One possible rout for the Greeks
Posted by Fredsvenn on September 20, 2015
Hellen was the mythological progenitor of the Hellenes, the son of Deucalion (or sometimes Zeus) and Pyrrha, brother of Amphictyon and father of Aeolus, Xuthus, and Dorus. His name is also another name for Greek, meaning a person of Greek descent or pertaining to Greek culture, and the source of the adjective “Hellenic”.
In Greek mythology, Deucalion was the son of Prometheus, Titan in Greek mythology, best known as the deity in Greek mythology who was the creator of mankind and its greatest benefactor, who gifted mankind with fire stolen from Mount Olympus; ancient sources name his mother as Clymene, Hesione, or Pronoia.
Lycaon, the king of Arcadia, had sacrificed a boy to Zeus, who was appalled by this savage offering. The anger of Zeus was ignited by the hubris of the Pelasgians, so he decided to put an end to the Bronze Age.
The name Pelasgians was used by some ancient Greek writers to refer to populations that either were the ancestors of the Greeks or preceded the Greeks in Greece, “a hold-all term for any ancient, primitive and presumably indigenous people in the Greek world”.
In general, “Pelasgian” has come to mean more broadly all the indigenous inhabitants of the Aegean Sea region and their cultures before the advent of the Greek language.
During the classical period, enclaves under that name survived in several locations of mainland Greece, Crete, and other regions of the Aegean. Populations identified as “Pelasgian” spoke a language or languages that at the time Greeks identified as “barbaric”, even though some ancient writers described the Pelasgians as Greeks.
A tradition also survived that large parts of Greece had once been Pelasgian before being Hellenized. These parts generally fell within the ethnic domain that by the 5th century BC was attributed to those speakers of ancient Greek who were identified as Ionians.
Zeus unleashed a deluge, so that the rivers ran in torrents and the sea flooded the coastal plain, engulfed the foothills with spray, and washed everything clean. Deucalion, with the aid of his father Prometheus, was saved from this deluge by building a chest.
Like the Biblical Noah and the Mesopotamian counterpart Utnapishtim, a character in the epic of Gilgamesh who is tasked by Enki (Ea) to abandon his worldly possessions and create a giant ship to be called The Preserver of Life, he uses his device to survive the deluge with his wife, Pyrrha, the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora.
According to the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, his sons were themselves progenitors of primary tribes of Greece: Aeolus the Aeolians, Dorus the Dorians, and Xuthus the Achaeans and Ionians through his sons Achaeus and Ion.
According to Thucydides, they conquered the Greek area of Phthia and subsequently spread their rule to other Greek cities. The people of those areas came to be called Hellenes, after the name of their ancestor. The ethnonym Hellenes dates back to the time of Homer. In the Iliad, “Hellas” and “Hellenes” were names of the tribe (also called “Myrmidones”) settled in Phthia, led by Achilles.
Phthia in ancient Greece was the southernmost region of ancient Thessaly, on both sides of Othrys Mountain and Farsala. It was the homeland of the Myrmidones tribe, who took part in the Trojan War under Achilles. At its greatest extent, ancient Thessaly was a wide area stretching from Mount Olympos to the north to the Spercheios Valley to the south.
The Armenian hypothesis of the Proto-Indo-European Urheimat, based on the Glottalic theory, suggests that the Proto-Indo-European language was spoken during the 4th millennium BC in the Armenian Highland.
It is an Indo-Hittite model and does not include the Anatolian languages in its scenario. The phonological peculiarities proposed in the Glottalic theory would be best preserved in the Armenian language and the Germanic languages, the former assuming the role of the dialect which remained in situ, implied to be particularly archaic in spite of its late attestation.
The Proto-Greek language would be practically equivalent to Mycenaean Greek and date to the 17th century BC, closely associating Greek migration to Greece with the Indo-Aryan migration to India at about the same time (viz., Indo-European expansion at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, including the possibility of Indo-European Kassites).
The Armenian hypothesis was proposed by Russian linguists T. V. Gamkrelidze and V. V. Ivanov in 1985, presenting it first in two articles in Vestnik drevnej istorii and then in a much larger work. Gamkrelidze and Ivanov argue that IE spread out from Armenia into the Pontic steppe, from which it expanded – as per the Kurgan hypothesis – into Western Europe. The Hittite, Indo-Iranian, Greek and Armenian branches split from the Armenian homeland.
The Armenian hypothesis argues for the latest possible date of Proto-Indo-European (sans Anatolian), roughly a millennium later than the mainstream Kurgan hypothesis. In this, it figures as an opposite to the Anatolian hypothesis, in spite of the geographical proximity of the respective suggested Urheimaten, diverging from the timeframe suggested there by as much as three millennia.
