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In Turkey, most of the historic city centers have been continuously occupied since early ages. There are ongoing researches and/or ad hoc findings (urban infrastructure, depth foundations, road, etc.) indicating urban archaeological resources –cultural deposits underneath modern cities. Archaeological and urban archaeological conservation sites are determined according to the results of these researches in terms of current legal framework. However, urban archaeological resources could not be handled in the planning process because of inadequacy in spatial documentations, so archaeological deposits could be seen as problem areas in urban development that is directly related with financial, administrative and legal limitations. In defined context, one of the main issues is information, hence the lack of communication between the disciplines of urban planning and archaeology, which should work together in inter-disciplinary field of urban archaeology. Therefore, urban archaeological properties could not be handled in the planning process and multi-layered context of historic city centers could not be conserved. So, citizens are not aware of archaeological stratification beneath their foot.

Research project aims to develop a method to handle urban archaeological – especially sub-soil archaeological- resources into urban conservation planning process of multi-layered historic city centers in Turkey. Therefore, preliminary, varying archaeological, historical and visual data sets in different institutions are assessed with spatial references by means of GIS (geographic information systems) supported processes. Then, spatial data sets are re-assessed with data obtained from observations and analysis in settled urban pattern to evaluate multi-layered context.

A basic formula “Pr= (Pi-D)q(Garmy,1995, 3-8), which aims to define probable conserved urban archaeological deposits, determines the main spine of research that is designed stage by stage. Therefore, ideal urban archaeological potential, whole or partial destruction and the quality of archaeological deposit have to be theoretically evaluated. Consequently, it is possible to determine urban archaeological character zones that would be sub-strategy zones in planning. At the end of research projects, guidance is prepared to clear new analysis process for urban conservation planning.

In defined context, urban archaeology, as an inter / multi disciplinary field of research, is going to evaluated as a crucial planning analysis in urban conservation including not only archaeological researches, but also evaluating settlement history, urban development dynamics and urban morphology. Planners could be informed, award and equipped about urban archaeological potential and its spatial references at the earliest stages of planning process. Therefore, proposed research project determines an inter-disciplinary field.

The result and outcomes would be disseminated by official web-site of research project. Moreover, a series of workshop is proposed to gather planners, archaeologist and architectures with local authorities, bureaucrats and actors and create a multiplier-effect.

Given the varying scale multi-layered historic city centers in Turkey, scientific discussions and probable implementation tools of the research method would be embodied by a case study research. Therefore, Tarsus historic city center is chosen as case study area, where there are completed or ongoing archaeological researches, but its multi-layered context could not be exactly studied, yet.

Garmy, P., Urban Archaeology in France, Committee on Cultural Heritage, European Plan for Archaeology, Group of Specialist on Urban Archaeology, (1995).

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