This project primarily focuses on exploring the topographical component of the ceremonial culture of the Empire of Trebizond —one of the states resulting from the Byzantine Empire’s fragmentation after the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The Trebizond emperors were from the family of the Grand Komnenoi, who traced their lineage directly back to the famed Komnenian dynasty, and who, amid the increasingly dynastic nature of imperial authority throughout the Byzantine world, saw themselves as the only legitimate successors to the Byzantine Empire. Modern scholars believe that the Trebizond emperors had to prove the legitimacy of their imperial credentials not only through their blood lineage but also by copying the court ceremonial which was the principal form of translating political ideology in Byzantium. My intention is to discuss this hypothesis with a focus on the Trebizond’s topography. In this regard, the primary objective of this project is to put together a topographical map of ceremonial and establish the main sites of official rituals, and ceremonial routes of Trebizond which will allow me compare in detail the ceremonial topography of Trebizond and Constantinople.
Lee is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of California - Los Angeles. His research interests cover the centuries of Byzantine-Ottoman transition period as well as the broader Mediterranean world from antiquity to the early modern. His dissertation, under the working title Mirrors of the World: The Alexander Romances and the Fifteenth Century Ottoman Sultanate focuses on the role of the Alexander Romances in a fifteenth century Ottoman context and their representations of Ottoman kingship. In addition to his tenure at UCLA, Lee has also received a MA in History from UCLA, an MA in Museology from the University of Washington and a BA from Michigan State University in Interdisciplinary Humanities focusing on English, Russian and Communications. He is an avid learner of languages, having achieved competency in French, Italian, German, Russian, Turkish, Greek, Latin, Persian, Arabic, Hungarian, Swedish, and Classical Armenian. Lee appreciates the opportunity to join RCAC as a Junior Residence Fellow and anticipates a stimulating and productive year in Istanbul.
I applied for the RCAC fellowship with a project titled “Double-leaseholders and Ottoman officials: Governing waqf property in Rumelia, 1739–1774”. My areas of expertise include jurisprudence, legal historiography, Ottoman law, Ottoman court records, and teaching cases related to Ottoman personal law and family law, Ottoman Turkish (riq‘a, diwani, and ta‘liq). All these have sprung from my somewhat unique academic background. I completed my LL.B. at Istanbul University’s Faculty of Law, and received my LL.M. in Public Law at Marmara University in 2010, with a dissertation titled “The Ottoman law of suretyship (kefalet) in the light of Galata and Istanbul court records, 1791–1795.” Presently, I am a J.D. candidate studying on my dissertation entitled “Restoration and reconstruction processes of waqf property in Ottoman law: The case of eighteenth century Rumelia” at Marmara University’s Faculty of Law and a research and teaching assistant at the Department of Legal History in the same Faculty. My research on the intersection of law, history and social sciences in Türkiye led me to focus on the waqfs. For my doctoral research, I have done research in the Office of the Prime Minister Ottoman Archives, Court Records Archives and several other manuscript libraries in Istanbul. I was also at Brown University History Department as a visiting researcher during 2013.
I am studying three groups of Middle Byzantine architectural Sculptures from Athens. The main group consists of all Middle Byzantine sculptures from the Athenian Agora. The other two groups are from sculptures from Hadrian’s Library and the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens with origin the Athenian Agora.
I intend to examine the progressive development of the form and decoration of the architectural sculptures from Middle Byzantine Athens, their trade, and activity of the marble-carving workshops during this period in general and specifically for each century, from the mid-9th to the 12th centuries.
My doctoral research comprises five primary stages:
Compilation of a catalogue (including detailed entries) of the architectural sculptures that constitute the main focus of my research.
Classification of the archaeological material into meaningful groups, and establishing their chronology.
Determination of the precise origin of the Middle Byzantine architectural ensemble of the Agora through research in the Archives of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the Agora Excavations, and the Gennadius Library.
A close analysis of the literary and epigraphic sources, with a special emphasis on Byzantine texts dealing with the topography and architecture of the city of Athens, as well as the broader region during the Middle Byzantine period.
Systematic study of the marble-carving workshops of Attica.
