The Second International

Congress on

Black Sea Antiquities

The Department hosted the Second International Congress on Black Sea Antiquities for an entire week at the beginning of September 2001.

Holding such a meeting is possible only through the collaboration of a large number of people who should be mentioned here. The organising committee consisted in three members of the department: Yaşar Ersoy,Marie-Henriette Gates and Jacques Morin. The congress was organised in close collaboration with Gocha Tsetskhladze, of Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, who is, in fact, the main inspiration for these gatherings. The congress benefited greatly from the contribution of the office of the rector of the University, who offered a reception for the participants on the first day of the congress and helped solve numerous problems; the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Letters as well facilitated our work at all turns. The University also provided a generous sum of money, which made the congress financially feasible. Bilkent University Preparatory School contributed its performance hall where the sessions of the congress were held. Several students from the department, as well as Charles Gates, contributed their time during the congress to make technical matters run smoothly, these are: Murat Akar, Hüma Arslaner, Başak Baskan, Ayşe Batman, Ahmet Şevket Çağan, Ayşe Kocabeyoğlu, and Ayşe Tuğcu.

Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and USA. Sir John Boardman, the eminent classical scholar from Oxford, presided over the congress and gave the opening lecture on Sunday evening. Nearly 100 papers were presented over six half-day sessions each covering either a region (Anatolia and the Caucasus, Russia and Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria), or a theme (Byzantium and its Black Sea Neighbours, Persian influence), with one general session regrouping a variety of subjects and, finally, one entire day devoted to excavation and survey reports; poster sessions were organised each day in parallel to the oral presentations. The subjects covered varied considerably, mostly in archaeology, art and history, with a few papers on numismatics and literature. The abstracts of most can be read on the website of the congress at The breadth of subjects covered during the congress shows the great dynamism of research in this part of the world, as well as the fruitful collaboration of many international teams.

The week of the congress concluded with a series of excursions. The entire group visited the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations on Friday morning, guided by Marie-Henriette Gates. Those unable to stay the weekend visited Gordion in the afternoon. One large group travelled to the Black Sea shore, first to Sinop to visit the Roman amphora kiln site of Demirci and the antiquities in the city and museum; this portion of the trip was guided by Dominic Kassab-Tesgör, and then on to the museum at Samsun. A second group was taken by Geoffrey Summers of METU to his excavation at Kerkenes Dağ and other important Central Anatolian sites.

The participants enjoyed themselves during their stay at Bilkent and left with a very positive impression of our University. More importantly, from a scholarly perspective, they were able to renew contacts with known scholars and make new ones, especially with younger colleagues. Discussions were lively throughout the week, at the end of the regular sessions themselves and also during lunch breaks. Although organising this congress involved a great deal of work and worrisome problems, the organisers feel very proud that it was a success.

Jacques Morin

Newsletter No. 1 - 2002, Pg. 16

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Bilkent University - Department of Archaeology and History of Art
Maintained by
Charles Gates and Jacques Morin
For Further Information
Yaşar Ersoy or Jacques Morin.
Last Updated: November, 2002.