Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Painted Ceramic Traditions and Rural Communities in Hittite Anatolia

This dissertation examines the 2nd Millennium BC pottery from Çadır Höyük, a multi-period archaeological site in Yozgat, Turkey. The research shows that a painted ceramic tradition existed contemporaneously with the expected North Central Anatolian ceramic tradition (Hittite Ware). Through my ceramic analysis, I argue that the presence of this painted tradition is indicative of a significant and new understanding of Hittite rural communities. Specifically, it indicates a continuation of a pre-Hittite painted ceramic tradition (generally referred to as Alişar III Ware) with multiple centers of production, likely located in the rural countryside surrounding Çadır Höyük. I argue that the presence of the painted tradition at Çadır Höyük, brought in from these extra-mural locations, is related to festival and feasting activities, providing a glimpse into rural engagement with the Hittite state. To develop this further, I introduce a landscape analysis expanding our understanding of Çadır Höyük’s role in Hittite agricultural administration and in the urban network of Central Anatolia. Ultimately, the analyses above are used to demonstrate that the data from Çadır Höyük represent a local scale staple finance-oriented economy made up of more urban Hittite participants and more rural pre-Hittite participants.

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