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 Dr. Pınar DURGUN

Art Historian


I am an art historically trained archaeologist with a background in anthropology and museum studies, fascinated by the diversity of human reactions to death and dying. I analyze cemeteries, study mortuary practices, and work on funerary objects. I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about the ways we bury (or do not bury) our dead. 

My research focuses on cemeteries in Anatolia (ancient Turkey) and in the wider ancient Near East and Aegean. I look at how perceptions of death were expressed in the form of objects, images, texts, and architecture. With an anthropological framework, I use this information to think about how we react to death and dying today. 

As I am dedicated to public scholarship, I am always looking for accessible and exciting ways to communicate academic knowledge to engage larger audiences with the ancient world. You can find me on Youtube and Skype a Scientist, and my work on EnCompass (and soon on the Ancient History Encyclopedia).


I am also interested in how museums help us understand, protect, and engage with the past. I have worked at several museums including Anatolian Civilizations Museum, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology on archaeological, ethnographic, and archival materials, as well as as a docent and educator. My most recent curatorial work is the exhibit "Blind Origin". At the moment, I am an Art History fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art conducting research on the ancient Anatolian collection.

I am the founder of Project Visiting Scholar, a non-profit database project that aims to lower accommodation costs and increase inclusivity at academic conferences. 

When I am not in the classroom or in a museum, I am at a historical cemetery somewhere in New England admiring gravestones. 







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