During my stay in Istanbul, I will try to date the Athenian material with equivalent material from the capital of Byzantine Empire and Asia Minor.
My dissertation explores human and commodity chains between Istanbul and Egypt’s Mediterranean port cities of Rosetta, Damietta, and Alexandria to highlight the important role of provincial wealth in Ottoman geopolitics and administrative reforms between 1750 and 1820. I follow goods such as wheat, linen, and rice through the hands of large landowners, local brokers, Mediterranean merchants, and Mamluk and Ottoman government officials to shed light on a vital and unexplored facet of the Ottoman political economy. Rather than treat Egypt as autonomous and anomalous, I argue that Egypt provides an ideal case study of the intersections between regional commercialization and Ottoman imperial governance, an important missing link in our understanding of imperial “decentralization” in the eighteenth century.
Triangulating from archival sources in Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, and French, my project challenges the narratives that modern economic transformations and administrative reforms arrived in the Ottoman Empire from “outside.” Attention to the neglected role of individuals and groups invested in Egyptian land, agriculture, shipping, and commerce in Ottoman politics and strategic affairs thus provides an alternative lens through which to analyze the intersection of capital and state-formation that lies at the heart of many seminal and recent articulations of global early modernity.
My dissertation focuses on the social practices of property in nineteenth-century Istanbul, and examines how property relations were entangled at the interface of distinctive modes of urban modernity. My project reveals how property mediated personal, communal, and state-society relations in the process of urban re-planning and spatio-temporal restructuring that the Ottoman capital as well as many other cities went through in disparate contexts throughout the world during this same historical period. I explore the reconfiguration of urban space and the emergence of wide and straight streets on a grid system as the dominant form of urban typology. This new form of the street was not only a matter of new urban aesthetics but also the space where the rhythm of the rent market was restructured for the creation and recreation of new use and exchange values in the built environment. I call this change “street capitalism,” and measure it against narrative and legal strategies that different historical actors fashioned in juxtaposition to uneven and compelling processes of modernization in their daily environment with reference to their social and moral values as well as customary practices. I explore moments of contestation, contradiction, ambiguity, negotiation, persuasion, opposition as well compliance in the space of the ‘modern’ – the street – where property owners fashioned competing notions of justice and morality in the collective and social production of property. Drawing on a large corpus of neglected petitions presented by property owners, court cases, narrative sources, and cadastral surveys, my work aims to reveal how the discourses of modernity, state legitimacy and justice were localized as tangible practices on the ground.
Yorgos Makris is a final-year PhD candidate in Byzantine Studies at the University of Birmingham. His dissertation is the first comprehensive study of the monks and monastic foundations of Byzantine Thrace from the tenth to fourteenth centuries. By drawing on a rich array of textual sources and extensive archaeological fieldwork in Türkiye and Greece, his study traces the development and spatial organization of monasticism in Thrace, and elucidates the concept of the “holy mountain” within the religious culture of the Byzantine world. The fields of his interests encompass Byzantine material culture, the archaeology of monasticism, and the relationship between monasteries and lay society in the Middle Ages. Makris most recently held a Junior Fellowship in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. During his time at the RCAC, he will prepare his thesis for publication as a monograph on the cultural history of Byzantine Thrace, offering an integrated view of the social and economic lives of indigenous inhabitants in town and countryside.
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Michigan. My research focuses on the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages in western Anatolia and the eastern Aegean, theoretical approaches to mobility, identity formation processes and material culture change. My dissertation examines the role of human mobility with the aim of evaluating the extent to which different forms of movements might have contributed to the changing sociocultural milieu in western Anatolia and the southeastern Aegean during the end of the 2nd millennium and the beginning of the 1st millennium BCE. In addition to past survey and excavation experience in Italy, Bulgaria, and the Republic of Georgia (Vani Regional Survey), I am currently working in Greece (Serraglio, Eleona, and Langada Archaeological Project on Kos) and in Türkiye (Kaymakçı Archaeological Project).
