Mellink Archive (Bryn Mawr College)

Through a partnership with Artstor, approximately 3,900 images from the Mellink Archive at Bryn Mawr College have been added to the Digital Library. Machteld Johanna Mellink (1917–2006) was a pioneer of Anatolian archaeology and a pre-eminent scholar of ancient Turkish cultures. For nearly three decades, she served as chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. Born in the Netherlands, Mellink first came to Bryn Mawr in 1946 as a postdoctoral fellow, before beginning to teach at the College in 1949. She would continue to teach Aegean, Classical, and Near Eastern archaeology at Bryn Mawr for four decades, until her retirement in 1988. Under Mellink's leadership as chair from 1955–1983, the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology would expand its faculty, course offerings, and fieldwork programs. As a scholar, Mellink participated in ground-breaking excavations throughout Turkey, establishing her reputation as a leader in the field. From 1947–1949, she excavated at Tarsus in Cicilia, and then from 1950–1965, she worked on the dig at Gordion, the capital of ancient Phrygia. However, Mellink is best known for her work at Karatas-Semayük, on the Elmali plain in Lycia. Before Mellink discovered this Early Bronze Age settlement in 1963, no previous archaeological work had been done in the area. She would continue to dig and research in the region for the rest of her career. In 1969, her fieldwork at Kizilbel and Karaburun near Elmali led to the discovery of important tombs decorated with Archaic wall paintings, dating from the late 6th through early 5th century BCE. Unfortunately, these spectacular finds made the area far too tempting for looters. As a result, Mellink would become an outspoken critic of the illicit traffic of antiquities, bringing international attention to the loss of Turkey's cultural heritage through looting and illegal export.

Upon her death, Mellink bequeathed her personal archive of color slides to Bryn Mawr College, where it is now housed in the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology. Approximately 3,900 images from the Mellink Archive have been added to the Digital Library, the majority of which depict archaeological sites in Turkey, including numerous images of sites that Mellink excavated herself. Also well-represented are sites in Greece, Cyprus, Syria, Iran, and Iraq, dating from Prehistoric through Medieval periods. Produced from the 1950s through the 1990s, these images depict the Classical and Near Eastern archaeological sites that Mellink explored, studied, and taught over the course of her long, celebrated career. The collection is also available as high-resolution downloads for academic publishing; for more information, please see Images for Academic Publishing.