The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

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

Book Specifications
IV, 290 pp.

Anatolica XLVI

2020  |  Anatolica Volume 46 2020 ISSN: 0066-1554; 46

Table of Contents


A unique metal belt from the Museum of Van depicting a fortress

Metal belts provide information about decoration techniques and artistic and social life of the Urartians. The belts were decorated through embossing, stamping and line decoration techniques (engravings) on a thin bronze plate, 70-120 cm long and 5.5-17 cm wide. Urartian metal belts are divided into three groups, narrow, medium and wide according to their width. The belt which we examined in this study is from the narrow group and is located in the Van Museum (Inventory No: 2015/4971/A). The metal belt was found on the surface in a necropolis located just west of the village of Yanal, located 45 km from the Başkale district of Van. There are banquets, fortresses and panels with different animal depictions on the belt. Strips with a double row of dots were made with the embossing technique, and all other embellishments were applied by engraving. On narrow belts, banquet scenes and castle depictions were loved and commonly used. The depiction of the castle on this belt differs from those described in other Urartian art and includes innovations. In addition, a series of wild animals are also depicted in friezes on the belt. These include wild sheep (male and female), wild goats, gazelles and bird of prey figures. Due to the thematic friezes depicted on this belt, the embossed dot ornamentation, six-spoke cart wheels and rose motifs on women’s clothing, we can say that this belt was produced between the 8th and 7th century BC. — Rafet Çavuşoğlu, Erol Uslu

Pre-Pottery Neolithic personal ornamentation. Observations on the beads of Canhasan III

The bead and pendant assemblage of Canhasan III, consisting of stone, bone, clay and glass artefacts, has been stored in Karaman Museum since the excavation of the site finished in 1970. Here the artefacts are described and set in context for the first time. Although this is a small assemblage the beads and pendants of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic site add to the increasingly rich picture of prehistoric personal ornamentation in the Konya Plain area. Comparison with assemblages from other sites in the region and further afield places the assemblage in its wider context as part of a connected landscape of interactions and exchanges, including links to the traditions of the Euphrates Basin. Evidence for on-site manufacture of ornaments from locally available raw materials shows that juxtaposed with the long-distance procurement of some ornaments local ornament technologies were also in place. This was to be expected given the similar combinations of ornaments at other sites in the region. — Emma L. Baysal

The mountainous Şirnak Region survey (SE Anatolia) 2017-2018 seasons. First observations on ‘dirhes’ (tower-shaped buildings)

Systematical archaeological researches conducted since 2017 in Southeast Turkey, Şırnak mountainous region, have made a major contribution for the archaeological background of the region. In this article, we present the conclusions of the research during 2017-2018. Tower shaped architectural remains which seem to belong to distinctive customs for the area and other related remains have been examined. As a result of the survey carried out through the high altituted area between Gabar Mountain, which is surrounded by Tigris in west and east; and Kato Mountains on Şırnak border, 52 dirhes, 2 fortresses, 4 chamber tombs, 2 quarries, 3 settlements on hills which date to a single period have been determined. Tower shaped buildings that are stasistically prominent and purposely located on crucial points of deep valleys are called as dirhe by locals. The results of the survey put forth that the dirhes are not randomly positioned but they are on a certain route and organised in a way that the towers were able to see each other. The dirhes look like an element of an advanced communication and defense system, yet they do not provide sufficient data or material for an exact dating. In consideration of Urartian and Assyrian written sources and the present archaeological data, it is presumed that the dirhes are related to the political organisation of Iron Age. On the other hand, during the survey on this mountainous region, no archaeological material or data related to Urartians to the north, nor Assyrians to the south has been determined. — Nilgün Coşkun, Rıfat Kuvanç, Gulan Ayaz and İsmail Ayman

An archaeological approach to delineate the course of the Achaemenid Royal Road in Anatolia

