Program Overview:

The Department of Archaeology and History of Art (ARHA) offers a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of archaeology, the history of art and visual culture, late antique and Byzantine studies, cultural heritage management, museum studies, and maritime archaeology. Our courses cover a wide historical and geographical scope including prehistoric Anatolia, the Greek and Roman Empires, the Late Antique period, the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, and the modern period and introduce the students to recent theories and methodologies in archeology and art history. Active engagement in the study of archeology and art and architectural history is integral to our curriculum and ranges from hands-on training in methods of analysis and conservation in the  university’s laboratories to field trips to archaeological sites and architectural monuments, museum visits, and participation in conferences and workshops organized by Turkish and international visiting scholars and specialists. Our students are further encouraged to participate in one of our archaeological excavation projects during the summer, conduct internships at museums or cultural heritage organizations, and participate in workshops in Türkiye and abroad. They are also encouraged to take courses essential to their area of interest or specialization in the field of Digital Humanities and in Languages of the Mediterranean and Anatolian worlds, such as Greek, Latin, Hittite, Luwian and Ottoman Turkish.  ARHA’s multidisciplinary educational approach provides a wide range of employment opportunities for their students, including in museums and cultural heritage organizations.

Our department collaborates with several research institutions affiliated with Koç University and located around the country: Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED), Vehbi Koç Ankara Studies Research Center (VEKAM), Suna & İnan Kıraç Research Center for Mediterranean Civilizations (AKMED), The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies (GABAM), and the Koç University Mustafa V. Koç Maritime Archaeology Research Center (KUDAR).

Program Outcomes

  1. Advanced insight and understanding of the primary study tracks related to Anatolia and broader Mediterranean, covering the period from Prehistory up to contemporary times, within its broader geographical and cross-boundary context.
  2. A sound understanding of the distinct types of material from and written sources describing different periods and regions available for studies in the primary study tracks.
  3. A working knowledge of selected ancient and modern foreign languages, allowing direct access to original literary sources as well as archeological and epigraphical material.
  4. Clear insight into the current state of research in the primary study fields.
  5. Advanced understandings of archeological field data collection, up-to-date laboratory analyses, and/or proficiency in GIS or other geospatial and database technologies as analytical tools for archaeology, history of art, and heritage needs.
  6. Clear insights in collecting, interpreting, and synthesizing specific maritime archaeological data to understand past and present societies.
  7. Clear understanding of concepts and methods of the art historical analysis of materials from different periods and regions of Anatolia and the larger Mediterranean world.
  8. Skills to identify, analyze, interpret, and contextualize attestations of material and visual culture during archaeological fieldwork or in post-processing work in museums.
  9. Knowledge of theoretical approaches and practical skills needed to assist in the creation of heritage management plans or to carry out various aspects of a heritage project in Türkiye or abroad.
  10. Skills to conduct research about and in museums using a variety of methods, from field work to archival research, by encouraging inter- and cross-disciplinary thinking, and by acquiring both the theoretical and practical skills needed to become a museum curator or manager.
  11. Skills to carry out research as independently working, critically thinking scholars who possess well-developed written and oral skills in English and other modern languages.

Occupational Profiles of Graduates:

Graduates of Koç University Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities work at leading companies in Türkiye and abroad. The Graduate School is actively working on keeping the alumni network alive.

Some of the students who graduated from this program also apply to doctoral programs.



