Department of Classics

Borders are roughly hewn: Monuments, local landscapes and the politics of place in Hittite Anatolia

Archaeological Studies Seminar

Mon, November 18, 2013 | CLA Room 1.302D

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The Archaeological Studies Seminar will convene once more on the 18th of November, 2:00-3:00pm in CLA Room 1.302D. Please note, there has been a change to the seminar line up. We are pleased to announce the next lecture is to be given by Professor Ömür Harmanşah, Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Ancient Western Asian Studies, Brown University and the Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellow, Departments of Middle East Studies and Religious Studies, University of Texas at Austin will be our fourth invited speaker, his presentation is titled:

Cultural historian Elliott Colla proposed that ancient borders, unlike their modern versions, are often roughly hewn, both materially and conceptually. With this he not only refers to the artfully crafted and politically contested nature of borders in antiquity but also cleverly highlights their geological grounding. For the Hittite imperial landscapes, Colla’s statement has special resonance for Hittite frontiers are often discussed with respect to the making of rock reliefs and spring monuments that both commemorate the kingship ideology at politically contested border regions and appropriate local sites of geological wonder and cultic significance such as caves, springs and sinkholes. Treaties are signed and border disputes are settled at these liminal sites where divinities and ancestors of the underworld take part as witnesses.  One such monument is the mountain spring at Yalburt Yaylası that features a lengthy Hieroglyphic Luwian inscription put up by the Hittite kings in the countryside. Excavated by Ankara Museum in 1970s, Yalburt Monument near Konya is dated to the time of Tudhaliya IV (1209-1237 BCE). Since 2010, Brown University’s Yalburt Yaylası Archaeological Landscape Research Project has investigated the landscapes surrounding Yalburt monument. The preliminary results of the extensive and intensive archaeological survey suggest that the region of Yalburt was a deeply contested frontier, where the Land of Hatti linked to the politically powerful polities of western Anatolia. This paper will discuss the nature of a Hittite borderland with respect to settlement programs, monument construction and regional politics.

Sponsored by: Department of Anthropology

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