Discovering and Preserving Byzantine Constantinople: Archaeology and Heritage Policies in Istanbul
This paper presents an overview of the archaeology and heritage policies in Istanbul focusing on the physical remains of Byzantine Constantinople. The first part discusses the archaeological excavations conducted in Istanbul over the past century, during which the Byzantine archaeology of Istanbul began to be institutionalised as a scientific field and excavations were systematically recorded. A particular focus is given to the recent and lesser-known excavation projects. In the second part of the paper, the local authorities’ approaches towards architectural heritage and conservation practices of the Byzantine monuments and architectural remains in Istanbul are analysed in order to scrutinise the contextualisation of this urban architectural heritage and elucidate how they were viewed in the past century by the various politically diverse Turkish governments.
Keywords: Byzantine archaeology • Byzantine Constantinople • Architectural heritage • Urban rescue excavations • Conservation policies