One of Türkiye's greatest cultural events, the “Archeology Symposium” hosted by the Italian Cultural Center kicked off on Thursday with its 13th edition this year, bringing together 14 Italian archaeologists who have been excavating and researching in Türkiye with scientific enthusiasm and passion for more than 60 years.
In the high-ceilinged great conference hall of the cultural center, the images from the “Medea” exhibition put on display in Türkiye's Göreme last year were showcased through a short film.
Attending the event, Giorgio Marrapodi, Italy's ambassador to Türkiye, gave an opening speech emphasizing the country's encompassing potential in the field of archaeology. Noting that the Italian Cultural Center Archeology Symposium is an important cultural event that has been repeated for 13 years, Marrapodi said: “It is very important to share the results of the studies every year. We come together with enthusiasm, determining the next year's theme. Our goal is to deliver the outputs to a wider audience.”
Emphasizing that the studies conducted are of great importance not only in terms of science but also in terms of cooperation between Türkiye and Italy, Marrapodi said: “Cultural and archaeological activities serve as a cultural bridge between countries at all times. Such cooperation between two great civilizations is very important.”
Salvatore Schirmo, director of the Istanbul Italian Cultural Center, stated that they have been organizing this symposium for more than 10 years to introduce the results of archaeological studies to the public. Underlining that these results contribute to the archaeological excavations in the country, he said: “Italian archaeology missions had the chance to study the most fundamental periods of human history, from prehistory to classical Greco-Roman and Byzantine.”
Among the sites discussed throughout the symposium were Arslantepe Mound in Malatya, Gaziantep's Karkamış, Yozgat's Uşaklı Mound, Niğde's Kınık Mound, Mersin's Yumuktepe, Kayseri's Kültepe and Mersin's Elaiussa.
Leading Turkish historian Ilber Ortaylı was among the symposium's participants.
Having a chance to observe the first two sessions of the symposium as Daily Sabah, it was a nice surprise to be informed about Italian efforts to spread awareness among villagers so that they could be part of the preservation efforts of the ancient sites. In their presentations, archaeologists described the main results of scientific research that emerged during their excavations over the summer. The findings are the work of both the researchers sent from Italy, an excellent example of cultural cooperation that is renewed every year, and the deep knowledge of their Turkish colleagues on soil and archaeological techniques. The chair of the sessions was professor Isabella Caneva gave a speech called “lectio magistralis,” which can roughly be translated as “keynote speech,” providing insights on the past and present of archaeology in Anatolian society.
Rahmi Asal, director of Istanbul Archaeology Museums, mentioned the importance of cultural activities that bring countries closer and called on archaeologists and academics participating in the symposium to visit Istanbul's dazzling archaeology museums.