Conserving cultural heritage and influencing education through the Çaltilar Archaeological Project (ÇAP), SW Turkey

Submitting Institution

University of Bristol

Unit of Assessment


Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

History and Archaeology: Archaeology, Curatorial and Related Studies, Historical Studies

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Summary of the impact

Between 2008 and 2012 the Çaltılar Archaeological Project (ÇAP henceforth) produced intellectual, social, and economic benefits to a variety of social groups (including groups not normally engaged in educational activities) through the following means: i) conserving, presenting, and developing awareness of cultural heritage as well as changing knowledge of and attitudes towards archaeological heritage in particular (2008-2012; ii) influencing design and delivery of education in museums and schools (through advisory roles, creation and sharing of facilities, provision of materials used in teaching) (2010-2012); iii) contributing to the personal and professional development of individuals (training Turkish and UK students in archaeological and transferable skills enhancing their academic careers and employability) (2008-2012); iv) providing temporary employment and economic benefits for local people (2008-2012); v) developing stimuli to tourism and contributing to the quality of the tourist experience (2012).

Underpinning research

ÇAP was an archaeological project directed by Nicoletta Momigliano (Reader in Aegean Prehistory, CAH, Bristol) between 2008-2012. Momigliano initiated the project, directed it, and obtained most of the funding (approximately 95%), which enabled both research and related outreach activities described below. Momigliano was involved in a leading role in all the project's activities, from writing applications to devising the fieldwork strategy, from collecting archaeological artefacts in the field to processing and studying these finds, and from writing reports to creating posters for an exhibition. In particular, she contributed to the study and publication of the prehistoric (Chalcolithic-Bronze Age) aspects of the project.

The overall research aims of ÇAP were: 1) to provide new knowledge on the settlement history, environment, and material culture of Pre-Classical northern Lycia (SW Turkey) from ca. 4000-600 BC; and 2) to explore the role of this region within the context of broader Eastern Mediterranean-Anatolian-Aegean interactions in these early periods. These aims were accomplished through systematic archaeological surveys at Eceler and, especially, Çaltılar Höyük, two sites located in the upland region of the Xanthus river valley, near the town of Seki and the village of Çaltılar.

This region is part of the land of Lukka referred to in many Egyptian, Hittite, and Ugaritic documents of the mid-late 2nd millennium BC. Lycian heroes are also mentioned in the early 1st millennium Homeric poems. Very little, however, is known about the actual settlement history and material culture of this region before the Classical period, because, so far, archaeological explorations have focused on later prominent Graeco-Roman cities, such as Oinoanda and Balboura, and their epigraphic legacy.

Between 2008 and 2012 systematic investigations were carried out under the direction of Momigliano at the sites of at Çaltılar and Eceler [1-4]. This work included topographical surveys, intensive archaeological surveys, geophysical surveys, a survey of re-used ancient materials at Çaltılar village, as well as geomorphological and ethno-archaeological investigations (the latter involving preliminary studies of modern traditional pottery production which will be published in 2015).

This research produced much new evidence regarding the history of occupation in this area. It suggests that Çaltılar is the most important pre-Classical settlement located within the territories of the Classical cities of Balboura and Oinoanda, especially in the Bronze Age period (3rd-2nd millennia BC) — Momigliano's main field of research. Momigliano, in particular, has identified for the first time material evidence of occupation in this area during the 2nd millennium BC, some of which may be contemporary with the aforementioned Egyptian, Hittite, and Ugaritic documents [see esp. 1, 4; further publication forthcoming in 2014].

The project has also provided considerable new information on the material culture typical of this upland area from c.4000- 600 BC, and on the long-distance interactions between Çaltılar and other regions, especially for the Early Bronze Age and Middle-Late Iron Age. For example, analysis of an Early Bronze Age obsidian object found at Çaltılar showed that it originated from Nenezi Dağ in southern Cappadocia, some 460 km to the northeast; some of the Early Bronze Age ceramics appear to be imports from areas beyond the Seki basin/upper Xanthus valley (possibly originating from the Elmalı and the Menderes massif areas); and significant amounts of Iron Age pottery have been identified as imports from other Turkish regions (e.g. Phrygia and Caria) as well as from the Aegean islands and mainland Greece [see esp. 1] The research has been disseminated to scholarly audiences in peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes, lectures, seminars, and proceedings of international conferences for Turkish archaeology (see examples in section 3).

References to the research

[1] N. Momigliano (with A. Greaves, T. Hodos, B. Aksoy, A. Brown, M. Kibaroglu, and T. Carter), `Settlement History and Material Culture in Southwest Turkey: Report on the 2008-10 Survey at Çaltılar Höyük (northern Lycia)', Anatolian Studies 61 (2011), 61-121. (Momigliano REF Output 2)


[2] N. Momigliano 2012, `Çaltılar Archaeological Project', Heritage Turkey vol. 2 (2012), 21-22. Can be provided on request.

