During this year’s campaign, we conducted a short interview with the workers we work with every day. The people we interviewed are from different age groups, so we hoped to see different perspectives this way. We wanted to see how they perceived their work areas, whether they were related to the cultural heritage of their own city. We asked how they made sense of the findings they removed or the space. Our first interviewee was Kadir, who is 23 years old, studying sports, and is focusing on becoming a football coach. He isn’t living in Dülük, but in a nearby village. Our second worker was Ahmed, he is 46 years old and lives in a nearby village. The last interviewee is Ali, 17 years old, he will start the university in the next semester and is also living in a nearby village.
Q: Is this your first excavation?
Kadir: Kind of. Two years ago, I worked for my cousin due to his illness once, but working from the beginning as a full member is my first time. Ahmed: No, I’m joining excavations for like ten or eleven years. I think my first time was around 2009. Ali: Yes, it is my first excavation.
Q: How is it to work on an excavation?
Kadir: It is nice, but the heat is a problem. I enjoy working on the excavation because I can see historical monuments and get in touch with history first hand. I also like our supervisors. They are motivating us! The working climax needs to have friendly and motivating supervisors so that we can enjoy our work. Ahmed: It’s exciting. Finding something with your own hands is very exciting. Ali: It is pleasant and fascinating. It makes me proud to research our history.
Q: Would you join an excavation again?
Kadir: I would join it again while being a student. Currently, I’m still a student, so I have the opportunity. After getting a job, I wouldn’t have that much time. Ahmed: Of course! Ali: Yeah, if they call me, I will join again.
Q: Are there any problems while working?
Kadir: No, besides the heat, everything is fine. Ahmed: Everything is good. Ali: Nothing, besides the heat. Working when it’s a bit colder would be better.
Q: What would you recommend to other people who might be interested in working on an excavation?
Kadir: We are working as a team. The most important thing is to get along with other people. I wouldn’t like to work with someone I don’t like. It’s also essential to work efficiently and organized. The work is getting easier the more everything is organized. Use the materials as your own because you are using them every day. Ahmed: Don’t damage anything you find, and follow the instruction the supervisors are giving. Ali: You must work and look carefully.
Q: When you find something or observe the area, can you imagine its use and purpose?
Kadir: Yes, I can, and through those findings, I learned what kind of bracelets they wear. Ahmed: It’s tough to imagine how they worked. We know the materials, but I can’t imagine how they used them. Ali: Yes, of course!
Q: Due to being a cultural heritage in Gaziantep, do you feel connected to the findings, or do you feel proud it’s in your region?
Kadir: Yes, of course! Ahmed: Yes, of course! It’s our heritage! Ali: Yes, of course! I care about it like it’s my own.
Q: Any last words?
Kadir: Finding and excavating historical monuments is significant, and being part of it and finding those fills me with joy. We are lucky and happy to be part of this journey. Ahmed: I’m joining the excavation because I love it. I want to excavate longer than those two months. If it were a whole year, I would excavate the entire year. Ali: I have nothing to add.
During our field experience, we became witnesses to their excitement and curiosity. It is always nice to work with the local people. Because they have a totally different mindset towards Dülük and the Keber Tepe. We are looking forward to the rest of the campaign and the coming years.
Written by: Alp Giray Kacik & Gönülnur Demet