Protecting Çatalhöyük: Memoir of an Archaeological Site Guard

1st Edition

Sadrettin Dural

Routledge
Published January 1, 2007
Reference - 160 Pages
ISBN 9781598740509 - CAT# Y287421

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Summary

They are essential to every major archaeological excavation but rarely acknowledged by the visiting researchers once the artifacts have been shipped. As part of the innovative, multivocal output from the famous Turkish Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük, we hear from one of the site guards, Sadrettin Dural, who tells the story of the excavation from the point of view of the “Other.” He offers tales of the strange habits of archaeologists, describes the local in-fighting that scholars never see, and explains how scientists can be protected from the Yatirs, spirits of the dead who guard the mound. Ian Hodder, director of the Çatalhöyük project, provides explanatory notes for the reader and an interview with the author, exploring indigenous interpretations of ancient sites and the archaeologists who excavate them. For the archaeologist, this offers a revolutionary new viewpoint on their work. For the cultural anthropologist, Dural’s role as site guard is only a small part of his life as a Turkish villager. The author recounts the daily lived experience of one man in a contemporary Turkish village, including changing economic strategies for supporting his family, brushes with the law, trips to the beach and the city, and Turkish phone sex.

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