The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

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

Book Specifications
IV, 319 pp.

Anatolica XLVIII

2022  |  Anatolica Volume 48 2022 ISSN: 0066-1554; 48

Table of Contents


Notes on the localization of Old Assyrian trading stations and Hittite toponyms in central Anatolia

In the present notes the suggestions as to the location of Old Assyrian trading stations and Hittite toponyms in central Anatolia will be scrutinized. This will be done using the publications on these topics of Gojko Barjamovic of 2011 and Adam Kryszeń of 2016 as our starting point. In connection with the Old Assyrian trading stations it will be argued that Barjamovic is mistaken in his identifications concerning three cases, Purušḫaddum, Durḫumit, and Ulama. A helpful working tool in improving the suggestions as to the location of these sites is formed by the information on river crossings and bridges. As far as Hittite toponyms are concerned, the ones from the main festivals, AN.TAḪ.ŠUM and the nuntarriyašḫaš, are looked for by Kryszeń to the north and northeast of the Hittite capital Ḫattuša. At a closer inspection, however, it can be argued that the itineraries of these festivals, apart from being indeed directed to the north and northeast, were also directed to the southwest and southeast, so that in reality the capital was circumambulated. — Fred C. Woudhuizen

The Van Plain during the Urartian period. A spatial analysis of fortified settlement patterns

Considered as an isolated ecological niche surrounded by highlands, the plain of Van certainly represents a privileged case of analysis due to the orographic conformation of the territory and the amount of archaeological data that can be confidently referred to the Urartian period. In modern-day eastern Turkey, the urban centre of Van is indeed considered an ideal place for the capital of a state that found itself within a crucial area standing as a crossroads between the Mediterranean and Anatolian world to the west, the lands of the Asian steppes to the north and east, and Mesopotamia and the Iranian plateau to the south. Significantly, the plain of Van includes almost eighty archaeological sites – dated between the 9th and 7th centuries BC – with evident elements attributable to the Urartian society. Through the use of GIS technologies, particular attention will be paid to the complex of fortified structures – generally built in advantageous positions – that guaranteed high defensibility and control of both territorial and road axes that entered the plain. In this way, this contribution aims to bring technical research closer to what could have been the methods of interaction between humans and the environment in ancient times within an area of central importance in the Ancient Near East. From this perspective, specific aspects of the settlement pattern developed in the Urartian era will be determined representing the first step of a broader analysis of the ways of state interaction with the entire Urartian territory. — Roberto Dan, Davide Salaris

The newly found Urartian inscriptions of Sarab and KURgír-du-ni

Urartians ruled over the regions around Lakes Van, Çildir, Sevan and Urmia from ca. the 9th to 7th centuries BC. They left several stone and rock inscriptions in northwestern Iran. Two rock inscriptions at Razliq and Nashteban, Sarab, Northeastern Azerbaijan province, from Argišti II’s reign, were previously published and recently a broken inscribed stone block was discovered at the foot of the ruins of a stone wall close to Razliq. The text is not complete and the name of the ruling king is missing but KURgír-du-ni is mentioned in its text – like in Razliq and Nashteban inscriptions where Argišti II mentioned his victory in KURgír-du-ni. It is the aim of this article to translate and propose the possible reconstruction of the missing parts of the newly discovered inscription and to compare this inscription with the similar texts. Because of the damages of the stone block there are two possibilities: either KURgír-du-ni was a significant close region that was conquered by the king or the construction mentioned in the inscription was built in KURgír-du-ni. — Maryam Dara

An Early Bronze Age silver treasure from Bayraklı Höyük in Western Turkey

The Early Bronze Age of Anatolia was characterized by the emergence of the first cities and ruling classes based on archaeological evidence such as city walls, citadels/palaces, and metal prestige objects. Metal objects, especially from the royal cemeteries, indicate an advanced mining technology and interregional relationship during the period. However, objects made out of precious metals like gold and silver have rarely been found, especially at the coastland of western Anatolia. Recent excavations of the Bronze Age layers of Bayraklı Höyük have provided significant information about the mining industry during the Early Bronze Age. A silver hoard was discovered in a pottery vessel during the 2019 excavation season. It was consisted of spiral rings and earrings, hairpins decorated with metal beads (granules) in different sizes, headbands (diadems) made of sheet, bracelets, and numerous beads. It was observed that the jewelry, which were fused together to form a single mass, were manufactured in different shapes and sizes. The existence of a silver hoard implies to the importance of Bayraklı Höyük in the metallurgical activities of western Anatolia during the Early Bronze Age. This article discusses the meaning and importance of this silver hoard in Bayraklı during the Early Bronze Age. — Aylin Ü. Erdem, Duygu Akar Tanriver

