EUME Berliner Seminar
Mi 08 Jan 2020 | 17:00–18:30

Deconstructing Heroism, Confronting Romanticism: A New Historiography of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire

Filiz Tütüncü Çağlar (EUME Fellow 2019/20), Chair: Jihane Chedouki (EUME Fellow 2019/20)

Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

The history of archaeology remains an overwhelmingly European narrative reflecting an idealized picture of the accomplishments of the Western heroes and their groundbreaking discoveries. Despite recent attempts to develop new concepts and methodologies to challenge the traditional boundaries of the field, a critical reassessment is still missing of the alternative discourses involved in early archaeological practice particularly in the non-Western world. The present talk addresses this gap by focusing on the lesser explored case of the Ottoman Empire and its fairly delayed involvement in archaeology in the nineteenth century. The talk examines the ways and means archaeology was practiced as a transnational discipline in the late Ottoman Empire by a diverse team of archaeologists affiliated with the Ottoman Imperial Museum (Müze-i Hümâyûn). In doing so, it aims to explore the entangled histories surrounding Ottoman archaeology at the turn of the century while reconsidering the binaries that have been central to the Eurocentric and nationalist narratives dominating the historiography up to present.

Filiz Tütüncü Çağlar is an archaeologist specializing in Byzantine and Islamic archaeology. She was awarded her MA degree in Archaeology and History of Art at Bilkent University, Ankara. In 2017, Filiz received her PhD in Art History and Visual Studies from the University of Victoria (Canada). Her doctoral dissertation entitled, “From Raqqa with Love: The Raqqa Excavations by the Ottoman Imperial Museum (1905-1906 and 1908)”, examines the Ottoman excavations at Raqqa within a broader historical and disciplinary context while garnering a critical outlook to the existing historiography. Her current research focuses on the history of Ottoman archaeology by integrating archaeological, textual, and art historical sources in examining the discipline of archaeology as conceptualized and practiced in the late Ottoman Empire. She was an Art Histories Fellow in 2018-2019 and is an affiliated EUME Fellow in 2019-2020. She is currently working on her book monograph based on her dissertation.

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