From History and Myth, Anatolians in Mycenaean Greece

Posted in: Bronze Age, Epigraphy, Inscriptions
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By: Josh Cannon, University of Chicago

The Late Bronze Age (LBA) of Anatolia is a period that has been described to us through history and myth. The history of LBA Anatolia comes primarily from the Hittites, who actively created and maintained records. Written in cuneiform, these records provide us with a wealth of information ranging from sweeping royal military campaigns to the correspondence of local leaders discussing missing slaves. The myth comes predominantly from the Archaic and Classical Greeks who wrote about how their Bronze Age ancestors interacted with their Anatolian neighbors. The most famous story of this nature is Homer’s Iliad. If we carefully weave the historical knowledge together with the myth, we can use the two together to accomplish more than either can do alone. However, this is a delicate task. Both sources need to be treated with their shortcomings in mind. For instance, one issue with the historical record is that it is incomplete. This is due to several reasons, though time will allow us to improve some of them. With time, scholars will continue to translate the many Hittite tablets that have been uncovered. Also, additional Hittite tablets will come to light through archaeological excavations. What time cannot touch are the historical details that were never recorded by the Hittites, details that were left out because they were deemed insignificant or perhaps politically damaging. (more…)

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2 Comments for : From History and Myth, Anatolians in Mycenaean Greece
    • Lamda Fi. Kappa
    • January 18, 2013

    Very interesting.

    A note on style: the bibliography at the end mentions "Stavroula, Nikoloudis". Actualy, Stavroula is the first name, and Nikoloudis is her surname. So, references to her should rather be not in the form "Stavroula, 2006", but rather "Nikoloudis, 2006"

    -.

  1. Pingback: Anatolian Archaeology Month on the ASOR Blog | Mediterranean Palimpsest

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