Mehmetcan Soyluoglu Interview

Mehmetcan Soyluoglu

Ph.D. Candidate / Graduate Research Assistant

Can you tell us a few words about your academic background?

My academic background mainly focuses on the classical archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean. During my undergraduate and masters degree, I studied the commercial activities in the ancient Eastern Mediterranean by focusing on Cyprus. During this period, I participated in international excavation teams in Cyprus and Anatolia. In 2019, I joined the Cyprus Institute, Science and Technology in Cultural Heritage PhD program and became a research assistant at the Andreas Pittas Art Characterization (APAC) Labs' Cyprus Dendrochronology Laboratory (CDL) to carry my research on the Cultural Landscape of Kyrenia Mountain region from the Dendrochronological perspective. 

What about your research at the Cyprus Institute and STARC?

Since my enrolment at the STARC beside my PhD research, I took part in the TREE (Tracing History and Environment with Tree Rings in Cyprus) project and the building up the CDL. TREE is a research project that aims to provide a better understanding of the Byzantine and Medieval heritage of Cyprus with the dendrochronological applications. As a STARC team member, I participated in TREE's fieldworks with the Cyprus Institute and the Cornell University, joint team. About the recently established CDL as part of the APAC Labs, I also involved in capacity building and maintaining works since I joined the STARC. The experience that I am gaining at the Institute with the mentioned projects is highly contributing to my PhD project as well. 

Can you tell us a bit more about your PhD project?

My PhD research examines the use of mountain landscape in the Kyrenia range throughout history. The study focuses on the eastern half of the range, which hosts rich cultural and natural layers. These layers consist of religious and vernacular architecture, woodlands and farming areas. With the tree-ring data, extracted from certain historical buildings and living trees in the study area, this project aims to bring a causality-based explanation for human and nature interaction in the range by investigating mountain as a cultural landscape.

Do you think the advanced technological and scientific framework of CyI and STARC has enriched your research?

CyI has an active and vibrant research environment. Being able to communicate easily with the other researchers from different fields definitely helps to enrich my studies in the field. Also, this active research environment offers unique experiences for early career researchers like me. While the projects I involved in are helping my research, APAC Labs' infrastructures play a crucial role in my PhD project.