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Archaeology Fieldwork in Turkey

Hello Alison, I have not really looked too hard for any archaeology jobs in Turkey – I just did some interviews and research with the crew on Gobekli Tepe for a magazine article – but I do not have too much confidence that there is a CRM industry in this country. All of Turkey is [...]

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Hello Alison,

I have not really looked too hard for any archaeology jobs in Turkey – I just did some interviews and research with the crew on Gobekli Tepe for a magazine article – but I do not have too much confidence that there is a CRM industry in this country. All of Turkey is pretty much one big archaeology site, and CRM laws would probably bring the place to a virtual standstill haha.

Or at least this is my impression of what is going on. I could be wrong.

But as for work, you should look into the academic archaeology sector. I would suggest peaking in at the archaeologist at the U of Penn to see if they know of anyone who is working in Turkey. Or maybe you could just read up on who is publishing their research from Turkey and send them some emails. There are many archaeologists working out here, so I think that it is definitely possible to find fieldwork, but it may take some deep investigation.

This is the contact info for the German Archaeology Institute in Istanbul:

Istanbul Department
İnönü Caddesi 10
34437 Istanbul
Tel : +90-(0)212-393 76 00
Fax : +90-(0)212-393 76 14 (secretary)
+90-(0)212-393 76 40 (administration)
E-Mail : sekretariat@istanbul.dainst.org

It probably would not hurt to sent them your CV. If they do not have any field archaeologist positions available maybe you can get some office work cataloging artifacts at their home base in Istanbul.

But if you only want to be in Istanbul for a few months, you may be better off teaching. There are hundreds of English schools in that city, and finding work is not too difficult. It was not my kind of scene though haha.

The best school that I visited was called Dilge English. It is run by a Tukish English woman named Ayse Sahin. Her email is ayse@dilge.com.tr

They teach the Callan method there, so you don’t have to worry about not having certification, you just need to be real outgoing and speak loud and clearly.

Here are two lists of English teaching schools in Istanbul and Asia:

English Teaching Schools Istanbul

Asia English Teaching Job List

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Original question about archaeology fieldwork in Turkey

hi wade, I found yer blog and you are just the man I wanna talk to!

I see that you’ve now left istanbul, but I’m curious about whether you found any archaeology jobs. I’m a 30 year old punk kid/archaeologist who has been working in a museum for 5 years, but I’ve done contract arch. in philadelphia (where I live) and also fieldwork in belize and honduras.

I assume that any turkish CRM firm has plenty of work, all the time, but requires turkish language. you have successfully dug in countries where you didn’t speak the language? did you take notes?

I’m hoping to live in istanbul for several months to do family historical research. It seems like there are plenty of nice rooms available for under $400/month.

I can totally teach english if necessary, but I don’t have my TESL/TEFL/whatever certificate so I’d rather not spend the money if I don’t haveta. I am probly better at biz caz than you are, 🙂 so I’m not worried about that.

anwyay, I’m gonna work on my turkish contacts at the museum to try to find contract archaeology jobs, and will absolutely pass them on to you if I get any.

hope you’re well, and travel well! I will totally add you as a friend if you want.




Filed under: Archaeology, Travel Help, Turkey, Work

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3691 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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6 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  • Ozan April 15, 2010, 12:33 am

    Hi Alison, I am an archaeologist living in Turkey. Please send me a detailed e-mail regarding your study area.
    Thank you,

    Link Reply
    • walid December 2, 2012, 11:12 am

      hi this is walid ,i am originally from turkey and living abroad ,i was dedicated my times for an archaeology works and projects and i wanted to go back in turkey to visit my relatives and i am willing to have a certificate in archaeology field to work in turkey.
      what are the documents needed for me to sign up for this work in comfort for my own.
      i will appreciate if you can help me .

      Link Reply
  • Yvette Alagul January 2, 2012, 4:48 pm

    Hello, I am a 35 year old, interested in any advice I can get regarding living and working in Turkey as an archarologist. I have been working in the uk ,Ireland and previously for a British project in Turkey (Zeugma). However it has been almost 10 years since I worked in Turkey. I have a little spoken Turkish and am married to a Turk, if that improves my chances?! I am a graduate and my last job was working for National Museums Liverpool as a Advising Planning Archaeologist , although I have years of Feild Archaeology experience too. I’d be
    grateful for any advice and/or contacts.

    Link Reply
  • Helen June 30, 2012, 5:03 pm

    Hi there, my name is Helen, I’m a British archaeology student going on to placement year this year and then finishing my degree next year. I am seriously considering starting my career as an archaeologist in Turkey as I have fallen in love with the history, the country and the people and would be very greatful of any and all advice.
    Thank you

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard June 30, 2012, 9:22 pm

      Go to a university in your country that conducts research in Turkey. It is far easier to cultivate these types of careers from the base rather than just showing up in Turkey and applying. So find a university professor in your country who does research in Turkey to study under.

      Link Reply
  • Helen July 1, 2012, 7:14 am

    I figured that sort of route would be easier so I’ve been sending emails out to anyone I can find. Thanks for the reply, much appreciated =]

    Link Reply