Prof. Engin Akyürek, PhD 1995, Istanbul University, History of Art, Specialization: Byzantine Art History. Engin Akyürek is professor in the department of Archaeology and History of Art at Koç University, and the founding director of ‘Koç University – Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Center for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies’ (GABAM). He worked at Istanbul University, Deapartment of History of Art between 1992-2014 and chaired the Byzantine Main Branch for several years. His field works mainly focused on Byzantine settlements in Pamphylia and Lycia. Akyürek conducted / take part in several scientific surveys and projects: The Church of St. Nicholas Excavations, Demre (2001-2004); The Bey Mountains (Antalya) Field Survey (2001-2006); Rhodiapolis (Kumluca) Excavations (2007-2009); Myra – Andriake Excavations (2009 – continuing). He is also the coordinator for Byzantine Period Studies of the Turkey’s Archaeological Settlements (TAY) Project. His recent publications include: Alakent Church, A Byzantine Monument at Myra, 12th-13th Centuries (Istanbul 2018); “Likya’da Bizans Dönemi Mimarlığı / Byzantine Architecture in Lycia”, Ed., H. İşkan – E. Dündar, Lukka’dan Likya’ya Sarpedon ve Aziz Nikolaos’un Ülkesi / From Lukka to Lycia the Land of Sarpedon and St. Nicholas, (İstanbul 2016), 520-533; “Andriake: The Port of Myra in Late Antiquity”, Trade in Byzantium, Papers From The Third International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium, Eds. P. Magdalino – N. Necipoğlu (İstanbul 2016), 465-487; “Myra, The City of St. Nicholas”, En Orient et en Occident, le culte de saint Nicolas en Europe, Eds., V. Gazeau, C. Guyon, C. Vincent, (Paris 2015), 21-37; “Seventeen years of experience in archaeological inventory: TAY Project completed Byzantine Period of Thrace and Bithynia”, Byzantinische Forschungen, Band XXX (2011), 43-56; “Palamutdüzü: A Medieval Byzantine Village Settlement in the Bey Mountains”, ADALYA, XI (2008), 295–319.
Christina Luke Ph.D. Cornell, 2002
Research interests: archaeological fieldwork, survey, ethnography, heritage, politics, development and diplomacy Christina Luke is Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology and the History of Art. She has been awarded grants from the US National Science Foundation and the US National Endowment of the Humanities. She serves as a board member of the Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations as well as the British Archaeological Institute’s Safeguarding Archaeological Assets of Turkey (SARAT). She is consulting scholar for the Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Pennsylvania and former Chair of the Cultural Heritage Committee for the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). Her fieldwork has included museums, excavations and surveys in the province of Manisa (Turkey) as well as Greece, Central America, and Mexico. Prior work experience includes the Cultural Heritage Center at the US Department of State (ECA). Current work focuses on the Gediz Valley and the regions of Izmir and Manisa, including analysis of material from the Central Lydia Archaeological Survey, the Kaymakçı Archaeological Project, and the natural and cultural heritage of this region. Her work has been published in edited volumes as well as in journals, including Ancient Mesoamerica, Anatolian Studies, BASOR, European Journal of Archaeology, International Journal of Cultural Property, International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Statecraft and Diplomacy, and a forthcoming article in the American Journal of Archaeology. She is an editor with N. Brodie, M. Kersel and K. Tubb of Archaeology, cultural heritage and the antiquities trade (2006, University Press of Florida), as well as an author with M. Kersel for US Cultural Diplomacy and Archaeology: Soft Power, Hard Heritage (2013, Routledge). Her forthcoming book with Oxford University Press is A Pearl in Perilon development and diplomacy in western Turkey. She serves as the coordinator for graduate admissions in the ARHA Department and is Editor of the Journal of Field Archaeology.
Prof. Günsel Renda, Ph.D (1968) Hacettepe University, Art History. Specialization: Ottoman Art, Ottoman Painting, Interactions of European and Ottoman Culture Günsel Renda is an Adjunct Professor in the Archaeology and History of Art department at Koç University in Istanbul. She worked at Hacettepe University in Ankara and chaired the department of History of Art there for many years. She has served as an advisor to the Ministry of Culture, organized several international exhibitions, and has taught at the Sorbonne as well other universities in the United States and Europe. Among the books she has edited, co edited and/or written are: The Transformation of Culture: The Atatürk Legacy, (Princeton, 1986); A History of Turkish Painting (Geneva, 1988); Woman in Anatolia, 9000 Years of the Anatolian Woman,(Istanbul, 1994); The Sultan’s Portrait. Picturing the House of Osman, (Istanbul, 2000); The Ottoman Civilization ed. (Istanbul, 2002); Minnet av Konstantinople: Den osmansk-turkiska 1700-talssamlingen pa Biby, (Stockholm, 2003); Image of the Turks in the 17th Century Europe, (Istanbul, 2005).
