Sometimes I want an overview of a historical site, but don’t have a chance to access published resources. Fortunately, several quality digital humanities projects provide information about historical sites in Turkey. Here’s a short list.
KultureEnvanteri.com provides essential information (names, photos, locations) about more than 25,000 historical sites in Turkey. The map is very functional and allows users to find sites in a specific area. There’s also a search function with specific filters. The website is great for identifying and/or locating sites, but descriptions are limited.
The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism has published excavation reports from its annual meetings since 1980. These preliminary reports generally summarize the findings from the previous year’s campaign. They provide the best information about individual sites (until the excavator publishes a final report). The articles are piled into huge PDF files, and there is no search function, so finding particular sites can be challenging. Also, the dating can be confusing; for example, excavation work done in 2003 would have been presented at the 2004 conference, which was published in 2005.
A series of websites focuses on particular historical places or eras. They provide detailed overviews of sites.
HittiteMonuments.com provides visual references and descriptions of all the major Hittite and Neo-Hittite monuments in Turkey and northern Syria. The site is user-friendly and available in Turkish.
TurkishArcheoNews.Net features many classical-era sites in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions. Each article provides a historical background, a description of the archaeological site, visiting information, and many photos. The map on the homepage is a helpful tool.
TheByzantineLegacy.com explains the Byzantine churches, monasteries, and monuments of Constantinople (and a few other cities of the Eastern Roman Empire). The Constantinople page has a user-friendly map.
CappadociaHistory.com details many of the churches (cave and masonry) in the Cappadocian landscape, along with summary articles about medieval Christianity. As a disclosure, this is also my website.
Armenian Sites in Kars/Ani
VirtualAni describes the entire site of Ani and many of the Christian/Armenian sites around Kars. Each page explains the historical background and architecture of the structures. A fabulous site when visiting the Van area.
The Seljuk empire based in Konya built a string of stunning caravanserais across Anatolia. Turkishhan.com provides explanations about how the hans functioned, and detailed articles about many of the 170 extant buildings.
There are surely other digital humanities projects that provide general information about sites in Turkey. Comment below to share. Thanks!