Robert Drews, commenting on the hypothesis, says that “most of the chronological and historical arguments seem fragile at best, and of those that I am able to judge, some are evidently wrong”. However, he argues that it is far more powerful as a linguistic model, providing insights into the relationship between Indo-European and the Semitic and Kartvelian languages.
He continues to say “It is certain that the inhabitants of the forested areas of Armenia very early became accomplished woodworkers, and it now appears that in the second millennium they produced spoked-wheel vehicles that served as models as far away as China. And we have long known that from the second millennium onward, Armenia was important for the breeding of horses.
It is thus not surprising to find that what clues we have suggest that chariot warfare was pioneered in eastern Anatolia. Finally, our picture of what the PIE speakers did, and when, owes much to the recently proposed hypothesis that the homeland of the PIE speakers was Armenia.”
J. Grepin, reviewing Gamkrelidze and Ivanov’s book, wrote that their model of linguistic relationships is “the most complex, far reaching and fully supported of this century.”
The Proto-Greeks probably arrived at the area now called Greece, in the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, at the end of the 3rd millennium BC, though a later migration by sea from Anatolia has also been suggested.
The sequence of migrations into the Greek mainland during the 2nd millennium BC has to be reconstructed on the basis of the ancient Greek dialects, as they presented themselves centuries later and are therefore subject to some uncertainties.
There were at least two migrations, the first being the Ionians and Aeolians, which resulted in Mycenaean Greece by the 16th century BC, and the second, the Dorian invasion, around the 11th century BC, displacing the Arcadocypriot dialects, which descended from the Mycenaean period. Both migrations occur at incisive periods, the Mycenaean at the transition to the Late Bronze Age and the Doric at the Bronze Age collapse.
The Mycenaeans were ultimately the first Greek-speaking people attested through historical sources, written records in the Linear B script, a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest attested language form of Greek, and through their literary echoes in the works of Homer, a few centuries later.
The Linear B script predates the Greek alphabet by several centuries. The oldest Mycenaean writing dates to about 1450 BC. It is descended from the older Linear A, an undeciphered earlier script used for writing the Minoan language, as is the later Cypriot syllabary, which also recorded Greek.
The Mycenaeans quickly penetrated the Aegean Sea and, by the 15th century BC, had reached Rhodes, Crete, Cyprus, where Teucer is said to have founded the first colony and the shores of Asia Minor, but the succeeding period, known as the Greek Dark Ages (ca. 1100–800 BC), provides no evidence of the use of writing.
Linear B, found mainly in the palace archives at Knossos, Cydonia, Pylos, Thebes and Mycenae, disappeared with the fall of Mycenaean civilization during the Bronze Age Collapse. The archaeological evidence shows a widespread collapse of Bronze Age civilization in the eastern Mediterranean world at the outset of the period, as the great palaces and cities of the Mycenaeans were destroyed or abandoned.
Around 1200 BC the Dorians, another Greek-speaking people, followed from Epirus. Traditionally, historians have believed that the Dorian invasion caused the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization, but it is likely the main attack was made by seafaring raiders (sea peoples) who sailed into the eastern Mediterranean around 1180 BC.
The Dorian invasion was followed by a poorly attested period of migrations, appropriately called the Greek Dark Age or Ages and Geometric or Homeric Age, terms which have regularly been used to refer to the period of Greek history from the presumed Dorian invasion and end of the Mycenaean palatial civilization around 1100 BC to the first signs of the Greek poleis appear in the 9th century BC, and by 800 BC the landscape of Archaic and Classical Greece was discernible.
In the Homeric epics, the Greeks of prehistory are viewed as the ancestors of the early classical civilization of Homer’s own time, while the Mycenaean pantheon included many of the divinities (e.g. Zeus, Poseidon and Hades) attested in later Greek religion.
Around this time, the Hittite civilization suffered serious disruption and cities from Troy to Gaza were destroyed. Following the collapse, fewer and smaller settlements suggest famine and depopulation.
In Greece the Linear B writing of the Greek language used by Mycenaean bureaucrats ceased. The decoration on Greek pottery after ca 1100 BC lacks the figurative decoration of Mycenaean ware and is restricted to simpler, generally geometric styles (1000–700 BC).
It was previously thought that all contact was lost between mainland Hellenes and foreign powers during this period, yielding little cultural progress or growth; however, artifacts from excavations at Lefkandi on the Lelantine Plain in Euboea show that significant cultural and trade links with the east, particularly the Levant coast, developed from c. 900 BC onwards, and evidence has emerged of the new presence of Hellenes in sub-Mycenaean Cyprus and on the Syrian coast at Al Mina.
There were some suggestions of three waves of migration indicating a Proto-Ionian one, either contemporary or even earlier than the Mycenaean. This possibility appears to have been first suggested by Ernst Curtius in the 1880s.
