Theory and practice are actually two interconnected and interdependent elements in archaeology. Even an excavation, which is thought to be the simplest or the least theoretical activity, includes theory.
This is so, because every practical step in an excavation is taken by asking several research questions and making decisions in advance. These questions and decisions are about where to excavate, how to excavate, how much to excavate and so on. Hence, it can be said that every step that is being taken in an excavation should be considered as part of a theory (Tartsma: Arkeolojide Ortam ve Kuram, 2003: 228). For this reason, before making any archaeological study, one should be aware of and accept the fact that theory is crucial for the discipline of archaeology, since it constructs the relevant methodology for archaeological interpretation. In fact, this realization has found acceptance both in the United States and Britain decades ago, forming the basis of Anglo-American archaeology especially after the 1960s. Before this date, archaeology was mostly considered as a culture-historical discipline that collects archaeological findings and documents them in chronological order. One of the most significant scholars of this period was Gordon Childe, who put forth diffusionist and migrationist theories to explain the development of civilizations. According to this theory, human beings are inclined to constancy, instead of change, creativity or progress.
For this reason, an invention might occur only once, spreading from one place to various locations by diffusion and migration (Trigger, 1989: 150-155, 167-174). The diffusionist perpective in archaeology resulted in the culture-historical approach, defining cultures according to the archaeological assemblage limited by a time period and geographical borders. In the early 1960s, the “New Archaeology” coming into the scene with its processual approaches had a deep impact on the archaeological sphere of most countries; especially the United States and Britain.
Processual archaeologists argued that it is necessary to take into consideration the ecological system to completely understand the relation between human groups and the artifacts they created and used. For this reason, archaeology should adapt itself to the developments in the natural sciences by using faunal analysis, palaeobotany, carbon-dating and dendrochronology. 2 Influenced by the positivist view, processual archaeologists believed that archaeological evidence had very high potential for understanding the social and economical aspects of past societies (Renfrew and Bahn, 1991: 41).
Instead of the descriptive, inductive and qualitative nature of the culture-historical approach, processual archaeology offered an explanatory, deductive and quantitative model. 1 Avoiding the positivist philosophy of the processual archaeology, a new postmodernist perspective became popular by the mid-1980s: postprocessual archaeology. The focus on the excessively systematic procedures of scientific method was rejected by the post-processualists, while putting emphasis on the subjectivity of the archaeologist, whose interpretations were eventually influenced by the contemporary social and political milieu.
Instead of generalizations, post-processual archaeology underlined the uniqueness of each society and culture, which should be studied within its own context, focusing on its symbolic and cognitive aspects. With its special emphasis on the archaeology of the minorities, there has been considerable increase in studies such as feminist archaeology or indigenous archaeology (Renfrew and Bahn, 1991: 44-45). 2 One way or another, these developments in the theoretical sphere of archaeology influenced perspectives of scholars in all countries, including 1 2
For more information about processual archaeology, see Lewis Binford, 1968. For more information about post-processual archaeology, see Daniel Miller and Christopher Tilley (eds. ), 1984 and Ian Hodder, 1986. 3 Turkey. The main purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate where theory has been and must have been positioned in the history of Anatolian archaeology, which has been on the scene for more than one hundred years. The main focus will be the reflection of archaeological methods and theories in the practices of Anatolian archaeology, beginning from the late nineteenth century.
There will be special emphasis on understanding the historical reasons that lie beneath the selection of certain methods for the interpretation of archaeological remains. The thesis is made up of six main chapters, four of them representing a certain time period in the history of archaeology in Turkey. Beginning from the last days of the Ottoman Empire, each period will be examined in chronological order by considering the influences that shaped Anatolian archaeology both in methodological and theoretical terms.
After this introductory section, the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century will be presented in the second chapter. This period, representing the last days of the Ottoman Empire, will be examined in terms of the initial steps taken both towards nationalistic ideologies and archaeological practices. First local archaeological practices and the development of the museum concept will also be mentioned. The third chapter will provide information about the first days of the new Turkish Republic, from 1923 to 1946.
Here, the main emphasis will be on substantial contributions of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk for the development of 4 the discipline of archaeology in Turkey. The Turkish History Thesis and the Sun-Language Theory and their reflections in contemporary excavations will be examined in detail. There will also be focus on the first excavation projects of the Republic in Central Anatolia, Hatay and Thrace. The rise of the Democrat Party and its impact on understanding the discipline of archaeology will be presented in the fourth chapter, covering the years between 1946 and 1960.
Further attention will be paid to the influences of Anatolianist and humanistic perspectives of the contemporary period on the practices of Anatolian archaeology. The fifth chapter, which covers the period from 1960 to 1983, will deal with a number of important archaeological developments that took place in this time period. The Braidwoods with their excavations at Cayonu and the Keban Dam Project in southeastern Anatolia will be the main subjects discussed in this part. Recent developments since 1983 will be presented in the sixth chapter.
Subjects will include the rise and impact of the Turk-Islamic synthesis in the 1980s, salvage projects of the 1980s and 1990s, changes in the practices of some regular excavations, and fundamental modifications of YOK (Higher Education Council) at Turkish universities. The current position of the discipline of archaeology in Turkey will also be mentioned. There has been no such detailed study examining theoretical and methodological approaches in Anatolian archaeology. Understanding the 5 history of archaeological thought and practice in this country will opefully contribute to the field to a considerable extent, in terms of providing a good start for Turkish archaeologists, who might be concerned with theoretical perspectives of the past and present in their country.
Chapter II Archaeology in Turkey at the End of the 19th Century
It was as early as the 16th century that the Ottoman Empire was acquainted for the first time with antiquarians, who were contemporary European travellers with interests in the glamorous monuments and other remains of especially ancient Greek and Roman civilizations on Ottoman lands.
Thus European scholars, who were interested in Near Eastern or Classical archaeology, made researches in Ottoman territories, since these places were the homeland of ancient Mesopotamian, Egpytian and Aegean civilizations. For several centuries, the Ottomans viewed archaeology, with its antiquarianist exercises, as one of the eccentric practices of the Europeans (Ozdogan, 2006: 51). Eventually, the increase of foreign archaeologists in Ottoman lands led to an interest in archaeology among the Ottoman 7 ntelligentsia who were being trained by the contemporary European schools (Ozdogan, 2001: 287) The contemporary archaeological trend in Europe was to study the Hellenistic-Roman cultures, because these cultures were being praised highly by the European societies. As the first generation of Ottoman archaeologists was following the route of their Western scholars, their interests were similar. In other words, the educated upper class of the late Ottoman State began to study archaeology as part of the Westernization process during which most European associations were imitated or followed as an example.
Thus, archaeology has been introduced to the Ottomans by the efforts of the Ottoman elite, which was familiar with European culture (Aksoy, 2003: 149). Hence, it can be said that archaeology, as a discipline, was imported from the West to the Ottomans in the nineteenth century. The first antiquarianist attempts of the Ottoman State turned to the collections of Byzantine artifacts that had once been made by some Sultans such as Mehmet II and high-ranking characters like Safvet Pasa. The small collection had been kept in the church of St.
Irene, which was eventually converted into the Ottoman Imperial Museum in 1869, under the name of Muze-i Humayun (Ozdemir, 2001: 52). In 1875, however, all pieces of the museum were moved to the Cinili Kosk, since the church of St. Irene was no more able to house the excessively expanded collection (Ogan, 1947: 7). Among the important late-Ottoman figures educated in Europe and 8 interested in archaeology were Osman Hamdi Bey, Makridi Bey, Halil Ethem Bey and Mustafa Celaleddin Pasa (Ozdogan, 1998: 3; Dikkaya, 2003: 187).
Osman Hamdi Bey, the first director of the Ottoman Imperial Museum, gave order for the first Ottoman excavations to be started. It is worth noting that the main concern of archaeology in the Late Ottoman period was museum practices, based on antiquarianist views. For this reason, the underlying objective of Ottoman excavations evolved around the effort to enrich the contents of this museum by unearthing more and more archaeological remains with aesthetic qualities. As new archaeological findings came from these excavations, Cinili Kosk also became insufficient in terms of housing all pieces.
Hence, in order to store new findings, a new building with a neo-classical facade was built, which is today known as the Istanbul Archaeological Museum (Cezar, 1995: 257-276). In addition to the new museum building, Osman Hamdi Bey had another very important contribution both to Ottoman and Turkish archaeology, in terms of protecting the archaeological remains which were unearthed on Ottoman and later Turkish lands. In 1884, he proposed a new bylaw on antiquities; it was maintained until 1973 (Eldem, 2004: 131; Ozdogan, 1998: 115).
Previously, a third of the finds was left to the excavators whereas another third was distributed to the landowners (Eldem, 2004: 121). According to the new regulation, the partition of the findings on Ottoman terriories was cancelled, prohibiting the export of all antiquities. In this way, 9 for the first time, the archaeological remains were considered as the property of the Ottoman and later Turkish state. It should be noted that Osman Hamdi Bey was also involved in fieldwork with excavations at Nemrud Dag, Sidon and Lagina (Ozdemir, 2001: 60).
Contemporary with Osman Hamdi Bey, Makridi Bey is also one of the important personalities of archaeology in the late Ottoman period. Together with a number of European archaeologists, he participated in several excavation projects in Ottoman lands. These projects involve Alacahoyuk and Bogazkoy excavations, in which we see the collaboration of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum with Hugo Winkler and Otto Puchstein (Ozdemir, 2001: 60). Here, we can also see the roots of an interest in studying pre-Turkic or pre-Islamic periods.
These shaped the main body of archaeological studies in the New Republic period of Turkey (Erdur, 2003: 207). Halil Edhem Bey, the younger brother of Osman Hamdi Bey, had worked as the director of the museum between 1910 and 1931. One of his most important contributions was the arrangement of the museum collection in chronological order (Mansel, 1948: 20). This is an important point to note, because –in my opinion- it is remarkable evidence for the fact that the Ottoman archaeology in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century favored the culture-historical approach as a methodology to use in the discipline.
