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Director's Note

We have pleasure in presenting the 2016 BIAA newsletter. As you can see, the lay-out has been thoroughly updated and we have given our readers the opportunity to browse selected highlights or to read more deeply about the many BIAA projects and events via the links to further information.

The research and events section is divided into ‘archaeology and related disciplines’, ‘cultural heritage management’, and ‘history, social and political sciences’, representing the main pillars of current activities at the BIAA. This division of activities reflects the make-up of our staff, with archaeologists, cultural heritage management specialists, and political and social scientists represented.

The publications section reports on the latest publications of the Institute, and provides a link to the online version of Heritage Turkey. The executive editor of Anatolian Studies, Gina Coulthard, is currently putting the finishing touches to Anatolian Studies 2016, and the BIAA monographs editor, Dr Tamar Hodos, has some exciting news on future monographs to reveal. The last section contains news about the library and collections.

I hope that you will enjoy reading about nine very busy months!

However, the BIAA is a registered UK charity and is increasingly dependent upon donations. We would therefore deeply appreciate your support, in order to keep up the work. Please visit our donations page here.

Ankara, July 2016
Lutgarde Vandeput

Contents of this Newsletter


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Excavations at Çatalhöyük continue for a 23rd year under the auspices of the BIAA

The fieldwork season at Çatalhöyük provided remarkable finds in all excavation areas, ranging from an exceptionally well-modelled stone-crafted female figurine (TPC area) to a painted, modelled plaster head with inserted obsidian eyes (Building 132) to a defaced bucranium that was covered by the layers of plaster of later floors and thus ‘forgotten’.

Newly excavated areas also raised questions on previously generally accepted theories. One such theory is on the practice of placing burials in houses, which seems to be challenged by new excavations where the burials seem to be primary, with houses built up around them. The five-month excavation season of 2016 will hopefully enable the team to shed light on this and other new insights.

Read the article about this year's findings at Çatalhöyük on Ηürriyet Daily News


 Visit the Çatalhöyük project page


New findings at the Boncuklu excavations

Excavations at Boncuklu appear to inform us about a direct predecessor of sites like Çatalhöyük, situated only 9.5km away. Boncuklu offers the opportunity to reveal how the uptake of farming affected household arrangements and the practices of the early Holocene hunter-gatherers.

The enlargement of buildings and the presence of multiple hearths may suggest adaptations to accommodate changing households. Other excavation results seem to indicate the existence of task-specific buildings, possibly kitchens, and the intensive use of the open areas in-between buildings. Geophysical surveys seem to promise further exciting discoveries.

Palaeolithic Research in the Armenian Highlands and Anatolia

Supported by the BIAA and held at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Tuesday October 20, 2015

Conference Co-ordinator: Philip Glauberman (METU visiting researcher) 

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This workshop brought together for the first time local and multi-national researchers working on the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic within the focus area, providing the opportunity to share current ongoing research on geology, technology, and behaviour throughout its varied topographies and habitats. The workshop was organised by Dr. Phil Glauberman, and supported by a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme, the Middle East Technical University, and the British Institute at Ankara.

Read more on BIAA-supported Projects in Archaeology in
the BIAA magazine:

Heritage Turkey




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Cultural Heritage Management in Pisidia:
The Pisidia Heritage Trail

The BIAA has been at the forefront of promoting public archaeology and cultural heritage management in Turkey for several years now, focusing on projects at the ancient city of Aspendos on the one hand, and on a regional management plan for South Pisidia on the other. The project in the highlands of Pisidia has its many well-preserved ancient cities at the centre, cities that are tucked away in beautiful forests, but hardly known and largely unprotected and therefore vulnerable to looting and neglect.

With the involvement of the local population, the BIAA intends to promote archaeological- and eco-tourism for the region, thus protecting both its cultural and natural heritage by opening it up to visitors who enjoy an off-the-beaten-track experience. It is neither anticipated nor intended that Pisidia will become a destination for mass tourism, but it could become a ‘green destination’.pisidia survey copy.jpg Included in the sustainable management plan are suitable visitor facilities based on the principles of eco-tourism, which will be offered by local communities.  In addition, the creation of an intangible heritage inventory of the region is planned, including local cuisine, living traditions, festivals etc. to promote contemporary life in the region.

