Illuminating the Land of Light

Submitting Institution

University of Liverpool

Unit of Assessment

Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Studies In Human Society: Policy and Administration
History and Archaeology: Archaeology, Historical Studies

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Summary of the impact

Primary fieldwork by Greaves and Bristol staff at the site of Çaltılar has established that this was a pre-Classical settlement of considerable importance in poorly known highland Lycia, SW Turkey. Greaves worked with Turkish local government partners to establish a €250,000 European Union-Turkey funded Inter-Cultural Dialogue project that incorporated this site and others into a comprehensive heritage education service for an extensive rural region of SW Turkey. Engaging with beneficiaries which included 1) Turkish local government bodies, Fethiye museum, local communities and schools and 2) an international and UK public, involving the region's large tourist industry, by means of education programmes, web sites, seminars and exhibitions in Turkey and the UK, this project has raised awareness of the region's early history and the need to protect it from looting.

Underpinning research

This activity builds on the primary archaeological research conducted by Greaves (University of Liverpool staff over the whole period of research and impact) and Momigliano (Bristol) at the site of Çaltılar in Fethiye district of Muğla province, SW Turkey. This project is original in being the first inter-disciplinary intensive survey of a pre-Classical settlement and landscape in a region that is well known for its Classical remains. In the absence of good evidence, questions about the nature of the pre-Classical settlement and the transition to the Classical period remained open.

Working initially as Field Director and now overall Director of this international research team, Greaves played a leading role in fundraising, project design and publication of the research conducted in 2008-10 and 2012-13. The initial project director (until October 2012) was Nicoletta Momigliano of Bristol University. Belgin Aksoy of Uludağ University, Bursa has been Turkish co- director throughout. Greaves was joined by research students from the University of Liverpool, some of whom include the site in their research (e.g. Susan Williams). In 2012-13, inter-disciplinary work with Neil MacDonald of University of Liverpool (Geography) and Namık Çağatay of Istanbul Technical University, focussed on the geomorphology of the surrounding Seki Basin to place settlement in its broader palaeoenvironmental context. The project was funded by the British Institute at Ankara, through its competitive grants programme, the Institute for Aegean Prehistory and 7 Pillars of Wisdom Trust.

In 2008-10, 35,000 pieces of pottery, flint, obsidian and other materials were collected by intensive surface collection at the site of Çaltılar and its surrounds in a 5m grid across the whole area. The Liverpool team also conducted magnetometer and electrical resistance tomography across the site. The pottery was identified by period and combined with a full topographic survey into a GIS model of the site that projected 3D `drapes' of the surface data over the topography to identify changes in settlement over time (5th millennium BC to C5th BC). Pottery studies, petrographic and obsidian analysis document the integration of the region with the wider Mediterranean world in a way that belies `Classical' textual interpretations of the significance of this area, which emphasises its marginality and overplays the importance of sea-ports over land-based exchange networks.

The insights provided by this research have changed our perception of pre-Classical Lycia and have established that Çaltılar was a pre-Classical site of major importance in the history of Lycia and can be connected to the Bronze Age Lukka people, whose name is known from the Hittite archives, Amarna letters and from Homer. The textual indications of Bronze Age and pre-Classical inhabitants of this area, notably the Lukka, as a dispersed, impoverished and mobile set of groups and thereby engaged in piracy, is, therefore, an unlikely scenario. Substantial settlements, even in highland locations away from the well know population centres on the coast, were clearly major foci of inter-regional interaction. Piracy should thus be seen as only one strategy employed by such groups existing at the interfaces of major political power blocs. This research generated the Illuminating the Land of Light project that has illustrated both the distinctive local history of the area and also the long term wider inter-connections of this region to its modern inhabitants and has stressed the importance of heritage as a resource. This research levered the support of four local municipal authorities (Fethiye, Seki, Kumluova and Yeşil Üzümlü) and provided key online learning resources and finance and educational materials for an on-site heritage centre at Çaltılar, which is located in a renovated school building and restored historic `ambar' (granary building). Being a bilateral international museums partnership, the products of the research were also used in the parallel Illuminating the Land of Lights exhibition in the Victoria Gallery and Museum (VG&M) University of Liverpool.