Assoc. Prof. Lucienne Thys-Şenocak, PhD, 1994, University of Pennsylvania, History of Art. Specialization: Ottoman Architectural and Urban History, Ottoman Fortifications, Patronage of Imperial Ottoman Women, Oral History, Cultural History, Gender Studies, Cultural Heritage Management, Museology Lucienne Thys-Şenocak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology and History of Art at Koç University. Her research includes the patronage of architecture by imperial Ottoman women, the subject of her recent book, Ottoman Women Builders: Hadice Turhan Sultan (Ashgate Press, 2006). Her publications also include: “Yeni Valide Camii ve Külliyesi”, published in Muqarnas (1998); “Gender and Vision in Ottoman Architecture: Yeni Valide Mosque Complex in Eminönü”, published in Women, Patronage and Self Representation in Islamic Societies. Since 1997 she has been working on the historical and architectural survey and documentation of two seventeenth century Ottoman fortresses in the Dardanelles, has conducted an oral history project in this region, and is the co-director of a conservation project for the fortress of Seddülbahir. She has presented and published her research on the Dardanelles fortresses in several international cultural heritage forums and journals. She is a member of ICOMOS Turkey. More information about the project in the Dardanelles and her recent publications can be found She is also involved in a cultural heritage management and education project at Bergama (ancient Pergamon).
Asst. Prof. Alessandra Ricci, PhD 2008, Princeton University, Art and Archaeology. Specialization: Late antique and Byzantine archaeology and architectural history; pre-Ottoman Constantinople; late antique and Byzantine society and conflicts. Alessandra Ricci is an assistant professor in the Department of Archaeology and History of Art. Before her position in the Koç University, she was the Associate Director of the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, RCAC. She is involved in archaeological fieldwork in Turkey working mostly in the region of Thrace, the city of Istanbul and its suburbs. She also works with UNESCO on a rehabilitation project at the Byzantine site of Mesopotam in Southern Albania. In Istanbul, at the site of Küçükyalı, she has developed an Archaeological Park Project while conducting an excavation, conservation and public awareness project. The Küçükyalı Archaeological Park is one of the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture projects. Her publications include Tra Passato e Presente. Progetti di Archeologia (Istanbul 2005) and she is currently completing a study on monastic architecture and visual polemics in ninth century Constantinople.
Asst. Prof. Rana Özbal, PhD 2006, Northwestern University, Art and Archaeology. Specialization:The Archaeology and Prehistory of Anatolia and the Near East; Cultural Interaction; Neolithization; Early Complex Societies; Microarchaeology; Soil Chemical Analyses Rana Özbal is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology and the History of Art at Koç University. After receiving her PhD from Northwestern University in 2006 she taught at Boğaziçi University in the Department of History. In 2009-2010 she held a post-doctoral fellowship awarded by the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA). Currently, she is the assistant director of the Barcın Höyük excavations in Bursa province investigating the beginnings of farming in this region and the processes involving the spread of agriculture through NW Anatolia into Europe. Özbal has also worked extensively at the sixth millennium BC levels of Tell Kurdu in Hatay where she explored issues of cultural interaction and connections with northern Mesopotamia. Her research results have been published in various book chapters as well as in journals like Anatolica and Tüba-Ar.
Asst. Prof. Inge Uytterhoeven, PhD 2003, KU Leuven – Belgium, Archaeology Specialization: Classical Archaeology; Hellenistic, Roman and Late Antique housing in Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean; Interaction between the Roman West and the Greek East Inge Uytterhoeven is Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology and History of Art at Koç University. She obtained her PhD from the KU Leuven with a dissertation on the Graeco-(Late) Roman village and necropolis of Hawara in the Egyptian Fayum, based on both written and material sources (‘Hawara in the Graeco-Roman Period. Life and Death in a Fayum Village’ – published in 2009). After her PhD she worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders at the Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project in Leuven and the DAI – Istanbul, and as a Senior Fellow of the Koç University – RCAC in Istanbul. Her post-doctoral and currently ongoing research has been focusing on Hellenistic, Roman and Late Antique housing in Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean. This includes fieldwork at Sagalassos (Ağlasun, Burdur), where she has been supervising the investigation of the Late Antique ‘Urban Mansion’ since 1998 ( Besides, since 2009 Inge Uytterhoeven has been responsible for the study of the architectural surface remains recorded during the Boeotia Survey of Leiden University in Greece.