My research centers on the nasihatname or advice treatises in Ottoman literature. I am most interested in the evolution of this genre from the 16th through 17th centuries, as well as its relation to other genres, such as historiography, philosophical works, and sefaretnames. While considering the Islamo-Persian, Arabic, and Turkic precedents of the nasihatname, I argue that this genre became a specifically Ottoman phenomenon. I have two major goals with my research while at the RCAC. The first is to compile a comprehensive bibliography of extant nasihatnames. I hope to establish the peramters of the genre as consciously established by its participants. The second goal is to explain how and why the nasihatname seemingly became obsolete by the 18th century; shifts in the sociopolitical, economic, and literary environment undoubtedly impacted the trajectory of political literature. I will also locate the nasihatname as a part of greater trends in the reformist literature of the Ottoman Empire and draw parallels to the modern era in order to increase our understanding of Middle Eastern political culture.
My research focuses on the Middle and Late Bronze Age of Western Anatolia and the Aegean. The goal of my dissertation research is to interrogate the traditional definition of the “citadel” in these regions by investigating the use and organization of space within and around fortified sites. In addition to engaging with theoretical literature on household archaeology and the ways that walls structure space, I will be using sediment geochemistry as a way to identify activity areas and map their distribution across space. I also hope to integrate this data with geophysical and excavation data where available. I am also generally interested in archaeological science and in digital archaeology.
My doctoral project focuses on the investigation of local developments in sedentism and site networks during the Neolithic occupation of the Konya Plain through the stratigraphic microanalysis of buildings and open spaces at the prehistoric mega-site of Çatalhöyük (8th-6th millennium BC cal), the herder campsite of Pınarbaşı (9th-7th millennium BC cal), and the early agricultural settlement of Boncuklu (9th-8th millennium BC cal).
This research involves the micromorphological study of house floors and middens, aimed at identifying the nature, deposition, and periodicity of components indicating particular domestic activities such as storage, fuel procurement and cooking practices, with special attention to the ecological and social variations of these. Targeted microchemical analyses comprising FTIR, SEM-EDX and pXRF contribute to the characterisation of specific deposits and elements related to changes caused by human activities.
The integration of these high-resolution techniques has allowed for the identification of significant differences in the use of open areas between the three study sites, as well as for the documentation of continuity and change in the selection and use of architectural and fuel resources. Preliminary results highlight the complex relationship between Neolithic communities and their wider socio-ecological environs.
My doctoral thesis focuses on the development of body ornamentation at Neolithic Çatalhöyük (7400-6000 BC) and the link between external display and preferences behind it. This research puts the focus on inferring the social processes involved in the use of bodily decoration and establishing how these practices reflect the relationship between humans and things.
Çatalhöyük offers an excellent dataset to address these questions, as there are numerous burials as well as a large sample of personal adornment items from other types of contexts. The main contribution of this research is the synthesis of all aspects of personal adornment by bringing together the numerous types of artefacts in order to gain a fuller understanding of the personal adornment. Individually, one material class can never fully illuminate the complex relationships of humans and things, nor the manifestations of personal and communal identities, and the full suite of adornment needs to be analyzed together. Therefore, this research incorporates the large amount of beads and pendants (>38 000) of various materials, less numerous ornaments such as finger rings, armbands, pins, and collars, as well as pigments used for body painting. In order to understand the relationship between the Çatalhöyük inhabitants and their adornment, this research explores the contextual, spatial and temporal distribution of items of bodily ornamentation as well as their depiction on wall paintings and figurines.
I completed my PhD in Archaeology at the University of Liverpool and graduated in July 2014. During my time at the RCAC I am aim to finish a book on the socio-economic organisation of Urartian Kingdom and have already signed a contract with Brill. The book, working title Kings of the Mountain: A New Socio-Economic History of the Urartian Kingdom, will be a major contribution to scholarship of Urartu. The aims of this book are to provide a comprehensive synthesis and critical review of the available evidence for the socio-economic structure of the Urartian kingdom (of the 9th-6th centuries BC) and, by doing so, to analyse and critique previous interpretations of the subject. Unlike previous studies this book will present a systematic review of the geographical, archaeological and textual evidence in Urartian (and Assyrian, where relevant) as well as original ethnographic observations in order to analyse the administrative organisation and economic structure of the kingdom. In addition to publishing my book I also hope to be able to begin work on an article ‘Urartu between East and West: Ideologies and Interpretations’ to be published in a peer-review journal, time permitting. This article will present a critical historical overview of the development of theories about the nature of the Urartian economy throughout the Twentieth Century.
