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Lycia and Classical Archaeology: the changing nature of archaeology in Turkey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClassical archaeology in context
Subtitle of host publicationtheory and practice in excavation in the Greek world
EditorsC. Antonaccio, D. Haggis
Publisher or commissioning bodyde Gruyter
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781614519980, 9781934078471
ISBN (Print)9781934078464
DatePublished - May 2015


Since Sir Charles Fellows’ discovery nearly 200 years ago of ancient Xanthos and Patara, the region of Lycia, southwestern Turkey, has remained a major focus of archaeological investigation. Much, however, has centered on the mapping and excavation of the region’s Greco-Roman city-states. In 2008, an international collaborative team led by UK and Turkish institutions commenced the Çaltılar Archaeological Project (ÇAP) to contextualize Lycia within a wider Mediterranean setting over a longue durée through an intensive study of Çaltılar höyük, an upland settlement site with contexts from the late fourth millennium to the middle of the first millennium B.C. The project emphasizes socio-cultural connectivity in the ancient Mediterranean, a broader framework that represents a new direction for periods associated with classical archaeology in Turkey, which have otherwise focused traditionally on the urban built environment of individual cities. The aims and methods of the project both respond to and anticipate changing perceptions of archaeology in Turkey, and the position of classical archaeology, in particular. The project’s integrated research design has enabled us to answer socio-cultural questions for periods previously relatively inaccessible in Lycia, and as such creates new dimensions to the merits of classical archaeology both as a discipline and in practice.

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