LECTURE: Isauria and the end of the Roman Empire

16 October 2019 19:00 to 21:00 | Ankara

The British Institute at Ankara, Wolfson Foundation Conference Room, Atatürk Bulvarı 154, first floor, 06690

A BIAA Lecture by Hugh Elton (Trent University) and Mark Jackson (Newcastle University)

Discussant: Stephen Mitchell (BIAA)

Summary of Event:

The two lecturers will discuss how the ancient region of Isauria (modern Mersin province) was integrated into the Roman Empire from the fourth century AD onwards. Using archaeological results from BIAA research projects conducted at Alahan and at Kilise Tepe in the Göksu valley, they discuss questions of how well integrated these areas were to the Roman Empire, socially, politically, and economically. The region was particularly well-connected with the Empire in the reign of Zeno (474-491). Dr Elton will first provide an overview, based on his research at Alahan and in the Göksu Valley Survey, followed by Dr Jackson who will zoom in on the excavations at Kilise Tepe where extraordinarily well-preserved houses of the early Byzantine phase provide some of the first excavated evidence of material culture in a domestic rural setting in Isauria. The way that Isauria was lost to Roman control is also discussed.

Dr Hugh Elton, (Oxford, 1990 DPhil) teaches in the Ancient Greek and Roman Studies at Trent University, Peterborough Canada. He has also worked in Turkey as Director of the BIAA and taught at Rice University, Trinity College, and Florida International University in the US. His research focuses on the late Roman Empire, with particular interest in military issues and an on Anatolia. He directed the Göksu Archaeological Project in Mersin province and the Avkat Archaeological Project in Çorum province.

Dr Mark Jackson is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at Newcastle University. His main research interests are landscapes and archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean in the later Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic periods. During 25 years of fieldwork in Turkey he has been Co-Director for the Byzantine of the Kilise Tepe Archaeological Project and has carried out research with colleagues elsewhere including, for example, Archaeological Projects at Göksu, Pednelissos and at Çatalhöyük. As well as teaching and researching at Newcastle, he is also responsible for 8,000 photographs in the Gertrude Bell Archive which was recently made a UNESCO International Memory of the World. He will be Head of Archaeology at Newcastle University from January 2020.

Prof. Stephen Mitchell FBA is Chair of the British Institute at Ankara.  He has worked extensively on the history, archaeology and epigraphy of ancient Asia Minor.  His recent publications include A History of the Later Roman Empire AD 285-641 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2nd revised edition 2015), with a Turkish translation by Turhan Kaçar: Geç Roma Imparatorluğu Tarihi (Ankara 2016), and The Greek and Latin Inscriptions of Ankara (Ancyra) vol. 2: late Roman, Byzantine and other inscriptions (Vestigia, Munich 2019).  
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