Ekrem Akurgal

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Prof. Dr.

Ekrem Akurgal

Dr. h.c. mult.
Born(1911-03-30)March 30, 1911
DiedNovember 1, 2002(2002-11-01) (aged 91)
İzmir, Turkey
Alma materUniversity of Berlin
Known forResearch on ancient civilizations in Anatolia
SpouseMeral Akurgal
AwardsGreat Cross of Merit with star (1979)
Goethe Medal (1982)
Commendatore of the Order of Merit of the Republic (1987)
French Légion d'honneur Officier (1987)

Ekrem Akurgal (March 30, 1911 – November 1, 2002) was a Turkish archaeologist. During a career that spanned more than fifty years, he conducted definitive research in several sites along the western coast of Anatolia such as Phokaia (Foça), Pitane (Çandarlı), Erythrai (Ildırı) and old Smyrna (Bayraklı höyük, the original site of the city of Smyrna before the city's move to another spot across the Gulf of İzmir).


He was born on March 30, 1911, in the town of Tulkarm in the Beirut Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire (today a Palestinian city in the West Bank), where his mother's family owned a large farm.[citation needed] He descended from a family of Ottoman intellectuals and religious men, several of whose members had assumed the office of mufti, the highest title of the Islamic clergy in a given region, for the Ottoman province of Herzegovina. His family moved back to İstanbul when he was two years old. For some time, they resided in another family farm, this time near Akyazı. He received his first education from his father's sister and her husband, who taught literature in Darülfünun (Istanbul University today).

Akurgal graduated in 1931 from Istanbul High School for Boys and, having earned a state scholarship, went to the University of Berlin in Germany to study archaeology. In a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung made in 1990, the interviewer was to remark that, now and then, his German was still unmistakably tainted with Berlinerisch.

In 1957, he became a professor in the University of Ankara. He worked mainly in the Aegean Region, starting the research on Phokaia (Foça), Pitane (Çandarlı), Erythrai (Ildırı) and old Smyrna (Bayraklı tumulus). He published numerous books on ancient Greek, Hittite and other ancient civilizations of Anatolia.

Settled in İzmir since the seventies to pursue his work on the nearby sites with more effectiveness, Akurgal died on November 1, 2002, in İzmir. His work and legacy is being carried on by his wife, Meral Akurgal, an accomplished archaeologist herself and his closest assistant in his lifetime.



  • Cyril Mango, Ekrem Akurgal, and Richard Ettinghausen. The Treasures of Turkey: The earliest civilizations of Anatolia Byzantium the Islamic Period. (1966), Editions d'Art Albert Skira, Geneva, 253 pp.
  • Ekrem Akurgal (2002). Ancient Civilisations and Ruins of Turkey. Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0-7103-0776-7.


  1. ^ a b c d Akurgal, Ekrem (1989). Anadolu Uygarlıkları. NET. ISBN 975-479-031-0.
  2. ^ "GOETHE-MEDAILLE DIE PREISTRÄGER 1955 - 2013" (PDF) (in German). Goethe Institut. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana" (in Italian). 27 December 1986. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.

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