I am an historian specialized on eleventh-twelfth-century Iran. I have worked extensively on the transformation of local urban societies (esp. Isfahan) under Saljuq rule. I am also working on manuscripts (Imad al-Din Isfahani’s unpublished chronicle of the Saljuqs) as well as insha material and Persian poetry. My main project however aims to clarify the geographical setting of Saljuq kingship: How did the Saljuq rulers occupy and control their territory? To what extent were they following an itinerant way of life? What was their relationship to the cities? Where did they live? Answering such technical questions provide is key to understand the structure of the Turkish domination itself, its relationship with the local societies as well as the workings of the acculturation process (if any).
Previous researches I have conducted on the lifestyle of the Great Seljuqs (1040-1194) in Iran showed that not only the sultans kept following a semi-itinerant way of life even in peace time, but they spent most of their life with their court in extra-urban tented camps, very much like the Mongols. During this year at the RCAC, I intend to put these results into perspective with the case of the Saljuqs in thirteenth century Anatolia, to analyze how and why both situations differ.
My current research project at Koc University RCAC Program is mainly concerned with the American missionary work and the Greek Protestants in 19th-century Ottoman Empire. It’s a project which investigates, among other themes, issues of conversion, and the education at the American mission’s schools. More specifically, I will be dealing with the history of a Greek Protestant pastor’s family across two generations. Since this was a rather mobile family whose most second-generation members emigrated from the Ottoman Empire to the USA in the 1910s and 1920s, another main theme of the project will be transatlantic migration of the Ottoman and non-Ottoman subjects from the region during this period.
The 1831 fire of Pera is a rather neglected chapter of the urban and architectural history of Istanbul. Up to that date, the development of this faubourg - resulting from the expansion extra-muros of the Genoese, walled settlement of Galata – had followed substantially Ottoman lines, with timber residential structures occupying loosely the slopes toward Marmara and the Golden Horn. Even the landmarks of Catholic religion and European diplomacy, on and off the Grand Rue (today İstiklal), adopted many features of the local architectural culture. The first part of my research is meant to show how, beyond physical destruction, the 1831 fire obliterated a hybrid, trans-national landscape of balances and overlaps between local and foreign visual/urban cultures. The second part will assess the projects for the reconstruction of the embassies in unprecedented monumental scale, and mostly in the forms of Western academic classicism. Using visual and textual archival sources from distant institutions, and observing the European embassies of Beyoğlu as a dynamic, interacting and evolving system (rather as isolated national landmarks), will help understand how the so-called “Eastern Question” and the was inscribed, encoded and re-written in the rich urban palimpsest of Pera by multiple, diverse and competing actors.
Paolo Girardelli (Boğaziçi University, Dept. of History) is an art and architectural historian working especially on the visual/spatial dimension of European and non-Muslim presence in the late Ottoman cities. He was Aga Khan Fellow at MIT in 2005-06, and chercheur invité at the Institut national de l’histoire de l’art (INHA, Paris) in 2013. His publications focus on the relation between space, diplomacy, religion and communal identities.
Buket Kitapçı Bayrı earned her Ph.D. degree from Université de Paris 1/Panthéon-Sorbonne and University of Boğaziçi (2010-cotutelle program). She has articles on late medieval Byzantine martyrdom narratives and on the perception of Byzantium in modern Turkish popular cinema and literature. She currently works on an article on food, feast and fasting as identity markers in late medieval Anatolia. She has been teaching at Bilgi University as an adjunct assistant professor since 2011. She also taught courses on Byzantine history at Yeditepe and Boğaziçi Universities.
