ARM Research Blog

Stelios’ research blog

Excavating the land of Ionia (1919-1922)

with 2 comments

The Greek-Orthodox church in Nazilli-Turkey was set on fire by the Turkish forces before the advancing Greek army. The base of the altar (seen at the centre of the picture) was part of an inscribed column

The Greek-Orthodox church in Nazilli-Turkey was set on fire by the Turkish arny forces before the advancing Greek army. The base of the altar (seen at the centre of the picture) was part of an ancient inscribed column in second use.

Shortly after the landing of the Greek army in Smyrna/Izmir and while the soldiers were still on the move -giving decisive battles in Anatolia-, Greek archaeologists, endorsed by the (Greek) government of Asia Minor, sought to uncover the primordial past of Ionia, excavating and surveying Klazomenai, Ephesus, Nysa, Mastavra et al. Byzantine, Hellenistic and other antiquities partook in the liberating scheme and the (inwards and outwards) identity establishment project, serving at the same time the vision of the expanded Hellas (Μεγάλη Ιδέα).

This is -more or less- the thematic of the paper that I will be presenting in TAG 2008 – Southampton, later in December. It will be posted here later on, but for the time being here is the abstract together with the link of the session: Archaeologies of Military Occupation

Excavating the bouleuterion in Nysa. In the front view, the workers of the excavation (mostly Greeks and Turks convicts from the Smyrna prison).

Excavating the bouleuterion in Nysa. In the front view, possibly the workers of the excavation (Greeks and Turks convicts from the Smyrna prison).

Excavating the ‘occupied’ land of Ionia: Greek excavations in Asia Minor (1919-1922)

Stelios Lekakis (University of Athens)

After the end of WWI, Greece, who was on the side of the victorious Entente, was rewarded with lands in Eastern Thrace and Asia Minor, which had
belonged up until then to the defeated allies of the Central Powers: Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire respectively.

In 1919, the Greek army landed in the area around Smyrna/Izmir in order to ‘protect the Greek-Christian populations from the random attacks of Turkish guerrillas’. The newly created Greek government of Asia Minor organised and funded a number of cultural and social activities in the area in an attempt to solidify Greek identity and establish substructures for the final incorporation of the liberated lands into the Greek state. This paper, part of an on-going project, looks specifically at the archaeological excavations performed by the Greeks in the occupied/liberated land of Ionia and examines a number of multiple and intertwined political, social and scientific issues, such as the role of politicians and military men in the archaeological projects, the connection with archaeological projects in mainland Greece in this period and their role in identity building of the local populations, and the way in which the findings were interpreted by the Greek side. It will also examine the fate of the research and excavations after theTurkish War of Independence.

Excavatin the bouleuterion in Nysa

Excavating the bouleuterion in Nysa

Greek soldiers partaking in the surney and posing in front of the amphitheatre remnants at Mastavra

Greek soldiers partaking in the surney and posing in front of the amphitheatre remnants at Mastavra

Advertisements

Written by Stelios Lekakis

December 3, 2008 at 6:13 pm

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. hello .ı am live in aydın (aidin)turkey.ılike photographs.ı need aidin nazilli old photo .help me please

    rahmi yaman

    October 2, 2010 at 6:09 pm

  2. Hi. Can you contact me on info@greek-genocide.net …I’d like your permission to use the photo of the ruined Nazilli church on my website.

    aris

    August 13, 2014 at 1:26 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: