Telephone: +44 (0)20 7323 8000
Website: Go to website
Find it

From Lord Elgin to Gertrude Bell

A local perspective on British archaeology in the Ottoman Empire

April 15, 2020
18.00 – 19.00 GMT

British Museum, British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG

A talk by Edhem Eldem

Lord Elgin’s removal of the Parthenon friezes at the turn of the 19th century can safely be taken as the starting point of a long period of British involvement in archaeology throughout the Ottoman Empire, from Greece to Anatolia and Mesopotamia.

For over a century, British diplomats, travellers, antiquarians, adventurers, and archaeologists roamed the Ottoman lands in search of antiquities and archaeological sites.

From ‘cherry-picking’ to systematic excavations, from predatory practices to scientific collaboration, from diplomatic exchanges to military intelligence, the story of British archaeology in the Ottoman Empire can only benefit from what its grand narrative lacks most: a focus on the Ottoman and local dimensions of this complex process.

Edhem Eldem teaches at the Department of History at Boğaziçi University and holds the International Chair of Turkish and Ottoman History at the Collège de France. His fields of interest and expertise include the Levant trade, funerary epigraphy, Istanbul, the Ottoman Bank, the history of archaeology in the Ottoman lands, Ottoman first-person narratives, and Ottoman photography.

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7323 8000
Website: Go to website ......
Find it
More Reading
Related Events
Buy the latest issue
Or browse the back issues here
Issue 60, January 2020 Istanbul: The Ultimate Museum Guide
£ 12.00

Cornucopia Digital Subscription

The Digital Edition

Cornucopia has joined forces with the digital publishing platform Exact Editions to offer individual and institutional subscribers unlimited access to a searchable archive of fascinating back issues and every newly published issue. This brand new resource is available cross-platform on web, iOS and Android and offers a comprehensive search function, allowing the title’s cultural content to be delved into at the touch of a button.

Digital Subscription: £18.99 / $18.99 (1 year)

Subscribe now

Print subscribers automatically receive FREE access to the digital archive. If you are already a subscriber, please register at with your subscriber account number or contact