ARHA 500 / ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS I (NEOLITHIC-LATE BRONZE AGE) This survey course will focus on the archaeological sequences of Türkiye (ancient Anatolia) from the Neolithic period through the Late Bronze Age and the end of the Hittite Empire. An illustrated lecture series will cover the major stages in the rise of agricultural production and a critical evaluation of models of state origins will provide the basis for our understanding of the transformation into complex state societies in Anatolia. It will cover the major theoretical issues in trade and exchange systems that form the backdrop for the prosperous Assyrian trading systems. Textual material will be integrated with the archaeological record to illuminate some of the complex relationships between the Hittite Empire in northern Anatolia and the Levant. Highlighted are the major sites such as the following: Göbeklitepe, Çatalhöyük, Alaca Höyük, Troy, Göltepe/Kestel, the GAP salvage projects, Kültepe, Acemhöyük, Alalakh, and Bogazköy
ARHA 501 / ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS II: IRON AGE-ROMAN Material evidence and historical sources for Türkiye from the Iron Age to the Roman period. Cultures and time periods of the Neo-Hittites, Phrygians, Urartu, Lydians, Greek settlements, Persian rule in Türkiye, Hellenistic kingdoms such as Pergamon, Roman cities and settlements. For all time periods, the developments in Türkiye, within the wider context of the Mediterranean and Near Eastern regions.
ARHA 502 / ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS III: LATE ROMAN – BYZANTINE Investigation of archaeological, art historical and historical testimonies ranging from the Late Roman through the Byzantine periods in the territories of present · day Türkiye. Examination of the ways in which lands of the Roman Empire, both cities and countryside, underwent transformations, adaptations and radical changes. Discussion on the impact early Islamic cultures bore on Eastern Anatolia and beyond.
ARHA 503 / ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS IV (OTTOMAN-RECENT) This course provides an introduction to the issues and approaches used to study the history of Ottoman art and architecture from the early Ottoman era to the establishment of the Turkish Republic and the world of contemporary art in Türkiye
ARHA 506 / ARCHAEOLOGICAL METHODS AND THEORY This course covers theoretical approaches and methods used in the design and implementation of archaeological field research and data analysis. It focuses on the principles that archaeologists use to explain human cultural development from the material record of the past. Questions considered will include: What is archaeology and what are its aims? Is there a coherent body of archaeological theory to which most archaeologists subscribe? What appears to be the most productive theoretical approaches for understanding and interpreting the past?
ARHA 507 / ARCHAEOLOGICAL METHODS AND THEORY II Archaeological method and theory with emphasis on the principles and practice of Anatolian archaeology. Topics include: survey and excavation methods and associated recording techniques, the instrumental analysis and interpretation of various kinds of excavated materials, and the presentation and publication of archaeological results.
ARHA 510 / RESEARCH SEMINAR Students present their research and MA thesis proposals. Learn about research methods, publication ethics and improve their writing planning. Graduate students participate in the seminars given by Archaeology and History of Art program faculty and visiting fellows at the Center for Anatolian Civilizations
ARHA 520 / LATE ANTIQUE AND BYZANTINE HISTORY WRITING This course analyzes the broad range of historical documents contributing to the making of Late Antique and Byzantine histories.
ARHA 527 / CONSTANTINOPLE (330-1453) The history and the archaeology of the Byzantine imperial capital from its foundation to the Ottoman conquest. The functions of the built environment in relation to both historical time and urban space: the imperial palaces, the public churches, civic ritual and entertainment, economic and social services, the provision of welfare and defense, and the role of monasteries in the life of the community.
ARHA 535 / WESTERNIZATION OR MODERNIZATION? THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE IN THE 18TH AND 19TH CENTURIES The modernising movements in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries and their impact on Ottoman culture and arts. The change in the Ottoman attitude towards the West starting in the 17th century resulting in the introduction of westernisms in technology, social life and the arts in view of political and economic relations with Europe. The newly introduced concepts in the cultural sphere of art works; discourse on the concepts of `modernism’, `westernization’, `occidentalism’ and `orientalism’ and the transformation in Ottoman culture and arts in the 18th and 19th centuries.
ARHA 540 / FIELD STUDIES Under the supervision of an ACHM professor students are provided with practical experience in an excavation and/or a museum internship . This course also includes extensive academic travel with ACHM faculty to archaeological sites in Istanbul and throughout Türkiye.