Asst. Prof. Suzan Yalman, PhD 2011, Harvard University – History of Art and Architecture Specialization: History of Islamic Art and Architecture; Medieval Anatolian Architecture and Urban History; Cross-cultural exchange in the Medieval era Suzan Yalman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology and History of Art at Koç University. After completing her Ph.D. in 2011 at the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University, she held post-doctoral fellowships awarded by the Barakat Trust at Oxford University and Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence. At present, she continues her work on architectural patrons in the Anatolian Seljuk period. Her research on the Anatolian Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad was recently published in Muqarnas (2012).
Asst. Prof. Çiğdem Maner, PhD 2011, University of Heidelberg – Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology and Prehistory Specialization: Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East and Anatolia, Aegean Bronze Age, Cultural interactions between Anatolia and the Aegean in the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age; Fortification Architecure of Middle Bronze Age and Late Bronze Age. Çiğdem Maner is Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology and History of Art. She has received her Phd from the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology and Prehistory at the University of Heidelberg. Her research interest lies in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages of the Eastern Mediterranean, with a special focus on exchanges and interactions in architecture and material culture. She specializes in Anatolian, Mesopotamian and Aegean Archaeology of the Bronze and Early Iron Ages. Her most recent research is about what the Hittites call the “Lower Land” and the Konya Ereğli region. Her publications include her Phd thesis on a comparison of Hittite and Mycenaean fortification architecure and articles related to this subject. She is co-organizor and co-editor of the conference and proceedings of the Nostoi conference; about Interconnections in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Ages in Western Anatolia and the Aegean. Her recent field research includes the preparation of the publication of small finds of the Late Bronze Age levels of Alalakh (2006-2011). She is the director of the KEYAR survey (Konya Eregli Yüzey Araştırması), Co-director of the Ushakli excavations and collaborator of the CLAS-project. She is also a writer of children books. She is interested in teaching children about archaeology, Anatolian and Mesopotamian civilizations and to increase their knowledge on cultural heritage issues. So far she has published four children books, which are published by İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları.
Ivana Jevtic, PhD 2008, University Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland – Antique Motifs in Byzantine Wall Painting (13th-14th centuries) Ivana Jevtic is an instructor in the Department of Archaeology and History of Art. Her doctoral dissertation was about Antique Motifs in Byzantine Wall Painting (13th-14th centuries) and it was jointly carried out at the University Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland (2008). After her PhD, she taught at the University of Fribourg and she was a Senior Fellow of the Koç University – RCAC in Istanbul. Her current research revolves around two main themes: study of Late Byzantine Constantinople, then the exploration of retrospective and narrative tendencies in Late Byzantine art and their comparisons with similar processes in Western medieval art. She is also the editor of the Istanbul Byzantine Circular.
Asst. Prof. Matthew Harpster Ph.D., Texas A&M University (2005)
Specialties: Maritime Archaeology, History and Theory of Maritime Archaeology, Maritime Landscapes, Maritime Cultural Heritage, History of Science and Technology Matthew Harpster is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology and History of Art, as well as the Director of the Koç University Mustafa V. Koç Maritime Archaeology Research Center. Between 2006 and 2010, he was faculty at Eastern Mediterranean University, on Cyprus, and from 2010 to 2013 he directed the Kyrenia Shipwreck Collection Restoration Program, an international effort to revitalize and update the curation and display of this material from the 4th-century BC. He is presently leading the Ancient Maritime Dynamics (AMD) project, a pan-Mediterranean diachronic study of patterns of movement and mobility at sea, based upon the large corpus of archaeological data presently distributed across the Mediterranean seafloor. AMD grew from his ERC-funded MISAMS project at the University of Birmingham, and is presently driving his present terrestrial and underwater surveys along the Amalfi costiera, as well as a variety of investigations related to the construction and use of Mediterranean maritime places in antiquity.

