Italian archaeologist spends half a century digging in Turkey



An Italian archaeologist, who has spent half a century on excavation sites in Turkey, has worked for 28 years as a site manager at Yumuktepe Tumulus in the southern province of Mersin.

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“I have traveled all over Turkey for work. From now on, I want to visit it as a tourist, ”Isabella Caneva, a 76-year-old teacher in love with the country, told public agency Anadolu.

It was 1968 when Caneva, then a lecturer in the archeology faculty of the Italian University of Lecce, came to Turkey after getting married.

Developing an interest in Anatolian territories, Caneva began working on excavation work at Arslanteoe Tumulus in the eastern province of Malatya.

After years, she began to work at the Çayönü Tumulus in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.

It was 1993 when a colleague invited her to the Yumuktepe burial mound excavation and her life changed.

“I was so excited when I saw Yumuktepe for the first time. I had studied the tumulus during my university years and it was my dream, ”she said. “It was a very special moment when I first dug into the ground,” she added.

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Having lived in Mersin for 28 years, she noted: “My employees and I have aged over time. Today we are working on the site with the grandchildren of the workers with whom I worked for the first time.

She has two dreams: one personal and the other professional.

She wants to visit the tourist hotspots of the Aegean Sea, the mountains of the Black Sea region and Istanbul as a tourist. But her biggest dream is to write about Yumuklutepe.

She plans to write books specific to each period of the 9,000-year-old tumulus and wishes to carry out the “Yumuklutepe archeopark project”.



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