|Biographical detail : ||An eminent Turkish archaeologist.
Dr Ozguc digs in Anatolia documented the intermingling of Bronze Age cultures and commerce in what in now central Turkey.
For more than 50 years, Dr Ozguc, a professor of archaeology at Ankara University, led the excavation of Kultepe, the ancient Kanesh, near today’s Kayseri. Situated on an ancient trade route, Kanesh flourished as the principal known settlement of Assyrian merchants among the Indo-European peoples of central Anatolia, who eventually united into the powerful Hittite Empire.
Kanesh drew notice in 1881 when cuneiform clay tablets that were later traced to the city showed up on the antiquities market. It was Dr Ozguc who, with his wife, began its excavation in earnest in 1948 under the auspices of the Turkish Historical Society.
The tablets showed that around 2000 B.C., local Anatolian chiefs welcomed the traders from Assur in northern Mesopotamia who established their business and trading posts in the new land. Such trades documented the highly developed commerce and the lives of the Assyrian merchants. Dr Ozguc also had a major part in nearly a dozen other Anatolian digs, notably at the ancient sites of Altintepe, Horoztepe and Masathoyuk.
President of Ankara University (1969 – 1980), over the years Dr Ozguc was a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the University of Munich and lectured at other universities in Europe, Japan and the United States.
Tahsin Ozguc, who inspired generations of scholars of ancient Turkey, was born in Kircaali, now Kurdzhali, in Bulgaria.