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Günder Varinlioğlu

"Isaurian Stonecutters at Work: the Late Antique Quarry Industry on Dana Island (Turkey)"

Günder Varinlioğlu

Fellow, Byzantine Studies

Günder’s research explores the development of quarry production and settlement on Dana Island (Isauria) in the fourth–eighth centuries. As the largest limestone quarry along Turkey’s southern coast, stone extraction and transport were fundamental to the island’s economy. During the sixth century, Isauria supplied building crews to construction projects throughout the empire. Günder investigates the social, economic, religious, and technological infrastructure that supported this building industry. She explores the likely role of the island’s resources in the formation of the Isaurian building workshops. In so doing, she employs innovative and interdisciplinary methods of documentation, analysis, and interpretation, including airborne LiDAR and Artificial Intelligence.

Günder Varinlioğlu is professor in Art History at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, İstanbul. She holds a PhD in Mediterranean Archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Archaeology from Bilkent University, Ankara, and a BA in Architecture from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara. She has directed the Boğsak Archaeological Survey in Rough Cilicia, Turkey from 2010 to 2021, which concluded with the foundation of the Boğsak Center for Archaeology and Heritage in the Boğsak village, Mersin. She has recently launched a new archaeology and heritage project entitled “Building Archaeology in Stony Cilicia.” While her research is situated at the intersection of landscape archaeology and architectural history, it stands out with its commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and to the promotion of cultural heritage.