BY NURCAN AKTAŞ (HART/MA)
On November 8, the Departments of Archaeology and History at Bilkent organized a symposium and photograph exhibition in memory of Hans Gustav Güterbock, a pioneer of Hittitology in Turkey and one of the most important scholars in the field of ancient Near Eastern studies.
Prof. Güterbock was born in 1908 and worked in Turkey from 1936 until 1948 as a faculty member in Ankara University’s Faculty of Language, History and Geography. He was inducted into the prestigious Turkish Historical Society and granted an honorary doctorate by Ankara University. In 1948 and 1949 he was a guest lecturer at Sweden’s
Uppsala University; he then joined the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, where he spent the rest of his academic life. He published extensively on the Hittites during his long career and was a coeditor of the Chicago Hittite Dictionary.
The symposium hosted a number of distinguished speakers, including Dr. Hatice Gonnet, one of Prof. Güterbock’s first students; renowned Hittitologist Dr. Oğuz Soysal, from the University of Chicago; and Prof. Güterbock’s son, Prof. Thomas W. Güterbock, from the University of Virginia. In addition, Asst. Prof. Thomas Zimmermann and Asst. Prof. Mehmet Kalpaklı, chairmen of Departments of Archaeology and History, respectively, made opening speeches. The symposium was very well-attended, with over 120 students, department faculty and other interested guests from Ankara participating in the event.
Previously unpublished photographs related to Prof. Güterbock’s personal life and original notebook entries reflecting his professional life were displayed in the accompanying exhibition. The event was sponsored by Bilkent University, Knauf, BKG and Lufthansa.