This approach was actually the trend in Europe and it is highly 10 likely that the Ottoman archaeologists of the same period imported this system from the late-nineteenth-century European tradition. Mustafa Celaleddin Pasa (1826-1875) is another significant character for Ottoman archaeology in the late nineteenth century. He was a Polish exile named Konstantyn Borzecki, who converted to Islam and afterwards adopted the name Mustafa Celaleddin Pasa. Influenced by the ideas of Joseph de Guignes (1721-1800) 3 and A. J. Gobineau (1816-1882) 4 and with an interest in the Ottomans, Mustafa Celaleddin Pasa published a book in 1869, which was originally entitled Les Turcs anciens et modernes (“Ancient and Modern Turks”). The main objective of his book was to highlight the contribution of the Turks to all human civilizations and to demonstrate the close relationship between the Turks and the Aryan race, where Turks supposedly belonged to the Touro-Aryan race group (Ozdemir, 2001: 40). By advancing this argument, Mustafa Celaleddin Pasa contributed to initiating the Pan-Turkist ideology among the Ottoman intelligentsia.
It is also worth mentioning that the idea which viewed the pre-Islamic Turks as the ancestors of ancient Greeks, Mesopotamians and Egyptians was put forward for the first time by Mustafa Celaleddin Pasa as well (Dikkaya, 2003: 187). The study on the 3 Joseph de Guignes was a French orientalist and sinologist. He published two important works; Memoire historique sur l’origine des Huns et des Turcs (1748) and Histoire generale des Huns, des Mongoles, des Turcs et des autres Tartares occidentaux (1756-1758). In his studies, he basically aimed to explain the role of the Turks in pre-Islamic Asian history. A. J. Gobineau was a French aristocrat, who developed the racial theory in his book Essai sur l’inegalite des races humaines (“An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races”). According to his book, humans can be classified into 3 different races, the Aryan race being the master one with superior characteristics. 11 origins of the Turks was supported and developed further by a number of contemporary scholars of the Ottoman State such as Ahmed Vefik Pasa, Ali Suavi and Suleyman Husnu Pasa. In terms of area of interest, the focus of Ottoman archaeology was the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.
For this reason, sites excavated in the last decades of the nineteenth century belonged to the Graeco-Roman periods, like Sidon, Nemrut Dag, Alabanda, Tralles, etc. (Ozdogan, 1998b: 115). We see the reflection of this late Ottoman tradition on the selection of the facade style of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, as well. In other words, the interest in Classical archaeology explains why the facade of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum closely resembles the architecture of the Classical period (Ozdogan, 2002: 42).
This neo-classical architectural style was also popular for public buildings in Europe at this time. It is in fact an interesting point that Ottoman archaeology did not have a clear mission to study its own past. The main reason behind the nonusage of the discipline as an agent for nationalist ideology in Ottoman archaeology can be explained by the fact that the Ottomans perceived the study of the Classical and Roman periods as a requirement in the process of westernization (Ozdogan, 2006: 52-53).
Accordingly, the main objective of Ottoman excavations and archaeological studies was to acquire glorious works of arts and magnificient monuments, as had been the trend in contemporary studies of Classical archaeology. Hence, in my opinion, an art 12 history-oriented perspective with a culture-historical approach, based on collecting and documenting archaeological findings, dominated studies in late Ottoman archaeology. It can be concluded that the Ottoman State of the late nineteenth century had two remarkable successes in terms of archaeological studies.
One of them is the establishment of the first museum guidelines, by which many archaeological findings had been collected. This is a very crucial point to note, because important characters like Osman Hamdi Bey were able to create and maintain museums without any loss in the collections even in such a critical period as the last days of the Ottoman State (Ozdogan, 1998b: 115). The second important achievement of the Ottomans was the formulation of a law in order to protect the antiquities in 1884. This law proved so useful and effective that it remained in use until 1973. 5 It is highly likely that the impact of the Keban Dam Project of the late 1960s and early 1970s caused this law to be modified in 1972. This is because the Keban Dam Project succeeded in highlighting the importance of cultural heritage and its protection. 13 CHAPTER III TURKISH ARCHAEOLOGY BETWEEN 1923- 1946 A group of high-ranking characters of the late Ottoman State such as Osman Hamdi Bey, Makridi Bey, Halil Ethem Bey and Mustafa Celaleddin Pasa made important contributions to the discipline of archaeology throughout its formation process.
After these late-Ottoman figures, Ataturk became the second impulsive force that led the way for the improvement of archeological studies in Anatolia (Hauptmann, 1999: 35). Following the Turkish Independence War (1919-1922), the republic in Turkey was proclaimed by the leader of the Turks, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in 1923. From this date onwards, we see a new state, occupying a much smaller territory than the old Ottoman lands, and a different demographic structure.
As a result of the population movements during the Armenian deportation, population exchange between Greece and Turkey, repatriation of other 14 Turkish ethnic populations from the Balkans and northern Iraq and deaths in recent wars, 98 per cent of the total population in 1923 was Muslim, shaping Anatolia into a homogenous state in religious terms (Keyder, 1987: 79-80; Ozdemir, 2001: 76). After the proclamation of the republic, Ataturk started to make a number of radical changes in the institutions that were inherited from the Ottomans to create a new ideological scheme for the new Turkish Republic.
The basis of these reforms evolved around the idea of secularizing and modernizing the society (Zurcher, 1998: 180). However, it was apparent to Ataturk that the Turks, as a war-battered nation with a significant immigrant population, should first be united by the construction of a new strong national identity. In order to understand the formation and the origins of Kemalist ideology, one should examine the political, social and economical influences of the first years of the republic, shaped by the idea of Islamism, pan-Turkism and Westernism (Berkes, 1998: 431).
Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire together with the rise of the Armenian issue, the main idea of the Treaty of Lausanne for the Turkish side was the unity of the society in religious terms. Although such a remark had never been declared by the authorities of that period, there was actually a common belief that Islam might unite Turks and Kurds under one solid government (Tartsma: Arkeoloji ve Toplumsal Tarih, 2003: 41). Hence, it can 15 be said that religion was used by Mustafa Kemal as an agent to unite the population against the enemy in the course of the Turkish Independence War.
The main function of this ideology was to hold people together at a collective religious locus, one of the strengths of the Ottoman Empire. That is, before the proclamation of the republic, religion was the criterion for national identification, leaving ethnicity, language or race out of the discussion (Poulton, 1999: 119). However, in the post-war period, there was no more need for the connective ties of religion because the main objective of Mustafa Kemal was to establish a secular and modern society, distinct from an Islamic central core.
For this reason, with the proclamation of the republic, Islamoriented views were gradually abandoned, leaving their place to the secularly described values of the new republic (Poulton, 1999: 116) . Another important ideological movement of the post-war period of the early 1920s was Pan-Turkism. The idea of Pan-Turkism among the Turks can be rooted back to the last days of the Ottoman Empire in the late nineteenth century.
In fact, the earliest sources for this ideology had been created by the European orientalists including Joseph de Guignes (1721-1800), Sylvestre de Sacy (1758-1838), Arthur Lumley Davids (1811-1832) Arminius Vambery (1832-1913) and Leon Cahun (1841-1900) (Kbrs, 2005: 37). 6 The main concerns of these scholars were the philology and history of the Turks since pre-Islamic times (Kaya, 2005: 2). Hence, having been influenced by such 6 For more information about these scholars and their ideas, see David Kushner, 1977. 16 xternal ideologies, Ottoman intellectuals like Ali Suavi (1838-1878), Ahmet Vefik Pasa and Mustafa Celaleddin Pasa (1826-1875) began to discover their identities with the idea of pan-Turkism. However, it was not the Ottoman intelligentsia but later Turkish scholars who created the pan-Turkist ideal, by which all Turks would be politically and geographically united in a unique country. With the early twentieth century, pan-Turkism started to gain strength through the efforts of several personalities like Necip Asm, Yusuf Akcura, Ali Agaoglu, Mehmet Emin Yurdakul and Ziya Gokalp (Kaya, 2005: 8-12).
In this period Turan, defined as the natural geography of all Turks, was introduced by Ziya Gokalp as an ideal to be realized in the future. The idea of Turanism and Pan-Turkism grew in popularity before and during the First World War. In this period, political messages involving these ideas were given also by a number of writers including Halide Edip Advar (1882-1964) and Omer Seyfettin (1884-1920) (Kaya, 2005-12-20). During the Independence War, however, there was a decrease in the enthusiasm for Pan-Turkist and Turanist ideas, in order to promote the adoption of Turkish Nationalism as the main political ideology.
Mustafa Kemal took an anti Pan-Turkist standpoint, in order to come to an agreement with the Bolsheviks of that period and thus to collaborate with them against Western imperialism. Hence, he clearly rejected the Pan-Turkist approaches, especially for political reasons. 17 But despite Ataturk’s anti Pan-Turkist standpoint in political terms, we see the continuation of propagandas in the republican period in favor of the Pan-Turkist ideas especially by some scholars such as Ziya Gokalp and Semseddin Gunaltay.
The latter also directed the attentions of the Turks to Central Asia, which he had defined as the motherland of the Turks (Kaya, 2005: 35). 7 This situation is one of the most important reasons for Ataturk’s rejection of the Pan-Turkist ideology, since the emergence of a collective consciousness on behalf of a Central Asia-based identity might have resulted for Anatolian Turks in emigrating back to the Turkish native lands. Since Ataturk was aware of this possibility, he insisted on preventing the PanTurkist ideology from proceeding further (Ozdogan, 2006: 54).
In order to maintain control, the Kemalist regime introduced a new system, by which the new republic became a single-party state in 1931. With respect to this new system, all political activities and organizations in Turkey were taken under the control of the Kemalist regime. In this way, the PanTurkist movement lost its impetus, resulting in a severe decline in the number of Pan-Turkist publications (Kaya, 2005: 41). While praising the Turks, Ataturk had never tried to emphasize the Pan-Turkist ideal, specially because he refused to present Central Asia as the homeland of the Turks, rather than Anatolia. Instead, Mustafa Kemal intended to create a nationalist history, based on praising Turkish history and 7 For more information about his ideas, see Semseddin Gunaltay, 1998, pp 30-55. 18 the Turkic race. As also highlighted by Enver Ziya Karal (Karal, 1946: 57), there can be demonstrated three important reasons for this condition.
