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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Archaeology

Undergraduate Course: The Hittites: The Archaeology of an Ancient Near Eastern Civilisation (ARCA10063)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course examines the development of Hittite civilisation in central Anatolia from a formative stage in the early second millennium BC, through the emergence of urban centres in the "Assyrian Colonies Period", the unification of the Hittite kingdom, the import of Mesopotamian concepts of kingship, religion and society, peaceful and violent interaction with neighbouring people (Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Black Sea mountain tribes, Western Anatolia and Aegean) to the eventual collapse marking the end of the Late Bronze Age in the Near East.
Course description The course provides an in-depth survey of Hittite civilisation, one of the most powerful Near Eastern empires of the Late Bronze Age. The course examines the emergence of urban civilisation in the highlands of central Anatolia (modern Turkey), the development and introduction of writing systems in this area, the role of technological innovation and ideological changes through the successive stages of development of Hittite civilisation until its rise to prominence in the "Empire Period" (ca 1400-1200 BC) and final collapse around 1200 BC. The evidence considered is primarily from the excavation of settlement sites, monumental artwork, iconography and textual sources. Questions and debates about state formation and collapse are of particular importance, as well as Hittite adaptation to an economically challenging and difficult-to-control environment, the background of the gradual importation of Mesopotamian concepts about society and religion, and Hittite general interaction with powerful neighbours in Mesopotamia, Syria, the Levant and Egypt.
This course is meant to be of interest for students who wish to learn more about early Near Eastern and Mediterranean civilisations, the development and interaction of urban, state-level societies in the Old World, and their material and textual legacy. Weekly topics include: The (re-)discovery of Hittite civilisation, Assyrian trade colonies and local communities in early second millennium Anatolia, the rise of the Hittite State, languages and writing systems, Hittite society and settlement, Hittite economy, the military, Hittite religion between traditional piety and imperial ideology, Hittite monuments, northern and western neighbours of the Empire (the Kaska tribes, Arzawa, Wilusa) and the collapse of the Hittite Empire.
The course consists of weekly two-hour class meetings with lectures, presentations and group discussions. There will also be an additional series of one-hour meetings focussing on specific readings which highlight important disputes, concepts or problems in Hittite studies.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Pre-requisites: Archaeology 2A and 2B, or Honours entry to degrees in Classics, or equivalent
Additional Costs None.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Archaeology courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course
  2. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship
  3. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material
  4. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers
Reading List
Beckman, G. 1999. Hittite Diplomatic Texts. Atlanta: Scholars Press.

Bonatz, D. 2007. The divine image of the king: religious representation of political power in the Hittite empire, in M. Heinz & M.H. Feldman (ed.) Representations of political power. Case histories from times of change and dissolving order in the Ancient Near East: 111-136. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns.

Bryce, T. 2002. Life and society in the Hittite world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bryce, T. 2005. The kingdom of the Hittites. 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Collins, B.J. 2007. The Hittites and their world. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.

Genz, H. & D.P. Mielke (ed.) 2011. Insights into Hittite history and archaeology. Leuven: Peeters.

Glatz, C. 2009. Empire as network: spheres of material interaction in Late Bronze Age Anatolia, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 28, 127-141.

Hoffner, H.A. 2009. Letters from the Hittite Kingdom. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.

Mielke, D.P. 2011. Key sites of the Hittite empire, in S.R. Steadman & G. McMahon (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Anatolia (10,000 - 323 BCE): 1031-1054. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press.

Shaw, W.M.K. 2004. Whose Hittites, and Why? Language, archaeology and the quest for the original Turks, in M.L. Galaty & Ch. Watkinson (ed.) Archaeology under dictatorship: 131-153. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Taracha, P. 2009. Religions of second millennium Anatolia (Dresdner Beiträge zur Hethitologie 27). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Veenhof, K. R. 2010. Ancient Assur: The city, its traders, and its commercial network, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 53.1: 39-82.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsHittite Civilisation,Ancient Anatolia,Ancient Near East,Mediterranean archaeology
Course organiserDr Ulf-Dietrich Schoop
Tel: (0131 6)50 2503
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50 3783
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