Department

Since its foundation in 1956, Middle East Technical University has been very interested in archaeology and archaeometrical studies. This interest, which was already existing independently in the departments of physics and chemistry, flourished with the Keban Dam Rescue Project (1968-1974). The Keban and Lower Euphrates Projects began in 1975 and were expanded with the establishment of the "METU Research Center for the Investigation and Salvage of Historical Remains, "TEKDAM, in 1982 and have continued until the present time with the name of "METU Center for Research and Assessment of the Historic Environment", TAÇDAM, since 199 display of various findings from some of the excavations on the Campus and in the Ankara Region. "Koçumbeli Idol" was one of those findings on campus grounds. It was used as the symbol of the 29th International Symposium on Archaeometry organized by the graduate program of Archaeomery (METU) which was held in Ankara in 1994.

The scientists who have carried out individual studies in Turkey since 1960's have been cooperating with archaeologists. In the 1970's, an application was filed to TÜBİTAK for the establishment of a Unit of Archaeometry attached to it and eventually the Unit of Archaeometry was established in 1980. Scientists from METU, Hacettepe, Istanbul, Boğaziçi, Istanbul Technical, Çukurova and Fırat Universities have participated in this Unit. This Unit continued to do research under the name of AKSAY which stands for the "Investigation of Archaeological findings by Spectroscopic and Analytical Methods" in Turkish. This Unit functioned until 1992. Alongside the work of the Unit, there was a need to educate students who would carry out archaeometric studies in the museums and at other research laboratories. As a result of this, METU initiated a Master's Program in Archaeometry as part of the Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences in 1990 with thesis and non-thesis version in 2003. These programs educate bachelor's degree holders in all fields.

The main purpose of the program is to qualify the graduates toward bringing solutions to the archaeological problems by the application of scientific methods of natural and applied sciences. The study and understanding of history have acquired a new dimension through the collaboration between pure scientists and archaeologists. Thus, the analysis, identification and dating of archaeological remains and materials have become complete.