References to the research

Momigliano N, Greaves AM, Hodos T, Aksoy B, Brown A, Kibaroğlu M, Carter T (2011) Report on the Çaltılar Archaeological Project 2008-2010. Anatolian Studies vol 61 pp 61-121


This is the primary output from the 2008-10 seasons. Anatolian Studies is an international peer-reviewed journal for the publication of original archaeological and historical research in Turkey (ERIH A status). Preliminary reports also appeared annually during the fieldwork in Anatolian Archaeology/Heritage Turkey (in English), Araştırmalar Sonuçlar Toplantası (in English and Turkish) and ANMED (in English and Turkish). An example of one of these interim reports is given below. In total five interim reports have been published.

Momigliano N, Greaves AM, Hodos T, Aksoy B (2010) Caltilar Survey Project 2008. Araştırmalar Sonuçlar Toplantası vol 27 issue 2 pp 43-56

Research awards from competitive grant giving bodies to fund the fieldwork were made to Momigliano 2008-2010 by the British Institute at Ankara, the Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP) and the 7 Pillars of Wisdom Trust and then by The British Institute at Ankara to Greaves in 2013.

Details of the impact

The research described above has developed an understanding of Çaltılar's role in the broader history of Lycia which has led to its incorporation into a major heritage education programme for the whole Lycia region (known in antiquity as the `Land of Light').

The research results allowed Greaves to develop a network of local and international stakeholders who thus became primary beneficiaries of the project. In particular, this research formed the basis of a bid by Fethiye Museum and the Municipality of Fethiye to the European Union's The Civil Society Facility, EU - Turkey Intercultural Dialogue: Museums (ICD-MUSE) grant scheme. The successful project, entitled Illuminating the Land of Light, was awarded €175,000 with contributions from the Municipality of Fethiye bringing its total value up to €250,000 for incorporation of the results of the research in a heritage education and preservation programme. This project is a partnership between the Fethiye Museum and the University of Liverpool, with the participation of two local partners: The Fethiye Foundation for the Promotion of Tourism, Education, Culture and Environment (FETAV) and National Museums Liverpool (NML). Konica-Minolta provided commercial sponsorship for the conservation element of the project, by waiving fees for the loan of a Range 7 3D laser scanner, which was used to record a series of at-risk rock reliefs at Çaltılar leading to the production of copies of these reliefs for the VG&M exhibition and Fethiye museum. This project also benefitted the four district councils in Muğla province who host newly-created heritage education centres.

These four heritage education centres were selected from sites that represented each of the main periods of the region, in order to develop a diachronic understanding of its history for local communities and tourists. The four sites chosen cover prehistory (Seki district: Çaltilar), thus using Greaves' research directly, Lycian culture (Kumluova: Tlos), the Roman period (Üzümlü: Kadianda) and the Ottoman period (Fethiye: Kayaköy). The purpose of these centres is to provide a network of education resources that can be freely accessed by local schools to provide children with heritage education at a local level, without the need to bus them into the central town of Fethiye in order to visit the city museum. This is especially important in a mountainous region like eastern Muğla province and the aim is that the centres will become economically and ecologically sustainable in the long term.

Höyük (settlement mound) sites are a common feature of the Turkish landscape and an essential characteristic of its archaeology. The work of Greaves and his colleagues in identifying the höyük at Çaltılar as being a prehistoric site of regional significance not only initiated the concept of Illuminating the Land of Light as a multi-period heritage education project, it has also informed the education materials used with school groups. In addition to being included in the general educational materials for the project (web site, learning activities, etc.) there are education resources and display panels about the archaeological work conducted at Çaltılar in the new heritage education centre. This heritage education centre has been established in a derelict school building that has been renovated as part of the Çaltılar Archaeological Project and part-funded by the EU-Turkey project. The display here includes examining the settlement history of the site and its exploration and the nature and stratigraphy of höyüks. Visitor groups are shown this display and then taken on a tour of the site and shown how the höyük has accumulated over time. Annual village briefing meetings are held in Çaltılar by the archaeological team to demonstrate to the community their latest discoveries. These included games for children to do a mock survey of the type used on the site itself and reconstructing broken pottery. DePauw students comment in their News Blog about the impact of these activities in 2012: "What was really cool was that both projects had significant components of community outreach," Foss says. "People were really interested in their past. In this small village of about 400 people where we lived, nearly 100 of them ended up coming by our dig house over the course of three or four days to look at displays we had made, or the pottery we found, or to ask questions about their past." Feedback from the children who visit the site in Turkey demonstrates that they develop understanding of the presence of their ancient heritage that was essentially lacking before these visits, and before the Centre was established.