Firstly, in his book entitled “Essay on the Inequality of Human Races”, the French aristocrat Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau placed the Turks under the group of the yellow race, which he defined as weak, materialistic, mediocre and unimaginative in character (Fortier, 1967: 342). A very similar version of this French book was shown to Ataturk by Afet Inan for the first time, and as a result, Ataturk asked Inan to investigate this matter in detail (Karal, 1946: 59; Sezer, 1999: 301). Secondly, the previously mentioned scholar Leon Cahun wrote a book about the Turks, in which the warrior-like character of the Turks and their honesty were praised, although they were criticized in some points as well. According to Cahun, despite their positive attributes, the Turks were never able to be the creators of any civilization in history, because their excessively emotional character impeded their dynamism so they functioned only as an agent between other huge civilizations like the Chinese and Iranian ones (Kbrs, 2005: 36; Timur, 1984: 7-30).
Third and last of all, Armenians and Greeks still had claims on Anatolian lands, in connection with some ancient civilizations, which were claimed to be their ancestors (Karal, 1946: 58). For all these reasons, it was essential for Mustafa Kemal to prove that Turks did not belong to the yellow 8 The name and the author of the book, which was shown to Ataturk, is not clearly mentioned in any source. The book can either be that of Comte de Gobineau or someone else. Here the main idea is the fact that the writer of this book suggests a yellow-race-origin for the Turks. 19 ace, that they created many important civilizations in world history, and that they had been on Anatolian lands even before the Greeks and Armenians. In addition, as a result of constant warfare, military defeats, loss of large territories and severe economic crisis during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish population had experienced a loss of selfrespect. The Turkish intelligentsia especially had suffered from a feeling of inferiority for being Turk, with respect to some aforesaid racist paradigms of orientalist European scholars (Kbrs, 2005: 37-38).
All these factors resulted in the selection of a nationalist approach, on which the new Turkish identity would be based. In this way, the Turkish population could be proud of its past, while the Turks could also justify their legitimate presence on Anatolian lands. Furthermore, when the political milieu of this period is taken into consideration, it is clear that nationalism tied to studying the prehistorical past of one’s own native lands was a very common trend in the West in the 1930s, involving countries like Germany and Italy, with which Turkey had close political relationships.
Thus, there were also contemporary external influences on the creation of Kemalist nationalism. As a result, in the early days of the republic, it became a necessity to launch for the Turkish public a nationalist idea, based on the glorious past of the Turks. Hence, Ataturk decided to develop a new ethnohistorical theory, which could succeed in defining the identity of the Turks on Anatolian lands. 20 This theory would remove what had remained from the Islamic-based Ottoman past, while it would also be an answer against the strong PanTurkist appeals.
Such creation of a completely new identity for the war-weary and hopeless people of the Anatolian land was essential, and in close connection with the top-down nature of Kemalist reforms (Lewis, 2001: 353). In this way, history and culture became the centre of the Kemalist program of the late 1920s and 1930s (Cg, 1996: 622). In 1930, the Turkish Historical Committee (Turk Tarih Heyeti) was established with the objective of studying he history of the Turks and their civilizations in scientific ways; archaeology, anthropology and philology being the most important tools for this mission (Inan, 1989: 12-13). Among the members of this committee, we see scholars such as Afet Inan, Yusuf Akcura, Halil Ethem Eldem, Ismail HakkUzuncarsland Hamid Zubeyr Kosay. What Mustafa Kemal asked these Turkish scholars was to discover the most ancient population of Anatolia, and how and by whom the oldest Anatolian civilization was established.
His area of interest involved the position and importance of Turks in world history (Inan and Karal, 1946: 59). In 1931, the committee became the Turkish Historical Research Society (Turk Tarih Tetkik Cemiyeti), which would later be transformed into the present Turkish Historical Society (Turk Tarih Kurumu) (Inan, 1989: 18). The centre for archaeological studies was moved from the Istanbul Archaeology Museum to this new institute in Ankara, as 21 part of the centralization process of archaeological institutions in the new capital (Pulhan, 2003: 141).
Under the close scrutiny of Ataturk, the Turkish Historical Committee created a new ethnohistorical theory entitled the “Turkish History Thesis”. The main argument of the History Thesis was the Aryan origin of the brachycephalic Turkish race and its superiority over other nations, by being the ancestors and thus creators of great ancient world civilizations, including Egypt, Mesopotamia and Anatolia (Igdemir, 1973: 68-69; Kbrs, 2005: 11-12). It also advocated the idea that Turks did not belong to the yellow race as was claimed previously; and they must be grouped under the Aryan race.
According to this thesis, Turks had left their homeland -Central Asia- because of climatic reasons, and spread throughout different parts of the world to form various great civilizations such as the Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, Egyptian, Trojan, Ionian, Etruscan and Chinese (Turk Tarihinin Ana HatlarMethal Ksm, 1931: 5-14; Mansel, 1937a: 671). The basis of this thesis evolved around the prehistory of the Turks, rather than their history in Classical and Roman times.
This was a deliberate choice, because it was this classical past by which the Greeks and the Italians were once able to declare claim on some parts of Anatolia (Akurgal, 1956: 582-583). In this respect, it can be said that the Turkish History thesis was also the result of a defensive, racist and chauvinistic response to external forces, principally the Western countries, and the irredentist Greeks and Armenians. Furthermore, the emphasis in the 22 History Thesis was put on Anatolia, rather than focusing on the homeland of Central Asia.
Ataturk’s objective was to create a new link between the Turks and Anatolia, which could be as strong as the one between the Turks and Central Asia. For this reason, in the History Thesis, Anatolia was presented as the second homeland of the Turks for thousands of years. In order to indoctrinate the younger generation with Kemalist nationalism and the History Thesis, in 1930 Ataturk assigned some members of the Turkish Historical Committee to prepare a textbook that was later entitled “The Main Lines of Turkish History” (Turk Tarihinin Ana Hatlar).
The purpose of this book was clearly stated in its introduction as a response to the underestimated role of the Turks by the Europeans in the creation of world history and civilizations (Inan and et al, 1996: 25-26). However, this version of the textbook was found insufficient by Ataturk and some historians, and it was not distributed to schools. In 1931, a shortened version of the same book was launched as “The Main Lines of Turkish History: Introduction” (Turk Tarihinin Ana HatlarMethal Ksm), in which the main focus was again the prehistory of the Turks, ignoring their very recent and long Ottoman past (Ersanl1992: 121-124). Hence, with the aim of locating the History Thesis on a sound basis for the young generation, various textbooks with the same idea and purpose were published by the Kemalist regime for schools. These books continuously focused on the racial aspects of the Turks and emphasized the idea that the 23 Turks, as members of the Aryan race, had been present in history long before the Ottoman Empire (Kaya, 2005: 44-45, Ersanl, 1992: 123-124). Here we clearly see the rejection of the Ottoman and Islamic heritage, in favor of a new national identity that revolved around the very successful prehistorical past of the Turks.
Additionally, in 1936 we see the first steps for the release of the periodical entitled Belleten, which would be the main publication of the Turkish Historical Society. Needless to say, Belleten would be another important agent to spread the archaeological, anthropological and linguistic studies related to the Turkish History Thesis (Pulhan, 2003: 141). As a result, it can be said that the Turkish History Thesis was shaped and almost completed between the years 1929 and 1932 (Ersanl, 1992: 119).
After the completion of the History Thesis, it was introduced to public opinion in the First Congress of Turkish History, which was held in Ankara in 1932. The main purpose of this congress was to find stronger support for the claims of the thesis and to examine, criticise and revise the newly published textbook, The Main Lines of Turkish History, whose first outline had failed to completely satisfy Ataturk and some historians (Ozdemir, 2001: 86; Ersanl, 1992: 119-120). It is worth mentioning that the Turkish History Thesis was part of a political project, rather than a scientific one.
Evolving around Kemalist nationalism, the main tendency of this theory was to study the prehistorical past of the Turks, about which sources were scarce, insufficient and mostly 24 secondary (Ersanl, 1992: 123). For instance, we see in Inan’s article (1932: 1841) presented in the First History Congress, the influence of secondary sources especially those by Eugene Pittard. For this reason, the arguments of Inan involved culture-historical studies which explain change by the occurrence of diffusion or migration. According to Inan, there was only one geographical source of civilization, from which all inventions spread throughout the world.
Without doubt, for Inan, this core civilization was created by the Turks of Central Asia. As stated also by Ersanl(1992: 133), here the problem was not the content of the theories presented by the Kemalist regime. It was the lack of sound analysis with reliable documents and sources, which caused these theories to be criticised by some contemporary historians such as Fuad Koprulu. In other words, the historical approach of the late 1920s in Turkey was actually too superficial and it was based principally on secondary sources, none of them based on scientific methods.
For this reason, especially after the First History Congress in Ankara, the need for more systematic archaeological studies like the ones in Europe was deeply felt. As part of the Kemalist revolution, the abandonment of Arabic letters and the introduction of the Latin alphabet in Turkey took place in 1928. Following this important innovation, the Turkish Language Society was established in 1936. Since its foundation as the Society for Research on the Turkish Language in 1932, its main objective was basically to purify Turkish 25 by the elimination of Arabic and Persian elements from the language (Krs, 2005: 55). During this process, various foreign linguists such as Nikolai I. Marr, Hermann F. Kwerich and Agop Martayan were encouraged by the Kemalist regime to find scientific supports for the Turkish History Thesis (Ozdemir, 2001: 92-93; Kural Shaw, 2003: 35-36). In light of what had been found by such scholars, a new linguistic theory about the origins of the Turkish language was developed and it was entitled “the Sun-Language Theory”. 9 The Sun-Language Theory was presented as the linguistic counterpart of the History Thesis at the Third Language Congress, which was held in 1936.
According to this theory, the Turkish language was claimed to be the earliest language in the world, being the mother of all other languages including the Persian, Arabic and European ones (Dilmen, 1943: 85-98). The Sun-Language theory tried to prove that the Turkish civilizations had been created prior to European civiliziations, the very early Turkish language being the most crucial evidence for it. Here, it is obvious that this approach was once again the symbol of a defensive reaction to the Western world. In addition to this, the usage of Sun-language thesis would be a very effective As stated by Akurgal (1998:23), hieroglyphs of the Hittite kings bear the expression “I am the Sun”. Such symbolic use of the sun was also found in the myths related to the Aryan race, creating the basis of the Aryan identity. When the so-called sun discs were found in Alacahoyuk excavations, this symbolic similarity between the Hittites and the Aryans was correlated and used as the symbol of the new Turkish republic in the 1930s. For this reason, the contemporary language theory was also entitled the Sun-Language Theory. For further discussion, see Wendy Meryem Kural Shaw, 2003. 6 way to justify the attempts of the Kemalist regime to eliminate Persian and Arabic elements from the Turkish language (Kbrs, 2005: 55). As briefly mentioned in the second chapter, the roots of both the History Thesis and the Sun-Language Theory were created in the ideological milieu of the Ottoman state in the late nineteenth century. While creating a new ideology on ethno-secular grounds, Ataturk adopted the ideas of some late-Ottoman intellectuals, among which Mustafa Celaleddin Pasa was one of the most influential (Turan, 1989: 25-27).
