Harran’s women part of archaeological team
In Harran, which is in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa and one of the world’s oldest settlements, women provide support to archaeological excavations.
Excavations have been carried out by a team of 100 people in the archaeological field, which has been a settlement since 6,000 B.C. and was the capital of the Assyrians and Omayyad for some time. So far, the ruins of palaces, inns, baths and bazaars have been unearthed in the field, thanks to the local women who have been working actively on the site.
Women go to the excavation field early in the morning and use tools such as brushes, brooms, shovels and sieves. While helping bring history to light, they are able to contribute to their family income.
Wearing local dresses, the women also draw interest from visitors. In previous years, only a few women had been working in the field but this year, their number has increased to 10.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, one of the women, Medine Albur, said she was very pleased to contribute to history.
“I have been working here for one year. I began having a great interest in excavations and I love doing it because it makes me very excited. I have never even imagined doing something like this. I used to go to different cities as a seasonal worker but thanks to excavations, I am working in a field opposite to my house. We thank everyone for giving us such a chance,” she said.
Zübeyde Arlak said they were inexperienced when they started working on the excavations but in a short time, they were like professionals.
“I have 12 children. The history that lies here is very important. People from Turkey and around the world come here to see it. In this way, we meet different people and have fun here,” Arlak said.
Güneş Dağ started working on the excavations for the first time this year.
“I love this job so much. It is close to my house and I am always available to work. It is a nice and cool place. When we have something urgent, we can go to our house. This is a very good opportunity for us and I hope it continues,” she said.
A male worker in the field, Mahmut Çiftçi, said the women were more talented in eliminating the ruins and in fine works than men. “We must put our effort together to promote Harran,” he said.
The deputy head of the Harran excavations, Süheyla İrem Mutlu, said she had been working with the team in the field for six years.
Stating that they helped local people contribute to history, Mutlu said women were working devotedly.
“It makes me very happy that women are here. Thanks to these works, they get out of their house and become socialized. At the same time, they learn about their own history. They can touch history in the excavation field. They also take part in washing the findings. Then it becomes a much different environment. They compare the periods of artifacts. They classify the ceramics that we find in the archaeological field. They really help us,” she said.