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Title: Searching for Tarhuntassa : using GIS spatial analysis and diverse data-sets to investigate a question of historical geography in Hittite, southern Anatolia
Author: Jones, Matthew Alexander
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2019
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Spatial analysis techniques, performed using Geographical Information System (GIS) software packages, have become commonplace, even ubiquitous, in landscape archaeology over the last three decades. However, they have not had as significant an impact in the field of Ancient Near Eastern historical geography, despite the inherently spatial nature of this area of research. Settlements and regions named in documentary sources are still sought using traditional methods of textual study and field survey, with digital methodologies rarely implemented. An excellent example of such a case is the search for the Hittite city of Tarḫuntassa - capital of the Hittite Empire in the early 13th century BC, then the seat of a vassal kingdom and a rival dynasty for the throne in the Empire's declining years, but as yet unlocated. This thesis first critiques previous attempts to locate the borders and city of Tarḫuntassa, putting forward a case for why and how GIS spatial analysis techniques can be used to assess the criteria on which these previous studies based their conclusions, and investigate the context of, and relationships between, Bronze Age settlements and the regional landscape. These analyses are combined to form a model of Hittite regional landscape use, which forms the basis for a new hypothesis as to the capital's location. Finally, it is argued that this innovative GIS-based approach can, alongside a broader understanding of Hittite interaction with the landscape in terms of settlement, religion and monumentalism, challenge current consensus as to Tarḫuntassa's location and expand the study of Hittite historical geography beyond the traditional methods of survey, excavation and toponymy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: CC Archaeology