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11.30  Archaeology has Transformed "Stones" into "Heritage": The Production of a Heritage Site through Interactions between Archaeology, Tourism and Local Communities in Turkey

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9:00, Monday 6 Jun 2016 (30 minutes)

This paper explores how archaeology changes the relationship between stakeholders (archaeologists, local government, locals, tourists, etc.) and material remains of the past through the production of a heritage site. Recent studies on heritage focus on the ways in which cultural manifestations, both tangible and intangible, are transformed as “heritage.” In other words, heritage is seen as a process in which different stakeholders negotiate particular cultural manifestations according to their own political or economic interests. It is worth noting here that it is not until such cultural manifestations are marked as “heritage” by stakeholders that they are utilized as political or economic resources. In this respect, what should be studied is how the relationships between different stakeholders and elements marked as “heritage” are formed in this process.  

Using the case of Patara, a small village resort in south Turkey, this paper examines the role of things marked as “heritage” in the context of archaeological excavation and tourism development. In particular, it focuses on how the relationships between different stakeholders (locals, archaeologists, and tourists) and the ancient city remains of Patara are constituted and changed through the progress of archaeological excavations and subsequent heritage management. In Patara, tourism and archaeological excavation arrived almost at the same time in the late 1980s. However, this caused tensions between archaeologists and the locals who wanted to develop the village as a beach resort because archaeologists requested that the government make the site a protected area where tourism exploitation is prohibited. However, as the ruins of Patara emerged out of the sands through excavations and subsequent conservation and restoration works, the relationship between archaeologists and the locals changed. Analyzing the process of archaeological excavation and tourism development in Patara, this paper attempts to show how the excavated city remains themselves work to change the relationship between different stakeholders.

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