UNDERSTANDING INTANGIBLE ASPECTS OF CULTURAL LANDSCAPE; LIVING CULTURES OF NORTHEAST KAYSERI VALLEYS
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Sustaining cultural landscapes requires the conservation of socio-cultural characteristics as well as their physical manifestations. It is essential to document and conserve tangible and intangible elements of heritage in an integrated manner as cultural heritage consists of "both tangible and intangible works through which the creativity of a people finds expressions". These include but may not be limited to social practices, daily lives, rituals, traditional craftsmanship, know-how, techniques and skills, historic places, buildings, public spaces and objects. Finding the means of understanding and safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and its transmission to next generations is vital for the preservation of tangible heritage and its characteristics. This paper reviews the development of the concepts of intangible cultural heritage and cultural landscapes, and the interrelationship between tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Their interaction opens up new approaches to cultural heritage and its conservation. The case study focuses on the cultural landscape features of Kayseri's Northeast Valleys, Koramaz, Gesi and Derevenk, in terms of their tangible and intangible heritage elements and values. The methodology, therefore, proposes the integrated documentation and analysis of these tangible and intangible cultural heritage characteristics. The area had a multi-cultural, ethnic and religious social structure, which shaped its elements through human-nature interaction. However, demographic changes within the last century transformed daily-life practices. The research is based on in-depth interviews with local residents, analysis of archival sources and documentation of the physical remains in the field. The results highlight the traditional crafts and production techniques as daily-life practices; some of these are still continued at the present while others are not practiced anymore. Those practiced in the recent past are carried to our day through the remembrances and accounts of the elders. The documentation of these practices forms the first step for their revival and sustainability for the future and provide valuable tools for the development of principles and strategies with this purpose. Understanding the physical, natural and socio+ layers of tangible and intangible cultural heritage is essential in this context. Their promotion and the inclusion of local stakeholders in the conservation process is the only solution for the integrated conservation of these cultural landscapes in terms of a living heritage approach.