Italian archaeologist spends half century in excavations in Turkey
“I travelled all around Turkey for work. From now on, I want to tour it as a tourist,” Isabella Caneva, a 76-year-old professor in love with the country, told state-run Anadolu Agency.
The year was 1968 when Caneva, then a lecturer at Italy’s Lecce University’s archaeological faculty, came to Turkey after getting married.
Developing interest in Anatolian territories, Caneva started working at the excavation efforts at Arslanteoe Tumulus in the eastern province of Malatya.
After years, she started working at the Çayönü Tumulus in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
It was the year of 1993 when a colleague invited her to the excavations at the Yumuktepe Tumulus and her life changed.
“I was so excited when I first saw Yumuktepe. I had studied the tumulus in my university years, and it was my dream,” she said. “It was a very special moment when I first dug into the soil,” she added.
Having lived in Mersin for the last 28 years, she noted, “I and my workers got older in time. We are today working at the site with the grandchildren of the workers I first worked with.”
She has two dreams: One personal and the other professional.
She wants to visit Aegean tourism hotspots, the mountains of the Black Sea region and Istanbul as a tourist. But her biggest dream is to write about Yumuklutepe.
She is considering writing books specific to every period of the 9,000-year-old tumulus and wants to realize the “archeopark project of Yumuklutepe.”