The Joint Prehistoric Project
1998-99 ANNUAL REPORT
Robert J. Braidwood and Linda S. Braidwood
The situation in southeastern Turkey, unfortunately, is still unchanged. Actually with the capture and sentencing of the militant PKK Kurdish leader, and his statements to the judges, there is a glimmer of hope that the violence and killings will stop.
We have nothing exciting to report at this time but are glad that work towards publication does go forward with Asli Özdogan in charge of the Prehistoric laboratory in Istanbul University. She is still hopeful that she is going to resume excavation on Çayönü in the near future. Meanwhile she is excavating a site not too far from Çayönü to test the general situation.
Isabella Caneva and her Italian colleagues have been moving forward on the large bulk of chipped flint and obsidian. Unfortunately, they can only leave their work in Italy to come out to Istanbul for several short study periods each year. The Prehistoric Project has been able to pay the small monthly sums needed that make it possible for Çiler and Güner, the two Turkish women, to keep working on the chipped stone in their absence. They were thrilled to be sent to the chipped stone symposium Isabella held in Venice last November. There they were able to meet chipped stone specialists from all over Europe and the United States. They also presented their first papers, which were well received.
Gülçin and Banu, the two Turkish women who first began to work on animal bones under Berrin, are also doing very well. After Berrin's tragic death, both women wanted to keep working on sorting and learning about the bones that had been excavated. So when Richard Meadow of Harvard and his graduate student Hitomi Hongo (Ph.D., Harvard) took over the bone study, the women were needed. As we reported in an earlier Annual Report, Richard received a grant from the National Science Foundation for the work on Çayönü, and Hitomi, who now has a permanent position in a Japanese research Institute, was permitted to use Çayönü as her research study. This means that she can come out to Istanbul for two or three long study sessions each year and also supervise the women's work. Both Banu and Gülçin have been able to specialize on an animal (red deer and cattle) so they were able to obtain their master's degrees from Istanbul University. Richard Meadow is trying to find a way so that each woman can eventually get a higher degree in zooarchaeology in Europe or the United States. This will undoubtedly prove too difficult financially. They must first have more English lessons (or the needed European language).
There is still work to be done to straighten out some of the details of the Çayönü stratigraphy - this needs to be done by the three staff members, Asl1, Erhan, and Mike Davis. We are hoping that Mike will be able to leave his pet project in New York (that of getting people back to using the New York harbor for rowing) this winter to spend several weeks in Istanbul working on the stratigraphy.
Before we close, we want to thank warmly all the friends of the Prehistoric Project for their continued interest and support.
Revised: February 7, 2007