Her ongoing project, Romans, Rums, Kafirs. Transformation of Identity in Late Medieval Anatolia and in the Balkans, at RCAC aims to revise her (honors) doctoral dissertation into a monograph. Through a close reading and deconstruction of both the Byzantine martyrdom narratives and the Turkish-Muslim frontier narratives as well as narratives recounting the lives of the dervishes, which have been until now studied only in terms of the transformation of the religious component of the Byzantine (Roman) identity, she argues that this religious component to be inseparable from the political and territorial components of both Byzantine and Turkish Muslim self-identifications. Apart from political and territorial markers of the Byzantine and the Turkish Muslim identity, she also puts emphasis on the cultural markers such as food, commensality and fasting.
Joseph (Seppi) Lehner did his BS in Anthropology and Geology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and his PhD in Archaeology at the University of California - Los Angeles, finished just recently in June of 2015. Before coming to Koç, Seppi was an Alexander von Humboldt German Chancellor Fellow at the University of Tübingen and the Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie. His dissertation, Cooperation, the Craft Economy, and Metal Technology during the Bronze and Iron Ages in Central Anatolia, examined the critical junctures of long distance trade and labor organization and how these develop alongside the evolution of regional centers. Seppi studied materials from two of the largest regional centers in central Anatolia, Boğazköy-Hattuša and Kerkenes Dağ, to better understand these processes here and how they compare to similar developments elsewhere in the ancient world. Seppi is also involved in the development of new archaeometric methods in microstructural, compositional, and isotopic analyses, in particular focusing on portable methods like pXRF, to help answer questions pertaining to human cultural evolution.
My project, “The Domestication of Humans through Architecture” explores how people socially adapted to a changing built environment and the reciprocal influences of the built environment on the formation and expression of cultural identity. Ancient architecture is one medium to express and contest cultural identity and document the emergence of social inequality. My research explores the mutual constitution between the built environment and rise of complex societies in Anatolia through a compositional analysis of mud-bricks in architecture. Mud-bricks can provide empirical data to understand how material choices can reflect codes of social values and ideology through a process of social technology. Mud-brick compositions quantifiably recognize brick-maker recipes, where combinations of raw materials were used between different buildings and compositional variation relates to social inequality. The relationship between architecture and cultural identity is demonstrated through case studies, from the Neolithic through to the Bronze Age Neolithic (8400 BCE) to Bronze Age (1600 BCE), including Boncuklu, Çatalhöyük, Çadır Höyük, and Early Bronze levels at Tell Tayinat. Through a comparative analysis, my research considers architecture as material culture, where mud-bricks are interpreted as objects reflexive of human behavior, which are metaphors for an engagement with the environment and an outlet for symbolic communication.
Ralf Vandam conducts research on human-environment interactions, the social dynamics of early village societies and the emergence of early complexity in Western Anatolia. He completed his PhD on the Late Prehistoric (8000 – 2000 BC) cultural landscape of the Burdur Plain, SW Türkiye, at the University of Leuven in 2014. For this research he co-directed an intensive archaeological survey project in the vicinity of ancient Hacılar from 2010-2012, with additional material study campaigns in 2013 and 2014. After his PhD he was granted a Belgian American Educational Foundation fellowship for a one year post-doc at the University at Buffalo and its Institute of European and Mediterranean Archaeology. During that year he focused on the Late Chalcolithic-Early Bronze Age transition in Western Anatolia in order to shed a light on the emergence of early complexity. At RCAC he will characterize Late Prehistoric exchange and interaction networks in the Burdur Region in relation to the increasing complexity. Dr. Vandam is affiliated to the interdisciplinary archaeological research project at Sagalassos and appointed as an Assistant Research Professor at the University at Buffalo.
For almost a decade, Anatolia has been the main focus of my research. My MA thesis and my doctoral dissertation were both dedicated to the study of Anatolian fortifications. I got my PhD from Bordeaux University in 2012.
I joined the Swedish expedition in Labraunda (Caria) in 2010 and since 2012 I am conducting excavations on the Classical and Hellenistic fortress dominating the sanctuary of Zeus Labraundos. In 2014, I started a new project focusing on the city walls of the neighbouring site of Eurômos.
My research aims at providing the first comprehensive archaeological documentation of Carian fortifications from Classical and Hellenistic periods through the study of two different sites - a city and a rural fortress - within a small geographical area (inland Caria). What makes this project original is that, in Caria, no fortification has ever been dated through stratigraphical analysis. Providing a precise date for the construction and the use of these monuments will ultimately help filling the gaps in Carian political and military history, especially in the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s conquest.
