Sunday, 2 July 2017

Trowelblazers - Jale Inan, Turkish archaeolgist

Halet Çambel wasn't the only Turkish woman archaeologist - the first woman to work in archaeology in Turkey was Jale Inan.
Her father was the director of the Izmir Archaeology Museum, and she was born (the second daughter of the family) in 1914. He encouraged his daughter in her interest in archaeology, and managed to get her a scholarship to study in Germany, at the German Archaeological Institute. Jale remained in Berlin during the war, completing her doctoral thesis in 1943, sometimes studying in a bunker with bombs falling. Then she returned to Turkey, working at the University of Istanbul. She married Mustafa Inan in 1944, and the following year gave birth to a son.
In 1946, she began work on the Temple of Artemis at the site of Perga, having spent the preceding two years organising the archive at the University and setting up a chair of archaeology with Arif Mufid Mansel. She spent the rest of her career working on sites around Turkey and publishing in both German and Turkish. She died in 2001.
In 1980, at Perga, the bottom half of a statue of Hercules was discovered. No-one knew at the time that one of the workmen on the site had stolen the top half of the statue, which turned up later in New York. In 1990 Özgen Acar, a Turkish journalist, visited the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, and spotted the top half of the statue, a 2ndC AD copy of a statue known as Weary Herakles, by Lysippos. When Jale Inan learned of this, she worked to re-unite the two halves of the statue, having a plaster cast of the bottom half made so that it could be shown that the two halves fitted together. The Americans resisted the calls to return the statue to Turkey until 2011.

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