For future visitors, the project aims to create a very light-touch and non-destructive ‘framework’ around and in between the archaeological sites, relying on existing ancient and modern paths. These will provide a hiking experience in a fantastic landscape, connecting well-preserved archaeological sites and authentic villages. The infrastructure will be largely internet- and app-based, with only a light touch ‘on the ground’.

In order to make the ‘Pisidia Heritage Trail’ plans succeed, we need to raise awareness in the current population around these sites and in the region. To this aim, information sharing sessions as well as technical assistance on organic farming and conversion of local village houses into B&Bs are part of the project.  Finally, the BIAA-organized ‘Pisidia Appeal’ has been raising money to make the whole project possible (see below).


The Pisidia Appeal

A message from William Saunders, Chair of the Fundraising Committee

"Dear BIAA members and friends,

A big thank you to those of you who have already given generously to our appeal for funds for BIAA cultural heritage work in the ancient region of Pisidia. Donations have already reached about £23,000 and we need only £7,000 more to reach our target. Can you help by contributing one or more ‘virtual stones’ to the Ariassos Arch pictured on our website? Each ‘stone’ costs only £30. If so, just click the PISIDIA APPEAL page on our website to give online. Donations can be accepted in any currency.

Your ‘donation stones’ will help to open up ancient Pisidian archaeological sites in Turkey in an eco-friendly way, using 21st century technology. Creating a Heritage Trail with orientation signs, maps, mobile apps, GPS points and information guides will enable a new generation to appreciate psidia appeal copy.jpgthese historic places in the context of the region’s contemporary life and its flora and fauna. You can read more about the Pisidia project at

We are delighted to announce that the Headley Trust has made a very generous grant towards the work to be carried out in Pisidia by the BIAA’s Cultural Heritage Management Fellow over the next two years.  Contributions have also been received from the Aurelius, Robert Kiln, Stevenson and Leche Trusts.  We are immensely grateful for the generosity of these donors.

Your contribution to this main first phase of the project, whether big or small, would make a real difference at a time when archaeological heritage is under threat in many parts of the world – and we would be enormously grateful for it. Please give now!"

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Aspendos: Cultural Heritage Management and the Theatre

The Cultural Heritage Management Project at Aspendos continued work within the theoretical framework of a ‘people-based approach’. The idea is to heighten the sense of ownership of the ancient city’s remains by the local communities living nearby. Interviews with local villagers and workmen of the excavation team were held at the site, for instance, discussing their questions about the remains. These answers will be taken into account when designing the text for the new information boards on the site. The children of the villages around the site were also invited to an archaeological workshop where they could excavate some artefacts, previously buried in a specially made sandbox, and restore the aspendos children and archaeology4 copy.jpegexcavated fragments. An important success of the CHM team was the approval of the Antalya Regional Conservation Council of the first phase of the cultural heritage management plan for Aspendos. Measures include a visitor centre, as well as pathways and information boards on the site. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism will implement these.

The theatre has always been a main attraction of Aspendos and is important for the management plan, but it is also being studied as a superbly preserved and precisely dated example of ancient monumental architecture. Slowly, it is revealing clues on its history as a theatre and later as a Seljuk palace. These results too will be made available to visitors and to people ‘living by the ruins’.


