Shepherd-turned-watchman guides visitors
After excavations began in a land where he herded his goats in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, Mustafa Keskin started to work as a watchman and is now guiding tourists about the history of the ancient city.
The life of Keskin, father of four children living in Demre district, changed with the Myra-Andriake excavations that started about 10 years ago.
Keskin, a primary school graduate, had herded his goats in the area he inherited from his grandfather, which was completely covered with vegetation.
Following the works by Prof. Nevzat Çevik of Akdeniz University’s archeology department and his team, Keskin learned that under the land he was using to raise the livestock laid one of the largest metropolises of Lycia, one of the important cities of the Roman and Byzantine periods.
After the expropriation of the land, Keskin was offered to guard the excavation area because he lived in the region and joined the team as a worker.
Keskin started to participate in the excavations and became interested in archeology, making research on the ancient city of Myra.
Keskin read books written about the area and Çiçek’s publications in the field of archeology, expanding his knowledge of the historical site during the decade-long excavations.
In addition to the excavation works, Keskin, locally nicknamed “Bılı,” provides guidance to tourists coming to the region, especially on the Lycian Way route. Keskin told Anadolu agency that he was very happy with his job and he wanted to contribute to the emergence of information under the ground.
“I am now contributing to the emergence of history in an area where I used to be a shepherd and graze my goats,” he said.
Whatever you ask about this field, I can easily answer it. I had no prior knowledge of history or archeology. Excavations have given me a lot. Every piece that is unearthed in the excavations excites me. I am trying to learn all kinds of information about the works.”