Sustainable Development, Landscapes and Heritage Studies

View of Tekelioğlu (photograph by A. Neiditz)

View of Tekelioğlu (photograph by A. Neiditz)

CLAS is exploring a new approach to Heritage Studies. Of specific interest is working with the various organic farming programs in central Lydia as well as the ecological and conversation programs focused on the Marmara Lake (ancient Gygaean) and Gediz River (ancient Hermos). Our goal is build a working group focused on how the cultural and natural heritage landscapes of central Lydia can be managed under a holistic lens. Of great interest is designing a program that supports sustainable living in this rich area without compromising the viewscapes and cultural landscapes of central Lydia.


To assist the local community with tourism development by providing appropriate and informative materials, we aim to produce five 70 x 100 cm bilingual (English and Turkish) posters that will be hung in the local schoolhouse in Tekelioğlu and posted on the CLAS website. The posters will be bilingual with supplementary German pamphlets. The main themes will be Archaeology, Landscape, Ecology, Organic Agriculture, and Historic Villages. At this time a completed example of the poster for Archaeology (see draft on CLAS website) is in review among community members for comments and corrections. The Landscape poster is completed (see draft on CLAS website) as well and will soon be circulated. Working with a group of stakeholders, the other posters will be completed over the coming year and installed next season. The goal of these posters is to provide information for local villagers, school children, and others who come through the village for research, tourism and/or business (e.g., for organic agriculture).

Over the next year a Heritage Management Plan for the area will be completed. We hope that this plan will serve as a guide for moving forward with sustainable development that incorporates living landscapes. This plan will take into consideration various issues, some conflicting, that arise when planning for the management and sustainable development of both cultural heritage and other economic resources within a given landscape. Through ethnographic research and focused groups CLAS aims to have a management plan that considers archaeological, historical and contemporary perspectives.

In sum, the Management Plan hopes to balance the living landscapes of the region, especially the growing emphasis on sustainable organic agriculture and associated projects (see Rapunzel village project) and ecological protection of the Gygaean Lake (Important Rare Bird Area). Working with community members the CLAS aims to gather a range of perspectives so that concrete strategies for future management of the area can be implemented.