Community Outreach

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Community Outreach at Sagalassos

Since it began in 1990, the Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project (SARP) has had good relationships with people in the town of Ağlasun. Every year the SARP hires up to 90 people from different neighbourhoods of Ağlasun during the excavation campaign. We also support the local economy by purchasing locally. During one summer excavation campaign, the SARP spends about 250 000 euro in Ağlasun, which covers wages, excavation supplies, food for the team, hiring vehicles, and rental of houses. We also include an almost equal number of Turkish students and experts alongside the Belgian and other international members. This policy both ensures the transfer of expertise and skills into the country, and also improved relationships between the project and the people of Ağlasun.

Though the Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project is proud of its efforts so far, we have realized that we have the opportunity to contribute more to Ağlasun and its development. Ağlasun, like many rural regions, has been losing population as young people move to cities in search of greater economic opportunity. The presence of Sagalassos offers the potential for economic development through tourism. At the same time, the SARP wants to build maximum public awareness of the site in order to ensure that it is conserved over the long term. Connecting Sagalassos and Ağlasun presents a great opportunity to accentuate the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of each.

The 2009 Campaign

During Summer 2009, the Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project and its local partners began to address these issues, using resources already existing in the community. The Sagalassos Community Archaeology Project, a collaboration between the SARP and the Burdur Archaeology Museum, has been formed as the umbrella organization for promoting awareness of the site among residents of Ağlasun and Burdur.

We plan a variety of activities for the summer 2009 campaign. In June, we conducted interviews with residents of Ağlasun to determine their aspirations for the town and site. We are also beginning Turkish-language tours for Ağlasunlus, to try to raise local awareness of what archaeologists do and why the site is unique. New brochures targeting the local community will be prepared and distributed, and the project will give public lectures in Ağlasun and Burdur reporting the results of the campaign.

Learn more about community archaeology at Sagalassos:

What is Community Archaeology?
Saga-lasun Youth Development Program
Planning for Sustainable Tourism at Sagalassos