After the development of the Turano-aryanist theory by Mustafa Celaleddin Pasa (Kushner, 1979: 13), his son-in-law Enver Celalettin Pasa suggested the idea of today’s Sun-Language Theory in 1917 (Gunay Goksu Ozdogan, 2002: 85). Since the language reforms of the Ottoman intellectuals mainly evolved around literature, education and the press (Kbrs, 2005: 55), the theory of Enver Celalettin Pasa did not become popular in that period. Yet, the ideas of these two important characters were followed by Samih Rfat, who was the son of Enver Celalettin Pasa and one of the creators of the Turkish History Thesis of the Kemalist regime (Ersanl1992: 137). In opposition to the Ottoman period, the Sun-Language Theory found a strong basis for itself in the Kemalist regime, as it had been used as an important supporter of the Turkish History Thesis. This theory claimed that there were close similarities between Turkish and Sumerian languages, proving the fact that Turkish, being the earliest language in history, spread all 27 over the world. In this way, the History Thesis, which related modern Turks to prehistorical Near Eastern civilizations such as the Sumerians and the Hittites, found additional support in the Sun-Language Theory (Copeaux, 1998: 49-50).
The ideas suggested by the Turkish History Thesis and the SunLanguage Theory evolved around certain concepts like the race, ethnicity, language and prehistory of the Turks. In order to strengthen the basis of these theories and to prove their scientific value, there was clearly a need for a focus on anthropological, archaeological and linguistic studies. The two main features inherited from the Ottoman empire in archaeological terms were the Istanbul Archaeological Museum as an institution, and the legislation to protect all antiquities on Ottoman lands as the property of he state (Ozdogan, 1998b: 115). Despite the very beneficial presence of these elements, there was obviously a lack of systematic and scientific archaeological studies during the first days of the Turkish republic, because such practices had not developed as part of archaeology since the last days of the Ottoman Empire. For this reason, archaeological studies by important figures of the late nineteenth century such as Osman Hamdi Bey, Makridi Bey and Halil Ethem Bey could not go beyond documenting and catagorizing the findings in chronological terms.
Moreover, during this period, the main focus in archaeological studies had always been the glorious past with magnificient works of art; ignoring the supposedly less ‘valuable’ or ‘interesting’ lives of 28 the population who were the actual creators and witnesses of all this glorious past. This was in fact an inevitable situation, since archaeology as a discipline was an imported concept from the West, where the trend was to focus on the Classical and Roman times with their enormous monuments and beautiful artworks.
As a result of all these, it can be said that archaeology, anthropology and linguistics became the most important media for Mustafa Kemal’s mission of understanding the Turkic ancient past on Anatolian lands. These disciplines would be used as the main agents to support the nationalist views presented by the Turkish History Thesis. However, in the early days of the republic, there was a serious lack of professionally educated archaeologists, academicians or institutions for archaeological studies in Turkey.
The archaeology of the 1920s in Turkey was represented principally by Halil Edhem Eldem (1861-1938), Aziz Ogan (1888-1956) and Hamit Zubeyr Kosay (1897-1984), who were among the Turkish intellectuals without any previous educational background in archaeology (Akurgal, 1999: 16). In 1924, the Turkish government had invited the American philosopher John Dewey to Turkey, in order to establish the task of organizing the Turkish education system in a modern way. One of the ideas suggested by Dewey was to send students and teachers abroad for training, to reach the same level with the 29 Western education system (Basgoz and Wilson, 1968: 134). 0 In this way, several Turkish students were selected by an examination that mainly tested their knowledge in the Turkish History Thesis. With the scholarship provided by the Ministry of Education, the government began to send such young Turkish students abroad to complete their education, especially in the discipline of archaeology. Among the first group of students who were selected for the scholarship, Remzi Oguz Ark and Sevket Aziz Kansu had their education in Paris, where they studied archaeology and anthropology respectively (Akurgal, 1999: 16). These scholars, who were sent to Europe in 1926, came back to Turkey in the early 1930s.
In 1932, a second group of students was sent to Germany, in order to complete their education in archaeology and history. This group included successful Turkish scholars such as Halil Demircioglu, Afif Erzen, Suat Yakup Baydur, Arif Mufit Mansel, Ekrem Akurgal, Sedat Alp, Jale Inan and Rustem Duyuran (Akurgal, 1999: 16). Among this second group, a few students like Muzaffer Senyurek, Halet Cambel and Aydn Saylwere sent to the United States or France, instead of Germany. Overall, however, the majority of this first generation of Turkish archaeologists graduated from universities in Germany (Akurgal, 1999: 17).
As well as sending students abroad, the Turkish government also began reforming the education system, especially in institutional terms. 10 For more information, see John Dewey, 1960. 30 Darulfunun, which later became Istanbul University, was the only academic institution inherited from the Ottoman Empire. Because of its failure to follow the Kemalist reforms and to provide support for the History Thesis, the government decided to make a number of serious changes in the university: thus 157 of its 240 professors were expelled from their positions in 1933 (Ozdemir, 2001: 103).
The same year witnessed the dismissal of several Jewish or half-Jewish archaeologists from their departments by the rapidlyrising Nazi Regime in Germany. By the direction of Ataturk, some of these eminent German scholars were invited to Turkey and hired as professors for archaeology education at university level. In this way, these professors, as well as a number of experts from the German Archaeological Institute in Istanbul, had the opportunity to teach in archaeology departments of several Turkish universities for many years (Czichon, 1999: 26; Alp, 1997: 16).
One of these scholars was Kurt Bittel, who was conducting research in Turkey on Anatolian archaeology. As the director of the German Archaeological Institute in Istanbul, Bittel was instrumental in shaping the study of Anatolian prehistory and Hittite Archaeology in Turkey. 11 Furthermore, he made remarkable contributions to the presentation of important findings from Anatolian lands to the entire archaeology world in academic terms. He taught in the Faculty of Literature in Istanbul University as a professor in the
The German Archaeological Institute was the most influential of the foreign archaeological institutes in Turkey, and is therefore the only one that will be presented in this thesis. These institutes also have libraries that have served the archaeological research community in a significant way. 11 31 department of Prehistory and Protohistory, during World War II and also between 1952 and 1960. Most significantly, Bittel was an active field archaeologist excavating at Troia and Alisar, and directing the excavations at Bogazkoy, ancient Hattusha, the Hittite capital, for 4 decades: 1931-1939 and 1952-1977 (Esin, 1999b: 21).
Following the restructuring of Istanbul University, the Faculty of History, Language and Geography was established in 1936 in Ankara (Inan, 1984: 232-234). Students who had completed their education in Germany and some German professors who had fled from its fascist regime were hired for teaching at this new faculty as well. The department of archaeology was founded here in 1937, with German archaeologist Hans Henning von der Osten being the chairman of the department (Suslu, 1986: 39).
He was another active field archaeologist and the first to conduct extensive survey projects in central and eastern Turkey. As part of the institutionalization process of academic structure by the Kemalist regime, an important step was the foundation of the Turkish Anthropological Research Centre in 1925, which became the Turkish Anthropological Institute four years later. After the establishment of the Faculty of Language, History and Geography at Ankara, this institute was transferred here from Istanbul University.
Sevket Aziz Kansu, one of the first archaeologists sent abroad by the Turkish government for education, became the head of this anthropology institute (Ozdemir, 2001: 109). 32 In general, the German school had profound influence on the development of Turkish archaeology, especially during the first years of the republic. Starting from the early 1930s, archaeology departments of the universities in Turkey witnessed the presence of a high number of German professors, who obviously taught their students the approaches followed in the German archaeology tradition.
Also, because most of the first generation of Turkish archaeologists was educated in Germany, they were inevitably influenced by the research techniques and perspectives of the German school. The eminent Turkish archaeologist Ekrem Akurgal is a good example of this situation. Having specialized in the Classical branch of archaeology in Germany, Akurgal pursued an art historical perspective in his interpretations, because Classical archaeology in this country has been dominated by art historical approaches (Harke, 1991: 192).
In other words, the idealistic nature of German classical archaeology was clearly reflected in the scientific standpoint of the Turkish students, who had been sent for Classical archaeology education to Germany during the Republic period. At the beginning of the 1940s, when the first generation of archaeology students returned from Germany to Turkey, they started to work in the archaeology and anthropology departments of several faculties (Akurgal, 1999: 16). It was inevitable that these Turkish students brought with them the German archaeological tradition to Turkey.
In addition to this, most of the second generation of Turkish archaeologists continued to be influenced by the 33 German tradition as well, since they too either did their doctoral studies or internships in Germany (Akurgal, 1999: 17). As a result, there occurred a continuous influence of German trends on Turkish archaeology, shaping the character of both pre-war and post-war archaeology in Turkey (Aksoy, 2003: 150). In order to understand the effects of the German archaeological tradition on several aspects of Turkish archaeology, one should start with examining archaeology as a discipline in Germany.
Beginning early in the twentieth century; meticulous excavation practices, careful study of artefacts and thorough publication of finds and findings shaped the general character of German archaeological studies (Harke, 1991: 187). Until the 1910s, the main focus of German archaeology was the Classical and Roman periods, following the general trend in contemporary European countries. However, around 1910, Gustaf Kossina introduced prehistory to the discipline of archaeology in Germany by demonstrating its importance for promulgating the superiority of the German race on all other races (Harke, 1989: 406).
Hence starting from this decade, German scholars added prehistorical studies to their archaeological spectrum as well. Even after the death of Kossina and principally during the Third Reich, studies of prehistorical periods formed the main focus of archaeological researches in Germany. As stated above, almost all features of the German tradition were gradually imported to Turkish archaeology, because through these close 34 contacts German archaeology was the predominant influence for archaeological studies on Anatolian lands.
