Protecting cultural heritage in Gerger
in collaboration with Gerger Kültür Turizm, Sanat ve Hoşgörü Derneği (GKTSHD)
Detail of one of the sculptures in Nemrut Dağı | Wikimedia Commons
Factum Foundation and Gerger Kültür Turizm, Sanat ve Hoşgörü Derneği (GKTSHD) are launching a project partnership aimed at recording the historical and archaeological site of Gerger, in the province of Adiyaman in Turkey.
Famous around the world for the imposing archaeological site of Nemrut Dağı, few of the tourists that visit Gerger are aware of the importance of the area as a symbol of intercultural coexistence. GKTSHD is a non-governmental organisation created by representatives of the different communities that have lived in the district for centuries and wish to preserve their rich cultural heritage. Adam Lowe has been invited to be on the steering committee of GKTSHD. The first recording trip will happen in October and it is anticipated that this will be the start of an ambitious and ongoing collaboration.
Adiyaman is the home of Turkmen and Zazaki tribes, Armenian and Assyrian communities and a place of pilgrimage for Jewish people to the tomb of the prophet Ezra. Gerger is a unique ecosystem where history is very much alive and can become a tool for sustainable development. The state of Commagene under the reign of King Antiochus I (from 70 to 38 BC) remained a cultural melting pot ever since, incorporating Persian, Greek, Syrian and Armenian cultural traits, to which Byzantine and Zazaki influences were added.
The project aims to demonstrate how new technologies and eco-tourism can offer great opportunities to the local population bringing new economies to improve living conditions, while also preserving their lifestyle, cuisine, language and traditions. Development and new technologies can facilitate the preservation of this unique cultural ecosystem by focusing attention on centuries-old traditions and helping to focus attention on the pristine landscape covered with evidence of intercultural influences.