Ongoing Research Projects

  • Konya Ereğli Archaeological Survey Project (KEYAR)
  • Küçükyalı Archaeological Park, Istanbul
  • Barcın Höyük Project
  • Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project

Faculty Research Projects

Konya Ereğli Archaeological Survey Project (KEYAR)

Çiğdem Maner

The main aim of the Konya Ereğli Archaeological Survey Project (KEYAR) is to investigate Bronze and Iron Age settlements in four province towns in the Southeast of Konya, namely Ereğli, Emirgazi, Halkapınar and Karapınar. These province towns are under the supervision of the Ereğli Museum. KEYAR started as a five-year project in 2013. Previous research had been done in many of the towns of the Konya province to explore the Bronze and Iron Ages. Apart from a few mound surveys by James Mellaart (1953) and Semih Güneri (1987-88) in Ereğli and Karapınar, no systematic surveys have been conducted in the towns of Ereğli, Karapınar, Halkapınar and Emirgazi, which are overseen by the Konya Ereğli Museum. This project will extensively investigate the Bronze and Iron Age settlements in the towns mentioned above for the first time. In the 2013-14 seasons, the town of Ereğli was surveyed and we plan to complete our work here in 2015. In the 2014 season, the northern part of Halkapınar and the southern part of Emirgazi were surveyed as well. We plan to continue with more extensive surveys in these towns in the next field seasons. For further information or details about participation please contact Çiğdem Maner (

Küçükyalı ArkeoPark Project

Alessandra Ricci

The Küçükyalı ArkeoPark Project wishes to demonstrate how cultural heritage may be integrated into daily city life. By conducting archaeological excavation and field research in the area, this project contributes to the conservation of cultural heritage and opens up an additional field for visitors. The first archaeological park of Istanbul will be created through this project, with the goal that it will serve as an example for future projects. Küçükyalı Archaeological Site is the largest archaeological area located on the Asian side of Istanbul and was a suburb of the ancient Byzantine city. The remains in question represent the patriarchal monastic complex of Satyros. It is the only surviving 9th century-structure in the city and was built by Patriarch Ignatios between 866 and 877. His body was buried at the site next to a large sized church dedicated to St. Michael.

Küçükyalı ArkeoPark Project brings archaeology, urban design and architecture together; offering an integrated approach to regional development, public participation, and sustainability.

Barcın Höyük Project

Rana Özbal

Rana Özbal is the co-director of the Barcın Höyük Project, a Late Neolithic site located in the Bursa Province inhabited during the second half of the seventh millennium BC. The project hopes to gain insights on the establishment of farming communities in northwest Anatolia around 6500 BC and to understand the role that this region played in the spread of Neolithic way of life. The main questions revolve around the social and economic organization in this period. One of the main aims of the project is to understand how the site and the region as whole contributed to the processes of Neolithization.

The mound was also inhabited in the Late Chalcolithic, Roman and Byzantine Periods. The Late Chalcolithic Period occupation is significant because it represents one of a few settlements known for this period in Western Turkey. The Roman and Byzantine Period remains at Barcin are also valuable because we know little about life in small village communities during this period. The major funding for the Barcın Project comes from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. More information on the project can be found at

Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project

KU Leuven (Belgium)

The Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project directed by Prof. Dr. Marc Waelkens of the KU Leuven has been carrying out interdisciplinary work at the ancient town of Sagalassos (Ağlasun, Burdur) and its territory since 1989. Researchers and students of various disciplines and nationalities are collaborating to reconstruct the history of this Pisidian town, which developed between the Hellenistic Period and the Mid 7th c. AD.
Inge Uytterhoeven started participating with the excavations at Sagalassos in 1997 and has been responsible for the excavation and investigation of the ‘Urban Mansion’ of the town since 1998. The main building phase of this large elite residence, which was provided with impressive reception spaces, courtyards and bath rooms and decorated with rich mosaic floors and wall paintings, dates to the late 4th-early 5th c. AD. However, there is evidence for older construction activity in the area, including early 1st c. BC walls, two Imperial peristyle dwellings and 3rd-4th c. AD building interventions. At the latest in the mid 6th c. AD the mansion started to lose its earlier luxurious character: rooms were subdivided and representative spaces transformed into storage places and/or got a more ‘ruralised’ character. Housing activities in the area of the ‘Urban Mansion’ continued after the heavy earthquake that struck Sagalassos ca. 602-610/620 AD, until occupation in this zone came to an end around the mid 7th c AD.

For more information on the Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project