Read more on BIAA-supported Projects in Archaeology in
the BIAA magazine:

Heritage Turkey


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Inaugural Workshop of the BIAA project

FROM ENEMIES TO ALLIES: Turkish-British relations 1914-1952

Organised by the BIAA in collaboration with USAK (Uluslararası Stratejik Araştırma Kurumu)
Conference Co-ordinator: Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal (BIAA Fellow)

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The BIAA project, From Enemies to Allies: Turkey and Britain 1914-1952,  held its inaugural workshop investigating Anglo-Turkish engagement during the First World War on 1-2 April 2016 at USAK's conference hall in Ankara. It was a vibrant and successful event. Among more than seventy listeners there were numerous academics as well as military officers and diplomats from South Sudan, Somalia, Thailand, Peru, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Turkey.event photos

The conference was opened by the former Turkish Ambassador to the United Kingdom and President of USAK, Özdem Sanberk, who made reference to the  twists and turns of Anglo-Turkish relations while emphasising their continued importance. Richard Moore, the current British  Ambassador to Turkey, made a short speech recounting his meeting with some of the last surviving veterans of the Gallipoli Campaign, expressing his continued optimism about the at-times challenged relationship between the two countries.

The evening keynote lecture was delivered by Eugene Rogan, whose recently published The Fall of the Ottomans: the Middle East during the First World War, 1914-1920 is perhaps the most comprehensive regional study of the war. Rogan elucidated the similarity of experiences in the Ottoman and British trenches, drawing on the diaries and letters of the soldiers of both empires fighting in Gallipoli and Mesopotamia. The project will continue in 2016 and 2017 with workshops in London and Ankara.





International Workshop: SOCIAL MEDIA IN TURKEY
Uses and Impacts in Social & Political Life

Organised by the BIAA in collaboration with METU Programme in Social Anthropopology
Conference Co-ordinator: Dr Elisabetta Costa (BIAA Fellow)

This workshop, held at the Middle East Technical University’s Convention Centre on 9 April 2016, attracted a large interdisciplinary and international audience. Workshop social mediaThe themes examined included the role of social media in different realms of social life (from knitting communities in Ankara to Turkish football fan clubs in Germany), the exploration of the effect of new kinds of platforms in mediating human communication (from Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat) and a productive discussion of new methodologies and concepts that are needed to study these phenomena.

Daniel Miller from UCL gave a keynote lecture presenting the results of a large worldwide comparative project that focused on recording and analysing similarities and differences in the use of social media across several countries in the world.


Other ongoing or recently completed projects

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Balkan Futures, the three-year British Institute at Ankara research programme that was jointly run with the British School at Athens (BSA) with the collaboration of the École Française d’Athènes (EfA), was completed in 2015. The programme’s overall analytical focus was on contemporary themes of inter-regional development and cooperation in the Balkans. The programme’s lifespan has been marked by four milestone workshops that have dealt with themes such as Turkey’s regional role and engagement, the nature and history of state-building processes across the Balkans, and the treatment and reinterpretation of Balkan historical legacies and heritage.

Visit the project's web-page here

The first publication of the projects, stemming from the proceedings of the first workshop, is entitled Balkan Heritages: Negotiating History and Culture, edited by Maria Couroucli and Tchavdar Marinov, and deals with the relationships between heritage, history, and politics in the Balkans. It was published by Routledge in December 2015.

Read more on BIAA-supported Projects in Archaeology in
the BIAA magazine:

Heritage Turkey



Current staff and fellows


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The BIAA Director, Dr. Lutgarde Vandeputcontinued her fieldwork at Aspendos where she has been working on the splendidly preserved theatre and on other monumental buildings, such as the double-storied fountain from the Antonine Period. At Ankara, she worked on editing a volume on ‘routes and roads in Anatolia’ with Michele Massa, and has spent much time on duties related to the UK Spending Review and the allocation to the BIAA for the coming years. In addition, she travelled to Bochum where she was granted a Visiting International Professorship for two years and where she is involved in the supervision of PhD students.


Leo karakatsanisIn September 2015, Dr. Leonidas Karakatsanis was appointed as the new Assistant Director of the Institute, succeeding Dr. Marc Herzog. Since September, beyond reorganising the BIAA's web resources and offering seminars as invited lecturer in Turkish universities in Ankara, Leonidas has been working on the completion of several publication projects: The co-edited Bordered Places | Bounded Times together with Dr. Emma Baysal (forthcoming by the BIAA monograph series), a volume on the cultural politics of the Left in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, as well as  a JCES special issue titled: "radicalization and transformation in South-Eastern Europe: States, societies and contentious politics" (prepared together with Marc Herzog and published in May 2015).

