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Cultural Heritage Program

Dr. Işılay GÜRSU

Cultural Heritage, Ankara British Institute of Archeology

The main purpose of the Phoenix Cultural Heritage Program is to understand the ways in which local communities of Taşlıca and Söğüt villages, located just by the ancient site, currently relate to Phoenix itself as well as to identify the values they assign to the archaeological site. Based on this understanding, a series of practical suggestions that could foster this contemporary relationship will be based formulated.

Another purpose of the program is to identify strategies in order to reach out to groups and individuals who already have or likely to have a connection to the site.

The long-term aim of this initiative is to contribute to the preservation of the archaeological and historical heritage of the region in harmony with the local communities and by involving the people who have an interest in the ancient site.

Cultural Heritage
Education Program for Children

“Cultural Heritage Education Program for Children” prepared within the scope of Phoenix Archeology Project aims children, dwelling in Taşlıca and Söğüt villages, to have awareness of recognition and conservation of the cultural environment they live in. In the program that centered on children and designed on the basis of permanent learning an active model has been created in which children interact with tangible objetcts, learn by experiencing, living, doing and entertaining. Accordingly, applied and experimental methods such as creative drama techniques, museum education, artificial excavation area and creating a workshop place were preferred.

The main objectives of the program are for children to recognize, understand and protect the cultural heritage of the land they live in, and to transfer the cultural heritage they have to future generations. Raising individuals who are sensetive to archaeology and related issues, have gained awareness, tolerant towards different cultures as well as their own, conscious and responsible, are among the expectations of the project.

Işılay Gürsu graduated from Boğaziçi University’s Tourism Administration department, and she completed her MA studies at Koç University’s ‘Anatolian Civilizations and Cultural Heritage Management’ programme. She received her PhD in Cultural Heritage Management from IMT Institute for Advanced Studies, Lucca, Italy in 2013.

She joined the BIAA upon completion of her PhD. For the first two years of her appointment, she worked on improving the presentation and interpretation of the ancient site of Aspendos and the ancient region of Pisidia. She was the Co-Investigator of the research project ‘Living Amid the Ruins: Archaeological Sites as Hubs of Sustainable Development in Southwest Turkey’, which received funding from the British Academy’s Sustainable Development Programme in December 2016. She was involved in drafting the SARAT (Safeguarding Archaeological Assets of Turkey) project application, and worked as part of the project, between 2017-2020. SARAT won the 2020 Europa Nostra Award in the category Education, Training and Awareness-Raising.