Tuesday, January 17, 2023

The Land of Kizzuwatna. History of Cilicia in the Second Millennium BCE until the Hittite Conquest (ca. 2000-1350)

Kizzuwatna was a kingdom located in south-eastern Anatolia – roughly corresponding to modern Cilicia – in the late second millennium BCE. Known in late 16th and 15th c. BCE textual sources as an independent polity, it was later incorporated into the Hittite kingdom, becoming a province of the vast Empire created by Suppiluliuma I (ca. mid-14th c.). From a historical-political point of view, Kizzuwatna played a strategic role between the 15th and the early 14th c. in the clash between the Anatolian Hittite kingdom and the northern Mesopotamian kingdom of Mittani – the hegemonic power in northern Syria and the principal rival of the Hittites in the macro-area at the time. As a ‘buffer’-state between the two neighbors’ territories, it was involved in their diplomatic altercations and military conflicts. Kizzuwatna is also well-known in the field of Ancient Near Eastern studies for the remarkable influence which the local religious traditions and cults exerted on the Hittite kingdom’s own religion and culture after its territorial incorporation. The consequence of this cultural process was a substantial transformation of the Hittite kingdom at many levels, a process which is at the basis of the New Kingdom – as modern research has named this new historical period (ca. 1350-1200). While these aspects emerge from the Hittite documentation, the political history of the kingdom of Kizzuwatna itself is very obscure, particularly for the absence of local written sources. Given the lack of overarching studies on this regional polity, this dissertation aims at providing a comprehensive overview on the origins, political history and historical role of this kingdom from a multidisciplinary perspective, considering both the philological and the archaeological evidence. A regional focus aims at illuminating the local trajectories in a long term perspective, within the broader context of the Ancient Near Eastern history, and in particular within the history of Anatolia under the hegemony of the Hittite kingdom.



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