Archeologist, Hittitologist, philologist. She was born in 1921 in Acıbadem /
İstanbul. She is granddaughter of Mehmet
Emin Bey who worked as a principal clerk and minister of finance in Ottoman Palace. She was raised at the hands of
maids and in the manor of Darugazade family. She was raised by her father Dr.
Ahmet Sait (Darga) in the manner of a rompy and courageous boy.
She entered the Archeology Department of Istanbul University under
directions of her father after graduating from Erenköy Girls High School
(1939). She made expeditions of discovery in 1940s with famous scientists of
the period in Anatolia on horsebacks, on
“stone-cars”, come rain or come shine, sometimes walking kilometers per day. She
was one of the persons who discovered Karatepe remains. Continuing to courses
of Ord. Prof. Arif Müfid Mansel and Prof. Dr. E. Bosch she graduated from the
Department of Archeology in 1943. She became an assistant professor in the
Department of Ancient Asia Minor Languages and Cultures of Istanbul University
(1945). She participated to Karatepe excavations with Prof. Th. Bossert, Prof.
U. Bahadır Alkım and Prof. Halet Çambel. She conducted researches on Hittite
hieroglyphics. She undertook the assistance of Prof. Bossert for two years and
was entitled to be a doctor in 1947.
She taught history, art history and French in various high schools
of Anatolia between the years 1950-59. In the faculty she
entered in 1960 as assistant doctor, she became an associate professor in 1965
and a professor in 1973. She participated to Karatepe, Gedikli and Değirmentepe
excavations. She supervised Şemsiyetepe-Karakaya catchment and Şarhöyük
excavations. (1978-79). She contributed to the understanding of “Side”
language. She defined many structures and sculptures whose functions were not
understandable with her studies on Hittite hieroglyphics. She taught mainly
Hittite Art and Language courses at the university. She was assigned to Head of
the Department of Ancient Age Languages and Cultures in 1983. In 1985 she retired
from this assignment by her own will. For one year in Eskişehir,
she instructed postgraduate students of Motion Pictures and Television
Department at Anadolu
University as a guest
lecturer in the field of Anatolian Civilizations.
Numerous scientific studies and researches of Muhibbe Darga in her
specialization field were published as articles. She actualized her last
excavation in Şarköy Ancient Darylaion ruins between 1989-91 with contributions
of Anadolu University Rectorship and Eskişehir Museum’s
Directorate as supervisor with her students who were academic members in the
Her work titled “Eski Anadolu’da Kadın” (1976) is her most
notable research among her books. She has another important book called “Hitit
Mimarlığı” (1984). A detailed interview with her was published in 2002 with
the title “Arkeolojinin Delikanlısı Muhibbe Darga”. Darga is a member of
Turkish Historical Society and German Archeological Institute.
Muhibbe Darga is also known as an academic who taught her students
with a devoutness, someone who spent almost half of her life for archeology and
slightly more than half of her life to her family and someone who is
plainspoken. Darga, who wrote a book on the Egyptian queen and Egypt’s only pharaoh Hatshepsut, enjoys dressing well
and she says; “The archeologist should look at the finding as an artwork and
approach to archeology as an artist. Otherwise, everything will be bone dry”.
“My first impression (–as far as I know everybody agrees
on this), she is a very vivid woman who cannot let the grass grow under her
feet. ‘We come across and have conversations with each other more often in
Akademi Bookstore’s evening meetings. I must admit that I was a little bit
surprised when I found out that she was a Hititology professor at Istanbul University. I thought about her that
she was a housewife who enjoyed literature. Such a modest and low-key
Anadolu’da Kadın (1976), Hitit Mimarlığı (1984), İstanbul' dan
Asya’yı Vusta’ya Seyahat (Mehmet Emin Bey'in anıları, 2009), Kazı
Başkanının Karavanası (2010).