Mustafa  Vehbi  Koç  (1960  –  2016)

Begun in 2017 in memory of Mustafa V. Koç, the Koç University Mustafa V. Koç  Maritime Archaeology Research Center (KUDAR) works closely with the University’s Department of Archaeology and the History of Art, as well as a number of public and private institutions in the Mediterranean and Europe.  Although based in Türkiye, the center has a pan-Mediterranean perspective, as well as a cross-disciplinary approach to studying the relationship between society and the sea.  Archaeology, History, Geography, Ethnography, Heritage Management, Conservation, and other related disciplines in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Applied Sciences, are relevant to our mission.  Equally, through a variety of forums, we hope to give scholars the opportunity to share and disseminate their ideas and knowledge in an international environment. Presently, the center has two affiliated faculty members, full and part time staff and, with ANAMED, hosts a residential fellow in Istanbul for nine months each year.  Since its inception, KUDAR has organized or co-organized numerous international conferences and workshops, supported junior and senior research fellows, student fellowships, and hosted a number of visiting guest lecturers.

Mustafa Vehbi Koç (1960-2016)


Matthew Harpster (KUDAR Director):  Following his BA in Classical Archaeology and Anthropology at George Washington University and an M.Phil in Maritime Studies at the Universty of St Andrews, Dr. Harpster received his Ph.D in Anthropology (with a speciality in Nautical Archaeology), from Texas A&M University in 2005.  Since then he has held postdoctoral and senior research positions at The Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology (MIT), the University of Birmingham, and ANAMED, conducted field work in Cyprus, Türkiye, Italy, Morocco, and Iran, and been faculty at Eastern Mediterranean University and, presently, Koç University.  His research interests include the history and theory of Maritime Archaeology, Maritime Cultural Landcapes, and Maritime Cultural Heritage.

Michael Jones (KUDAR Faculty):  After receiving his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2013 on the 9th-century AD YK 14 wreck from the Yenikapı excavation in Istanbul, Dr. Jones was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at ANAMED in 2014.  In addition to his MA on the production and long-distance trade of copper ‘oxhide’ ingots in the Late Bronze Age Mediterranean (c. 1600-1200 BC), his research also focuses on other shipwrecks from the Yenikapı excavation, and evidence for ancient settlement and maritime activity along the coast of eastern Rough Cilicia.  Dr. Jones is also part of the team studying the coastal and underwater heritage of the Karaburun peninsula, part of the broader investigation directed by Dr. Çiler Çilingiroğlu at Ege University.  Articles related to these projects have been published in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and Near Eastern Archaeology.

Ecem Barlak (KUDAR Administrative Assistant): Following her BA in International Relations at Istanbul Kültür University, Ecem received her M.A. in International Relations (Gender Studies), and she is continuing her Ph.D in Art Science at FMV Işık University focusing on her research interests of contemporary art and the international art lobby. The Erasmus exchange that Ecem attended during her undergraduate education has had a positive impact on her whole life, and she has been working with a variety of Erasmus programs for over ten years.

Günce Öçgüden (KUDAR Technical Assistant): Günce studied Archaeology and History of Art at Koç University, where she completed her BA and, later, her MA degree with a specialty in Maritime Archaeology.  Her thesis tested a variety of methods to record the collection of ship graffiti uncommonly situated on the walls of the women’s balcony of the Ayşe Kadın mosque on the Karaburun peninsula.  In addition to her participation in KUDAR projects in Bodrum, Bandırma, and Urla, Günce has also participated in a variety of excavations, surveys, and related research projects around Türkiye since 2012.

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