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Paraphernalia of funerary display at Kanesh: A closer look at gold eye- and mouth-pieces

Heffron, Y; (2020) Paraphernalia of funerary display at Kanesh: A closer look at gold eye- and mouth-pieces. Altorientalische Forschungen , 47 (1) pp. 91-122. 10.1515/aofo-2020-0006. Green open access

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Abstract

The Hittite royal funerary ritual šalliš waštaiš prescribes gold pieces to be placed on the eyes and mouth of the deceased. This is consistent with the manner in which thin sheets of hammered gold are reported to have been found on the faces of occupants of in-house graves in the Lower Town of Kültepe, ancient Kaneš. Mouth-pieces of unmistakable similarity have also turned up in great numbers in Late Bronze Age graves on Cyprus, most notably at Enkomi. Beyond comparison with the šalliš waštaiš text, gold eye- and mouth-pieces from Kaneš have received little attention. This contribution offers the first comprehensive study of these objects specifically as a class of funerary paraphernalia. It provides a catalogue and typology of gold sheets, and explores their archaeological context before turning to their social and symbolic significance against the backdrop of both the cosmopolitan Kanešean households and a broader chronological and cultural setting. This discussion leads to the proposition to consider hybridity in terms of compatibility across different cultures.

Type: Article
Title: Paraphernalia of funerary display at Kanesh: A closer look at gold eye- and mouth-pieces
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1515/aofo-2020-0006
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1515/aofo-2020-0006
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Anatolian religion, text and artefact, funerary display, grave wealth, cultural continuity, transmission
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10096251
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