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Contact, interaction, control: The archaeology of inter-regional relations in late Bronze Age Anatolia

Glatz, C; (2007) Contact, interaction, control: The archaeology of inter-regional relations in late Bronze Age Anatolia. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

My thesis "Contact, Interaction, Control - The Archaeology of Inter-Regional Relations in Late Bronze Age Anatolia" examines from an archaeological perspective a range of regional behaviours and their diachronic transformations that are indicative of a series of forms of interaction between the Hittite political and cultural heartland and its surrounding regions. The overall aim of this thesis is to gain an alternative, regional and bottom-up understanding of Hittite imperialism and its implications for local societies and the roles of decentralised forces in the shaping of a discourse of empire in Late Bronze Age Anatolia and northern Syria. In order to depart from previous practices of interpretation, I have adopted a theoretical framework that is rooted in general analogy with other imperial entities and draws on elements of empire theories and the study of other large-scale systems of unequal interaction. Four strands of archaeological enquiry have been selected in order to approach these issues, in addition to overviews of the range of textually attested modes of imperial- local interaction and the political and economic structures of the imperial heartland and their material expressions. (1) The first material culture aspect investigated for the existence and degree of interaction between the central and surrounding regions is the spread of north-central Anatolian ceramic traits and its causal relation to imperial strategies of control and/or local choice. (2) Diachronic and synchronic transformations of regional settlement patterns across Anatolia and northern Syria constitute the second strand of enquiry. Continuity and especially discontinuity in structure and hierarchical organisation of regional settlement systems are seen as indicative of political and/or economic change and in some instances arguably of the imposition of imperial control. (3) A more direct measure of such control or close political interaction is the presence of north-central Anatolian administrative technology in surrounding regions in the form of seals, bullae and cuneiform texts. (4) The distribution of landscape monuments and their imperial and local authorships provide insights into the ideological dimensions of claims to central power and their local challenge and negotiation. Overlaying these four patterns of archaeological evidence, a picture of diverse and distinct regional relationships emerges that in some respects corroborates the textual accounts but also challenges the picture of centralised imperial supremacy often deduced from them by previous scholarship. It provides a network of insights into a much more complex and nuanced political, cultural and ideological dialogue between a political and militarily central region and its surrounding, occasionally subordinate, societies.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Contact, interaction, control: The archaeology of inter-regional relations in late Bronze Age Anatolia
Identifier: PQ ETD:593500
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1446169
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