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BIAA Condolences Message for the Death of Marc Waelkens

BIAA Condolences Message for the Death of Marc Waelkens

Classical Archaeology has lost another giant figure. Professor Marc Waelkens, the director of the Sagalassos Excavations from 1990 until his retirement in 2013, died of cancer on 21 February 2021, aged 72. Marc Waelkens first began work in Turkey as a member of the Pessinus excavations in 1969. His doctorate for the University of Gent led to his classic and comprehensive study of Roman funerary monuments, Die Kleinasiatischen Türsteine (1986), and he published ground-breaking work on the marble quarries and workshops of Phrygian Docimium (near Afyon). During the 1980s he worked closely with the British Institute at Ankara as co-director of Stephen Mitchell’s Pisidian Survey project. He introduced his own student, Lutgarde Vandeput, to work in Turkey. She is now the BIAA director. The Pisidian fieldwork led him to start the Sagalassos excavations, which rapidly expanded to become the most ambitious classical archaeological project in the ancient Mediterranean world. Waelkens and his students have produced a host of ground-breaking publications relating to Sagalassos, covering all aspects of archaeology and archaeological science. Many of the Hellenistic and Roman buildings of Sagalassos have been restored to their original magnificence, and the site is now a major magnet for visitors. After a life of extraordinary achievement and productivity, he will be sorely missed, and the British Institute at Ankara sends its sympathy to his partner and family members, as well as to his many students and others who worked with him at Sagalassos.

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