Radicalization and transformation in South-Eastern Europe: States, societies and contentious politics“ - See more at:
Radicalization and transformation in South-Eastern Europe: States, societies and contentious politics“ - See more at:

isilay pic_biaa_grsu thumb small.jpegIn 2015-2016, Dr. Işılay Gürsu  continued her post-doctoral fellowship on cultural heritage management, a post she has held since 2013. This year's work has focused on the preservation and promotion of Pisidia, an ancient mountainous region in south-western Turkey. It has done so through the creation of the Pisidia Heritage Trail. She has also presented her work on this project and more broadly her research on cultural heritage on several occasions, including venues at the British Academy, Middle East Technical University, Adnan Menderes University, and the National Archaeological Symposium in Turkey. She has also attended a three-day workshop on fundraising for the cultural heritage managers organized by the Initiative for Heritage Conservancy in Athens.



Dr. Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal, after completing his BIAA post-doctoral fellowship (2015-16) became a BIAA Project Fellow, being responsible for the co-ordination of the  BIAA project 'From Enemies to Allies' (see above). At the same time Daniel is revising his thesis, a comparative study of the British and Allied occupation of Istanbul, Thessaloniki, and Alexandria during and immediately after the First World War, for publication. He published an article on the Allied soldiers’ indulgence in and regulation of nightlife entertainment in occupied Istanbul in the Turkish journal Toplumsal Tarih in May 2016. During the academic year 2015-16 Daniel has been a visiting lecturer at the History Department of the Middle East Technical University, offering the Master’s module: “Ottoman Urban History Cities of the Eastern Mediterranean since c. 1850”.


2015_biaa fellow elisabetta costa thumb copy.jpgDr. Elisabetta Costa is the BIAA Postdoctoral Research Fellow for 2015-2016. During this period she completed her monograph Social Media in Southeast Turkey, and the co-authored book How the World Changed Social Media. The books are published in Open Access by UCL Press and available online. She co-edited a special issue for the MEJCC, “Digital Intimacies: Exploring Digital Media and Intimate Lives in the Middle East and North Africa”. She is now writing journal articles and book chapters. Elisabetta presented her research in several universities in Ankara, and organised and convened workshops and conferences in Ankara, London, and Milan, including the BIAA-METU workshop Social Media in Turkey (see above). She is also lecturer in the MOOC course Why We Post: the Anthropology of Social Media.


massa_pic.jpgDr. Michele Massa, appointed BIAA Research Scholar for the year 2015, assisted the BIAA Director Lutgarde Vandeput in the co-edition of a forthcoming monograph on roads and routes in ancient Anatolia. In the meantime, he successfully defended his PhD thesis at UCL and is turning his dissertation into a book to be published in the OREA series. Michele has also started a project on metallurgical practices and metal exchange in north-western Anatolia between 3700 and 1500 BCE, sponsored by the BIAA. He is also co-directing, together with Christoph Bachhuber, a project on the archaeology of the Konya Plain that entails a remote sensing survey and the study of unpublished materials stored at the BIAA; the project is jointly funded by the BIAA and Wainwright Fund. 

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B. Nilgün Öz, the BIAA-RCAC Fellow in Cultural Heritage Management (Sept 2015- June 2016), has been working on the “Çaltılar Höyük Archaeological Management Plan” (CHAMP) for a settlement mound and its environs in the Seydikemer district of Muğla. During her fellowship, she carried out further research into the village history and the surrounding landscape and has presented results of her work at various events: as a round-table discussant at the “New Approaches to Historic Landscapes” Workshop (February 2016 / Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University), as a paper presenter at the RCAC Fellows’ Symposium in April 2016, and as a guest speaker at the BIAA lecture series (April 2016) where she introduced the planning process for the site's cultural heritage management.

