“Art and Archaeology” Project

Demet Güral

“Art and Archaeology” Project

Friends of Aşıklı Society in collaboration with non-governmental organizations in Turkey and EU countries, is bringing science and art together by creating a dialogue between them to recognize the cultural heritage in Turkey.  We are launching a project aimed at promoting Aşıklı Höyük at national and international levels. 

Within the scope of the project, we plan exhibitions and simultaneous events in Turkey,  Spain  and the UK. 

The project is jointly implemented with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain and the University of Dundee in the UK under the grant received from the European Union’s Grant ‘Scheme for Common Cultural Heritage: Preservation and Dialogue between Turkey and the EU-II (CCH-II)’ program.

Our project brings together different disciplines such as art, history, art history, archaeology  and anthropology to introduce, Aşıklı one of the earliest settlements in prehistory.

Our starting point is that various art forms are a common language that unites people with  different cultures and backgrounds. In this context, 13 artists from different countries will reflect the daily life in Aşıklı, the place of  Aşıklı in human history in various art forms, inspired by Aşıklı Höyük. The artists will interpret what a cultural value means today. 

One of the most important activities of the project is the Lines of Site/Kazı İzleri exhibition, which is scheduled to open in Istanbul in February 2022. Then, respectively, physical or virtual  exhibitions in Dundee and Barcelona  in conjunction with and simultaneously held cultural  heritage, Anatolian Neolithic, prehistoric art, art and science seminars and workshops are  planned.

Another important aspect of the project activities is planned for the residents of the vicinity.  Educational and informational seminars and meetings for individuals of various  age groups living in and  around Gülağaç district of Aksaray, which will emphasize the importance of  cultural heritage, understanding and adopting local cultural values will be carried out. 

Local activities planned for the project include creation of a Neolithic food forest, the construction of bread and bakery products with domestic wheat and grains. Workshops such as obtaining  dyes from plant roots, fabric dyeing, printing techniques which have been used since Aşıklı Höyük prehistoric time will be organized. In this context, we aim to cooperate with local government, local institutions  and organizations that will  contribute to the development  and recognition of the region. 

One of the important objectives of our project is to establish long-term cooperation with NGOs active on similar issues in Turkey and EU countries and to strengthen efforts to make long-term  policies and relevant work more effective to passing on our common cultural heritage to the next generations. The duration of the project is 15 months. 

The Aşıklı Höyük excavation team has been contributing to the development of the region by interacting with the residents of the village of Kızılkaya, the residents of Gülağaç and the neighboring Güzelyurt district. The team acknowledges the importance of sharing their research and study results with local people. 

To embrace their cultural heritage, it is very important for the local people to understand Aşıklı Höyük better and be in regular interaction with archaeologists. 

To serve this purpose, over the years the team has organized handicraft workshops for women and creative writing workshops for children between the ages of 7 and13. These workshops aimed to support the  self-esteem of the participants and contributed to increase their social skills. 

In addition, with activities such as “School of Archaeology” and evening gatherings,   archaeological  studies were shared with local people. 

With the EU funded “Art and Archaeology” project, we aim to add new dimensions to the work carried out to date and leave lasting traces.