Obituary: Professor H. H. Gunhan Danisman (1943-2009)

At the beginning of 2009, we lost our colleague and friend Professor Gunhan Danisman, a member of the Muslim Heritage Awareness Network in Turkey (MHANT) and an eminent scholar who passed away in Istanbul where he had lived for many years. In the following, we present an obituary as a tribute to his memory.

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Figure 1: Professor Gunhan Danisman.

At the beginning of 2009, we lost our colleague and friend Professor Gunhan Danisman, a member of the Muslim Heritage Awareness Network in Turkey (MHANT) and an eminent scholar who passed away in Istanbul where he had lived for many years. Gunhan Danisman is known to all those working in the broad field of Islamic architecture studies, Muslim Heritage and Turkish culture. He is the author of many publications in which he shed light on various aspects of the rich history of Turkish science and the technology. He was also a member of many scientific intuitions. In March 2006, the late Professor Danisman presented a paper at the "1001 Inventions" Conference: Discover the Muslim Heritage in our World. The conference opened the "1001 Inventions Exhibition" launch in Manchester. His talk was about Ottoman Mining, Metal Working and Fire-Arms Technology in South East Europe (15th-17th centuries). It was published on www.MuslimHeritage.com on the 25 May, 2007.

Figure 2: Gunhan Danisman, after the "1001 Inventions" conference at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester in 2006, with other colleagues, members and associates of FSTC.

Professor Danisman was a professor at the University of Bogazici in Istanbul for a long period. On the 8th October 2011, his colleagues organized a conference in his memory at the same university. Prof. Salim Al-Hassani, the Chairman of Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC), sent a message to this conference honouring him. He wrote in this message:

Figure 3: Gunhan Danisman delivering his talk at "1001 Inventions" conference at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester in 2006.

"Greetings and condolences to you all. The world and particularly the academic community have lost a great man, a high calibre historian and a wonderful person. We share with you the pleasure and pride in honouring Professor Gunhan Danisman and share with you the effort of continuing his work and legacy.

Our Foundation mission is to uncover history for building a better future and to use the cultural roots of science to enhance inter-cultural appreciation. Professor Gunhan Danisman's work and scholarship contributed greatly towards advancing this mission. May his legacy continue to inspire others to follow his path."

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Günhan Danisman was a gentleman and an enquiring and studious scholar who chose to teach until the very last week when he was hospitalized. His life and legacy was commemorated on Monday, 19th of January 2009 at Bogazici University with a large crowd including his family, friends from diverse institutions, and his colleagues and students.

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H. H. Günhan Danisman, B.Arch., M.Phil., Ph.D.

Figure 4: Gunhan Danisman with a cannon of Muhammad II (1451-1481) in Istanbul.

Assoc. Professor of History of Technology at the Department of History of the University of Bogazici in Istanbul, Dr. Danisman had received his architectural degree at the Faculty of Architecture of the Middle East Technical University in Ankara in 1965, followed by an M.Phil. Degree in Arts and a Ph.D. in History of Technology at the University of London in 1968 and 1976, respectively. He was lecturing on "History of Technology" at the University of Bogazici and participated at excavations of Demirköy-Samakocuk as a member of a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research team.

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The Abstract of his speech at the "1001 Inventions" conference (Manchester, March 2006).

The Impact of Ottoman Mining & Metal Working in the Balkans Region on the Firearms Technology of Southeast Europe: 15th through 17th Centuries

Figure 5: The leaflet of the conference in memory of H. H. Gunhan Danisman at the University of Bogazici, Turkey.