The research on the field has yielded very interesting results regarding the chronology of these two defense systems but it has also provided a tremendous amount of information concerning daily life inside these constructions. My fellowship time at the RCAC will be dedicated to the treatment of the fieldwork data from both Eurômos and Labraunda and to the redaction of the monograph on Labraunda defensive network.
I received my BA and MA degrees in Classical Archaeology at the Sofia Univeristy “St. Kliment Ohridski”. There I also defended my PhD dissertation in 2013 – “The Imperial Cult in the Roman Province of Thrace”. Currently I am working as a Chief Assistant Professor in the Department of Classical Archaeology at the National Institute of Archaeology with Museum in Sofia, part of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
My research interests include Greek and Roman epigraphy, ancient religion and propaganda, cult architecture and priesthoods. I am also profoundly fascinated with the administration and social structure of the eastern Roman provinces. My project at the RCAC – “Mechanisms of damnatio memoriae in Roman Asia Minor in the 3rd century CE” – is a follow-up of some ideas that developed while writing my doctoral thesis. It is devoted to damnatio memoriae, or condemnation of memory – a punishment applied towards the images and names of the so called “bad” Roman emperors after their death. The project will deal with the manifestations of this phenomenon in Asia Minor. The topic is surprisingly understudied and contains a great potential for the better understanding of the persisting “center vs. periphery” discussion in terms of the Roman imperial cult. For the purpose, I intend to survey the best documented provinces of Roman Asia Minor in the 3rd century. My research will focus mainly on the rich epigraphic record in order to single out the deleted names in the inscriptions. Furthermore, I will study imperial portraits, coins, gems and any other media with imperial images, which will help me prepare a substantial database for comparative analysis.
My long-term research interest are Minoan peak sanctuaries in general and Mt Juktas in north-central Crete in particular. The systematic excavation of the Archaeological Society at Athens (1974-1992), under my direction, has proved that the peak sanctuary on Mt Juktas is unusual, primarily for its chronological range, its monumental structures and its wealth and variety of finds, all of which must arise from its special relationship with the palatial area controlled by Knossos and its environs. The cult on the peak sanctuary began in the Prepalatial period and continued up to the Late Geometric period. In other words, the sanctuary was in use for a millennium. In the deep fissures of the rocky surface on which the sanctuary was built, the oldest proof of human activity was found: good quality Early Minoan IIB pottery. By the Protopalatial period, Juktas was part of the Minoan network of peak sanctuaries, attracting a wide variety of offerings. Cult was concentrated on the north summit, focused on a built altar and a rock chasm adding drama to the already impressive location. I intend to study the Hittite temples and high places of Anatolia with reference to Aegean open-air sanctuaries, shrines with temenos wall, or altars on mountains (like the Anatolian Mt Olympus/Kassion). The Cretan peak sanctuaries are the result of true urbanisation. It would be extremely informative to compare them with Anatolia and the Near East.
Petrol for the Padişah: Oil Concessions and Ottoman Environmentality, 1868-1928
Pottery from the So-called Byzantine Palace in Ephesos. A Contribution to the Material Culture from the 5th-11th Century AD in Western Asia Minor
Looking for a Carian Facies of the Sanctuary of Zeus Labraundeus from Achaemenid to Roman Times
From the Capital to the Provinces: Armenian Photographers in the Late Ottoman Period
As a conservation architect (METU BArch 1998; METU MSc Historic Preservation 2002), I have worked in the heritage conservation field on various projects across Türkiye –including archaeological sites, World Heritage Sites and historic urban areas– for a number of organizations, including KA-BA Ltd, The Chamber of Architects of Türkiye and METU. I have undertaken fieldwork at several excavations and surveys (including Magnesia, Çaltılar Höyük, Yalburt, and Gre-Amer Höyük). In 2010-11, I was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool, UK (Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology). I am a member of a number of international heritage and archaeology organisations, including ICOMOS Türkiye and the European Association of Archaeologists. I am in the process of finalizing my PhD at METU on the role of foreign-run excavations in the conservation of archaeological sites in Türkiye. Project at the RCAC “Çaltılar Höyük Archaeological Management Plan” (CHAMP) aims to prepare a values-based and community-focused management plan for Çaltılar Höyük and its environs, a mound located in the Seydikemer district of Muğla Province. Çaltılar Höyük has been researched in 2008-14 during the joint archaeological survey of the universities of Bristol (UK), Liverpool (UK) and Uludağ (TR). In addition to its archaeological goals, the project sought to engage and collaborate with the local community. This survey also led to the EU-financed “Illuminating the Land of Lights Project” carried out by the Fethiye Museum with the University of Liverpool’s Victoria Gallery and Museum and its Department of Archaeology, to create heritage education resource centres in the rural districts of Muğla. These efforts have generated local expectation for research to continue, including future archaeological excavations, all of which require a framework for decision-making. Building on these existing relationships, the aim is to produce a management plan by bringing together all interest groups to determine the values of the site (tangible and intangible), create a joint vision for the site and thereby provide for the sustainable conservation of Çaltılar Höyük and environs.