The Achaemenid Royal Road was one of the crucial aspects of the Achaemenid imperial governance through which the affairs of this great empire were carried out. This major thoroughfare which on account of Herodotus’ reference extended from Sardis to Susa, was only one component of a more extended route network and allowed the Achaemenids to access and control conquered cities. Anatolia by the greatest number of the satrapies has played an important role in the center of this dominion. So far, determination of the actual course of the “Royal Road” has been subject to much discussion due to ambiguities and discrepancies of historical explanations. Moreover, there has been little focus for archaeological research about the course of the “Royal Road” in Anatolia. The purpose of this article is to reappraise and delineate the course of the “Royal Road” in Anatolia during 550-330 BC concentrating mainly on the archaeological sites. To introduce a model for designating this road, the approach assumes that successive Achaemenid settlements are associated with this road. Therefore, the itinerary is retraced by recording the Achaemenid settlements based on the gamut of archaeological evidence, geographical features, diverse precursors to the “Royal Road”, and historical records where available. A new prospect is proposed, according to which the Achaemenid Royal Road extends more westward than what has been assumed before. An appreciation of this trunk line presents not only an invaluable opportunity to identify Achaemenid political and administrative might but also a proper understanding of the Achaemenid settlements in Anatolia. — Mahnaz Sadeghipour and Farshid Iravani Ghadim

Reconstructing funerary sequences of kurgans in the southern Caucasus. The first two seasons of the Azerbaijani-Italian Ganja Region Kurgan Archaeological Region Project (GaRKAP) in western Azerbaijan

The GaRKAP (i.e., Ganja Region Kurgan Archaeological Project) is a joint Azerbaijani-Italian project in western Azerbaijan that investigates the spread of the tradition of burying the dead in funerary chambers covered with circular tumuli (i.e., kurgans) in the southern Caucasus during a period ranging from the fourth to the first millennia BCE.

This paper will present the results of the first two seasons (2018 and 2019) of the archaeological work performed in the two regions investigated by the project that are: the area directly north of the modern city of Ganja (i.e., the northern section of the Heydar Aliyev Park), where numerous kurgans of the Late Bronze/Early Iron Age are located; and, the steppe region of Şadılı-Uzun Rama along the valley of the Kurekçay, a creek affluent of the Kura river in the Goranboy district, where the preliminary reconnaissance survey has identified ca. 205 kurgans dating back to the Kura-Araxes period as well as to a Late Bronze/Early Iron Age archaeological phase. — Nicola Laneri, Bakhtiyar Jalilov, Yilmaz Selim Erdal, Stefano Valentini, Modwene Poulmarc’h, Guido Guarducci, Lorenzo Crescioli, Remi Berthon, Valentina D’Amico, Chiara Pappalardo, Sergio G. Russo, Lola Huseynova

Connectivity on a Roman-Sasanian frontier. Route systems in the Upper Tigris river valley in South-East Turkey

Southeastern Anatolia was one of the regions in which the Roman and Eastern empires fought for centuries for supremacy. In Late Antiquity, the Roman/Sasanian border shifted from the Euphrates River to the Tigris River: the upper Tigris River valley was thus embedded in the Eastern Roman “limes”. Changes in settlement patterns that occurred in the fourth century AD seem to confirm the limit of the Roman control of the area west of the Batman River, one of the tributaries of the Tigris River in its upper course. I will discuss how regional and local routes, settlement patterns, rural landscapes and military installations changed in this portion of the Roman/Sasanian borderland after AD 363: this may help for a better understanding of the local landscape through the inspection of the relationship between connectivity and borderland organization on the edges of empires. — Rodolfo Brancato

Hearths and ovens. Interpreting fire installations in the Late Bronze Age on the Anatolian plateau

Cooking methods and practices are crucial in defining group identity, in expressing social and kin networks, and in reflecting domestic economies. The paper discusses different types of fire installations from Central Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age in the context of household activities. Hearths and ovens are the two basic types of fire installations attested in the Hittite Period. Construction methods, materials and location are discussed with the aim of tracing the functions of various types of fire installations during the different stages of food preparation (boiling, roasting and baking) and of cereal processing. The interpretations of the functions also include artifacts found in the contexts of these installation (e.g. cooking pots), as well as archaeobotanical and archaeozoological remains accompanying them. In addition, ethnoarchaeological observations from modern Turkey and other places of the Near East have been considered. — Giacomo Casucci

Hajji Firuz and Dalma traditions. Continuity or not?