For instance, in parallel with the growth of the nationalistic ideas of the 1930s, the use of prehistorical archaeology as a political tool took place firstly in Germany, and from there spread throughout Europe like a shock wave, including Turkey. Hence, the origins of such nationalist and to a certain degree racist Turkish archaeology of the 1930s and the early 1940s can be traced back to the German school of archaeology, with which the discipline in Turkey has had close relations since the first days of the republic.
It is not only the racist or nationalist perspectives that were imported to Turkish archaeology from the German school. The strong influence of the German tradition resulted for Anatolian archaeology in the adoption of theoretical and methodological perspectives that had dominated German archaeology for decades. In this respect, the culture-historical approach of the German school of archaeology, with its meticulous documentation and dating techniques, became one of the basic tenets of Turkish archaeology also.
Excavation Projects Between 1923-1946 In Turkey, archaeological excavations that took place during the early Republic can be classified into two main groups: the foreign projects and the local ones. Excavations by foreign teams in certain parts of Anatolia had been conducted since the late nineteenth century, the last days of the Ottoman 35 Empire. Among these, we mainly see large-scale activities especially by German teams, such as the excavations in Bogazkoy, Pergamon, Troia, Priene, Miletos and Didyma (Hauptmann, 1999: 31-32).
During the republican period, Germans excavating in Bogazkoy had a history thesis which was just as strong as the Turkish History Thesis. This is because the Indo-European Hittite Language fit well into the Indo-Aryan paradigm, which was certainly one of the reasons why Germans were so attracted to work in Bogazkoy. German archaeologists, pursuing their own past in Central Anatolia, therefore had a completely different perception of the Hittites in comparison to what was presented by the Turkish History Thesis (Ozdemir, 2001: 104105).
Thus, as well as the local teams, the Germans initially had their own propagandistic agenda at Bogazkoy. In order to provide stronger evidence for the Turkish History Thesis, the government of the early 1930s sent abroad as many students as possible for archaeology education. This aim of the government is clearly reflected on the selection criteria of students to be sent abroad: their adherence to the Turkish History Thesis. Likewise, archaeological investigations and studies by the Turkish archaeologists about the ancient civilizations of Anatolia were strongly encouraged (Alparslan, 2001: 73).
The Turkish Historical Society started to make studies with existing scientists such as Remzi Oguz Ark, Hamit Zubeyr Kosay and Sevket Aziz Kansu, until the return of the students who had been sent abroad. 36 The very first archaeological activities by local teams in Turkey began under the control of the Turkish Historical Committee in 1933. Excavation projects of this period were clustered in specific geographical areas in accordance with certain political purposes. For this reason, the first attempts of explorations and excavations took place in Central Anatolia, with special emphasis on Ankara and its vicinity.
Choosing Ankara as the location of the first excavation activities was a deliberate action, to maintain a strong link between the new capital of Turkey and its historical antecedants (Ark, 1934b: 163; Smith, 1998: 162). This region, which includes Alacahoyuk, Ahlatlbel, Golludag and Pazarl, was already known to be the territory of the ancient Hittite civilization. Hence, a possible close link between modern Turks and ancient Anatolian settlers could perhaps be documented by a systematic investigation in this region. The first Turkish archaeological excavation was done in 1933, in Ahlatlel. This project was followed by a number of others: at Karalar in 1933, at Golludag in 1934 and at Alacahoyuk in 1935 (Inan, 1938: 7-8). Unlike foreign excavations at this time, these local projects possessed nationalist aims, to prove the accuracy of the History Thesis of the Kemalist regime. For this reason, most archaeological studies of this period made efforts to link the ancient Anatolian past to a Turkic origin. For instance, in the Karalar excavation of 1933, the use of mud-like plaster as building material was related to the kurgans of Central Asia (Ar, 1934b: 163). 37 Another important example for local projects with nationalistic aims is Alacahoyuk, a prehistorical site that had firstly been investigated by Georges Perrot in the 1870s and then by Hugo Winckler and Theodor Makridi in 1906 (Ark, 1937a: 1). In 1935, the first local excavations in Alacahoyuk were started under the direction of Remzi Oguz Ark and Hamit Zubeyr Kosay. Fortunately, this first year of the excavation yielded rich Proto-Hittite burial goods (Ark, 1937b: 215).
Alacahoyuk became one of the symbols of the Turkish Republic, because it was made to prove a close connection between the Turks and their supposed ancestors; the Hittites. It especially revealed a rich and technologically advanced civilization that coud be claimed as protoTurkish, within its own territory. Thus, the Alacahoyuk excavation is a very crucial example demonstrating the effects of the search for national identity during the Republic period. Since excavations in this site began when the History Thesis predominated, archaeological interpretations on Alacahoyuk in these years reflect the influence of this immense popularity.
As Alacahoyuk yielded archaeological finds, there occurred a shift from the use of secondary sources to primary archaeological data to prove the Turkness of Anatolia. For instance, in one of her articles, Afet Inan (1938: 5) claims on the strength of actual archaeological findings that Central Asia is the origin of all civilizations in this region, including Troia and Egypt (Pulhan, 2003: 143). The same theory was previously suggested by Hamit Zubeyr Kosay, who argued 38 from the Alacahoyuk discoveries that the homeland of the Hittite Culture was Central Asia (Ozdemir, 2001: 119).
Furthermore, the sun discs found in the pre-Hittite, Early Bronze Alacahoyuk tombs provided strong evidence for the Sun Language Theory. According to Ark, the main symbolical elements on these so-called sun discs were bull horns, stags and the sun; all considered by him to have originated again from Central Asia (Ark, 1937b: 220). Consequently, as the prestige excavation of the Turkish Republic period, Alacahoyuk was subject to the political use of its own past, for the sake of creating an artificial national identity based on its long-term historical and cultural connection with the Turks.
Thrace was another region where excavations were carried out in the 1930s with nationalist intentions. The main reason for the selection of this area as part of an excavation project was ethnic tensions between the Turks and Bulgarians. In other words, Turkey used archaeology again as a political tool to demonstrate the “Turkishness” of Thrace, when Bulgaria started to lay claim on Turkish Thrace during the critical period before World War II (Ozdemir, 2003: 17). Under the directives of Ataturk, Arif Mufid Mansel became responsible for the expeditions and the excavation projects within this area.
Thus, several mounds and tumuli near locations such as Alpullu, Luleburgaz and the Vize Plain were excavated (Mansel, 1940: 89-91). In light of a certain type of painted pottery found in these Thracian sites, Mansel argued that a relation had existed between Thracian, Anatolian and Central 39 Asian cultures of the ancient past. 12 He claimed that the pottery types of the Thracian region were brought from Anatolia, but had initially spread out from the Anau region of Turkmenia (Mansel, 1937a: 660-661). Mansel went further in his claims, suggesting that the users of this pottery type were rachycephalic people, evidently Turks, migrating from Central Asia to Anatolia and then to some regions of Thrace. Here it is worth noting that the practice of defining the territory of an ethnic group by referring to the attributes of their archaeological assemblages was a technique developed and defined by Kossina as “settlement archaeology” (Trigger, 1989: 165). The usage of settlement archaeology in Turkey especially around the 1930s is not surprising, since it dominated archaeological techniques in contemporary Germany.
Furthermore, with the application of settlement archaeology, Mansel was able to accomplish the task of providing strong support for the Turkish History Thesis. As a result, once again, excavations in the 1930s in the Thracian region supposedly demonstrated that the rightful occupants of Thrace were the brachycephalic Turkish tribes, which had once migrated from Central Asia to Anatolia and Thrace. Besides Central Asia and Thrace, Hatay was also a target of excavations because of similar political reasons.
Hatay deserves particular attention here, since it was one of the locations where one can clearly see the Mansel claimed that this painted pottery culture originated from Central Asia. He compared it to pottery from Susa I and II (4000-3500 BC), center of the Elamite culture of southwest Iran. Since he did not illustrate it in his article, it is difficult to determine this pottery’s actual identity. For more information, see Arif Mufid Mansel, 1937a. 12 40 use of the past, by means of Turkish History Thesis and ethnic identity.
For centuries, the Hatay region had been an area, where there was diversity in population, in terms of religion and ethnicity. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, ninety per cent of the entire population in this region were Muslim Turks, Alevis and Arabs, whereas ten per cent of it was made up of non-Muslim groups such as Christian Armenians and Greeks, and Jews (Savc, 2007: 16). After the Independence War and the Ankara Agreement between Turkey and France, the Hatay region or, rather, the IskenderunSanjak area (Sanjak of Alexandretta) remained outside the official borders of the Turkish Republic in 1921.
The year 1936 is a very important date in the history of the Sanjak of Alexandretta, since its annexation process started in this year, firstly with the promulgation of the new independent “Hatay Republic”. From this date on, the Turkish media began to use the name Hatay for the Sanjak of Alexandretta. This name was chosen by Ataturk deliberately, because it was claimed to be a Turkish name, resembling the words Hattusha, Hata, Ata and Eti (Hittite), all of which supposedly originated from the same roots as the word Hatay (Mayakon, 1936: 1).
In 1937, in parallel with the Turkish Republic, People’s Houses (Halkevleri) were established in Hatay (Savc, 2007: 80). One of the most important achievements of these People’s Houses was uniting the population in Hatay, where French officers had been trying to create ethnic conflicts principally among the Alevis. The Alevi population was agitated by certain statements underlying their supposedly unclear ethnic 41 between the Alevi and Turkish population of Hatay could be restored by the use of the Turkish History Thesis, which claimed that the Alevis were the “Hittite Turks” (Eti Turkleri) of Anatolia.
In this way, the ethnicity-oriented problem between the Alevis and the Turks could be solved (Savc, 2007: 8182). As a result of a complex series of negotiations between France and Turkey, Hatay became part of the Turkish Republic in 1939, one year after the death of Ataturk. Following the annexation of Hatay, the Turkish government aimed to prove the long history of the Turks in this region, with the support of certain philological, anthropological, and archaeological evidences. Remzi Oguz Ark became the responsible person to accomplish this task.
At that period, Braidwood and Woolley were already excavating in the Amuq region of Hatay. Since their agenda and purpose were different from the perspective and mission of the Turkish Historical Society, one can find in Ark ‘s article his criticism of the American and British projects of the 1940s (Ark, 1944: 355357). Yet, the Amuq Plain research by Ark in 1942 remained no more than a short survey, instead of a systematic excavation. Despite the lack of broad archaeological research by the Turkish Historical Society in Hatay, there had been developed a number f theories on the Turkishness of the region. These theories, suggested by scholars like Ismail Mustak Mayakon, Ethem Menderes, Mehmet Sukru Akkaya and Agop Dilacar, were based on the same and religious standpoint which distinguished them from the Turks, Arabs or Muslims. 42 idea that Hatay, for thousands of years, has been the homeland of the Turks, who had once migrated from Central Asia to Anatolia. 14 Aside from the excavations stated above, archaeological surveys took place during the Republic period in many other regions of Turkey.
