EUME Berliner Seminar
Wed 16 Jun 2021 | 17:00–18:30

Theodore Macridy: Life and Legacy of an Ottoman Archaeologist

Filiz Tütüncü Çağlar (EUME Fellow of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation 2020-22), Chair: Wendy Shaw (Freie Universität Berlin)

This talk investigates the life and work of Theodore Macridy, one of the diligent officials and archaeologists of the Ottoman Imperial Museum and its successor, İstanbul Archaeological Museums, between 1892 and 1930. Studied under the light of archival sources and in reference to archaeological material from excavations he directed, the story of Macridy’s life and work offers rich insights into the conditions under which archaeological investigations were carried out in the Ottoman Empire as well as Ottoman archaeologists’ mentalities and working principles. Drawing from field reports and a collection of letters that Macridy wrote from various ancient sites he worked at between 1902 and 1907, this talk discusses the history and practice of archaeology in the Ottoman Empire within the context of changing power relations of the late Ottoman period. By highlighting Ottoman archaeologists’ persistent efforts to gain recognition on the international scene while claiming ownership over patrimony, the talk seeks to establish their ambiguous position within the context of global disciplinary developments. Macridy’s testimony, thus, opens a new direction for the historiography of archaeology in the late Ottoman Empire through the perspective of local actors, who have been systematically disregarded up to the present.

Filiz Tütüncü Çağlar is an archaeologist and art historian specializing in the history of archaeology with also experience in Byzantine and Islamic archaeology. She received her Ph.D. in Art History and Visual Studies from the University of Victoria (Canada) in 2017. Her doctoral dissertation entitled, From Raqqa with Love: The Raqqa Excavations by the Ottoman Imperial Museum (1905-1906 and 1908), examines the Ottoman archaeological investigations in Syria within a broader historical and disciplinary context while garnering a critical outlook to the existing historiography. Her wide range of research interests include the history of archaeology and collecting in the late Ottoman period, Islamic art and archaeology, medieval ceramics and glass in the Mediterranean, museum outreach, and history of horse breeding. Filiz was an Art Histories fellow in 2018-2019 and is currently a EUME fellow of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation carrying out a book project in affiliation with Museum für Islamische Kunst and the Institute of Art History at Freie Universität zu Berlin. She is also affiliated with Staatliche Museen zu Berlin as an official guide where she leads tours for enthusiasts of the Middle East. 

In accordance with the measures against the spread of the coronavirus, this seminar session will be held virtually via ZOOM. Please register in advance via eume(at) to receive the login details. Depending on approval by the speakers, the Berliner Seminar will be recorded. All audio recordings of the Berliner Seminar are available via the account of the Forum Transregionale Studien on SoundCloud.

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