The symposium is part of an 18-month program on the beginnings of American archaeology in Ottoman Empire during the late nineteenth century, the role of Osman Hamdi Bey in the development of cultural policies for archaeology, and the engagement of archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania, specifically the Penn Museum. The Halpern - Rogath Seminar in Museum Practice for undergraduates and graduates initiated the program in the fall of 2009. The symposium “Recovering the Past” is the second event in the series. It will be followed an exhibition at the Penn Museum opening in September 2010, featuring unpublished materials from the museum archives, two newly discovered paintings by Hamdi and objects from the Near East section of the museum. A version of the exhibit will appear in the Pera Museum, Istanbul in 2011.

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