Archaeology as a source of national pride in the early years of the Turkish Republic

Tanyeri-Erdemir T.

JOURNAL OF FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY, vol.31, no.4, pp.381-393, 2006 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1179/009346906791071828
  • Page Numbers: pp.381-393


This paper investigates the change of discourse related to the inculcation of national pride through archaeology in the first 15 years of the Turkish Republic. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, archaeological knowledge was used by Turkish scholars in the propagation of national identity and pride by illustrating that Turks were an ancient people with a long and remarkable past. After the commencement of the first Turkish excavations in 1934, archaeology assumed a different role. More than the data produced, the practice of archaeology itself became a source of national pride because it was an important indicator that Turkey was a modern country that could contribute to international scholarship. This change of discourse can be followed in archaeological field reports and in the papers presented af the first two meetings of the Turkish Historical Society in 1932 and 1937.