Settlement Archeology

Aims and Objectives

The objective of the program is to provide students with a solid academic background in archaeological theory, research techniques and modern interpretative methods with particular emphasis on settlement and environmental archaeology. 

Settlement archaeology is the study of the selection criteria and implantation of settlements in the landscape, interrelationships between cities and their rural surroundings, the impact of human occupation on the natural environment and vice versa under past conditions.

Settlement archaeology has as its aim the holistic reconstruction of the cultures of ancient settlements and urban communities and their hinterlands. Settlement archaeological research is by definition a multidisciplinary enterprise requiring expertise from the disciplines of the natural and social sciences, architecture and city planning, as well as specialized techniques related to the retrieval, recording, analysis and data bank management of archaeological data (GIS), site conservation and cultural resource management. Disciplines and interdisciplinary sub-disciplines required in addition to archaeology include geology, environmental geomorphology, archaeozoology, paleontology, paleobotany, archaeometry, ancient history, anthropology, sociology, urban geography, classical architecture and city planning. 

The objectives of the program are to train students in both the scientific-technological and social science-humanities disciplines necessary to conduct archaeological research according to contemporary international standards. The primary purpose is to train students as advanced scholars in settlement archaeology for university level teaching, research and active participation in national and international archaeological projects in Turkey.

Meeting Requirements and Job Opportunities in the Field of Settlement Archaeology

Turkey lies astride what is unquestionably one of the most ancient regions in the world to have developed agriculture, animal husbandry, permanent settlement and urbanism. Its archaeological heritage, including remains of human occupation from the Homo Erectus Paleolithic through the Neolithic to the present, is unparalleled and internationally acknowledged. In Turkey are to be found the archaeological records of Çatal Höyük, perhaps the world’s earliest agricultural proto-civilization, and records of the development of a number of indigenous civilizations as well as numerous invasions of peoples who merged with those before them to create new urban/agricultural cultural constellations.

In the United States and Europe the recognition of the need to integrate archaeology with the natural and social sciences has resulted in the creation of interdisciplinary programs in archaeology at the graduate level. These include the Archaeology Graduate Program at the University of California at Los Angeles, the M.A. Program in Archaeological Studies at Yale University, the Graduate Program in Archaeological Sciences and Prehistory at the University of Sheffield, and the Graduate Program in Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bradford. Some, such as the University of Pennsylvania Graduate Group and the Archaeology Program at Belgium’s Leuven University, are specifically specialized in the Settlement Archaeology of the Near East and the Mediterranean regions.

Unfortunately, settlement and environmental archaeology, as a recently developed modern interdisciplinary domain, remain undeveloped in Turkey. There are no settlement archaeology programs in Turkey, or, indeed, interdisciplinary archaeology programs at all. This is especially regrettable given the fact that, as noted above, Turkey is the site of what are arguably the most significant archaeological remains of early agricultural settlements and early civilizations in the world. There is an urgent need for Turkish archaeologists who are comfortable with and competent in interdisciplinary archaeological approaches. Graduates of the interdisciplinary master’s program may expect to find employment at the numerous domestic and international archaeological projects in Turkey, including the rapidly growing area of salvage archaeology, or at the growing number of museums. Graduates will also, naturally, be capable of pursuing further graduate studies leading to the Ph.D. in archaeology or related fields, either in Turkey or at foreign universities.

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