Charting John Garstang’s ‘footsteps across Anatolia’
ISTANBULKoç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (RCAC) in Istanbul has begun an exhibition celebrating the immense contribution of John Garstang, a British scholar, on archaeology in Turkey.
Curated by University of Liverpool faculty archaeologist Alan Greaves, the exhibition consists of photographs and archival materials from the Garstang Museum of Archaeology’s archive and the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA), of which Garstang was the founding director. Most of the exhibition content is on display for the first time.
The exhibition, “John Garstang’s Footsteps Across Anatolia,” is being organized in collaboration with the University of Liverpool and aims to highlight the contributions of Garstang to the study of archaeology in Turkey and the Near East.
Garstang was one of the first advocates of using photography as a means of documenting procedures and findings from archaeological excavations. His photos from his survey of Anatolia and northern Syria in 1907 established for the first time the full extent of the ancient Hittite Empire. Over five years, The University of Liverpool has systematically digitized and catalogued thousands of Garstang’s glass plate photographic negatives to create a new archive of “digital surrogates.”
This is a primary research resource for archaeologists and anthropologists recording the lost monuments and lifestyles of Turkey and northern Syria in the late Ottoman period. Garstang also used photography to show his British sponsors how their financial contributions had been spent and to conspicuously display “British” dress and behavior in a manner that they would find pleasing.
Designed by a Tetrazon Museum and Exhibition Production team led by Burçak Madran, the exhibition invites visitors to track Garstang’s footsteps in Anatolia.
The photos in the exhibition are grouped in a thematic way that cover Garstang’s journey across Anatolia, which began in 1907 and ended with his passing in 1956.
A book titled “John Garstang’s Footsteps Across Anatolia” also accompanies the exhibition. Containing essays on Garstang’s life, his journey in Anatolia, his contribution to Hittite studies and a catalogue of selected photographs, the book is being published simultaneously with the exhibition.
The exhibition, which opened on Sept. 20, can be visited until Dec. 10.