Systematic investigation into the needs of the community was conducted and priorities were identified. Accordingly, additional activities to support the local communities in terms of rural development were organized. All activities assumed the aim of increasing awareness of the community regarding Komana with a future goal of increased appropriation and protection. The efforts were warmly welcomed by both the rural communities and the local government.
Small scale education programs evolved into participatory action research with the intention to achieve long lasting success in raising heritage awareness and protection of the archaeological site. The short term success of these efforts is varied however they have led our team to think deeper into relevance, community engagement, ownership, benefit, and the role of the archaeologist within this very complicated dialogue with the public.
1. In 2010, Ten primary school kids, ages between 8 and 13, were offered archaeology and art history lectures, they were taken to the field for a visit, experienced excavation first-hand through mock trenches prepared in the garden of the house and attended an arts workshop on "Art through the Ages" resulting in an exhibition. (supervisors: Mina Şentek, Zeynep Şentek)
2. In 2012, three workshops were held with 14 children ages between 7 and 15. (supervisors: Anıl Ilgaz and Coşku Kocabıyık)
- The first workshop was an exercise to stimulate imaginative thinking regarding the past. It involved a trip to the site, interviews with the elderly in their village on daily life, and a meeting to share the information they collected during the site visit and the interviews with each other. They were asked to form groups for writing their story of the past. The stories were enacted by children who sewed costumes and made props inspired by their stories and the accumulated knowledge.
- In the second workshop cakes with archaeological layers were eaten during which stratigraphy and excavation techniques were discussed.
- The third workshop involved a visit to the Tokat Museum.