Ashley Dimmig is in her fourth year of the Ph.D. program in the History of Art Department at the University of Michigan, where she focuses on Islamic art history with Dr. Christiane Gruber. Ashley has earned two Master’s degrees in Art History—one from Indiana University Bloomington and a second from Koç University in Istanbul, as well as a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute. For the 2015-2016 academic year Ashley holds the Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi Fellowship in Ottoman Architectural Culture and History at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations in Istanbul. While in residence in Istanbul Ashley will conduct her dissertation research on imperial tents in the late Ottoman period—a subject she has begun to explore in an article published in July 2014 in an edited volume of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. She also recently co-curated an exhibition at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology in Ann Arbor, and co-authored the exhibition catalogue, “Pearls of Wisdom: The Arts of Islam at the University of Michigan.”
My research interest mainly focuses on discussing and developing a management perspective for the continuity of historic public open spaces and seeks to propose a holistic approach for conservation that focuses both on social, cultural and economic aspects. Parallel to my research interests, during my studies for “Kaplan Junior Fellowship in Archaeological Site Management”, I am planning to focus on a project titled “A Tale of Three Public Squares: Developing Management Strategies for Continuity of Historic Urban Areas Through The Cases of Atpazarı, Ulus and Kızılay in Ankara”.
Most of the public open spaces of Historic Ankara – are located within the territory of either archeological or urban site – embody physical and social qualities of different cultures and continued to be used from the Roman period onwards. Because of this reason, a holistic approach which is derived from analyzing and evaluating these spaces in a historical continuum should be developed to understand and conserve their multi-layered characteristics. Therefore, three squares namely Atpazarı, Ulus and Kızılay which reflect public open space understanding of different periods in Ankara, are selected within the scope of this project. The first case, Atpazarı Square, which is located in front of the Citadel gate, was used from the Byzantine times onwards and can be regarded as the most important square of the city in terms of commerce, arts and crafts during classical Ottoman Period. On the other hand, Ulus Square, which is located at the foothill of the historic Ankara, assumed to be used as a part of the Agora in Roman Period and with the decline of Yukarı Yüz (especially after the fire that occurred in 1881), this square becomes the one and only public open square of Ankara in the late Ottoman Period. Different than other cases, the last case Kızılay Square, which is located at the center of Yenişehir district, was produced from scratch as a response to the demands of modern city planning of the capital in the early Republican Period.
Consequently the project aims to discuss transformation process of Atpazarı, Ulus and Kızılay Squares and tries to understand main factors that affect physical and socio-cultural context of these spaces. In this respect, the research discusses the possibility of developing a management strategy for public open spaces by means of historic urban landscape approach that considers not only physical qualities, but also functional, social, spiritual qualities and discusses how the space is perceived by the users and sustainability of everyday activities. By this way, outcomes of the project will create a basis for future activities to define a holistic approach for conservation and management plans of historic urban areas.
Meltem Uçar holds a Ph.D. degree from Department of Architecture, Graduate Program in Restoration, METU in 2007. Currently, she is employed as an assistant professor doctor at Mersin University, Department of Architecture.