Perge, Aspendos and Side were excavated by Arif Mufid Mansel in 1943 as a Turkish response to foreign projects at large classical sites on the Aegean coast, whereas Sevket Aziz Kansu did prehistorical research in Burdur, Isparta and their vicinity in 1944 (Mansel, 1945: 135-145; Kansu, 1945: 277287). In addition to his investigations in Central and Northern Anatolia, prehistorian Klc Kokten conducted surveys also in the eastern part of Anatolia, including locations such as Kars, the Aras Valley, Malatya, Elazg, Mus and Adaman (Kokten, 1943: 601-613; Kokten, 1944: 659-680). The entire territory of the new republic was thus opened up to archaeological research based on fieldwork by Turkish teams. Especially among the excavations held by the first generation of Turkish archaeologists, we see relatively little interest in the Byzantine periods. One important reason for this situation is the influence of German archaeology on these German-trained archaeologists. The focus of Classical archaeology was Greece and Rome, and Byzantine studies were mostly waved aside.
Archaeological remains dating to Byzantine times were For more information on this subject, see Ismail Mustak Mayakon, 1936; Ethem Menderes, 1939; Mehmet Sukru Akkaya, 1940; Agop Dilacar, 1940. 14 43 disregarded by German projects on Anatolian lands, and resulted in the deliberate destruction of Byzantine layers in some German excavations such as at Didyma (Kuban, 2003: 159). In the 1960s, Kenan Erim did the same at Aphrodisias, since his main concern was the great monuments of art and architecture dating to the Classical and Roman periods (Gates, 1996: 53; Bowersock, 1991: 281).
It should also be kept in mind that political factors such as the connection between the Byzantine Empire and modern Greeks also led to the marginalization of Byzantine studies in university departments. It is important to note that the study of the Seljukid, Ottoman and Byzantine periods is done in Turkish universities in departments of Art History, whose methods and concerns are different from those of the discipline of archaeology (Ozdemir, 2001: 132). Hence, this situation was one of the reasons for the neglect of archaeological studies on the Byzantine or Islamic periods in most archaeology departments.
The discipline of anthropology also played a crucial role in the archaeological practices of the Republic period, because it was another tool to provide support for the chauvinistic views of the Turkish History Thesis. For this reason, anthropological studies went hand in hand with most excavation practices. The nature of these studies was again nationalist and racist, with the objective of proving that the Turks belonged to the Aryan race group, instead of the yellow race. As evidence, the majority of anthropological studies of this period relied on the skull measurements and lengths of certain 44 ody bones such as radius and tibia, which had been unearthed during archaeological excavations. 15 Hence, it can be said that the anthropological studies of the Republic period were based principally on racial perspectives, rather than being an agent to give certain clues about the life styles of ancient people. In fact, this situation was an inevitable result of the political milieu of the period, directing focus on the racial characteristics of our ancestors, instead of the social aspects of their lives.
In theoretical terms, Anatolian archaeology of the 1930s chose to explain the development in the societies of the ancient world principally by theories of migration and diffusion. In parallel to these theories (Trigger, 1991: 150-155), interpretations in Anatolian archaeology were based on the idea that one discovery can be done only in one place, from which it spreads to other cultures. Accordingly, it was claimed by the first generation of Anatolian archaeologists that all civilizations were originated from Central Asia, whose inhabitants had once migrated to different parts of the world, bringing with them their high level of culture.
For instance, the introduction of the mining industry to the Aegean basin was explained by the arrival of people from Central Asia (Mansel, 1937b: 210), whereas a pottery type in Troia was claimed to be dispersed again from Central Asia, attesting a single origin to the painted pottery culture of the Troad region (Ozguc, 1944: 716). For detailed information on the anthropological analysis of the Republic period, see Sevket Aziz Kansu, 1937; Afet Uzmay, 1940; Agop Dilacar, 1940. 15 45
The Republic period made deliberate efforts to find through archaeological research a cultural identity for the Turks and to create a strong link between this identity and certain civilizations of the Anatolian past. The use of Alacahoyuk finds like the sun-discs or deer statuettes as national symbols of the new Turkish Republic, naming its two important national banks Etibank (Hittite-bank) and Sumerbank (Sumerian-bank), the architecture of Antkabir with motives from the symbols of ancient civilizations can be demonstrated as notable examples (Kaya, 2003: 51).
There are also other instances where we see the individual use of symbolizing archaeology as in the case of Ekrem Akurgal. Following the Law on Family Names in 1935, this soon-to-be famous Turkish archaeologist chose as his surname the name of a Sumerian King, who had lived five thousand years earlier (Akurgal, 1999: 39). Another symbolic importance of archaeology in Turkey was its ability to demonstrate the supposed similarities between advanced civilizations of the past and their successor, the Turkish Republic.
In other words, these ancient Anatolian civilizations, representing the highest level of development of their own period, set a good example for the New Turkish Republic, whose main objective was to be one of the strongest and most developed countries among its contemporaries, like its supposed ancestors (Pulhan, 2003: 144). Consequently, Anatolian archaeology between 1923 and 1946 can be considered as a pragmatic study which defined itself as the establisher of a 46 national task.
Going hand in hand principally with the German perspective of the same period, Turkish archaeologists applied the culture-historical and settlement archaeology approach, evaluating the findings as evidence for Turkish ethnic identity. Yet, as stated by Ozgunel (1986: 896), despite its failure in theoretical terms, it was the Turkish History Thesis and the use of archaeology, which enabled the Turks to overcome the problem of cultural identity more easily in the 1930s.
As many countries like Germany, Spain, Israel and Mexico also did (Ozdemir, 2001: 4-18), Ataturk used archaeology as an agent to justify the presence of his people on the lands where they live. However, it might be erroneous to view the Turkish History Thesis of the Kemalist regime as a completely non-scientific tool, which was deliberately manipulated for political interests of the new republic. Akurgal (1956: 583) also underlines that Ataturk did not have any tendency to abandon the usage of science for the sake of national interests.
It was actually the milieu of that period which led Ataturk and his disciples to prefer nationalist propagandas in their archaeological studies. This is so, because the creation of the History Thesis dates to a time, when Turkey was influenced by the rise of fascism in Germany and Italy. A number of foreign scholars also supported the History Thesis, demonstrating that it was more than a non-scientific tool used by the 47 Kemalist ideology (Esin, 1999a: 283). 6 Yet, it should be mentioned that some ridiculous theories about the “glorious and unique” past of the Turks were also suggested by a few scholars without any sound evidence. However, such theories gradually faded away, failing to supply the prestige and benefit that had once been expected from the discipline of archaeology. In the Republic period, archaeology and the government were attached to each other by such strong connections that later it became almost impossible to eparate them from one another (Dikkaya, 2003: 189). The government needed archaeology, since it was perceived as a powerful tool to create a new national identity. In accordance with this firm relation based on political interests, archaeology failed to stand as an independent discipline; this resulted in the adaptation of archaeology entirely to the governmental system and bureaucracy. Archaeology, whose boundaries were thus formed by the government, was being practiced in the way the government wanted.
Hence, archaeology in Turkey could not turn out to be an inquisitive discipline, which was able to self-criticize like its contemporaries in the United States or Britain. Unfortunately, it is obvious that Turkish archaeology has not been able to make a clear understanding of what archaeology must actually be; both in the mind of the archaeologists and in the communal sense. In other words, For instance, in Arif Mufid Mansel’s article (1937a: 669-670) we see references to some foreign scholars such as G. E. Smith and F. Hommel.
As Mansel states, G. E. Smith acknowledged that Turks belonged to the Alpine race, whereas Hommel declared the Turkish origin of the Sumerian language. 16 48 the Turkish tradition in archaeology, for a long time, could not go beyond the practice of collecting and documenting the ancient remains to demonstrate a predetermined conclusion. For this reason, a critical perspective in archaeology, which must attach importance to the interpretation of finds on the basis of their own cultural setting, was delayed for decades from developing in Turkey.
Chapter IV Turkish Archaeology Between 1946-1960
By means of the Turkish History Thesis and the Sun-Language Theory, the Kemalist regime tried to prove that Turks had been living in Anatolia for thousands of years. However, the results of various excavations elicited that there had been many civilizations established and demolished throughout the long history of Anatolia, and none of them actually had any hereditary relation with modern Turks (Oktem, 2003: 28).
As a result, the Turkish History Thesis was waved aside, since scientific studies did not confirm any of its arguments. From the beginning of the 1940s, and with the decline of the Turkish History Thesis and the Sun-Language Theories, the intensity of The year 1946 does not represent a critical date in the history of Anatolian archaeology. It is in fact with the beginning of the 1940s that certain new models emerged in the sphere of archaeology in Anatolia. However, for convenience, 1946 is given since it represents the beginning of a new era for the political history of Turkey.
The Democrat Party’s coming to power does have significance for Anatolian archaeology as well, in connection with this party’s formation in 1946 and its new policies between 1950 and 1960. 17 50 research in Central Anatolia diminished and the number of excavations in classical sites began to gradually increase. Along with the failure of this theory, we see the adoption of a humanist concept called “Anatolianism” or “Anatolian Nationalism”, an ideology whose beginning in historical terms can be dated back to the 1910s.
Authors such as Musa Kazm, Mehmet Semsettin Gunaltay and Halim Sabit were its most passionate advocates. Turks who inhabited Anatolian lands were the main concern of the Anatolianist perspective, which ignored the other Turkic groups living in several parts of the world. Anatolianist nationalism, which was defined with respect to historical and geographical factors, argued that a new nation was created by the synthesis of the cultures of ancient Anatolia and the dynamism brought by the Turkmens to Anatolia in 1071 (Atabay, 2002: 532).