This study questions the validity of the temporal and cultural gap between the Neolithic Hajji Firuz and Chalcolithic Dalma traditions, which is assumed to span a gap of about five hundred to one thousand years. Rather, the data obtained from previous and newly available evidence point to continuity from Hajji Firuz to Dalma cultures from both temporal and cultural aspects. It is possible that the Dalma tradition spanned a long period, including the Early Chalcolithic period in northwestern Iran, and an earlier part of the Chalcolithic period in the central Zagros region. Dalma ceramic evidence analogous with those found in northern and western Iran demonstrates antiquity and continuity of this tradition. It seems that the Dalma tradition continued after the Hajji Firuz tradition in northwestern Iran without a gap and began earlier than what was previously assumed in the eastern part of the central Zagros region. To address this issue further, we used absolute and relative dating and the archaeological evidence obtained from western and northwestern Iran, Mesopotamia, Caucasus, and the northern part of the central Iranian Plateau. — Amir Saed Mucheshi

The burnt architecture fragments of the Ilıpınar Höyük Phase VI houses

The excavation of a series of houses of Ilıpınar Phase VI unearthed large numbers of architectural mud-plaster fragments that were heavily burnt and as such ‘baked’. The plaster originally covered wooden construction elements that were burnt out, leaving fossil shapes. In this article an attempt is made to reconstruct a ‘typical’ house and to place the fragments in this construction. — Ben Claasz Coockson

Two Roman soldiers in Istanbul. Praetorian guardsmen or centurions?

A relief panel exhibited in the National Archaeology Museum, Istanbul, shows two Roman soldiers in their ‘field-service kit’. The relief belonged originally to a monument built in AD 108/109 near what is now the village of Adamclisi in Romania in connection with the conclusion of the Emperor Trajan’s Second Dacian War. The monument had been furnished with 54 figured panels or metopes, the 49 surviving examples all with scenes relating to the Roman army at the time of Trajan and of considerable importance in Roman military studies in particular and in the field of Roman provincial ‘classical’ art in general. The panel in Istanbul demands greater attention as it appears to be a rare depiction of either Praetorian Guardsmen or Centurions in their ‘field-service kit’. — Julian Bennett

A place on the fringe of Sagalassos. The excavations at the Rock Sanctuary

The so-called Rock Sanctuary, a distinctive limestone rock outcrop with natural cavities situated in the periphery of the Pisidian city of Sagalassos (SW-Turkey), was a natural feature that was served a variety of functions throughout its history. Rescue excavations carried out at the site mainly yielded evidence for the deposition of specialised offerings in the form of ceramic, glass, metal and stone vessels, pieces of personal adornment, instruments for textile production, but especially many thousands of fragments of terracotta figurines. All of these identified RS as a ‘special-purpose site’, a natural landform that was given a cultural significance, not by means of monumentalisation but through the activities that took place there during the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial periods. It was the combination of all these objects as a whole and the very context in which these were used and placed that made it possible to identify the site as a sanctuary, more particularly, a site of popular worship. This paper presents an overview of those excavations, highlighting the significance of this site in the landscape of Sagalassos and what it can tell us about the community that conceived it and used it as a cult site, outside of the sphere of official religious practice. RS thus offered a unique glimpse into an aspect of ancient life not previously known from Sagalassos. — Peter Talloen, Philip Bes, Mücella Albayrak, Bea De Cupere, Katrien Van de Vijver and Jeroen Poblome


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