Muhibbe Darga

Hititolog, Arkeolog, Dil Bilimci

Istanbul University Archeology Department

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 mentioned university.

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 identity!” (HilmiYavuz)

WORKS: Eski Anadolu’da Kadın (1976), Hitit Mimarlığı (1984), İstanbul' dan Asya’yı Vusta’ya Seyahat (Mehmet Emin Bey'in anıları, 2009), Kazı Başkanının Karavanası (2010).



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