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Archaeologists and Treasure Hunters on the Tigris

BIAA London Lecture by Dr Gül Pulhan

November 6, 2018
Tuesday at 6.30pm
BIAA members free, or £10 to non-members
Book online here

British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

When British Consul-General and explorer JG Taylor surveyed the remains of Arzan in the province of Batman, he stumbled upon something remarkable - treasure littering its ancient streets:

“So many medals of gold and silver are found here that the fellahs who till the ground are paid nothing by the owner…and they give him in addition half of what they may find.”

That was in the 1860s, however the ‘farming’ of antiquities continues to this day, providing subsistence for those who need it and feeding ‘get rich quick’ dreams. All that is needed is a scruffy map, a barely legible sign, a bit of luck, and sometimes a metal detector bought online.

In this lecture, Dr Gül Pulhan – who leads a salvage excavation in the area – will describe the efforts of the Batman, Mardin and Diyarbakır regional archaeology museums to protect archaeological heritage by conducting scientific excavations, producing exhibitions, raising awareness and undertaking educational programmes for children and adults. The current Safeguarding Archaeological Assets of Turkey (SARAT) project – led by the BIAA and funded by the UK CulturaSave & Closel Protection Fund – is involved in spearheading similar endeavours.

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