ANATOLIAN STUDIES VIRTUAL SEMINAR SERIES: The Formation of Collective, Political and Cultural Memory in the Middle Bronze Age: Foundation and Termination Rituals at Toprakhisar Höyük

17 November 2020 16:00 to 17:30 | Online

The seminar will be held via Zoom, please register for details, thank you.

An Anatolian Studies Virtual Seminar with Murat Akar (Hatay Mustafa Kemal University).

Tuesday 17th November 2020 | 16:00-17:30 (London UTC) | 19:00-20:30 (Ankara UTC+3) | Online

Constructing and deconstructing public spaces in second-millennium BC Anatolia, the Near East and the Levant was not only a collaborative physical act but also involved deeply embodied ritual symbolism. This symbolism is materialised in the practice of conducting public foundation and termination rituals that unified individual memories in space and time, transforming the physical act into a collective memory: a process that contributed to the formation of political and cultural memory. The recent rescue excavations conducted by the Hatay Archaeological Museum at the hinterland site of Toprakhisar Höyük in Altınözü (in the foothills above the Amuq valley) add to the understanding of the practice of foundation and termination rituals during the Middle Bronze Age and how these moments may have contributed to the political and cultural memory of a rural community living away from the centre. The practice of foundation/termination rituals is archaeologically documented by caches of artefacts from votive contexts stratigraphically linked to the construction and termination of a Middle Bronze Age administrative structure.

Murat Akar is an Associate Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at Hatay Mustafa Kemal University. He received his BA from Bilkent University, MSc from Middle East Technical University and PhD from University of Florence in Italy. His research interests include 3rd and 2nd millennium BC trade and exchange, center and periphery dynamics, memory building practices and societal impacts of climate change. He is the director of the excavations at Tell Atchana, Alalakh and the Amuq Valley Regional Survey. He is a senior member of the rescue excavations conducted by Hatay Archaeological Museum at Toprakhisar Höyük.

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