[3] N. Momigliano (with. A. Greaves, T. Hodos and B. Aksoy) `Report on the Çaltılar Survey Project 2010', ANMED (Anadolou Akdenizi Arkeoloji Haberleri/News of Archaeology from Anatolia's Mediterranean Areas) vol. 9, 164-9. Can be provided on request.

[4] N. Momigliano (with. A. Greaves, T. Hodos and B. Aksoy) `Çaltılar Survey Project 2008', in Araştirma Sonuçları Toplantısı, vol. 27 (2), 48-56. Can be provided on request.

Research grants: Momigliano as PI has obtained grants from the following: British Academy (Small Research Grants, £5,449, 2008); Institute for Aegean Prehistory ($54,545, 2008-12); Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust (£1,285, 2010 and 2012); Bradford Trust (£4,000, 2010-11); British Institute at Ankara (£4,930, 2012); and the Research Institute on Mediterranean Civilizations in Antalya (Akmed) (TL5,000, 2012). In addition, in 2011 Momigliano was awarded a Senior Visiting Fellowship at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations in Istanbul to work on various publications and present lectures/seminars related to ÇAP; between 2008-2012, she also obtained funding from private sponsors to support outreach activities. ÇAP was also instrumental in the successful joint application to the EU for €174,000 by the Fethiye Museum and the Liverpool Victoria Gallery and Museum for their `Illuminating the Land of Light' educational project (2012) (cf. Section 4).

Details of the impact

i) Conserving, presenting, and developing awareness of cultural heritage; changing knowledge of and attitudes towards archaeology
Çaltılar village has a population of approximately 400 people, which dwindles to about 100 in the winter months because of its climate (the village is at an altitude of 1250m). This is a very rural area: the main activities are agriculture and animal husbandry. The village has two sawmills (each employing about 6 people), two small cafés, two small stores selling household goods, and two eateries. According to recent census reports, 10% of the village is illiterate, and most of those who are illiterate are women. Of those who are literate, many attained education only at primary school level. Before our activities described below, many of the villagers had never attended educational talks, seen exhibitions, or handled archaeological materials. Between 2008 and 2012, Momigliano organised 3 public meetings, interviews, and a poster exhibition in the village to explain the nature of ÇAP's work, share preliminary results, and answer questions. Approximately 80 people (including many women and children) attended each of the public meetings (2008, 2009, 2012), and the exhibition attracted over 150 visitors between 2 and 11 August 2012 [a]. In addition, interviews were held in Çaltılar in 2010 and 2012 with individuals and various focus groups (ca. 50 people were involved in this activity) to gather information about the villagers' attitudes to their local heritage and the impact of the ÇAP's activities on those attitudes [b]. These interviews demonstrated that villagers have acquired much new knowledge about their local history and also changed their perceptions of archaeology: they now take more pride in their local history and, instead of simply destroying archaeological finds through agricultural activities without further ado, are more likely to report their existence to archaeologists, as indeed the ÇAP's team were able to experience at first hand. For example, a 32-year old female remarked that her visit to the visitor centre was her first exposure to a museum or archaeological exhibition of any kind. A 60-year old male farmer highlighted how ÇAP had developed his awareness of his cultural heritage, which prompted him to ask specifically that the archaeological finds remain in Turkey [b].

ii) Influencing design and delivery of education in museums/schools
Momigliano achieved this through 1) advising local museum officials; 2) creating a visitor centre and other facilities at Çaltılar; and 3) producing information and materials to be used in teaching by museum staff in local schools [c, d]. More specifically, ÇAP was instrumental in the successful joint application to the EU by the Fethiye Museum and Liverpool Victoria Gallery and Museum for their `Illuminating the Land of Light' educational project (ILL) in 2012, as confirmed by the Fethiye Museum director [c]. This project, funded by the EU-Turkish Intercultural Dialogue Museum Donation Programme aims to increase public awareness of cultural heritage through educational activities for 2,000 students in primary education and 500 students in secondary education from schools both in Fethiye and near significant historical sites, as Kamil Özer, the Muğla Director of Culture and Tourism, explained in a local newspaper [j]. Momigliano was engaged in the early stages of this project's design and, because of ÇAP's research, Çaltılar is the only pre-Classical site that has been included in this educational programme [d]. Momigliano also started renovations of two abandoned schools in Çaltılar village for research and educational purposes, after being granted permission by the local authorities in September 2009. The renovation of one school as a visitor centre and the restoration of a traditional Lycian wooden granary (ambar) were completed in 2012, and these facilities have been made available to other projects/institutions (including the ILL project), together with other materials (photos, posters from the aforementioned exhibition, and publications), so that thousands of schoolchildren in the whole of the Fethiye district will obtain a deeper understanding of their local history, now extending to the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age periods thanks to ÇAP's discoveries [c, d]. The Fethiye Museum Director commented that ÇAP `has made a most valuable contribution to our own educational programme [ILL project] ...[whilst the] restoration of the schools and of the ambar has already made an impact on the local community level, and will continue to make a practical and substantial difference for years to come.' [c].

