2019 Oliver Gurney Memorial Lecture: Kizzuwatna – Hiyawa – Cilicia: A region at the interface of Anatolia, the Levant and Cyprus in light of the excavations at Sirkeli Höyük

30 October 2019 19:00 to 20:30 | London

Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Senate House North Block (S108), SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Bloomsbury, WC1H 0XG

Professor Mirko Novák (Bern University) will deliver the bi-annual BIAA Oliver Gurney Memorial Lecture on 'Kizzuwatna-Hiyawa-Cilicia: A region at the interface of Anatolia, the Levant and Cyprus in light of the excavations at Sirkeli Höyük'

The ongoing Swiss-Turkish excavations at Sirkeli Höyük, one of the largest Bronze and Iron Age settlements in Cilicia, have shed new light on the cultural history of one of the most fertile regions of modern Turkey. Known in the Bronze Age as Kizzuwatna and in the Iron Age as Hiyawa/Que, its history is characterised by constant fluctuation between independence as a minor kingdom and belonging to one of the great empires of the Near East – namely Mittanni and the Hittite and Assyrian empires. The exploration of Sirkeli Höyük has so far resulted in the astonishing discovery of a large, complex, cityscape which consisted of a bipartite citadel, a vast lower town, an upper town complete with necropolis, a quarry and a water reservoir, as well as a suburb and several extramural workshop areas.

This lecture will trace the eventful cultural history of Cilicia using the example of the ancient site of Sirkeli Höyük.

Mirko Novák is Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Bern. After his studies at the University of Saarbrücken he gained his PhD from the Free University of Berlin and his habilitation from the University of Tübingen. After a short stay at Munich (LM University), he was appointed Professor at Bern in 2011. He participated in excavations in Syria, including at Tall Khuera, Dur-Katlimmu (Tall Sheikh Hamad) and Qatna, before becoming co-director of the excavations at Guzana (Tall Halaf) in 2006. Since the breakout of the Syrian civil war he has been working at Sirkeli Höyük (Turkey) and Gonur Depe (Turkmenistan). His main fields of research are semiotic and urbanistic studies, architectural analyses and research on acculturation processes, namely of Luwians and Aramaeans in the framework of the ‘Neo-Hittite’ kingdoms. In addition, he is engaged in developing safeguarding strategies for Syrian cultural heritage. He is currently President of the Swiss Society of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, a board member of the Syrian heritage protection network Shirìn, and co-editor of the series Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis (Peeters) and Schriften zur Vorderasiatischen Archäologie (Harrassowitz) as well as the journal Altorientalische Forschungen (DeGruyter). 

Attendance is free.  To register, please email: biaa@britac.ac.uk

This event is co-hosted by the SOAS Department of History, Religions and Philosophies and the British Institute at Ankara.

 

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