The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut néerlandais du Proche-Orient


Book Specifications
IV, 207 pp.

Anatolica XLV

2019  |  Anatolica Volume 45 2019 ISSN: 0066-1554; 45

Table of Contents


Multiple Faces of Changes in 5600/5500 Cal. BC Anatolia and Thrace

5600/5500 cal. BC witnessed major cultural transformations or abrupt changes in virtually all regions of Anatolia and Thrace, most notably pottery production, subsistence patterns, architecture and symbolic expression. By surveying both old and recent evidence from central and western Anatolia, and Thrace, this article aims to make a comparative analysis of the cultural change in the wider region. This study ultimately claims that the degree of these changes is varied from one region to another, and the material culture of this transitional period is eclectic in nature. — Özlem Çevik and Burçin Erdoğu

Snakes in the plain. Contextualizing prehistoric Near Eastern snake symbolism and early human behaviour

The article attempts an alternative and anthropological-based hypothesis to explain the abundance of snake motives in the Earliest Near Eastern Neolithic, contrasted with their relative scarcity in later times. The focus is mainly, but not exclusively, on the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) of Southeast Turkey, with sites like Göbekli Tepe and Körtik Tepe having produced a huge number of snake motives applied to a variety of materials and items. The predominance of the snake motive is then related to venomous serpents being a cardinal thread to hominids and humans throughout their evolutionary history, and particularly to early farmers, where snakes were a notorious hidden danger for semi-sedentary, crop-cultivating communities. — Thomas Zimmermann

Asia 88 BC: A Landmark in Genocide History

The aim of this article is to provide an explanation to the infamous slaughter of the Romans in the province of Asia, in 88 BC, when all Roman citizens and their families were annihilated, in a single day, without any exception. My aim is to prove that the reason of this extreme act was not some erratic form of behaviour by the king Mithridates VI, but a result of his zoroastrian way of thinking, framed by an eschatological doctrine about a cosmic fight against Evil, represented in that case by Rome, and various devils, the Romans, to be eliminated all without exception, at the same time, as in a ritual. — Gilles Courtieu

The 2017-18 Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project (GRAPE): Second Preliminary Report

South Caucasia is an ecologically rich region, home to a diverse fauna and flora and an abundance of mineral resources. Although understudied by western scholars until recently, the region has proved to be highly favourable to the establishment of early human settlement and the development of early complex societies. From at least the end of the 7th millennium on, Neolithic communities practiced farming and herding subsistence, and engaged in long distance regional, and perhaps supra-regional trade. Yet, the process of Neolithisation in the South Caucasus remains poorly understood. This is particularly true in regards to the question of local adaptation versus movement of populations from the Neolithic cultures of the Fertile Crescent. Investigations in Caucasia, and Georgia in particular, have the potential to contribute significantly to our overall understanding of the Neolithic process of the Near East. Because of this geographical situation, investigations in the Kvemo Kartli Region offer new opportunities to contribute to the debate on the Neolithisation of the Caucasus, focusing on the of understanding of the development the Shulaveri-Shomu Cultural, its settlement organization and economy, and its relationship to other late Neolithic cultures in the greater Near East.

Since 2016, a team of researchers from the Georgian National Museum, and the University of Toronto, has been engaged in archaeological investigations at the sites of Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora, which revealed the exceptionally well-preserved remains of a succession of settlements spanning the terminal parts of the Neolithic Period (ca. 6000-5000 BC). This paper represents the second preliminary report of the 2017 and 2018 seasons of the Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project Expedition (GRAPE). — Stephen Batiuk, Khaled Abu Jayyab, Mindia Jalabadze, Andrew Graham, Stephen Rhodes and Levan Losaberidze, with contributions by Arno Glasser and Giorgi Chilingarashvili

The 2017-2018 Seasons at Çadır Höyük on the North Central Plateau

The Çadır Höyük mound is located in Yozgat Province, approximately 16 km from the city of Sorgun. Work commenced at the site in 1993 with an intensive surface survey, followed by excavation beginning in 1994. The deep sounding (excavated from 1994-2001) demonstrated that occupation stretches back to at least 5200 cal. BC; excavations on the mound summit indicate that occupation continued until a final abandonment perhaps in the 13th century CE. No gap in occupation of the mound over some six thousand years has been detected.

The findings presented here derived from our work in three main periods represented at the site: the Late Chalcolithic exposure (ca. 3800-3500 BCE) located on the lower southern slope, the second and first millennium BCE, excavated in several areas of the site (the western slope work is presented here), and the Byzantine occupation, ca. 6th-13th centuries BCE on the mound summit, including mention of possible Roman architecture discovered in the 2018 season. The 2017 season provided some major discoveries, including three important child burials in the Late Chalcolithic area, a new gate and entryway into the Byzantine summit area, and a possible chapel. The 2018 season was devoted to further exploring these and other discoveries made in previous seasons in an attempt to solve major questions in preparation for a planned study season in 2019. By the close of the 2018 season we had achieved many of our goals; our work and interpretations are presented herein. — Sharon R. Steadman, Gregory McMahon, T. Emre Şerifoğlu, Marica Cassis, Anthony J. Lauricella, Laurel D. Hackley, Stephanie Selover, Burcu Yıldırım, Benjamin S. Arbuckle, Madelynn von Baeyer, Yağmur Heffron, Katie Tardio, Sarah Adcock, Emrah Dinç, Gonca Özger, Bengi Selvi, Stephanie Offutt, Alicia Hartley

