Artifacts in Harran ancient city transported to museum
Thousands of artifacts that have been unearthed in the excavation area in the seven-century-old Harran Ruins, one of the oldest settlements in the world on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, are exhibited in museums after undergoing six stages.
The excavations in the historical ruins have been ongoing for more than 70 years at various intervals with the financing from the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Turkish Historical Society as well as the support of local administrations.
The artifacts found in the ancient city are divided into two categories, which are for the inventory and for the study. Among these artifacts, the inventory ones go through six meticulous stages until they are exhibited in the museum.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Harran University (HRU) Head of Archaeology Department and the head of the Harran Ruins excavations, Professor Mehmet Önal said that a very busy process continues in the excavation house as well as in the field, and that apart from the fragile artifacts such as glass, bone and metal are firstly washed with pure water and later dried.
Stating that after the artifacts are given a number, they are drawn and photographed one by one, Önal said that the categorized artifacts are filed and registered in the database so they can be easily accessible in a digital environment even after hundreds of years.
Stating that after being transferred to the digital environment, the artifacts were then delivered to the museum with a report, Önal drew attention to the fact that each piece went through six meticulous and challenging stages until it is delivered to the museum and put on display.
10,000 artifacts found in Harran
Önal stated that during the excavations in Harran, more than 10,000 historical artifacts consisting of ceramics, glass and metal artifacts, coins, architectural pieces, figures, sculptures, bone and ivory artifacts and storage jars have been unearthed so far. Emphasizing that the works are delivered to the museum after some processes, Önal said, “Thousands of artifacts are brought to light every year. The artifacts found by our team in the field are delivered to the museum as inventory and study works after meticulous and delicate works in our excavation house. Some of the highlights among the works can also be visited and seen in the exhibition hall of the museum.”
Archaeologist Rahime Selim, who works at the Harran excavation house, said that she has been working in excavations for about seven years.
Stating that they are doing very meticulous work both in the field and in the excavation house, Selim said, “We pay attention to the protection of the artifacts after leaving the field. Each artifact can be cleaned with its own techniques. Each work is cleaned by different friends according to its type.”
Jiyan Çalık, one of the excavation house archaeologists, pointed out that a great effort lies behind the arrival of the artifacts to the museum and added that they are delivered to the museum under the supervision of the excavation chief, team and a museum representative.