Community Archaeology at Sagalassos

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What is Community Archaeology?

Community archaeology (also called public archaeology) refers to projects that get ordinary people involved in archaeology. There is growing realization that excavation teams cannot protect sites all by themselves, since they only excavate a few months out of the year. Rather, site protection has to be a community effort. If we teach more people what archaeologists, architects, and other disciplines are doing at the site (and why it’s important), we have a better chance to reduce looting and get more funding for conservation.

Community Archaeology At Sagalassos

The Sagalassos Community Archaeology Project is a new part of the overall research team. Our job is to figure out how to better connect the scientific research that happens at Sagalassos with the people of Ağlasun, visitors to the site, and the global public. We believe that the best way to protect sites like Sagalassos is for as many people as possible to benefit from the site through education, research, and responsible tourism development.

Besides the Sagalassos excavation team, we are also affiliated with the Burdur Museum.

In the coming years, we plan to involve youth residents of Ağlasun as both learners and teachers in the Saga-lasun project, funded by the World Bank.

What is Site Management?

Site management is more than deciding where we will dig this year! A site like Sagalassos can provide benefits to lots of different users: education, scientific information, recreation, tourism revenue. However, when lots of people are using the same resource, the potential for conflict arises.

A site management plan is a framework for balancing these uses while protecting the site. It is created through consultation between the excavation team and other groups who have an interest in the site (called ‘stakeholders’).

A site management plan creates communication among stakeholders and identifies the
values that need to be protected at the site (both tangible and intangible). It is also an opportunity to ensure that more people know about and support the work we are doing here.

In Turkey, site management plans must be initiated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. As yet, a formal management planning process has not yet begun for Sagalassos. However, the Sagalassos Community Archaeology Project hopes to create relationships and gather information now that will be useful later when the site management planning process begins.

Learn more about community archaeology at Sagalassos:

Community Outreach at Sagalassos
Saga-lasun Youth Development Program
Planning for Sustainable Tourism at Sagalassos