’t exactly orthodox. Schliemann was more than willing to sacrifice historical truth for momentary glory, something his followers in the Heinrich Schliemann Society aim to emulate.
Charlie Spurgin, an outspoken member of the Society, noted that “the Society’s main function is to combat the oppression of accurate historical representation.”
Dr. Peter Hatlie, dean and director of the University of Dallas Rome program, recalled that while digging in Troy, Schliemann excavated several layers of the city and in the process destroyed countless artifacts while seeking Priam’s treasure.
“It had to be done,” noted society member Joe Krewet. “Schliemann finished what the Greeks started, Troy deserved it.”
During the two-week on-campus quarantine, posters began popping up all around campus recruiting for this mysterious organization. Perhaps it was the result of prolonged isolation or maybe a significant lack of sleep, but the Heinrich Schliemann Society was born.
The Schliemann Society aims to emulate their patron’s attributes and works, including artifact hunting and classicism.
“This is the only organization at our university run by students, for students. The rest are sell-outs,” Spurgin noted. “Heinrich Schliemann is the embodiment of everything that’s great about UD. He read Homer.”
Not only do members of the society read Homer, but they aim to walk in Schliemann’s footsteps and hunt for Homeric artifacts, too.
Joseph Bartke, who claims to be a descendant of Heinrich Schliemann himself, organized one such artifact hunt on Sept. 23. The Schliemann Society sought to uncover the famed “Wine Bottle of Odysseus,” which just so happened to be conveniently located on the Due Santi campus itself. The Schliemann society gathered a large group of their own “scientists and archeologists” and embarked on a journey to the ancient Roman cistern in the heart of the vineyard.
Upon arrival at the excavation site, work commenced immediately, and it didn’t take long for experienced archeologist Sean Jurek to locate the artifact tucked away underneath loads of dirt.
“Well, there was an immediate feeling of power,” recalled Jurek when asked about his experience. “It was like an electric sensation.” With the help of member Joseph Beam, Jurek was able to keep the item completely intact and deliver it safely into the hands of Schliemann’s descendant, Bartke.
After the artifact was verified by what the society describes as “experts,” a third-party archeologist John Caryatid voiced his concerns. “Frankly, this entire thing is a complete joke,” he commented. “It’s a disgrace to archeology as a whole.” Shortly after this public statement, Caryatid went missing and hasn’t been seen since. “In recent history, my family name has been largely dishonored,” noted Bartke, speaking to his motivations, “and I feel at long last I am restoring my family’s legacy.” Unfortunately, while conducting his interview, Bartke dropped the ancient bottle, shattering it beyond repair.
Whether you believe their story or not, the Heinrich Schliemann Society brought students together during the initial quarantine period. Though mostly ridiculous, its playful nature served as a testament to UD’s creative spirit in the midst of difficult times.