Available archaeo-metallurgical evidence indicates that easiest mining and metal working activity started in Anatolia approximately 10 to 11,000 years ago, soon after the northward retreat of the glacial from the Fourth Ice Age. There is also clear evidence that metal working spread to other regions from Anatolia. Through the two straits between Asia Minor and Thrace, namely the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, firstly the knowledge of copper smelting and later the iron extraction had diffused into central and western Europe throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages. It is also clear that metal working was widely practiced in southeast Europe during the Hellenistic, Roman and the Byzantine rule of this area. The Ottoman supremacy in the Balkans from the early part of 14th century onwards had been a simultaneous development with the introduction and development of the use of firearms technology in this region. The Ottomans, originally known as the Kayi Tribe of Transoxania prior to their forced migration into Asia Minor before the onslaught of the Mongol invasions during the 12th century, had the advantage of acting as the intermediaries together with the other nomadic peoples of the Central Asian plains for the transmission of technology between China and the Western World, including the compass and gunpowder. The large bronze cannons known as shahees that the ambitious Sultan Mehmet II, the Conqueror, was able to use against the fortifications of Constantinople during the middle of the 15th century were manufactured employing the most innovative casting technology of its day and were instrumental in the development of more advanced mobile artillery, as well as the introduction of cast iron cannon balls, replacing earlier stone balls, throughout Europe by the end of the 15th century. Through the 16th and the 17th centuries, the Ottoman metallurgists were able to organize at least three large industrial centers in the Balkans where iron mining and smelting was practiced highly successfully. This paper will, at the same time, summarize exciting results of three seasons of Industrial Archaeology research, both field surveys and excavations, at one of the Ottoman iron production establishments namely Demirköy-Samakocuk, situated on the Istranca Massifs in Turkish Thrace, immediately south of the present day Bulgarian border. Research has already revealed remains of two large iron foundries containing well-preserved high furnaces illustrating advanced 17th century technology, elaborate canal system for the utilization of water power, and other important data.

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Publications of Prof. Günhan Danisman

Ahmed Yousif al-Hassan & Donald R. Hill, Islam Teknolojisi: Tasvirli bir Tarih, (UNESCO Yayini), trans. G. Danisman, TUBITAK, Popüler Bilimsel Yayinlar, Ankara, 2006 [Turkish translation of the fundamental book: Ahmad Y. Al-Hassan & Donald R. Hill, Islamic Technology. An Illustrated History. Paris/Cambridge: UNESCO/ Cambridge University Press, 1986].

Danisman, G., - G.Tanyeli "Demirköy-M.Samakov: An Industrial Archaeology Project at Turkish Thrace for an Ottoman Iron Foundry and Its Metal Working Region", International Symposium on Metallurgy in Southeast Europe from Ancient Times until the end of 19th Century, 26-30 September 2005, Technical University of Sofia (Recreation House), Sozopol, Bulgaria, 2005, pp. 139-144.

Danisman, G., - G.Tanyeli, "Trakya'da Bir Endüstri Arastirmasi Projesi: Kirklareli-Demirköy Demir Dökümhanesi 2004 Yili Yüzey Arastirmasi", 23. Arastirma Sonuçlari Toplantisi, Vol II, 30 Mayis- 3 Haziran 2005, T:C: Kültür ve Turizm Bakanligi, Kültür Varliklari ve Müzeler Genel Md., Akdeniz Üniversitesi Antalya, DÖSIMM Basimevi, Ankara, 2006, pp. 389-393.

Danisman, G., - H. Özbal, "Tarsus-Gözlükule 2004 Yili Disiplinlerarasi Arastirmalari", 23. Arastirma Sonuçlari Toplantisi, Vol II, 30 Mayis-3 Haziran 2005, T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanligi, Kültür Varlilari ve Müzeler Genel Md., Akdeniz Üniversitesi Antalya, DÖSIMM Basimevi, Ankara, 2006, pp. 153-166.

Danisman, G., - O.Bahadir "Late Ottoman and Early Republican Science Periodicals: Center and Periphery Relationship in Dissemination of Knowledge", Turkish Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, (eds.) Irzik, G. & Güzeldere, G., Kluver Academic Publications, Netherlands, 2005, pp. 271-296.

Danisman, G., "15.-17. Yüzyillarda Balkanlarda Osmanli Metalurjisi ve Atesli Silahlar Teknolojileri Iliskisi", Yildiz Daglari ve Yakin Çevresi Tarihi Arastirmalar Sempozyumu, 22-23 Mayis 2006, A.B. Sinirötesi Kültürel Isbirligi Projesi, Kirklareli.

