Greek rulers and imperial powers in Western Anatolia (8th–6th centuries BC1)

Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2): 357-373 DOI: 10.47743/saa-2021-27-2-7 Mait KÕIV ABSTRACT The article explores the cultural and political interaction between the Anatolian kingdoms and the elites of the Greek poleis on the Anatolian coast, with special attention to Archaic Ephesos for which relatively good evidence for the relations with Lydia is available. It demonstrates how the neighbouring hegemonic monarchies provided imitable examples for the Greek elite leaders and offered real opportunities for claiming, legitimating and entrenching their power. This shows, on the one hand, how the elites on the fringes of an empire could profit from imperial power, how the mild influence of an empire shaped the internal order of the communities in its sphere of influence by promoting the position of the local leaders. On the other hand, this sheds light on the strategies used by empires for attaining control of strategically important points on their outskirts.   KEYWORDS(…)

Gods in Wars: Divine Support and the Theological Justification of War in Ancient Anatolia and North Syria

Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2): 331-355 DOI: 10.47743/saa-2021-27-2-6 Vladimir SAZONOV, Joanna TÖYRÄÄNVUORI ABSTRACT In this article, the authors examine the divine support and religious justification of wars by Anatolian and North Syrian rulers in the Late Bronze Age, an epoch of international diplomacy. Notable is that many wars and conflicts in the region of Anatolia and North Syria took place in this period, which may have occasioned an increasing need to justify them by appeal to divinities.   KEYWORDS gods in war, justification of war, divine support, Anatolia, North Syria, Hittites, Ugarit, Alalakh.   FULL ARTICLE Download PDF (free)

Trial by Water through the Ages

Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2): 301-330 DOI: 10.47743/saa-2021-27-2-5 Joanna TÖYRÄÄNVUORI ABSTRACT The concept of trial by water or water ordeal is best known to the wider public through European witch trials from the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period, but the practiced is first attested in near eastern texts from the Middle Bronze Age (2200–1550 BCE). The depiction of the medieval trials is largely folkloric, such trials were nonetheless known throughout the ancient world. The best evidence for ordeal by river is found in the letters from the clay tablet archives of Mari on the Upper Euphrates. A central site for divine arbitration among the Amorite kingdoms, the practice seems to have dwindled after the destruction of Mari and its cultic sites in 1759 BCE. Reviewing the ancient evidence for trial by water, this article demonstrates how the trials were used for a particular purpose: to verify the(…)

The Long Path of Nanāia from Mesopotamia to Central and South Asia

Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2): 279-299 DOI: 10.47743/saa-2021-27-2-4 Andrew SCHUMANN, Vladimir SAZONOV ABSTRACT In this paper we show that the Mesopotamian goddess Nanāia had some attributes (such as ‘warrior goddess’ and ‘sitting on a tiger/lion/standing with a lion/lions’) which were preserved in her worship from the period of Ur III (the second millennium BC) in Mesopotamia up to the period of the Kuṣāṇas and Kūšānšāhs (from the 1st century AD to the late 4th century AD), and even up to the period of later Nomadic dynasties of Northern India, such as the Kidarites and Hephthalites (from the 4th century AD to the 8th century AD) in Central and South Asia. In later stages we detect early Hindu images of Nanāia presented as Durgā as well as early Hindu images of the divine couple Oešo and Nanāia presented as Umāmaheśvara. So, the standard Indian iconographic motif of Durgā could be traced(…)

The Identity of Martu (dMAR.TU) in the Ur III Period

Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2): 267-278 DOI: 10.47743/saa-2021-27-2-3 Andreas JOHANDI ABSTRACT The main purpose of this article is to study the divine figure(s) who hid behind the writing dMAR.TU during the Ur III period. The question is posed whether this writing signified only Martu/Amurru, the Amorite deity, or is there any reason to believe that Martu was not the only divine concept that stood behind this writing. As we know, in some other cases in Mesopotamian religion, the names of several deities were written in the same way (with the same signs). Some earlier studies have assumed that there was a connection between the similarly named gods Martu and Marduk. In the second part of the article, this question is revisited and it is asked whether the “other” dMAR.TU could be identical with Marduk, the later king of the gods in Mesopotamia. Finally, the relationship of dMAR.TU to the divine(…)

Genesis 11, 1–9 and its Sumerian Predecessors in Comparative Perspective: Early Views on “National Culture” and its Nature

Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2): 255-266 DOI: 10.47743/saa-2021-27-2-2 Peeter ESPAK ABSTRACT The paper discusses some key texts from Ancient Mesopotamian and also Hebrew mythologies which may have had several indications and contained many ancient understandings about the early views on the modern notions of a nation, national culture and the role of language on these beliefs. The possible connection of the Sumerian epic tale Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta is discussed in context with the Enuma Eliš myth in context with Hebrew Genesis’ the Tower of Babel story and the character of these text and the nature of their evolution is analysed. Based on some Sumerian royal correspondence, hymns, and epic literature and the worldview presented in Sumerian literature it is concluded that that certainly and especially a sort of a language based cultural and also ethnical understanding about a “distinct nation” culturally separate from “other” nations already existed(…)

The question of ‘elites’: real people or mysterious agents? Elitism as a convenient recourse to interpret social change in prehistoric Southwestern Asia (from the origins of sedentism to the ‘Uruk phenomenon’)

Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2): 223-253 DOI: 10.47743/saa-2021-27-2-1 Cristina BARCINA   ABSTRACT This article analyzes current theoretical discourses within the Neolithic and Chalcolithic research of Southwestern Asia, which is still dominated by interpretations that assume a progression of increased hierarchization. Whether explicitly or implicitly, social evolutionary thinking still pervades our scholarship, and prevents innovative theory-building. This entails an inability to break with heuristics of ‘origins’ inherited from the past (e.g. “from the origins of domestication to the origins of civilization”), even though old and new discoveries, when integrated, are already pointing towards alternative research pathways. Sedentism, domestication, and urbanism were all complex, protracted, non-linear processes. Yet, the visualization of an ‘Uruk phenomenon’ expanding over large areas of Mesopotamia during the 4th millennium BC, ridden with problematic inconsistencies, still heralds the triumphal rise of civilization. Instead of relying on obsolete political and economic theories, or fake economy/ritual dichotomies, the investigation of(…)


Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2): 221-222 Vladimir SAZONOV, Peeter ESPAK, Andreas JOHANDI ABSTRACT Several papers published in this volume were presented at the conference Formative Tendencies in Near Eastern Religions and Ideologies in Beirut, Lebanon, in April 2019. The conference was organized by the Centre for Oriental Studies of the University of Tartu and the Finnish Institute in the Middle East.   FULL ARTICLE Download PDF (free)

Interview with Professor Ashley Dumas – University of West Alabama

Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(1): 213-220 DOI: 10.47743/saa-2021-27-1-11 Vasile DIACONU Interview with Professor Ashley Dumas – University of West Alabama Prof. Ashley Dumas has a rich career and a significant scientific repertory. A graduate of the University of South Alabama (1996), Prof. Dumas earned her Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in 2007 with the topic “The Role of Salt in the Late Woodland to Mississippian Transition in Southwest Alabama.” She later served as an assistant researcher at the Center for Archaeological Studies, and as an Assistant Instructor, at the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, University of South Alabama. Between 2009 and 2014 she was Assistant Director of the Black Belt Museum in the Division of Educational Outreach and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the Department of History and Social Sciences, University of West Alabama. Afterwards, until 2016, she held the position of Assistant Professor of Anthropology, at(…)

L’éducation chez les anciens Israélites. Une analyse de la perspective de la pédagogie moderne

Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(1): 199-212 DOI: 10.47743/saa-2021-27-1-10 Bogdan Constantin NECULAU ABSTRACT The present study aims to show sequences of the life of the inhabitants of ancient Palestine (the ancient Israelites, having Abraham as their ancestor), with particular emphasis on education and training: educators, strategies, forms, contents, etc. In particular, we will use the scriptural texts of the Old Testament, from which we will extract the information we need and which will serve as a basis for that presented. Our objective is to present the way in which education was transmitted and assimilated at that time, in accordance with the cultural traditions, with the mentality and with the customs of the time and of the people of Israel, but also to offer an analysis from the perspective of modern pedagogy, with arguments on the validity or limits of certain elements. The study will also make reference to aspects related to(…)

A Dacian soldier from Mauretania Caesariensis. The case of Decineus and his frater

Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(1): 191-198 DOI: 10.47743/saa-2021-27-1-9 Casian GĂMĂNUȚ ABSTRACT An epitaph discovered at Sour Djouab, Algeria, was erected by Decineus, who names himself the brother of the deceased, for a certain veteran named Fulvius Felix. The death of the latter occurred, most probably, towards the end of the 2nd century AD. Despite the doubts about the biological tie between Decineus and his frater, the presence of a Dacian anthroponym at that time in an extremely militarized area of the Roman Empire is enough to raise curiosity regarding the career of this soldier. The author makes use of historical context and archaeological data in order to understand, at least in general lines, how the career of Decineus evolved. This paper aims to reconstruct, as much as possible, the life and military activity of Decineus, as well as to answer questions concerning his recruitment, belonging to an auxiliary unit and(…)