Moreover, together with a mystical understanding of the fatherland concept, this ideology gave full weight to the Islamic religion, since the majority of people in contemporary Anatolia were Muslims. However, because it was formulated as a reaction to the Turanist view, Anatolianism was impoverished by the modern perspective of the Kemalist regime, which was the dominant national ideology in the 1920s and early 1930s. It is worth mentioning here that there is not a single common point between the Anatolianist view and Kemalist nationalism, except for the definition of nationalism on geographical grounds in both ideologies (Atabay, 2002: 531). 1 Following the death of Ataturk, the uncertain and critical nature of the pre-war period during the early 1940s revived the Anatolianist view among various Turkish scholars such as Remzi Oguz Ark, Resit Hatipoglu, Ziyaeddin Fahri Fndkoglu and Mukremin Halil Yinanc (Murat Kaya, 2005: 104; Atabay, 2002: 518). Here again, the main motive of the Anatolianist perspective revolved round the Turkishness of Anatolia, focusing on the unity and harmony of the Turks who were living within the borders of the Turkish Republic (Kbrs, 2005: 78).
In accordance with this ideology, the national history of the Turks in Anatolia started with the arrival of the Turkmens coming from Central Asia in 1071. Because there was no racial relationship between the pre-settlers of Anatolia and the Turks, it was concluded that Anatolia became the homeland of the Turks in the real sense after the arrival of the Turks on these territories (Bulbul, 2006: 38) For this reason, the history of Anatolia before 1071 was no longer considered to be the past of the Turks, regarding their real history in Anatolian lands as the Seljuks, the Ottomans and the modern Turkish Republic.
Despite its emphasis on religion and geographical borders, the idea of Anatolianism also possessed a humanistic standpoint, which considered all ancient civilizations and cultures of Anatolia as the cultural heritage of Turkey (Kuban, 2003: 158). Such perspective of Anatolianism was influenced principally from the humanistic ideology of the Inonu government. In several excavation reports published in Belleten during these years, one can clearly 52 see this humanist perspective, which defines all inhabitants, including the ancient ones, of the Turkish land as “the children of Anatolia” (Mansel, 1945: 143-144).
Besides the increase in the number of excavations in Classical sites, this humanist ideology was also reflected in the Turkish education system of the early 1940s with the reforms of Hasan Ali Yucel; the contemporary president of the board of education (Tasdemirci, 1998: 78-79, 92-93). In comparison to the Kemalist program, the sections devoted to Classical and Roman history in history course books published during this period increased significantly (Akdag, 2005: 89; Koremez, 2005: 42). 8 Furthermore, in the 1940-1941 academic year, high schools witnessed the introduction of a new “Classical Branch”, which required education in Latin and ancient Greek (Kerimoglu, 2006: 75). In the Inonu period, many of World’s Classics including the ones in Greek and Latin were also translated into Turkish (Tasdemirci, 1998: 95). Still, the chauvinist and Islam-oriented approach of Anatolianism, which lived its golden era especially in the 1940s, had severe consequences for the cultural heritage of Anatolia.
By putting special emphasis on religion, Anatolianism turned its back on the study of all ancient civilizations, which fell into the category of “the others”. For instance, in parallel with the political conditions of this period, names of settlements that derived from civilizations 18 In the Ataturk period, history course books devoted 14% of total space to Roman History and again 14% for Ancient Greek History; whereas in the Inonu period the space that was reserved increased to 40% for each of these subjects. For further information, see Bulent Koremez, 2005. 3 like the Luwians, Hurrians or Urartians, were converted to Turkish names. This was a very unfortunate situation for the academic world, because most of these names, with their thousands of years of history, were very crucial for certain scientific studies (Berktay, 1997: 247). Consequently, it can be said that the importance attached to the prehistorical civilizations in the republic period of the 1930s, began to fade away with the introduction of a more Islam-oriented ideology especially after the late 1940s.
Anatolianism can be defined as an alternative trend, which positioned itself between two contemporary ideologies: Kemalist nationalism and Turanism (Atabay, 2002: 532). Following World War II, this view became a solid basis for different ideological interpretations such as the conservative Anatolianism, which can also be defined as the Islamic Anatolianism of Nurettin Topcu. 19 In other words, especially after 1945, we see a change in understanding of secularism in Turkey, by which the government tried to find ways to rebuild its relation with the Islamic religion (Kocak, 2002: 609).
As stated before, these changes in the ideological sphere of the government were reflected in archaeological studies so that the number of prehistorical excavations around Central Anatolia considerably decreased in conjunction with the partial abandonment of the Turkish History Thesis. In 1950, Turkey experienced a very critical and important period, when the Democrat Party won the elections and became the first governing party of 19 For more information on this subject, see Ali Gul, 2006. 54 the multiple-party system.
In terms of its ideology, the Democrat Party was conservative, with emphasis on the Islamic religion, contrary to the secularist and modern perspective of the Kemalist regime. At this point, one might expect that the political victory of the Democrat Party would result in a deliberate ignorance of archaeology and a very sudden decline of studies on ancient civilizations of Anatolia. However, this was not the case, because this trend had already begun with the rise of Anatolianism. For instance, the Classical Branch was removed from the programs of high schools in 1949 before the coming of Democrat Party into power (Kerimoglu, 2006: 75).
Yet, also in the Democrat Party period of the 1950s, one can still see the continuation of the humanist ideology of the Inonu government that supported prehistorical and Classical studies. Kultepe is an example of this situation, because this preclassical excavation began as a Turkish project in 1948 and continued uninterrupted until the present (Alparslan, 2001: 83-84). Still, the closure of the People’s Houses in 1951 was a heavy blow for the discipline of archaeology, especially in terms of its loss of contact with the public.
This was because the People’s Houses of the Kemalist regime were among the most important media used to educate the public in cultural, historical and archaeological subjects (Bayraktar, 1999: 85-95). Despite these unfavourable developments, it should also be kept in mind that the prehistorical societies of Anatolia were not completely discredited during the Democrat Party period. One reason for this situation was the fact that some 55 parts of the Turkish History Thesis were still dominant in nationalist ideologies of the 1950s.
In addition to this, the Democrat Party preferred to act with deliberation, as it was well aware that its radical practices could easily be considered anti-modernist by the leading authorities of the period (Koremez, 2005: 125). In general one concludes that the Democrat Party period did not present a consistent cultural policy, mostly because of the very sharp ideological oppositions between Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and President Celal Bayar (Copeaux, 1998: 57). As a result, it can be said that from the late 1930s to the 1950s, there occurred a gradual change in the understanding of archaeology in Turkey.
Especially during the 1940s, the state began to give less importance to prehistorical studies, both because the Inonu period possessed a more humanistic perspective in archaeology, which evolved around Classical and Roman studies, and because the rise of Anatolianism resulted in the appraisal of a nationalist history exclusive to the time after 1071. The unfortunate closing of the People’s Houses also influenced the rise in interest towards the post-Islamic periods, because the Muslim society easily and willingly abandoned the concept of “ancient Anatolia”, which had once been promoted as part of the Kemalist reforms.
In terms of methodological approaches, Anatolian archaeology remained largely influenced by the German tradition. In the 1940s and 1950s, the impact of German methodological traditions was maintained in the 56 archaeology departments of Turkish universities and in their excavation projects, since by then the first generation of archaeologists trained in Germany was established in the upper ranks of their various faculties. Because new developments in the archaeology practiced in Germany at this time again influenced these Turkish academics, one should firstly assess contemporary trends in the German tradition.
In German archaeology, Kossina’s ethnic paradigm, which had been used to justify the aggressive expansionism of the Nazi regime, was completely discredited after the end of the World War II. After such political use of archaeology for oppressive purposes, German archaeologists suffered from what has been called the “Kossina Syndrome”, abandoning theory while being tied to a passive positivism that is descriptive in nature, with emphasis on typology and chronology (Harke, 1989: 406-407).
That is why, in the postwar era, German archaeology became very isolated, conservative and dataoriented; without any attempt to encourage the development of theory. Needless to say, methodological changes in German archaeology were reflected in the archaeological practices of other countries in close contact with it, including Turkey. Accordingly, during the post-war-period archaeology in Anatolia, we see the occurrence of a more apolitical understanding of the discipline, avoiding approaches like the Turkish History Thesis and the Sun-Language Theory (Kaya, 2003a: 46).
Especially after the 57 1950s, like the German trend, Anatolian archaeology began to adopt a more descriptive character, which positioned itself far from theoretical debates.
Chapter V Turkish Archaeology Between 1960-1983
Crucial changes affected archaeological studies in Anatolia after the early 1960s, in terms of both their content and the way archaeological findings are interpreted. A first fundamental transformation in Anatolian archaeology took place with a huge project by Halet Cambel and Robert J.
Braidwood in southeastern Anatolia, which was not a popular region in terms of archaeological investigations prior to 1962. This joint project of the Istanbul and Chicago Universities initiated prehistorical research in southeastern Anatolia with the exploration of aceramic Neolithic cultures in Cayonu. Also, it brought a remarkable number of archaeology students into the field for the first time (Ozdogan, 2003: 20). Braidwood’s research centered on cultural ecology, with the environment an essential element to create a certain way of life.
In other 59 words, he argued that the life style of a group is shaped by its natural environment, as much as is its architecture, pottery, statues and other tools. Furthermore, for him, what archaeologists should pay attention to mostly is how the natural environment used to be in the past, rather than its present condition. On the basis of all these, Braidwood introduced the idea that an archaeological excavation cannot be done without the collaboration of geologists, climatologists, geographers, zoologists and botanists.
In fact, he developed this methodological approach over the 1930s to 1950s, starting from his survey in the Amuq Valley (Braidwood and Braidwood, 1961). Still, Cayonu had a more profound impact in Turkish archaeology because it was a joint project with Istanbul University, and involved a number of Turkish archaeologists and students on its staff. Fieldwork at Cayonu had important contributions to Anatolian archaeology, because it functioned as a useful training school for numerous Turkish archaeology students (Esin, 2003: 9).
Braidwood also taught during the academic year of 1963-1964, in the prehistory department at Istanbul University. As stated by Watson (2003: 10), one of the most crucial lessons Braidwood gave both to his Turkish and American students was the importance of interdisciplinary study in archaeology. His lectures had a great impact on the Turkish archaeology students of the 1960s, who later became the successful professors of the present. Two of his students, Ali Dincol and Sonmez Kantman, developed a passion for theory. They began to follow the 60 evelopments which took place in the sphere of archaeological method and theory principally in the Anglo-American school of thought, including Lewis Binford’s New Archaeology, focusing on studies with anthropological models. These two young scholars published a book entitled “Analytical Archaeology” in 1969 (Dincol and Kantman, 1969). In a number of articles written mostly by them, Dincol and Kantman tried to demonstrate the importance of anthropology and natural sciences in archaeological interpretations, while giving examples from certain case studies where petrographic, radiological, paleoserological and paleobiochemical methods were used.