iii) Contributing to personal and professional development
Students from other UK and Turkish universities were trained in a variety of archaeological activities including: artefact drawing and photography; use of computer programmes (excel and access databases); use of electronic equipment for topographical survey and geophysics; systematic artefact surface collection. In addition, they had to develop teamwork skills, as required by most of the project's activities. Some of these Turkish students have now obtained bursaries to conduct postgraduate studies in Turkey and in the UK (acknowledging the importance of their experience at Çaltılar) [e] whilst a former Bristol student (employed by Suffolk County Council Archaeological Services since 2009) has used materials from ÇAP to compete successfully in a world-wide photography competition (

iv) Providing temporary employment and economic benefits to local people
ÇAP contributed to the local and regional economic growth by providing employment for up to 8 local people during the field-seasons and through other expenditure supporting archaeological work (such as car and house rental, etc.) amounting to several thousands of GBP each season [f]. ÇAP has also had an impact on the village's infrastructure through the aforementioned restorations (schools and granary), which involved the employment of builders, plumbers, electricians, ironmongers, and carpenters. Expenses for these restorations alone so far have amounted to about £9000. For comparative purposes, a typical worker's monthly salary in this part of Turkey is about £300.

v) Developing stimuli to tourism and contributing to the quality of the tourist experience.
ÇAP's research activities have attracted visitors who would not have normally come to this rural area of SW Turkey. For example, in 2009 a small group of Bristol University Alumni (9 people) and, in 2012, various politicians (a group of 20), journalists, and TV reporters (4) visited Çaltılar. After the politicians', journalists', and TV reporters' visits, reports appeared in local and national newspapers, and TV programmes, including Sabah (a national daily newspaper), which has a circulation of more than 300,000 and TRT the national public broadcaster of Turkey [g, h, i]. One online version of the TRT television programme has been watched 186,340 times (as of 1 November 2013) [i]. This was the first time that Çaltılar had ever appeared in national newspapers and on TV programmes, as a direct result of ÇAP's activities, and this was considered a source of pride and potential economic benefit by Çaltılar's villagers themselves [b] because, thanks to this publicity, more people are now aware of this village and will visit it in the future. The visitor centre and poster exhibition contributed to the quality of the tourist experience, offering intellectual stimulation. The poster exhibition was also shown in October 2012 at the cultural festival of Ölüdeniz (near Fethiye), one of the most famous tourist resorts in Turkey (tourists come to Fethiye and its beach resorts throughout the year, and from all over the world, but mostly from the UK, Russia, Germany, and Turkey). About 150 people attended this opening, which was also reported in the local press [h]. Another exhibition of these posters is planned in Fethiye in the winter of 2013/14 by a local tourist agency in collaboration with the local Rotary Club, providing further contribution to the quality of the tourist experience.

Sources to corroborate the impact

[a] Portfolio of outreach activities: CD including photographs, videos, reports, and photocopy of 2012 poster exhibition visitor book with signatures and comments, etc. (available on request);

[b] Summary report and collected interviews with member of the Çaltılar village community, including the Head of village — corroborates benefits of ÇAP for village and impact on local community in terms of conserving, presenting, and developing awareness of cultural heritage; changing knowledge of and attitudes towards archaeology.

[c] Director, Fethiye Museum — corroborates contribution to cultural heritage educational programme, use of Çaltılar material and facilities for educational purposes, impact on cultural heritage educational programme and local community

[d] Education Officer, Victoria Gallery and Museum — corroborates contribution to cultural heritage educational programme, use of Çaltılar material and facilities for educational purposes, impact on cultural heritage educational programme and local community.

[e] Lecturer, Uludağ University — corroborates impact on Turkish students education and career

[f] Examples of financial reports (original receipts provided to Bristol University account office) reporting amounts spent on wages, rent, bills, restorations — corroborates economic benefits to local community.

[g] Article, Sabah Akdeniz, 6 August 2012 — corroborates national press coverage

[h] Article, Gözde 15 October 2012 — corroborates local press coverage

[i] Television Programme, TRT, August 2012 — corroborating national television coverage <> (cf.

[j] "Liverpool and Europe to support Fethiye's `Land of Light' Project" Land of Lights 13 June 2011: — corroborates details of the "Illuminating the Land of Light" project