John Garstang, C. B. E.
BIAA Director 1947-1949
(also Chairman 1950-1952; President 1950-1956)
John Garstang had been a pioneering archaeologist for much of the first half of the twentieth century, and, after developing a particular interest in the Hittites, he conceived the idea of founding an institute in Turkey. By 1947, the idea had been forged into a reality, and Garstang became the first director of the new British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara. He immediately began excavations at Yümük Tepe the following year, but ultimately stepped down in 1949, owing to his age and the loss of his wife. He continued to serve as president until his death in 1956, the day after he returned to see his old site of Yümük Tepe one last time.
Seton Lloyd, C.B.E.
BIAA Director, 1949-1961
(also Honorary Secretary 1964-1972; President 1975-1981; Vice-President 1982-1996)
Seton Lloyd began an innovative archaeological career in Iraq in the 1930s, and soon joined John Garstang (who would go on to found the British Institute at Ankara in 1947) in the excavation of Mersin on the south coast of Turkey. Seton Lloyd took over the directorship after Garstang stepped down in 1949, and inaugurated his tenure with the excavation of a prehistoric mound at Polatlı. He would go on to work extensively on Sultantepe, Harran, and Beycesultan, before retiring in 1961. He remained involved with the Institute as Honorary Secretary, President, and Vice President until his death in 1996.
BIAA Director 1961-1968
Michael Gough had joined the Institute in the early years of Seton Lloyd’s directorship, and joined the excavations at Sultantepe in 1951. Ten years later, he took over the directorship himself following Lloyd’s retirement, and presided over one of the Institute’s most famous discoveries: Çatalhöyük. Meanwhile, Gough’s own work focused on Alahan and Dağ Pazarı, and these would be his main occupation throughout his directorship. The interest in this Byzantine monastry marked an important departure from previous directors’ specialisms in prehistoric archaeology, and was the beginning of a continuous broadening of the BIAA’s range of scholarly enterprises. Michael Gough retired in 1968, and passed away in 1974.
BIAA Director 1968-1993
David French was the Institute’s longest serving director, and he continues to be an important contributor to the Institute’s scholarly output today. After his appointment in 1968, he continued his earlier work on Can Hasan, which provided an important overview of the Chalcolithic Period in the area, as well as establishing transition sequences from the Neolithic. Among a considerable number of projects, the rescue excavations at Aşvan Kale and Tille Höyük stand out. In the field of epigraphy, David French embarked upon a vast and still ongoing project, namely the survey of the milestones of Asia Minor resulting in an unprecedented mapping of ancient roads in Anatolia that has become a major reference work.
BIAA Director 1996-2001
Having previously been Director of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq 1988-1995, Roger Matthews joined the BIAA as Acting Director in 1995 and serving as full Director from 1996-2001. During his time in Ankara he directed the multi-period field survey project in north-central Turkey, Project Paphlagonia, largely funded by BIAA. He also served as Field Director at the newly re-started excavations at Catalhoyuk from 1993-1996. Since leaving the BIAA, Roger Matthews has become Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Reading and is currently co-direct the Central Zagros Archaeological Project with Dr Wendy Matthews, investigating the Early Neolithic transformation to settled farming life in the Zagros mountains of eastern Iraq and western Iran. Visit institutional page >>
BIAA Director 2001-2006
As Director, Hugh Elton worked on the BABSI project (British Academy Black Sea Initiative) and on the renovation of the library, including the web-based catalogue and new bookshelves. He also directed the Goksu Archaeological Project, and, after leaving Ankara, directed the Avkat Archaeological Project. He specializes in Roman and Late Roman political and military history, and the regions of Cilicia and Isauria in southern Turkey, with a particular focus on questions of identity. He is currently Professor of Ancient History and Classics at Trent University. Visit institutional page >>
BIAA Assistant Director 1959-1961. James Mellaart had been associated with the institute for much of the 1950s, with a long history of working with Seton Lloyd, and was made the first Assistant Director in 1959. Soon after, he led his first dig as a field director at Hacilar. Controversies aside, Mellaart is undoubtedly most famous for discovering Çatalhöyük, one of the most significant prehistoric sites in the world (and now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the study of which the BIAA has continuously supported for more than half a century.
Assistant Director 1966-1972 (also BIAA Scholar 1964; Librarian 1965). After assisting Michael Gough in the Alahan excavations, Richard Harper conducted numerous epigraphic surveys around Nevşehir, Niğde, and Kayseri, and also carried out excavations of Comana in Cappadocia, and the Roman fort at Pağnik. He also did much to expand the BIAA library during his time as Assistant Director. After leaving Ankara, he joined the British School in Jerusalem where he remained until his retirement in 1995.