At RCAC she works on the historical water system in Gaziantep. The historical water supply system in Gaziantep is a large system, spreading out beneath the entire settlement. The main structure of the system is a tunnel referred to as the livas, which is a man-made tunnel with a self-supporting structure that works based on the gravitation. Livas system provides water to many mosques, baths, kastel, fountains as well as the wells and pools of the houses in the city. It is clear that the system dates back to the early times of the city, and has been added to over time in parallel with the growing settlement. The livas system in Gaziantep resembles a qanat system, and, as such, a part of the water culture that is said to be originated in Persia about 2,500 or 3,000 years ago. The water structure in Gaziantep has some unique characteristics, including its considerable size and its kastel buildings, which are also underground structures, at depths based on the level of the livas system. To this end, she aims to work on developing a management plan for the preservation and presentation of this historical water structure in Gaziantep.
To this end, I aim to work on developing a management plan for the preservation and presentation of this historical water structure in Gaziantep. Furthermore, I aim to identify all of the necessary components for the conservation of such a complex heritage asset, with the intention of addressing all architectural, archaeological, engineering and socio-cultural issues.
Hittite Perception of Space
My university education consists in a B.A. in archaeology (University of Dijon, France) and in a M.A. in biological anthropology (University of Bordeaux, France). Before my PhD, I worked during two years in rescue archeology as an archeo-anthropologist for two French public departments. I started conducting researches in Anatolia for my PhD when I was proposed in 2010 to launch the excavation of a roman house-tomb in Hierapolis of Phrygia. The analysis of funeral gestures and practices, through archeothanatology, osteological quantification, stratigraphy and study of funeral goods, allowed to reconstitute the management of this densely occupied tomb (MNI: 293 individuals) over a long time, from Augustan period to the VIIth century. I defended my Ph.D. thesis in december 2015; I am now extending my researches on Asia Minor; my aim is to understand how funeral spaces, from the skeletons scale to the necropolis scale were conceived and managed, in order to overtake the rather static vision we have of the funeral monuments.
Besides my researches in RCAC, I work for the Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hierapolis di Frigia and am affiliated to the Institut Français d’Etudes Anatoliennes.
I studied history in Barcelona (UAB) and after I moved to London to do my MA (RHUL). My dissertation focused on the reasons behind Manuel I’s latinophilia. My PhD thesis (KCL, 2014), entitled The Western presence in the Byzantine Empire during the reigns of Alexios I and John II (1081-1143), included a section on the introduction of bell-ringing in Byzantium before 1204. At the RCAC I am going to continue my research on this topic by looking at bell-ringing during the Late Byzantine period (1261-1204). The use of large bells in Byzantium for religious purposes is a rather unknown aspect. Bell-ringing has not received much scholarly attention and Byzantinists have mainly looked at bell-towers. My aim is to study both the written sources (chronicles, travel accounts) and the archaeological remains (bells, bell-towers) in Türkiye. While the remains of bells (Istanbul Archaeological Museums) and bell-towers (Hagia Sophia, Trabzon) are scarce, I aim to discover new material on this under-researched subject. Researching the real extent of the use of bells in Byzantium will provide us with information about the cultural changes that took place at different levels during the last centuries of Byzantium, resulting in innovations in architecture and religious traditions.
Sean Nelson received his Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Southern California in 2015. His research focuses on the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and their efforts to fashion the Ottoman Empire in image, text, and object. He was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin in 2012, the Kunsthistorisches Institute in Florence from 2012-2014, and at the USC-Early Modern Studies Institute at the Huntington Library, San Marino in 2015. His research has also been funded by the Getty Foundation’s initiative “Connecting Art Histories” with trips to Sarajevo and Dubrovnik. In 2015 he will be the RCAC-VIT post-doctoral fellow working on his project “Imagining Ottoman Jerusalem in Early Modern Italy.” This multi-disciplinary project will address the ways in which Italian visual and textual conceptions of Jerusalem changed after the city’s incorporation into the Ottoman Empire in 1517. In particular it will observe Süleyman I’s architectural interventions within the city and their reception in the Italian peninsula.