Preliminary report on the 2018 and 2019 excavations at Gre Filla, Ambar Valley in the Upper Tigris Basin, Southeastern Turkey

This study presents preliminary results of the 2018 and 2019 excavation seasons from the Gre Fılla site, located in the northernmost section of the Upper Tigris Basin, excavated as part of the Ambar Dam Rescue Excavations. The two field campaigns show that the site was inhabited during the Pre-Pottery and Pottery Neolithic periods. After millennia, the site was re-occupied in the Middle Ages. Ovoid, rectangular and buttressed structures, together with the lithic assemblage, were attributed to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period, unearthed during the 2019 season. Preliminary studies revealed that the rectangular and buttressed structures had stone foundations and their superstructures mudbrick. The Pottery Neolithic period is represented by diagnostic pottery sherds only, as the associated architectural remains were severely damaged by the later graves of the Middle Ages. — Özlem Ekinbaş Can

Archaeology and Patronage. A reappraisal of John Garstang’s archaeological fieldwork at Sirkeli Höyük

This article examines the archival and material evidence relating to John Garstang’s short excavations at Sirkeli Höyük from 1936-1937 to contribute to the re-evaluation of the Middle Bronze and Iron Age chronology of the site and the wider region of Cilicia. By re-assessing published as well as newly identified archival material we contextualise the financial, social and political circumstances of the Neilson Expedition to the Near East, funded by Francis and Helen Neilson. Integrating the Old Cilician (Middle Bronze Age) and Neo Cilician (Iron Age) pottery from Trench E into the sequences developed by renewed excavations at the site (since the 1990s) and previous archival research shows the importance of ongoing efforts to refine the chronological and stratigraphical results within a discussion of research progress over the last 40 years.

This integrated and interdisciplinary approach to legacy excavations demonstrates the importance of considering the historical and personal factors that influence the often haphazard survival of information on which our current research depends. — Ekin Kozal, Hélène Maloigne, Hannah Mönninghoff, Mirko Novák

The Tunceli Iron Age and Hellenistic Survey, 2021

Carried out in the province of Tunceli since 2016, the ‘Tunceli Iron Age and Hellenistic Survey’ project is aimed at the discovery of new sites and acquisition of new data of mostly known archaeological remains that have not yet been researched thoroughly. During the final observation and documentation of the survey project’s 2021 season, two new archaeological sites were identified in the Tunceli region. The new archaeological sites in question are Masumu-Pak Fortress, which has traces of the Iron Age and the Middle Ages, and the Uzunçayır Necropolis, which should be dated to the Late Iron Age-Early Hellenistic Period. In addition, certain previously undescribed characteristics of the Gelin Odaları Necropolis, Aşağı Doluca, Rabat and Sağman Fortress settlements will be discussed in this paper. The article also includes an observation of medieval spolia artifacts used in traditional house building in the village of Til near Pertek. — Serkan Erdoğan, Düzgün Çakirca, Gizem Nur Özcan

Agents of loyalism in the early Roman Empire. The case of C. Iulii and Tib. Claudii in the province of Asia

This paper studies the civic agency of new Roman citizens from Asia between the middle of the first century BC and the beginning of the first century AD, analysing whether this privileged group actively contributed to the acceptance of imperial motifs in their places of origin. I argue that these free-born enfranchised Greeks, as full and liturgy-paying members of their poleis following Augustus’ orders (e.g. ‘Edicts of Cyrene’), were key to the consolidation of loyalty relations, cults, titles (e.g. φιλόκαισαρ/philocaesar) and habits which became prevalent in the epigraphic evidence of local political communities of the Eastern Mediterranean subject to Roman rule. — Aitor Blanco-Pérez — Aitor Blanco-Pérez

Provincial boundaries in North-West Galatia in the light of new epigraphic evidence