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William Lewis, BIAA Research Scholar 2016, joined the BIAA in January and greatly helped in the re-organisation of the BIAA's digital archive and web-resources. Meanwhile he has been working on his project focusing on political and ecclesiastical interactions in the years following the death of Constantine, and their implications for imperial authority in the East. During his first months at the BIAA he applied for and succesfully secured AHRC funding to continue this project as a PhD student at Cardiff University.



On the publications front, 2016 sees the publication of the long-awaited Tille Hoyuk 3.2: The Iron Age: Pottery, Objects and Conclusions by Stuart Blaylock. Tille Hoyuk is one of the few Iron Age sites to have been excavated on the Euphrates between Malatya and Carchemish, and it is the only one with a near-complete Iron Age stratigraphic sequence to have been comprehensively published. Lying on the margins of the Mesopotamian world, and with contact with North Syria, North Mesopotamia and the Levant rather than Anatolia and the Mediterranean, Tille provides vivid insights into the cultural history of the region during the Iron Age.



Also due to appear this year is Bordered Places/Bounded Times, edited by Leonidas Karakatsanis and Emma Baysal.  This volume is the outcome of a 2013 workshop sponsored by the BIAA, which brought archaeologists, historians, and social and political scientists into the same room to exchange ideas about the material and symbolic role of borders in social and political life across time, from the Neolithic times until today.


0000 cover.jpgThis volume is also the first to be published with an e-book version alongside the hard copy. The dual publication of e-book and hard copy represents a development in our publication strategy to respond to changes in the publishing world.  Increasingly, universities in Europe and North America are opting for e-books over hard copies.  We recognise that many Turkish institutions and individuals still prefer hard-copy books, however, so we will also maintain the traditional format.  In addition, we will soon be offering our back catalogue of monographs as e-books. This will allow our rich collection of previous publications to reach a new generation of scholars.  We are very excited about these developments as we believe they will extend considerably the reach of the wealth of research sponsored by the BIAA. Distribution of our e-book versions will be via JSTOR and Casemate (Oxbow Books’ e-book distribution partner).

Selection of staff and fellows' publications (2015-16)

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Among other publications of BIAA staff and fellows:

Elisabetta Costa (BIAA post-doc fellow 2015-16) completed her monograph Social Media in Southeastern Turkey and the co-edited volume How The World Changed Social Media (UCL Publications 2016) during her fellowship in Ankara.

Leonidas Karakatsanis and Marc Herzog (current and past BIAA assistant directors) were guest editors of the special issue ‘Radicalization and transformation in South-Eastern Europe: States, societies and contentious politics’ for the Journal of Contemporary European Studies 24(2).

Leonidas Karakatsanis published the article: "‘We’, ‘they’ and the ‘human’ in the middle: foreign interventions for ‘humanitarian reasons’ during the nineteenth century in Turkish historiography" in Middle Eastern Studies, 52 (2).

Işılay Gürsu (BIAA Cultural Heritage Management felllow) published her article “'If You Do Not Visit, We Will Take It Away': An Analysis of a Communication Campaign for Italian Cultural Heritage” in Anthropological Quarterly 88(2).

Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal (BIAA project fellow 2015-6) published his research findings in Toplumsal Tarih (269) in an article titled: ‘Sarhoşluk ve Emperyalizm’.

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Since September 2015 the BIAA library has purchased or received through donations 325 new books on themes spreading across archaeology, history and the social and political sciences. 

During this period the BIAA launched a major reorganisation of its web resources, which is still ongoing and aims at presenting in a fully updated context its web-page, its library online-search facilities and digital collections, and its electronic communications by September 2016. Already a new mailing-list-based system has been introduced at both the Ankara and London ends, which most of you might have already realised from the new template of our emails.

Although it is still in its first phase this reorganisation has been paying off with a significant increase in our website's visits of 43.73% for the period April to May 2016!! (See below for the comparative analytics between this and the same period last year).

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Finally, preparing for the participation of the BIAA in the British Academy soiree in London, the Ankara team prepared a small documentary about the BIAA's history:

You can enjoy it here: 

The British Institute at Ankara | Tahran Caddesi 24, Ankara, Turkey,  | T: +90 312 427 5487 |

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