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American Archaeologists in Turkey: Intellectual and Social Dimensions Charles Gates
  Journal of American Studies of Turkey 4 (1996) : 47-68. American Archaeologists in Turkey: Intellectual and Social Dimensions  Charles Gates A standard Turkish concept about archaeology, one attested by my students, ( Note 1) is that Turkey is exceptionally rich in archaeological remains and, as a result, foreigners naturally want to work here. But the world is full of archaeological remains, even North America. The reasons why American and other foreign archaeologists might choose to undertake research in Turkey instead of in other countries are more complex than the Turkish public generally realizes. In this article I examine the motives of American archaeologists who have worked in Turkey. What they have found will be less important than why they came here in the first place. Aspects of the problem include the academic/intellectual framework into which the archaeology of Turkey fits in the United States, socio-political factors, and changes through time. American archaeology in Turkey is seen to be a component of US social and intellectual history, but it is a part of the social and intellectual history of Turkey as well. ( Note 2) Archaeology in Turkey can be divided into three major periods: Pre-Classical, Classical (Greek and Roman), and Medieval-Modern (Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman). This article is concerned with the American activities in the first two, the third having rarely been the primary focus of archaeological work except when the architectural history of specific buildings is under investigation. One further restriction: I shall concentrate on work done within the borders of the Turkish Republic of today, making only passing reference to research in adjacent areas once held by the Ottoman Empire. The Intellectual Background  Scientific archaeology began in Turkey in the second half of the 19th century under the influence of European scholarship. Earlier, from the Renaissance on, Europeans (and by extension Americans) had developed a keen interest in the material remains of Classical cultures, especially of the Romans (who had occupied all of southern and much of central Europe), with a focus on Italy (always a goal of artistically-minded travellers). Classical culture had been known throughout the Middle Ages, of course, especially with Latin in use as the liturgical language and lingua  franca  of Western Christianity. After the Middle Ages, Roman and indeed all  Classical culture continued to be valued for its moral and political authority (West; and Richard). As a result, Latin especially, but also Greek were widely studied, even in Protestant areas, well into the 20th century (Clarke). In addition to this interest in ancient literature, chance finds of Roman sculpture during the Italian Renaissance contributed to the growing fascination with the material remains of antiquity. One thinks especially of the Laocoon, the dramatic Hellenistic-Roman statue group discovered in 1506 during a probing into the palace buildings of the emperors Nero and Titus in the center of Rome; the impact of this sculpture in the Renaissance was enormous (Bober and Rubinstein 152-155; Haskell and Penny 243-247). In addition, collections of Classical objects were formed (Weiss 180-202); and at Pompeii, organized explorations began in 1748 and have continued to the present day (Kraus 13-25). The Ottoman Empire controlled lands once key provinces of ancient Greek and Roman civilization. Travellers from Western Europe were few before the later 18th century; restrictions and rigors of travel discouraging most (Stoneman 22-164; Eisner 37-88; and Dinsmoor xvii-xxiii, for travellers interested specifically in Greek architecture). When European travellers did make the trip and report on their findings, the impact was tremendous (Constantine). James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, architects who published detailed drawings of ancient Greek architectural  pieces seen during a trip to Greece in 1751-1753, are well-known representatives of those voyagers whose work stimulated an interest in the specifically Greek component of the Classical world. Johannes Winckelmann, a German scholar and librarian resident in Rome, never travelled east of the Adriatic, but nonetheless championed Greek art at the expense of later and derivative Roman in his highly influential Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums  (  History of Ancient     Art  ) of 1764. Publications such as these led to the rise of the Neo-Classical style in European art and architecture in the second half of the 18th century. In the 19th century, European travellers continued to describe ancient sites in Anatolia, and make drawings of the monuments (Stoneman 207-236 and 265-296). In addition, they often took objects away, actual examples of Classical art, whether or not official permits were granted. Ottoman authorities had paid scant attention to such activities. This is not surprising, for the Latin and Greek languages and Classical cultures naturally enough did not feature in the Islamic-oriented education of Ottoman officials or resonate in their daily lives (Davison,  Reform in the Ottoman Empire 1856-1876   32-35; and Findley 51-56). Only with the quickening of interest in European culture from the 1850s on did the Ottoman intelligentsia develop along with Europeans a curiosity toward the antiquities of their lands (for education and intellectual developments in the 19th century Ottoman empire, see also Davison, Westernized Education in Ottoman Turkey and Davison,  Reform in the Ottoman Empire,    passim ; Findley 131-173; Shaw and Shaw 47-48, 105-113, 249-251, 447-448, and  passim ; and Ülken 35-93).  