In their view (Dincol and Kantman, 1969: 11), interpretations in Anatolian archaeology up to the 1960s focused merely on understanding certain cultural centers, defining material remains and dating these findings in comparison to their parallels in other locations. However, they argued that certain characteristics of artifacts might well be assessed with statistical tests in order to determine specific rules about the cultural norms of the creators and users of these artifacts.
Such symbolic experiments, as Dincol and Kantman claimed, may yield more scientific information both about the material culture and the cultural behaviour of individuals or groups who once produced and utilized these artifacts (Dincol and Kantman, 1969: 13). Consequently, one can clearly see the efforts to make an extensive understanding of the New Archaeology trend in Turkey with the book published by Ali Dincol and Sonmez Kantman. Unfortunately, their study 61 received neither positive nor negative comments for a long time (Dincol, 2003: 296).
Some members of the academic community even blamed these young scholars, arrogating that such attempts were the clear evidence of an aspiration for fame (Dincol, 2003: 297). As a result, one way or another, both the Cayonu project and the Braidwoods had a long-lasting impact on Anatolian archaeology. The same decade saw another development of equally significant impact. The building of dams on the Euphrates River in eastern Turkey resulted in salvage projects in two major areas: the Keban Dam Project in Elazg (1968-1974), followed by the Ataturk and Karakaya Dam Projects in Adaman and Urfa (1975-1988) (Gates, 1996: 56). Especially the former, which housed international excavation teams from different parts of the world, can be defined as a milestone in Turkish archaeology. The term “salvage excavation” came into use in Turkey for the first time in 1967, with the Keban Dam project. There had been a number of previous attempts by several characters such as Hamit Zubeyr Kosay, Klc Kokten and Nezih Fratl, in order to preserve our existing cultural heritage; however these efforts had unfortunately remained merely on individual basis (Ozdogan, 000: 72). In fact, the first dam rescue project was held by Mahmut Akok in 1955, in order to document the Augusta city ruins that would be filled with the waters of the Seyhan Dam (Ozdogan, 2000: 72). Yet, this excavation lasted only 10 days, without a profound understanding of how a 62 salvage project should be accomplished. For this reason, it can be said that the first collective and systematic attempt for a project started with the efforts of Middle East Technical University (METU), which coordinated the archaeological program for the Keban Dam project.
The first research phase in the upper Euphrates basin began in 1966, with the objective of determining the settlements and works of art expected to be flooded through the construction of the Keban Dam. These studies, which were done by a team from the department of Restoration and Preservation of Historic Monuments at METU, continued in 1967 with the involvement of several teams, such as from the anthropology department at Michigan University and the prehistory department at Istanbul University.
In accordance with these field surveys, it was concluded that over 50 archaelogical sites would be doomed in the future by the reservoirs of the Keban Dam (Arsebuk, 1983: 70). Results of these preliminary studies provided a surprising amount of previously unrecorded monuments dating to the Seljuk, Ottoman and Byzantine times, as well as densely clustered ancient mounds in the upper Euphrates.
In other words, investigations demonstrated that the region housed various communities, from the Paleolithic period to the Middle Ages (Erder, 1973: 3). After the exploratory surveys were completed, a board entitled “Committee for the Salvage of Cultural Property in the Keban Dam Area” was established. This committee, with members like Kemal Kurdas, Halet Cambel, Robert Braidwood, 63 Aptullah Kuran, Hikmet Gurcay and Ulug Igdemir, had a diverse profile, possessing both an international and inter-departmental character (Erder, 1973: 7). 0 During the entire Keban project, which lasted from 1968 to 1974/75, salvage activities varied from a number of archaeological excavations to studies of modern local architecture, ethnographic researches, socio-economic studies and salvage of historical monuments (Erder, 1973: 9-18). Clearly, the Keban Dam Project, which was held together with many different teams, improved the multidisciplinary aspect of archaeology in Anatolia. The Keban Dam project represents a whole movement in Turkey, as it was the first international excavation project of this country that led to many important innovations in the sphere of Anatolian archaeology.
First of all, there was a remarkable increase in the number of sites excavated, especially in the Keban region. In accordance with this increase, more students from archaeology departments began to get involved in these excavations. This is surely an important development, because until the Keban Dam project, only a small number of students used to participate in excavations and most of them were not even from archaeology departments (Prehistorya Tartsma Grubu, 2003: 324).
For instance, until the 1960s most archaeology students did Kemal Kurdas was the president of Middle East Technical University, whereas Professor Halet Cambel was from Istanbul University, Professor Robert Braidwood was from Chicago University, Professor Aptullah Kuran was the Dean of the METU Faculty of Architecture, Hikmet Gurcay was the General Director of the Department of Antiquities and Museums, and Ulug Igdemir was the General Director of the Turkish Historical Society. 20 64 ot know how to make technical site plans and illustrations. 21 Ozdogan (1998a: 7) points that it was during the Tepecik excavations of 1968, that he and his teammates learned to draw accurate plans by using the scale system. Thankfully, this unfortunate tradition has changed by the Keban Dam project and the emergence of new excavations in the upper Euphrates region (Arsebuk, 1983: 73; Ozdogan, 1998a: 9). Again until the Keban Dam project, the right to direct an excavation or field study was restricted to university professors.
But, the Keban Dam project has also provided a great opportunity for young archaeologists, who were willing to take part in independent excavations and researches (Esin, 1997: 65). Another considerable aspect of the Keban Dam project was its international environment in which a number of local and foreign teams worked closely in the same region. In this way, teams had the opportunity to make comparisons between the different excavation and interpretation techniques of each other.
Such a situation was beneficial especially for archaeology students, who had the chance to see a diverse world of perspectives, which were very different from what had been previously taught them by their own professors (Ozdogan, 1998a: 3). 21 Here, the main idea is to demonstrate the deficiencies in the teaching of archaeology in Turkey, principally in practical terms. Otherwise, there was also a considerable amount of Turkish archaeologists sent to be trained in Germany and surely brought back some excavation skills with them.
It should also be underlined that the Germans and other foreign contemporary teams are out of this classification, as they were using very meticulous and accurate studies while excavating the Classical and Hittite sites at that period. 65 Furthermore, before the 1960s, there was almost no usage of equipments such as surveyor levels or theodolites in Anatolian excavations (Ozdogan, 1998a: 7). For this reason, the use of modern measuring, documentation and excavation techniques can be demonstrated as an additional feature that made the project remarkable for the history of Turkish archaeology.
The Keban Dam project also witnessed the use of natural sciences involving zoology, botany, geology, geophysics and chemistry (Erder, 1973: 20). Because a very large amount of students found the opportunity to practice these innovations in the Keban project, the importance of getting assistance from natural sciences was better understood. For this reason, it can be said that Keban represents the introduction of modern excavation and archaeometry techniques as a whole to the discipline of archaeology in Turkey.
Again prior to the Keban project, there was no specific Turkish terminology corresponding to the words used in the discipline of archaeology. For instance, Turkish archaeologists used to pronounce and spell the French word “tranchee” 22 as if it were a Turkish word to define an excavation trench. In the translated article of Hauptman, for instance, the word “transe” was used by Turkish archaeologists referring to a trench For the definition of the word, see http://french. about. com/library/ motdujour/blmdjtranche. htm 22 66 (METU 1971: 71).
With the Keban excavations, the Turkish word “acma” was created in place of “transe” (Ozdogan, 1998a: 7). Ozdogan (1998a: 5) notes the fact that the “survey” concept was vague for archaeologists during the 1960s and excavation teams had no equipment suitable for it. Until then, description used to be the only focus of the excavation. Until the Keban Dam project, it was not possible for an excavation to employ specialized staff such as architects, topographers, illustrators on its excavation team; nor to provide suitable space for storing equipment or findings.
However, the organizers of the Keban project provided many opportunities for the excavation teams, since they were aware of the fact that excavations and interpretations can be scientific only with the existence of appropriate infrastructure. It was after the 1960s that Anatolian archaeology changed from a small-scale personal enterprise and excavations gradually started to be respected as the success of teams rather than of individual scholars.
Furthermore, a more evident consciousness to understand the past appeared during this period. The Keban Dam Project led most Turkish archaeologists to realize that archaeology is not merely the branch of science which digs ancient artifacts, but it also tries to understand and reconstruct the social and cultural evolution within its natural environment, throughout its history of existence. Consequently, it can be said that the Keban Dam Project with all its 67 spects opened a new window for Turkish archaeology, from which archaeologists started to see the discipline from a very different perspective. In addition to its numerous contributions to Anatolian archaeology, the Keban project also introduced several drawbacks for subsequent archaeological studies in Turkey. The Keban Dam Project was a very successful salvage project, through which many archaeology students of the period found the opportunity to broaden their perspectives widely.
However, a majority of Turkish archaeologists concluded that it provided a clear demonstration of how archaeology should actually be done, and applied the same excavation techniques to all types of excavations, even when they were not salvage projects or involved topographical or geographical conditions completely different from those of the Keban area (Duru, 2003: 194). The main objective of salvage projects is to document data that will soon be doomed by the dam waters; whereas regular excavations have a problem-oriented nature which needs a research plan to find answers to the existing problem (Matthews, 2001: 225-226).
Important developments in the 1970s occurred principally in institutions. In 1979, much scientific development was realized by the Directorate General of Monuments and Museums, when it initiated the international conferences titled “Annual Archaeological Symposium” in Turkey. In these conferences, which have been held every year since then, scientific results of all excavations of the previous year are presented both by 68 foreign and Turkish archaeologists. Furthermore, the following year, these results on excavations, surveys and archaeometrical studies are published by the Ministry of Culture (Esin, 1997: 65).
Another improvement in Anatolian archaeology was accomplished by the establishment of an Archaeometry Unit as a branch of TUBITAK (Turkish Scientific and Technical Council) in the early 1980s (Arsebuk, 1983: 73). Here, the foundation of such an institution demonstrates the fact that after a number of successful excavations with new techniques such as Cayonu and Keban, the importance of the natural sciences for archaeological interpretations was clearly understood.