11th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East

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Workshop Manuelli/Mielke

Late Bronze Age Painted Pottery Traditions at the Margins of the Hittite State

Organizers: Federico Manuelli (Freie Universität Berlin) / Dirk Paul Mielke (Freie Universität Berlin)


The late 2nd Millennium BC in the Ancient Near East is marked by the spread of plain pottery wares. This is especially evident when looking at the Anatolian territory. Here, the presence of simple undecorated ceramics is considered as the main distinguishing trait of the Hittite imperial expansion. Nevertheless, at the margin of the Hittite State, especially in southern and south-eastern as well as northern Anatolia, painted ceramics are largely attested.
These Late Bronze Age painted pottery traditions are characterized by mere geometric motives mostly with red-brown colours, whose simplicity and general lack of sophistication unequivocally recall each other. Although they have been in recent years a matter of discussion among scholars, a supra-regional analysis and accurate comparison has not yet been accomplished, leaving some main research questions unanswered: are we dealing with different and independent local traditions or is there at any extent a common root? can we connect the appearance of this trend to specific exchange of ideas, mobility and movement of material and people?
To understand this, it is necessary to approach the topic from two perspectives. Chronologically identifying what characterized each region before and after the appearance of this phenomenon, and geographically distinguishing regional borders as well as potentials of contacts and interactions.
To be able to draw such a complete picture, each local tradition has to be analyzed separately, inspecting their decorations, as well as associated forms, fabrics and main contexts of discovery. This could be also complemented by multi-disciplinary approaches involving chemical-physical analyses, so as to evaluate cultural relations and possible origins in the Early or Middle Bronze Age as well as aspects of continuity and discontinuity into the Early Iron Age.
The aim of the proposed workshop is the reconstruction of a comprehensive scenario concerning the appearance, development and related historical meaning of the “Late Bronze Age Painted Pottery Traditions at the Margin of the Hittite State” in the framework of the conference theme “Mobility in the Ancient Near East”. This shall be achieved by assembling and comparing all the available data, in order to provide a final explanation to this significant phenomenon.


Atakan Akçay (Department of Archaeology, Gazi University Ankara)
Şevket Dönmez (Department of Proto-history and Near Eastern Archaeology, Istanbul University)
Atilla Engin (Department of Archaeology, Sivas Cumhuriyet University)
Gabriele Giacosa (Department of History and Cultures, Universitá di Bologna)
Mara T. Horowitz (Department of Humanities, Purchase College State University of New York)
Éric Jean (Department of Archaeology, Hitit University, Çorum)
Ekin Kozal (Institute of Archaeology, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University)
Federico Manuelli (Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Freie Universität Berlin)
Alvise Matessi (Department of Humanities, Universitá di Pavia)
Dirk Paul Mielke (Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Freie Universität Berlin)
Valentina Orsi (Department of History and Cultural Heritage, Universitá di Siena)
Süleyman Yücel Şenyurt (Department of Archaeology, Gazi University, Ankara)
Elif Ünlü (Department of History, Boǧaziçi University, Istanbul)


9:00 F. Manuelli/D.P. Mielke: Pottery Traditions in Late Bronze Age Anatolia: An Introduction
9:30 S. Y Şenyurt/A. Akçay: Late Bronze Age Painted Pottery and Its Contextual Relationship to the Hittite Levels at Ovaören
10:00 D.P. Mielke: Geometric Painted Pottery of the Second Millennium BC in the
Central Black Sea Region
10:30 S. Dönmez: Painted Pottery from 7B Architectural Layer in Oluz Höyük: New Evidence and Thoughts on the Late Bronze Age in North-Central Anatolia
11:00 Coffee Break
11:30 F. Manuelli: Just a Matter of Style? Late Bronze Age Painted Pottery Traditions in the Upper Euphrates Region: Origins and Significance
12:00 A. Matessi: Between Centre and Periphery: the (Low) Incidence of Painted Pottery in LBA Assemblages from Inland Southern Anatolia
12:30 E. Ünlü: Style as Representation of Political Hegemony? A View from the Edge of the Hittite Kingdom
13:00 Lunch Break
14:00 É. Jean: Late Bronze Age Painted Pottery Traditions at Mersin
14:30 E. Kozal: Painted Pottery Traditions in Sirkeli Höyük in the 2nd Millennium BC
15:00 A. Engin: The Northern Syria Painted Pottery Traditions in the 2nd Millennium BC in the Light of Oylum Höyük Finds
15:30 G. Giacosa/V. Orsi: Late Bronze Age Ceramic Traditions in the Islahiye Valley (South-Eastern Turkey). The Combined Evidence from Taşlı Geçit Höyük and Tilmen Höyük
16:00 Coffee Break
16:30 M.T. Horowitz: Painted Pottery Traditions of Late Bronze Alalakh
17:00 Final Discussion