By Zeynep Çelik
Antiquities were pawns in empire-building and worldwide rivalries; energy struggles; assertions of nationwide and cultural identities; and cross-cultural exchanges, cooperation, abuses, and misunderstandings—all with the underlying portion of monetary achieve. certainly, “who owns antiquity?” is a contentious query in lots of of today’s foreign conflicts.
About Antiquities deals an interdisciplinary learn of the connection among archaeology and empire-building round the flip of the 20th century. beginning at Istanbul and targeting antiquities from the Ottoman territories, Zeynep Çelik examines the preferred discourse surrounding claims to the earlier in London, Paris, Berlin, and big apple. She compares and contrasts the reviews of 2 museums—Istanbul’s Imperial Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art—that aspired to emulate eu collections and achieve the status and gear of possessing the fabric fragments of historic background. Going past associations, Çelik additionally unravels the advanced interactions between individuals—Westerners, Ottoman selection makers and officers, and native laborers—and their competing stakes in antiquities from such mythical websites as Ephesus, Pergamon, and Babylon.
Recovering views which have been misplaced in histories of archaeology, rather these of the excavation employees whose voices have by no means been heard, About Antiquities presents vital ancient context for present controversies surrounding nation-building and the possession of the past.
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Additional resources for About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire
Servet-i Fünun 47, no. 76 Electric trams replaced the horse-drawn ones in 1912, also during this active period under Cemil Pasha. The main tram line that connected the Galata Bridge to the heart of the historic peninsula had a stop at the entrance to Gülhane Park before reaching Hagia Sophia Square. From this stop to the Imperial Museum was a short walk up the hill, on a narrow, leafy street. The museum was hence easily accessible by the main mass transportation line, as well as being within walking distance from several busy centers of the city—among them, the Galata Bridge; the Eminönü ferry stop and quays; the central markets; Hagia Sophia Square and its new extension, Sultan Ahmed Park; and Divanyolu, the historic main avenue of the old city.
As Hagia Eirene could no longer accommodate the much larger scope of the collection, it remained as the “military museum,” and in 1875 the antique works were moved to the nearby Çinili Köşk, also in the gardens of Topkapı Palace. 65 The beginnings of a museum complex may have been based on convenience and availability of unused historic structures on imperial land; indeed, convenience and availability became the determining factors in the final location of one of the most important modern Ottoman institutions.
R. Sitlington Sterrett’s plea to “Americans of great wealth and the great American institutions” for archaeological research in Asia Minor and Syria in 1911. For example, writing from Illinois College, Clarence O. Harris explained the political advantage: The United States is in a peculiarly favorable position for this task, for it alone of the progressive nations of the world can go into Turkey free from the suspicion of desiring to impair the integrity of the Turkish Empire, and so their scholars will be allowed more freedom .