In the second half of the 19th century, important changes took place in archaeology as practiced in the Ottoman Empire (Arsebük 68-71). Archaeological sites began to  be examined in a controlled way. Records were kept of the finds, and accounts of discoveries were published for the benefit of scholars and the general public. These developments were not exclusive to work in the Ottoman Empire, but were part of  broader changes in scientific methods in 19th-century Europe (Daniel 48-147; and Trigger 73-206). At Classical sites in what is today Turkey, there was a gradual shift toward this approach. Sustained campaigns were undertaken, as at Pergamon ( Note 3), not just raids on a single monument. At Troy in northwestern Turkey, Heinrich Schliemann brought to light the impressive remains of a prehistoric citadel, but the search grew out of his deep interest in the literature of ancient Greece (Schliemann, Troy and its Remains  3-8 and Schliemann,  Ilios: The City and Country of the Trojans  1-20). Schliemann and especially his assistant and successor Wilhelm Dörpfeld published their finds with admirable promptness, providing an important early contribution to Bronze Age Aegean studies (Blegen 21-37 and 175-176; for a critical view of Schliemanns honesty, see Traill, Excavating Schliemann: Collected Papers on Schliemann  and Traill, Schliemann of Troy. Treasure and     Deceit  ). The Ottoman government itself developed an interest in things Classical (Atasoy 1458-1465). Sultan Abdulmejid and his son-in-law Fethi Ahmet Pasha began a collection of antiquities in 1845, the basis for the Archaeological Museum of stanbul. Stored first in the Hagia Eirene, a disaffected Byzantine church on the grounds of the Topkapý Palace, then later transferred to the Çinili Köþk, a pavilion  built by Mehmet II, the collection obtained the home it deserved with the opening of the present museum in 1891. Led by Europeans, Edward Goold then Anton Dethier, the museum moved into a new era of expansion and activity with the appointment in 1881 of Osman Hamdi Bey as director. He would remain in this  position until his death in 1910. Laws regulating archaeological activities were issued first in 1874, then revised in 1884. This last set, which included a prohibition on the export of antiquities, continued in effect with minor revisions until 1973 (Atasoy 1463-1465; see also Blake 274-281, with occasionally differing information). American Archaeology in Turkey before World War I It was into this world that American archaeologists first stepped in 1881. Architects Joseph Clarke and Francis Bacon conducted excavations at Assos, in northwestern Turkey, on behalf of the Archaeological Institute of America from 1881 to 1883 (Clarke,  Report on the Investigations at Assos, 1881  and Clarke,  Report on the  Investigations at Assos, 1882,   1883 ; Clarke, Bacon, and Koldewey; and PECS  104-105). For a first foray into Classical archaeology, Assos seems a surprising choice: a remote town that figured little in ancient history. But Clarke and Bacons interest was architecture, and Assos contains an early and unusual Temple of Athena, ca. 550 BC, an example of the Doric order combined with unexpected architectural  sculpture in a region dominated by the Ionic order. The two architects, aiming to recover actual examples of ancient Greek architecture (Van Zanten 178), stood firmly in the 19th-century tradition of historians of Classical art and architecture. The next American project was at Sardis, where Howard Crosby Butler, another architectural historian who had already worked on Late Roman sites in Syria, directed excavations from 1910 to 1914. ( Note 4) Like the excavations at Assos, the Sardis project had Classical tie-ins; indeed, before World War I, no American expedition was mounted in search of prehistoric remains within the borders of today's Turkey. Butlers aim was to get information about the Near Eastern contribution to Classical art and architecture. But as it so happened, work focused on the huge Hellenistic-Roman Temple of Artemis. The project was stopped by the outbreak of World War I. Appointed in 1919 to head the newly-founded School of Architecture at Princeton University, Butler returned only briefly to Sardis in 1921  before his death at age 50 in 1922 ( Note 5) (Van Zanten 176 and 178-182). Let us characterize American archaeology in the Mediterranean, Near East, and Egypt on the eve of World War I. Classical art reigned supreme. It was taught as an adjunct to language and literature in Classics departments, and formed the major component of programs in art history departments founded especially in the Ivy League colleges and in womens colleges (Smyth and Lukehart). Major research centers for Classical studies had been founded in Athens and Rome: the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (founded in 1881) and the American Academy in Rome (1894, the School of Classical Studies). Note that Ýstanbul, although a major historical center in the larger southeastern European (eastern Mediterranean) region, was not yet an important center for research into Classical or any other branch of antiquity. ( Note 6) Other Old World civilizations were also much studied (Trigger 35-45; and Wright). Texts were always the key, just as Greek and Latin texts had fueled interest in Classical cultures. The Bible stimulated archaeological exploratio in Palestine, with emphasis on the first millennium BC (Silberman 1982; Bar-Yose and Mazar; and Blakely). In Iraq and Syria, the decipherment, in the mid- to late 19th-century, of Akkadian and Sumerian allowed a deeper understanding of Mesopotamian cultures (Lloyd). And in Egypt, whose ancient writing system was deciphered in the early 19th century, the study of texts and well-preserved architecture and art was well advanced by World War I (Hobson). Each of these areas would become a specialized field of study. At this time archaeology itself consisted first and foremost of the description of objects (antiquarianism); from these descriptions, deductions were drawn. For most, archaeology in the Eastern Mediterranean was considered either the record of the Great Monuments of ancient art, or else a handmaiden to the information gleaned from texts (for additional bibliography on the history of archaeology in this region, see Silberman,  Between Past and Present.  Archaeology, Ideology, and Nationalism in the Modern Middle East   249-273).
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