BIAA Assistant Director 1972-1975. After completing a fellowship at the BIAA, Sebastian Payne was appointed Assistant Director. He continued his studies of animal bones from Can Hasan, and also worked on the Aşvan collections and spent time investigating Franchthi Cave, Gordion, Kalınkaya and Eskiyapar.
BIAA Assistant Director 1976-1980. David Williams was appointed as Assistant Director in 1976, and worked with David French on the excavation of Tille Höyük, a rescue project necessitated by the building of the Karakaya hydroelectric dam. Williams also worked alongside French on the RECAM Project (Regional Epigraphical Catalogues of Asia Minor), which was conceived of as a worthwhile enterprise that could be carried out in spite of the financial difficulties of the time.
BIAA Assistant Director 1980-1986. Ann Murray was appointed as Assistant Director under David French, and participated in the annual BIAA excavations at Tille Höyük while at the same time pursuing her doctoral research on 2nd millennium ceramic material from the Keban Dam excavations and the Hittite texts of the Empire period. She spent considerable time in Pamukkale Museum drawing the small finds from the Lloyd/Mellaart 2nd millennium excavations at Beycesultan, and published, in conjunction with James Mellaart the final volume of the Beycesultan publications: Volume III, Part 2. This volume covered LBA pottery and MBA/LBA small objects. Since leaving the Institute, Ann has moved to Chicago where she serves as the Executive Director of the International Music Foundation, a non-profit arts organization.
BIAA Assistant Director 1986-1992. Having been awarded a PhD at Manchester in 1982, and having participated in many excavations around the globe, Geoffrey Summers was appointed Assistant Director at the BIAA in 1986. Under David French, he participated in the Tille Höyük rescue excavations, along with the Adıyaman Survey. As field director, he undertook the Yaraşlı Survey, and conducted museum studies at Tell Esh-Sheikh and Sakçagözü. Since his time as Assistant Director, Summers has been directing the BIAA-funded survey and excavation of Kerkenes Dağ.
BIAA Assistant Director 1986-1992. Christopher Lightfoot is a specialist in ancient glass, numismatics, and Roman minor arts, and was appointed as Assistant Director in 1986. He worked at the excavations at Sagalassos and Amorium, as well as with David French at Tille Höyük. Alongside excavations, he worked on the surveys of Cremna, Sagalassos, the Tigris-Euphrates Archaeological Survey Project, and directed the Satala Survey. After his time as Assistant Director, he took over the BIAA-funded Amorium excavations as field director, and is currently director of post-excavation and publications. Since 2010 he is a full curator at the Department of Greek and Roman Art of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York). See institutional page>>
BIAA Assistant Director 1992 & Acting Director 1993-1995. David Shankland was appointed Assistant Director in 1992, and Acting Director from 1993-1995. During his time in Ankara, he was part of the opening or reopening of a number of excavation projects, including Zeugma and Çatalhöyük, and he later went on to conduct fieldwork in the nearby village of Küçükköy. This led to an interest in the intersection between anthropology and archaeology which continues until the present day. After his time in Ankara, he was appointed Lecturer/Senior Lecturer at the University of Wales Lampeter, then Humboldt Fellow at the University of Bamberg, Germany. In 2002 he moved to Bristol as Senior Lecturer then Reader in Anthropology, and in 2010 to the Royal Anthropological Institute as Director. In 2015, he was appointed Honorary Professor at the Anthropology Department, University College London. Visit institutional page>>
BIAA Assistant Director 2007-2011. Andrew Peacock is a historian focusing on Medieval and early modern Middle Eastern and Islamic history. He was the first Assistant Director of the BIAA from a discipline outside archaeology, reflecting a broadening of scope in the BIAA’s research output which has continued to the present day. During his time in Ankara, he conducted projects on trade between the Ottoman Empire and Southeast Asia, and the eleventh century Anatolian north-eastern frontier. He is now a reader at the University of St. Andrews. See institutional page>>
BIAA Assistant Director 2011-2015 (Acting Director September 2013 - May 2014). Dr Marc Herzog was the Assistant Director of the British Institute at Ankara from 2011 until 2015 and is now an honorary research fellow there. He finished his PhD at the University of Exeter in 2011, with a doctoral thesis focusing on the emergence of Muslim Democrat politics and parties in the past two decades and their effects on processes of party system stabilization and institutionalization in Turkey within a comparative frame. He co-edited 'Turkey and the Politics of National Identity' (IB Tauris, 2014), as well as 'The Role, Position, And Agency of Cusp States in International Relations' (Routledge, 2014) focusing on international relations. His research interests are in the fields of Turkish party politics, political Islam and the dynamics of moderation, democratization, party system institutionalisation, Turkish foreign policy, new social movements as well as the politics of identity in the Turkish context.
Yaprak Eran, 1984-2009