Loading Events

Folklore, Archaeology and Religion in Republican Turkey: Thoughts from Çatalhöyük and the Konya Plain.

Thursday 8 October 2015


At The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB

A Folklore Society lecture by Dr David Shankland (Director, Royal Anthropological Institute)

The aim of this lecture is to outline the relationship between religion, folklore and archaeology in the Turkish Republic, with particular reference to the beliefs of the villages nearby the Catalhoyuk excavations, in the province of Konya. It will argue that the balanced relationship between state, archaeology and local understanding of religion resulted in an environment within which the extensive and rich heritage of the region could be adequately – if not perfectly – protected. One important implication of this is that the Republican understanding of Islam was not purely imposed from above, but did have resonance within the local traditions. Disagreements and incongruences did exist, but the situation was manageable, resulting in a subtle interaction between folklore, villagers, the state, archaeologists, and religious beliefs. In times of heightened conflict, this balance can become affected, with tragic consequences.

All Welcome!