R.J. Braidwood

Photo: R.J. Braidwood at Tell Jedeideh (1930-31)
The Adventure of Archaeology (NGS)

    TASK Foundation

    June 8, 2000 may well turn out to be a very special date in the annals of archaeology: it is the date marking the beginning of 'The History, Archaeology, Art and Cultural Heritage Foundation' (TASK), set up by five individuals. Even though TASK was established relatively recent, its activities span back 10 years. The goal of TASK's founding fathers was to develop, institutionalise and enhance a "dream project", which has materialised through the help of 50 volunteers in the past ten years…
    In fact, those five founders, who were not content with dreaming anymore, wrote a paragraph about the mission of the foundation, which eventually made its way to the manifesto of TASK:

"The mission of 'The History, Archaeology, Art and Cultural Heritage Foundation' (TASK) is to document, prepare databases of, rescue, preserve, restore, and to increase public awareness of the historical, archaeological, ethnographical, ecological, architectural, artistic and cultural heritage of Turkey; to encourage and promote scientific activities, to organise educational programs and activities for the preservation of heritage for future generations; to inform the national and international public in this regard, to increase public awareness about these issues, and to serve public interest in cooperation with national and international organisations active in those aforementioned fields."
What are the Main Objectives of TASK?

The first and the foremost objective of TASK is to complete the archaeological inventory of Turkey, a task that is currently being undertaken by the TAY Project.

TASK firmly believes that such an inventory is critical for developing national policies and strategies, and essential for the preservation of cultural heritage. Furthermore, TASK strongly believes that sustainable and efficient preservation programs can only be effective through the participation of all concerned social actors and by the sharing of information on national and international platforms. TASK defines its objectives as supporting proposed projects that are in line with subjects listed in their mission statement; carrying out collaborative research/work with new groups, projects and perspectives; and participating/supporting any project whose aims highlight the preservation of historical, archaeological, artistic and cultural heritage.

To Perceive, Understand, Internalise and Share...

Local and global cultural heritage preservation projects have clearly shown that preservation efforts can only succeed if an appreciation of the heritage's cultural value is realised and mentally internalised by those who have any influence or responsibility of its state, be it the locals or national organisations, so that their participation may assist in protecting and preserving it. For this appreciation, necessary and sufficient information about the cultural heritage is crucial and must be easily accessible.

TASK's framework appreciates the cultural relativity and need for flexibility regarding the sensitive and personal issues that heritage can carry, therefore it is eager and willing to work in collaboration with all social actors concerned.

As cultural heritage has no true owners, all cultural policies, preservation programs and strategies require a deep understanding and knowledge of the myriad of issues that may arise, calling the need for a collaboration of efforts. No public institution, non-governmental organisation nor group can justifiably feel entitled or distinguished to make altering decisions by itself.

Following from this framework, TASK has internalised the working principle of

- Preparing an inventory of Turkish cultural heritage
- Sharing this inventory with all parties unconditionally

In order to increase the process's effectiveness to:

- Perceive and understand cultural heritage
- Internalise and naturalise the value of cultural heritage
- Develop preservation policies and strategies.

TASK Foundation has been established for "preserving cultural heritage of Turkey, preventing its destruction and increasing public awareness about this heritage in international platforms". With regard to this, TASK strongly believes that any support will contribute to the preservation and internalisation of cultural values, which are subject to erosion in the contemporary world.

. TAY Project . Kuruçesme Cad. 67/B
34345 Kuruçesme Istanbul Turkey
Tel: +90 (212) 265 7858 - Fax: +90 (212) 287 1298
e.mail: info@tayproject.org

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