Tunceli-Anbar Fortress and the Urartian multi-roomed rock-cut tomb

This study aims to evaluate Anbar Fortress and its multi-roomed rock-cut tomb, located in the Tunceli region. It is a place rarely mentioned in archaeological literature. For the first time the plan of the rock-cut tomb of Anbar is presented here and accordingly the fortress’ place in the Urartian administration system is evaluated. In addition, material culture residues from the site, such as wall foundations, mortared walls, rock steps, cisterns/storage spaces and a rock chapel were analysed and their connection to the tomb is explained. Traces of two different periods are detected in Anbar Fortress. While the wall foundations, multi-roomed rock-cut tomb, and a part of the rock steps can be associated with the Urartian period, the mortared walls, towers, rock steps, cisterns/storage spaces and rock chapel that is located in the southwest of the fortress is dated to the Medieval period. — Harun Danışmaz

The ‘Prytaneion’ of Sagalassos. Unravelling an Architectural and Functional Palimpsest

Among the public buildings that played a prominent role in the civic affairs of Roman and Late Antique Sagalassos (Ağlasun, Burdur – Turkey) the large construction at the southwest corner of the city’s Upper Agora, the so-called ‘Prytaneion’, takes a prominent place. First constructed briefly after the middle of the 1st century CE, the building underwent different interventions, with the most fundamental, architectural changes taking place between the early 5th and early 7th centuries CE. This article presents the preliminary results of the research that has been carried out on the ‘Prytaneion’ thus far, by placing the building against the broader background of urban development of ancient Sagalassos during the Roman Imperial and Late Antique periods and by looking into its role in the ancient city as the possible prytaneion of Sagalassos. — Inge Uytterhoeven and Jeroen Poblome

The Konya Regional Archaeological Survey Project. The 2017 and 2018 Field Seasons

The Konya Regional Archaeological Survey Project (KRASP) is an interdisciplinary, multi-scale research programme in south-central Turkey. KRASP aims at integrating new fieldwork with the substantial research corpus already available for the region, in order to provide a synthetic understanding of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental dynamics in the plain and surrounding highlands. This includes a diachronic assessment of human environment interactions in different ecological niches, of sedentism, urbanism and political consolidation, and of related phenomena such as modifications to landscapes, farming production, and pastoral mobility. KRASP’s fieldwork focuses on three discrete ecological zones: the cultivated alluvium, the steppe margin, and the highland margin.

This paper presents the methodologies, aims and preliminary results of KRASP’s 2017 and 2018 fieldwork seasons in the eastern section of the Konya Plain. Among the most significant results, our team uncovered evidence in the steppe for numerous temporary sites contemporary with Boncuklu Höyük and Çatalhöyük pre-XII, which provide a broader context to understand the process of Neolithisation of the region. It also dated the appearance of the first large centres (ca. 20 ha) in the region at the Chalcolithic-Early Bronze Age transition, and revealed the existence of a territorial defence system around the plain already in the early 2nd millennium BCE. Lastly, KRASP has identified a horizon of expanding sedentary sites (höyük) into the steppe during the late 2nd and early 1st millennia BCE, probably associated with a substantial irrigation project and possibly prompted by the rise of a large urban centre in the Çarşamba delta. — Michele Massa, Christoph Bachhuber, Fatma Şahin, Neyir Bostancı-Kolankaya, Yusuf Tuna

Towards a high-definition approach to the study of Byzantine fortifications. The case study of Tsikhisdziri (western Georgia)

Fortifications have traditionally been studied through autoptic examination. This approach is not without shortfalls, especially when used to identify different phases of a wall whose building techniques appear similar over a long period of time. A high-definition approach to fortifications that integrates analytical analyses to more traditional methodologies could contribute considerably to shed more light on the relative chronology of this type of monument. Yet, this approach is far from being used widely by researchers.

This contribution aims to reflect on the benefits of approaching fortifications through a high-definition methodology. In so doing, it takes as a case study the walls on the citadel at Tsikhisdziri, in western Georgia. The remains at Tsikhisdziri have traditionally been interpreted as those of Petra Pia Justiniana, which is reported by Procopius as being constructed by Justinian in the first half of the sixth century AD and destroyed soon thereafter. Procopius’ account has often steered archaeological investigations at the site towards early Byzantine remains, whilst there is evidence to suggest that the site survived well into the seventh century AD and beyond.

Through a traditional study of the remains coupled with petrographic study and X-ray fluorescence analyses on brick and mortar samples, the authors have managed to reach a better understanding of the relative chronology of the fortifications at Tsikhisdiziri. The investigation has proven the existence of an important late antique phase at this site, but has also found evidence to suggest that the walls remained in use and were constantly repaired well after the events glorified by Procopius. — Emanuele E. Intagliata, Davit Naskidashvili, J. Riley Snyder

Taşeli-Karaman Archaeological Project, the 2018 season

This article presents results from the second season of the Taşeli-Karaman Archaeological Project (TKAP), which is a multi-disciplinary landscape archaeology project conducted in the Mersin and Karaman provinces of Turkey. TKAP forms a continuation of the Lower Göksu Archaeological Salvage Survey Project (LGASSP), which was initiated in 2013 in the Mersin Province of Southern Turkey as a response to the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the concerned valley and concluded in 2017. The very short 2018 season solely focused on the Karaman Plain in order to document the major archaeological sites and to better understand the natural and cultural landscapes surrounding them. Our team revisited the major sites in the region to conduct systematic surveys, continuing the work that was started in 2017. Hereby a summary of the season with brief discussions about the local material culture and settlement patterns is presented. — Tevfik Emre Şerifoğlu and Hatice Gül Küçükbezci


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