Danisman, G., "A Reassessment of the Contribution Made by Industrial Archaeology Research at Demirköy-Samakocuk to the History of Metal-Working and Water-Power Technologies of the Ottoman Period", Industrial Archaeology in Turkey: A Symposium organized jointly by the Turkish Society for History of Science and the Netherlands Institute of Turkey (NIT), Istanbul, 2 March, 2007.

Danisman, G., "A Survey of Turbine Type Water Mills in the Bolu Region of the Central Anatolian Plateau", O.D.T.U. Mimarlik Fakültesi Dergisi, III/1 (1977), pp. 17-37.

Danisman, G., "An Operational Fulling Mill at Kirha-Divan in Central Anatolian Plateau, Turkey", Post-Medieval Archaeology, Vol. 11, 1977, London, pp. 80-86.

Danisman, G., "Anadolu Enerji Teknolojileri Tarihçesi ve 18. Yüzyil Sonunda Osmanli Yönetiminin Sanayilesmede Kaçirdigi Firsatin Yeniden Degerlendirilmesi", Türk Teknoloji Tarihi, (1. Türk Bilim ve Teknoloji Tarihi Kongresi Bildirileri, 15-17 Kazim 2001), Ed. Dölen, E. & Kaçar, M., Türk Bilim Tarihi Kurumu, Istanbul, 2003, pp. 95-113.

Danisman, G., "Anadolu'nun Teknoloji Tarihinin Hazirlanmasinda Yöntem ve Sorunlar", Bogaziçi Universitesi Dergisi, 1980-81, Istanbul, pp. 27-36.

Danisman, G., "Critical Analysis of A Historical Archaeology of the Ottoman Empire: Breaking New Ground, and Its Implications for Demirköy-Samakocuk Research", The First International Congress on Islamic Archaeology, 8-10 April 2005, Yildiz Palace-Çit Kasri, Istanbul.

Danisman, G., "Demirköy'de Ikinci Dökümhane Bulundu", Mimarlara Mektup, No. 11, Kasim 2005, Istanbul.

Danisman, G., "Globalization and the Predicament of the Artisan/Technologist", Memory and Globalization, 23-26 June 2004, XIIIth International Oral History Conference, jointly organize by the Comune di Roma and I.O.H.A. - International oral History Association - (released as a CD).

Danisman, G., "Kirklareli-Demirköy Osmanli Dökümhanesi'nde Sürdürülen Endüstri Arkeolojisi Kazilari Ilk Sonuçlarinin Anadolu Teknoloji Tarihine Katkilari", II. Türk Bilim ve Teknoloji Tarihi Kongresi, 30-31 October 2006, Isparta Süleyman Demirel University.

Danisman, G., "Küresellesme ve Zanaatçi/Teknoloji Ustalarinin Çaresizligi", Osmanli Bilimi Arastirmalari (Emre Dölen Armagani), Vol 6, issue 2, 2005, pp. 235-245.

Danisman, G., "Ölçü Aletleri ile Hassas Aletlerin Teknolojik Evrimlerinin Bilimsel Devrime Katkisi ve Anadolu uygarliklarinin bu Katkidaki Payinin Belirlenmesi", I. Uluslararasi Türk-Islam Bilim ve Teknoloji Tarihi Kongresi, vo I (Temel Bilimler Tarihi), I.T.U., Mimarlik Fakültesi Baski Atölyesi, 1981, Istanbul, p. 121 ff.

Danisman, G., "Ottoman Mining, Metal Working and Fire Arms Technology", 1001 Inventions - Discover the Muslim Heritage in our World, Foundation for Science and Technology and Civilization Publication, Manchester. (March 2006). Published on www.MuslimHeritage.com on 25 May 2007.

Danisman, G., "Preliminary Results from the 2005 Season of Excavations at an Industrial Archaeology Site in Turkish Thrace: an Ottoman Iron Foundry in Demirköy-Samakocuk" IVth International Conference on Science & Technology in Archaeology & Conservation, 7-11 December 2005, Queen Raina's Institute of Tourism & Heritage, The Hashemite University, Amman, Jordan.

