Seyda Cetin (ITP 2014, Turkey) opens exhibition at SOAS Brunei Gallery

Rebecca Horton, International Training Programme Coordinator

On Friday evening The Curious Case of Catalhoyuk opened at SOAS University’s Brunei Gallery. Seyda Cetin (ITP 2014, Turkey) was back in London for the opening on the exhibition, responsible for content development and as the Exhibition Manager.  Manuela Lehmann (AES Department Rep) and I went to the opening to see what it was all about, and as you can see from the pictures below, spotted some BM familiar faces along the way!

From 1993 – 2017 the site of Catalhoyuk was excavated by British archaeologist Ian Hodder through the Catalhoyuk Research Project. The site is in an area now known as the Konya plain in central Turkey but 9000 years ago was a stretch of land where people began to settle; 25 years of excavations have revealed buildings, art work and domestic tools which present one of the world’s first societies who made the transition from hunting to farming.

At the opening of the exhibition Seyda introduced the exhibition as a unique space to not only share the projects historical findings but to tell the story of the project – the archaeological and research skills which enables the discovery of new objects and reveals new historical insights. Upon entry to the exhibition the Catalhoyuk Research Project is put into context via a timeline, ending in 2018 with a picture of the team attending one of a series of presentations and discussions in preparation for a final publication.


One side of the gallery is filled with laboratory work stations including but not limited to pottery, fauna and human remains. Visitors can sit at the stations, look through paperwork and tools, watch videos and hold 3D replicas of objects found on site.

The exhibition is very interative; along the back wall a large panel is filled with discs each covered with an image of an object found during excavation; visitors can select an object from the panel and place it onto a digital screen, which produces a high quality image of the object on site and how it’s discovery has contributed to the historical interpretation of the site.

In another section a comfortable chair is positioned in front of a screen and next to a ‘side table’ filled with a selection of questions to ‘Ask Ian’. Audiences can select a question by pressing a button, a question which Ian Hodder answers on the screen in front of them.

Everywhere you look, there are moving images, buttons to press and replica objects to handle resulting in a very inviting and creative space. Congratulations to Seyda and her colleagues for making this intriguing idea come to life… and for bringing it to London!