Introducing Archaeology and Museology to the Ottoman Empire: The Case of Theodore Macridy Bey

By Ioannis N. Grigoriadis
Submitted to Session P5730 (Archeology and Museumology, 2019 Annual Meeting
Ottoman Empire;
19th-21st Centuries;
LCD Projector without Audio;
Theodore Macridy was a leading Ottoman Greek archaeologist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century whose life and career spanned across the Ottoman Empire, Greece and Western Europe. He was one of the pioneer Ottoman archaeologists participating in the excavations of Western archaeological missions in locations as diverse as Ephesus, Thessaloniki, Baalbek, Sidon and Hattusas. Particularly long was his collaboration with the German archaeologist Hugo Winkler who has been one of the founding fathers of Hittitology. Apart from his excavating activities, Macridy had a very rich and diverse publication record and became the second director of the Archaeological Museum of Constantinople, after its founding director Osman Hamdi Bey. He remained in the Ottoman Empire and republican Turkey throughout the tumultuous period of the 1910s and 1920s. Following his retirement and the rapprochement in Greek-Turkish relations, he accepted an invitation to organize the collection of Benaki Museum in Athens.
This article aims to explore the transfer of knowledge in the fields of archaeology and museology through the life and career of Theodore Macridy Bey. His case is particularly interesting given that he participates in knowledge transfer in more than one fields, i.e. archaeology and museology and in more than one countries. Following the model suggested by Basalla in his seminal article, Macridy emerges as a typical representative of “Phase II”, i.e. “colonial science.” Through his links with the German and French academic circles in the fields of archaeology and museology he made a major contribution to the development of such sciences in the Ottoman Empire. His multiple identities as Ottoman citizen of Greek origin, his excavation activities in multiple sites of the Ottoman Empire in the beginning as escort of European archaeological missions and later on behalf of the Ottoman state, his administrative positions as vice director and director of the Archaeological Museum of Constantinople, and his activities in Athens in the end of his long career make him a bright example of a “colonial scientist.” This study will be based on primary and secondary sources on Macridy, the history of archaeology and museology in the Ottoman Empire in English, French, Greek and Turkish.