Danisman, G., "Preliminary Results from the Second Season of Excavations at an Industrial Archaeology Site in Turkish Thrace: an Ottoman Iron Foundry in Demirköy-Samakocuk" IIIrd International Conference on Science & Technology in Archaeology & Conservation 7-11 December 2004, Queen Raina's Institute of Tourism & Heritage, The Hashemite University, Amman, Jordan.

Danisman, G., "Teknoloji Tarihi Dalinda Son Gelismeler", B.U. Haber Bülteni, 17 (1979), Istanbul, pp. 16-17.

Danisman, G., "The Introduction of American Surgical Technology in the Ottoman Empire in the 19th Century", Essays in Honour of Ekmelettin Ihsanoglu, Vol. I, (eds. M. Kaçar & Z. Durukal), IRCICA, Istanbul, 2006, pp. 597-631.

Danisman, G., -G.Tanyeli "An Industrial Archaeology Project: An Iron Foundry of Ottoman Period at Kirklareli-Demirköy (Samakocuk)", Mimar.ist, (Special Issue of Trimonthly Journal of the Chamber of Architects of Turkey, Istanbul Metropolitan Branch) Yr. 5, Nr. 16, Summer 2005, Istanbul, pp. 96-98.

Danisman, G., Gürbüz, G., Özener, H. & Özyar, A., "Tarsus Gözlükule 2001 Yili Enterdisipliner Arastirmalari", 20. Arastirma Sonuçlari Toplantisi, vol. I, 27-31 May, 2002, T.C. Kültür Bakanligi, Anitlar ve Müzeler Genel Müdürlügü Yayini, Ankara, 2003, pp. 273-282.

Danisman, G., H.Özbal ve A. Özyar, "Tarsus-Gözlükule 2003 Yili Enterdisipliner Arastirmalari", 22. Arastirma Sonuçlari Toplantisi, 2. Vol, 27-30 Mayis 2004, T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanligi, Kültür Varliklari ve Müzeler Genel Müdürlügü Yayini, Ankara, 2005, pp. 125-132.

Danisman, G., H.Özbal, G.Tanyeli and Y.Ünsal, Anadolu Teknoloji Tarihi: Ilk Aletten M.Ö. 1000'e, Türk Bilim Tarihi --"Kirklareli-Demirköy Endüstri Arkeolojisi Çalismalari: 2005 Sezonu Ilk Sonuçlari", 28. Uluslararasi Kazi, Arastirma ve Arkeometri Sempozyumu, (29 Mayis-2 Haziran 2006, 18 Mart Çanakkale Üniversitiesi), T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanligi, Kültür Varliklari ve Müzeler Gn. Md., DÖSIMM Yayini, Ankara, 2007.

Danisman, G., Karabulut,G., Özener,H., & Özyar,A., ¨Tarsus-Gözlükule 2002 Yili Enterdisipline Arastirmalari", 21. Arastirma Sonuçlari Toplantisi, Vol 2, 26-31 Mayis, T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanligi, Kültür Varliklari ve Müzeler Gn. Md. Yayini, Ankara, 2004, pp. 235-44.

Danisman, G., Preliminary Results from an Industrial Archaeology Site in Turkish Thrace: an Ottoman Iron Foundry in Demirköy-Samakocuk", IInd International Conference on Science & Technology in Archaeology & Conservation, 7-11 December 2003, Queen Raina's Institute of Tourism & Heritage, The Hashemite University, Amman, Jordan - (to be published jointly by the Hashemite University & Granada University in Spain).

G. Danisman, H.Özbal, "Southeast Balkans and Turkish Thrace as a Bridge of Diffusion for Metallurgical Technology between Anatolia and Europe", International Symposium on History of Science and Technology: Adoption & Adaptation: The Travel of Methods, Techniques and Technologies between Asia and Europe (Istanbul, 10-14 May 2006), organised by the University of Istanbul, Faculty of Letters.

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