The educational facilities of Fethiye Museum were also enhanced by the project, with new IT and projection facilities and a new talks to schools programme. An exhibition at the VG&M at the University of Liverpool in February - October 2013 was designed to showcase the research and the heritage preservation and recording issues in remote regions of Turkey and featured a 3D relief caste made from laser scanning by the project, which was later shipped to Fethiye Museum for a related exhibition there. The opening of the VG&M exhibition coincided with a seminar involving both Fethiye Museum staff and members of FETAV from Turkey with relevant professionals in the UK sharing good practice in heritage preservation with these Turkish local government bodies, museum staff and experts. The VG&M has Facebook and Twitter accounts with 3,212 followers, to whom these activities were reported thus also contributing to wider public engagement.

In addition to these museums' exhibitions, there have been poster exhibitions about the research and the Illuminating the Land of Light project in the Fethiye Cultural Centre (2011 and twice in 2012), Liverpool (2013) and London (2013). Greaves has made lecture presentations about the research and the project in Fethiye, Muğla and Istanbul (speaking in Turkish).

The heritage education programme has reached c.100 teachers, almost 17,000 school children and 50,000 tourists annually in Turkey since 2012 and 23,279 museum visitors in the UK in 2012-13. 1.3 million tourists a year visit the region, the project web site and the freely downloadable education resources and children's activities are becoming a useful resource for families. An important factor in the long-term success of this project in the traditional rural communities of Turkey, this project has had buy-in from all levels of government and society, including local community leaders and teachers who are crucial opinion-formers and initiators of change in their areas. Being hosted in communities and engaged with by local schools, this project has also engendered a sense of community ownership of the region's heritage which is reducing tolerance of looting in these remote areas (as indicated by the children's comments reported in the local press). Importantly, in a region famed for its classical archaeology, the research conducted at Çaltılar and disseminated via the Illuminating the Land of Light project has raised awareness of the region's prehistoric past and the importance of höyük sites in particular for the history of the area.

Some of the reach and effects of the impact can be documented in its web presence. There are 38 non-academic websites, which encompass media sources, personal blogs which reference the activity and significance of the project and its impact. A Turkish media video about the Çaltılar project in August 2012 has been viewed 185,837 times and shared on Facebook 255 times. In press reports the Fethiye museum Director is quoted as indicating that the programme has now reached almost 17,000 school children who have been provided education and training on heritage protection and conservation techniques and that the progress and the one-to-one education provided to the students involved proved to be very successful (see web links section 5). The media also document the transformative extent of the impact, statements of school children indicating that they are finding the education useful and are becoming more aware of the importance of protecting antiquities and preventing antiquities smuggling (see web link section 5).

Sources to corroborate the impact

  1. The Projects Officer, Municipality of Fethiye, has provided a statement to corroborate the economic and social benefits to Fethiye of the project, including considerable investment by the EU in Fethiye Museum and the benefits to partner municipalities.
  2. Director, Fethiye Foundation for the Promotion of Tourism, Education, Culture and Environment (FETAV), has provided a statement to verify the impact of the project on education in the city and the villages and rural areas surrounding it, where there is great need to enhance the educational offering.
  3. Fethiye Museum Director has provided a statement to corroborate the impact of Greaves' research on raising awareness of the importance of Çaltılar and pre-Classical history of the whole region and the role of the project in sharing new research and conservation technologies with Fethiye Museum, developing an education outreach programme and tackling looting, which is a major problem in Fethiye.
  4. A BBC Radio Journalist, can be contacted to corroborate the impact of the displays at the Heritage Education Centre at Çaltılar. The individual has visited the Centre and interviewed Greaves about how his research at the site is contributing to discussions of East-West cultural exchanges in antiquity.
  5. Press reports illustrating the statements of the Fethiye museum director as to the reach and significance of the project as described in section 4 (translations available on request):
    a. b.
  6. Press report indicating the transformative effect of the activity on the school children involved (translation available on request):