The TAY (Archaeological Settlements of Turkey) Project was set up to build a chronological inventory of findings for the cultural heritage of Turkey - an important component of World Heritage sites - and to share this information with the international community.
Although both Anatolia and Thrace have revealed cultural traces dating to at least 400.000 years ago, results from early 19th century investigations as well as data generated by current surveys and excavations are neither well organised nor easily accessible. The locations of many sites remain unknown, while many of them have been and continue to be destroyed, taking their undiscovered secrets with them. In order to stop this cycle, it is essential to collect and compile all available cultural heritage information to establish and maintain a central inventory: if we do not document, we cannot protect. TAY project's central aim is to thoroughly document all archaeological settlements within Turkey (such as mounds, monuments, tumuli, cemeteries, etc.).
The TAY Project began in 1993 as an entirely independent organisation and has continued with no institutional affiliation, powered solely by the personal efforts and commitment of its team. Its' origins, goals, methods and approach to pursue the documentation of cultural heritage is the first and only example of its kind within Turkey.
- A cultural and material inventory covering Anatolia and Thrace throughout the history of human settlements does not exist;
- There are no systematic document archives that permit in-depth research of the cultural evolution and development within the region;
- Consequentially, chronological relationships among Anatolian and Thracian cultures cannot be clearly established.
The Project Objectives
- Data Collection: 'Electronic' salvaging of cultural heritage of Turkey;
- Data Publishing: Printed and 'on-line' presentation and publications of the data collection for local and global distribution of this heritage;
- Data Verification: A comprehensive survey of Turkey, using new technologies appropriately, for the analysis of available data and in situ documentation of new findings;
- Monitoring: The establishment of a new institution for monitoring natural and man-made destruction of cultural heritage, while generating public awareness of such occurrences.
The Projects Audience & Benefactors
The TAY Project aims to provide a data pool and a scientific reference base accessible to all concerned individuals and institutions, such as: students at all levels; archaeologists, historians and scientists in related fields; museums and other protectors of cultural heritage; individuals/organisations involved in promotional advertising activities about Turkey; the general public; etc.