73. Following our visit and the briefings we received,
our principal concern on the heritage issue is not with Hasankeyf,
which has been the centre of attention, but the archaeological
heritage of the rest of the area to be flooded. This aspect was
overlooked in our earlier Report. It was also an unfortunate omission
by the ECAs involved, including the ECGD. The Turkish authorities
are funding rescue archaeology in the Tigris valley and its tributaries,
through a specialist Centre of the Middle East Technical University
at Ankara, TACDAM, headed by Professor Numan Tuna. Professor Tuna
briefed us at our meeting at DSI headquarters and subsequently
talked to one Member and the Clerk at greater length and in greater
detail at his Institute. In response to our request, he also forwarded
details of the TACDAM Ilisu Salvage project plans for 2001, and
a list of the sites identified.
74. An extensive survey of the Tigris and Euphrates
areas likely to be inundated by dams in prospect, including Ilisu,
was carried out between 1987 and 1990 by Professor Algaze of the
University of California at San Diego. The results have been published
in several articles in archaeological journals. Professor Algaze
identified and numbered over 200 sites of archaeological interest
in the Ilisu reservoir area. For the next eight years the security
situation rendered further work impracticable in the eastern areas
along the Garzan and Botan tributaries.
75. In the last three years, the main focus of rescue
archaeology has understandably been on the Euphrates projects,
in advance of the completion of the Birecik and Carchemish dams,
and in particular on the rescue of the Zeugma mosaics with substantial
last minute funding from the US Packard Foundation. TACDAM have
now reclassified, re-evaluated and prioritised the Algaze list.
Some of the sites identified by Algaze have been damaged by agriculture
or destroyed, notably in the western areas. Work on some other
sites is under way, with the promise of transfer of effort from
the Euphrates in 2001 and beyond.
76. The three Ilisu projects other than Hasankeyf
recorded as having begun in 1998 are at Gre Dimse, Salat Tepe
and Ziyaret Tepe. The 1999 report, which is far briefer, identifies
two projects starting for the first time in 1999: Boz Tepe and
Talavas Tepe, and a survey of the upper Tigris. The results of
the 2000 campaign are not yet available to us. We understand that
a few further teams have been active, including one under the
leadership of a British archaeologist based at the University
of Munich, an Israeli team and one or two Turkish teams hitherto
working in the Carchemish area. There seems to be no UK funded
involvement, nor any UK academic institution involved: a matter
deprecated by several of those we met. Funding of such involvement
would of course present major problems to UK institutions and
individuals. TACDAM cannot directly fund foreign projects, although
it may be possible to provide technical assistance of various
sorts in kind and the definition of what constitutes a site may
be flexible . The Director-General of DSI, who was evidently personally
committed to assisting, noted that if it was established that
the dam was clearly going to go ahead, funding would be easier.
PRINCIPAL SITES UNDER INVESTIGATION
- a mound 2 kms south of the main highway. In August
1998 a team from Bilkent university, Ankara, under the leadership
of Dr Norbert Karg, a German archaeologist, spent two days on
the mound. They were unable to hire workmen. We understand that
the team had a difficult time with procuring the necessary permits.
They record that they were able to use the University of Delaware
dig house in Batman. In July 1999 the team resumed digging, and
discovered what may be the first recorded complete early Iron
Age painted vessel.
- a mound near Bismil. In October 1998 Professor
Tuba Okse of Haceteppe University, Diyarbakir, began a survey
of the site. In 1999 work continued. The mound spans the time
period from the 5th millennium BC to the medieval period. The
pottery found suggests that this was an important centre controlling
the Tigris valley.
- this large multi-period mounded site has been
the subject of survey and excavation since 1997 by Dr Timothy
Matney of the University of Akron, Ohio, funded from several non-governmental
sources. Ziyaret Tepe is a predominantly Late Bronze and Iron
age settlement, possibly one of the three Assyrian-period border
towns along the Tigris river. In 1998-99 the lines of the city
walls were identified and they were due to be excavated in 2000.
The site was described to us by one expert as a "national
BOZ TEPE AND TALAVAS TEPE
- these two sites between Bismil and Batman were
explored in the summer of 1999 by the Upper Tigris Archaeological
Research Project by a team under Dr Bradley Parker of the University
of Utah. The excavations and surveys carried out suggest a long
history for both sites, and suggest that Talavas Tepe was home
to an indigenous culture which flourished prior to Assyrian intervention.
UPPER TIGRIS VALLEY SURVEY
- Dr Eyyup Ay of Kirikkale University carried out
in a period of 12 days in 1999 a survey of over a dozen sites
between the Batman river and Bismil, with the intention of further
work in later years.
77. There is no difficulty in producing plans
for Hasankeyf and for the archaeological sites in the reservoir
area. The professional archaeologists at TACDAM have identified
a number of priority sites for work: a few scattered red squares
on the map, surrounded by red dots for sites which have little
or no prospect of exploration before inundation. The difficulty
- funding: there are
limits to the funding which DSI makes available for rescue archaeology,
however sympathetic. The expenses beyond the actual " digging"
are significant, including recording and publication. It is also
not easy to get such funding from overseas agencies. The rules
on Turkish funding of foreign teams could usefully be more flexible.
- priorities: although
there is no reason to quarrel with TACDAM's work in seeking to
identify the sites most deserving of further work, the process
of triage is of course a chancy one and involves the potential
that a major site may be lost or only discovered at the last moment.
There is also a delicate balance between the funding of work at
Hasankeyf, which has by now become the symbol of Ilisu abroad,
and the possibly more archaeologically interesting but less immediately
- uncertainty: for those
seeking to block the reservoir, pressing too hard for funding
of rescue archaeology may look like admission of defeat; conversely,
those willing to help fund such work, such as foreign contractors,
may not wish to be seen to prejudge the outcome.
- staffing: the supply
of appropriately qualified specialists within Turkey is naturally
limited. Those within the international archaeological community
anxious to take part do not always find it easy to get permits
from the bureaucracy.
78. We are entitled to see a realistic archaeological
plan as required in the Secretary of State's announcement of December
1999. We still await the Government's proposals for a review
of that plan. We consider that the condition should be extended
to cover the whole of the reservoir area and land affected by
it, and that a "detailed" plan must by definition include