In 1966, scholars from various universities and scientific institutions in Turkey joined together under the leadership of the former president of Middle East Technical University, Kemal Kurdaş, to establish a research institute that would undertake the Keban Project. It was a cooperative effort toward salvaging the historical monuments and sites of a region that had to be flooded through the construction of the Keban Dam in the 1970s. After 1975, the project extended its study area to include the Lower Euphrates Region. While the archaeological sites within the METU campus were being excavated, METU Archaeological Musem was established with the aim of disseminating to the public the information revealed by these excavations.
This institute, re-structured in 1995 as a Centre of Research and Assessment of Historical Environment (TAÇDAM) continued with its original mission: to motivate undertakings of salvage archaeology and documentation of historical environment by means of the most advanced methods and techniques for those areas under risk. Now, being among advanced institutions of archaeology in Turkey, TAÇDAM stands as one of the leading research units concerning historical environmental matters with an interdisciplinary vision. Directed on research matters by a managing committee formed of representatives from several academic units at Middle East Technical University -archaeometry, geology, restoration of historic monuments, city, and regional planning- TAÇDAM serves as an interdisciplinary research center to survey and excavate archaeological sites in threatened areas of Turkey, and to publish their results.
Research concerns of TAÇDAM
- Identification and documentation of historical environments,
- Field studies for salvage archaeology with non-destructive methods,
- G.I.S. application for cultural heritage management,
- Preservation and presentation of cultural heritage on-site,
- Project appraisal for integrated conservation issues in historic areas of town planning,
- Contribution and input of archaeological advice to the planning process; archaeological impact studies for urban infrastructure projects, land reclamation, urban development projects.
TAÇDAM Regulatory Code (Official Gazette of the Republic of Turkey, no. 22226, 13.3.1995, pp. 167-8)
TAÇDAM Regulatory Code - Amendment (Official Gazette of the Republic of Turkey, no. 22274 1.5.1995, p. 12)