An epigraphic survey covering more than half of the province of Eskişehir in central Turkey, which was commenced in 2014, has yielded an abundance of new epigraphic evidence. The inscriptions found during the surveys provide us with new information on the boundary line between the provinces of Asia and Galatia. They also give hints about the boundaries between the estates and the cities located in the provinces of Asia, Galatia and Bithynia. The aim of this paper is to define the boundaries between cities, estates and three provinces in the light of new and existing epigraphic evidence as well as the regional geographical setting. The paper focuses on the boundary established between 25 BC and AD 235. It therefore provides new information about administrative arrangements between the provinces of Galatia, Asia and Bithynia during the Roman Imperial period. — Hale Güney

The auxilia of Pontus-Bithynia

This article examines, details, and interprets the evidence for the units of auxilia, regiments of non-legionary status, based in the Roman province of Pontus-Bithynia in the Imperial period, i.e., circa 28 BC-AD 284. As such it continues a series of earlier articles on the Roman military in Asia Minor as a preliminary to investigating inter alia the assumed role of the Roman auxilia as agents of cultural change in the region, within the wider context of studies in the Roman army. — Julian Bennett

Revisiting agrarianism through the Karian workshops and new stamped amphora (Agathokles’) as evidence of ancient economy and trade in the Rhodian Peraia (Bozburun, SW Turkey)

The paper provides an initial insight into the agrarian life of the ancient Bozburun Peninsula along with the introduction of some selected evidence (about the workshops and trade amphora in the first place) from three ruralscapes (Tymnos, Losta and Phoinix) researched over the region. The enquiries on (i) dual function/use or large scale processing workshops for olives and wine; (ii) a stamped amphora handle of Agathokles testifying to the availability of potential evidence for similar tradable items under supervision of Rhodes, and production repertoire of the Karians; and (iii) the linkage of the pressing equipment to the rural cult structures are made with respect to the contextual situations of the associated data.

It appears that the way in which the workshops were designed (almost at inner geo-localities close by an ancient trail) and their nearly compatible dimensions (in two relatively distant localities of Losta and Phoinix) must have been the indicators of some sort of standardization in the application of ancient pressing technology. The stamped handle, when examined with the others previously reported from exactly the same locality, strengthens the view of the anticipated scale of the commercial activities in the midst of the region, however calls for further interpretation to understand the de-facto status of the ancient Peninsula, with future evidence to be obtained from various parts of the whole landscape. Regardless of the one-time, single appearance of Agathokles’ name as the fabricant, one can propose that the activity period could have matched the first and second half of the second century BC, in light of the stylistic variances attributed to the same appellation. — E. Deniz Oğuz-Kırca

Alexander’s Hill: the first and last stand of Sagalassos?

In 2000, 2001 and 2003 excavations were conducted on top of the so-called Alexander’s Hill at Sagalassos (southwest Anatolia). This paper presents the results of these archaeological works, as well as interprets these against the current framework of knowledge on the archaeology and history of Sagalassos. No remains of the conquest by Alexander the Great were attested, while the location might have functioned as a sanctuary (for Demeter?) in Roman Imperial times. The remains of a 6th century CE Christian basilica, on the other hand, are certified and can be considered as a funerary church. The 10th-11th century CE refurbished version of this church possibly functioned as the episcopal church for the contemporary kastron. Most of the archaeological record, however, is related to a 12th-13th century CE fortified hamlet installed on top of Alexander’s Hill, the functioning and historical context of which this paper aims to reconstruct. — Peter Talloen, Jeroen Poblome, Julie Verlinden, Patrick Degryse

Roman Ilıpınar and its environment

Those who venture to visit the archaeological site of Ilıpınar will immediately come face to face with remains from the Roman period. These are masonry wall fragments scattered in and around the natural spring which constitutes the center of the artificial mound built up over the course of eight millennia. The site, which takes its name from the spring, has been the focus of an almost uninterrupted progression of people in search for pasture, arable land, and above all for continuously flowing water. Three volumes and a comprehensive number of articles written by a range of authors describe successive stages of settlement at the spring. The Roman period of Ilıpınar is the only subject left for discussion, because this subject was frankly the furthest from the original research task of the archaeologists, which was to investigate the prehistoric occupation. Hence, these remains received limited attention during the excavation seasons between 1987 and 2002 and why this contribution only appears two decades after the fieldwork was finished. This may be regrettable in retrospect, because Ilıpınar provides proof of Roman activity which seem to fit into a larger pattern. Be that as it may, with this account of the Roman remains the authors aim to complete the eight-thousand-year history of all those people whose lives depended on the perennial spring. — Jacob Roodenberg, Ben Claasz Coockson


Full text of Anatolica articles available online at Peeters Online Journals (€ 14 per article).