Means for the protection of Limyra with the village children of Saklısu

The project »Limyra of Children« was first started in 2011 as a week-long Summer School and is intended to create awareness among the children of Limyra for their built and lived environment. In the workshop everything revolves around history, archaeology, nature, and a peaceful coexistence of archaeology, villagers, and excavators. Together with architecture students from Istanbul they make crafts, paint, sew, film, nail, build, play, and act in a theater for all. 

The project is aimed at developing a sense of belonging and responsibility for the preservation of the ruins and the nature of Limyra among the children of the village. The relationship between archaeology and village has been tense for many generations because the scientific activity has been responsible for the expropriation or cuts in agricultural activities. Since only the interest of the villagers can ensure the preservation of the ruins and the landscape it is necessary to create and maintain this interest. 


The common method in architectural studies consists of workshops with a dense program (8 days with 6 hours/day) and a final presentation and also forms the basis of our project. Architectural students interested in theater, dance, design try to work, experience, and position themselves in the history of Limyra in antiquity to the present and future with the children in a playful form. It is not about rescuing ›stones‹ but instead about creating a common past and a vision for the future.


All children of the village are invited to join so that annually on average 50 children 4-14 years of age take part in this program. In contrast to other projects in archaeological zones some children have returned every year in the past six years. This circumstance makes planning a bit more difficult because something new has to be developed every year, however, progress among the children can be observed. All teachers are also students because they have to engage with a foreign environment, unaccustomed questions, and an unusual ›audience‹. 


Every year the key element of the work is theater as play and performance at the end for the entire village. The smallest and the somewhat slower children paint and do crafts on the topic of Limyra and Saklısu. Workshops are created according to the interests of all participants, such as music, sewing for older girls, construction, developing games, doll games, dances, and much more. The relationship to the location is emphasized as much as possible.