Professor Manfred Osman Korfmann, who for 17 years was the excavation leader for digs at the ancient city of Troy, passed away on Thursday.
The 63-year-old academic was a lecturer at Germany's Tübingen University and was known for his diligent work and discoveries in Troy. Korfmann, sadly, had been diagnosed with cancer and began receiving treatment at his home in Tübingen but passed away in the early hours of Thursday morning, reported the Doğan News Agency.
Korfmann received many honors in his lifetime, including a Special Success Award at the Turkish Historic, Cultural Heritage and Art Awards in 1988 and in 2001. He won the Living Together Achievement Award for discovering documents during an excavation he led, organized and funded by the Helga and Edzart Reuter Foundation, that indicated peoples from Eastern and Greek civilizations had cohabited peacefully together.
Korfmann also established the Çanakkale-Tübingen-Troy Foundation in an effort to support excavation efforts and findings from digs in Çanakkale, both with information and funding, and to pinpoint areas of excavation that needed ongoing scientific investigation. His efforts contributed greatly toward having the ancient city of Troy recognized and included as part of UNESCO's World Heritage and the area being declared a national park. He also invested a great deal of time and effort to having a museum built to display the artifacts and chronicle the history of the city and its surrounding areas. In addition he launched a campaign calling for the return of historic treasures on display in other parts of the world back to Troy. Through his many years of work and devotion he won the love and respect of local villagers and was given the Turkish nickname Osman Hodja (Teacher Osman).
Korfmann acquired Turkish citizenship in December 2003 and added the name Osman to his legal name.
Additionally, he received an honorary doctorate from Çanakkale's Onsekiz Mart University and served as dean's office archeological consultant.
At the opening ceremony of the 42nd International Troy Festival on Wednesday night, the Çanakkale City Council named Professor Korfmann an Honorary Freeman of Çanakkale, however; the professor was not able to attend due to his illness. The designation was presented to Professor Muharrem Satır, trustee of the Çanakkale-Tübingen-Troy Foundation, to be forwarded to Korfmann.
Korfmann's funeral will take place in Germany on Tuesday.