In current scholarship, the standard assumption is to group the Ionic together with the Arcadocypriot group as the successors of a single Middle Bronze Age migration in dual opposition to the “western” group of Doric.
Eric P. Hamp, in his 2012 Indo-European linguistic family tree, groups the Greek language and Ancient Macedonian (“Helleno-Macedonian”) along with Armenian in the Pontic Indo-European (also called Helleno-Armenian) subgroup.
Graeco-Armenian (also Helleno-Armenian) is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Greek and Armenian languages that postdates the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE). Its status is comparable to that of the Italo-Celtic grouping: each is widely considered plausible without being accepted as established communis opinio.
The hypothetical Proto-Graeco-Armenian stage would need to date to the 3rd millennium BC, only barely differentiated from either late PIE or Graeco-Aryan or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan, a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family, ancestral to the Greek language, the Armenian language, and the Indo-Iranian languages.
Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid 3rd millennium BC. Conceivably, Proto-Armenian would have been located between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian, consistent with the fact that Armenian shares certain features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek (s > h).
Graeco-Aryan has comparatively wide support among Indo-Europeanists for the Indo-European Homeland to be located in the Armenian Highland. Early and strong evidence was given by Euler’s 1979 examination on shared features in Greek and Sanskrit nominal flection. Graeco-Aryan is invoked in particular in studies of comparative mythology, e.g. by West (1999) and Watkins (2001).
Used in tandem with the Graeco-Armenian hypothesis, the Armenian language would also be included under the label Aryano-Greco-Armenic, splitting into proto-Greek/Phrygian and “Armeno-Aryan” (ancestor of Armenian and Indo-Iranian).
In the context of the Kurgan hypothesis, Greco-Aryan is also known as “Late PIE” or “Late Indo-European” (LIE), suggesting that Greco-Aryan forms a dialect group which corresponds to the latest stage of linguistic unity in the Indo-European homeland in the early part of the 3rd millennium BC. By 2500 BC, Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian had separated, moving westward and eastward from the Pontic Steppe, respectively.
If Graeco-Aryan is a valid group, Grassmann’s law may have a common origin in Greek and Sanskrit. Note, however, that Grassmann’s law in Greek postdates certain sound changes that happened only in Greek and not Sanskrit, which suggests that it cannot strictly be an inheritance from a common Graeco-Aryan stage.
Rather, it is more likely an areal feature that spread across a then-contiguous Graeco-Aryan-speaking area after early Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian had developed into separate dialects but before they ceased being in geographic contact.
The Proto-Greek language is the assumed last common ancestor of all known varieties of Greek, including Mycenaean, the classical Greek dialects (Attic-Ionic, Aeolic, Doric and Arcado-Cypriot), and ultimately Koine, Byzantine and modern Greek. The unity of Proto-Greek would have ended as Hellenic migrants, speaking the predecessor of the Mycenaean language, entered the Greek peninsula sometime in the Neolithic era or the Bronze Age.
The evolution of Proto-Greek should be considered within the context of an early Paleo-Balkan sprachbund that makes it difficult to delineate exact boundaries between individual languages.
The characteristically Greek representation of word-initial laryngeals by prothetic vowels is shared, for one, by the Armenian language, which also seems to share some other phonological and morphological peculiarities of Greek; this has led some linguists to propose a hypothetical closer relationship between Greek and Armenian, although evidence remains scant.
Scholars are divergent in their views regarding the geographical origins of proto-Greek and when the first Greek-speakers arrived into the Greek peninsula. Vladimir I. Georgiev, for example, placed proto-Greek in northwestern Greece during the Late Neolithic period.
In the field of archaeogenetics, Russel Gray and Quentin Atkinson, using computational methods derived from evolutionary biology, claimed that the divergence of Greco-Armenian from Proto-Indo-European occurred around 7300 to 7000 years ago (~5300–5000 BCE) coinciding with the spread of agriculture from Asia Minor to Greece during the Neolithic period; Greek, specifically, developed into a separate linguistic lineage before 6000 years ago (before 4000 BC).
In Hamp’s view, the homeland of this subgroup is the northeast coast of the Black Sea and its hinterlands. From there, they migrated southeast into the Caucasus with the Armenians remaining near Batumi, while the pre-Greeks proceeded westwards along the southern coast of the Black Sea to enter the Aegean and Peloponnesus from Asia Minor and Cyprus via Pamphylia.
In this migration, Troy was a barrier to further migration directly west or to the northwest, so first the pre-Cypriots and then other groups of pre-Hellenics turned south with the pre-Cypriots continuing south to Pamphyllia and ultimately Cyprus, while the other groups crossed the Aegean. The Mycenean Greeks arrived in Thebes and Thessaly before the Aeolians and were the first Greeks on Crete.
The Hittites were an Ancient Anatolian people who established an empire centred on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia around 1600 BC. This empire reached its height during the mid-14th century BC under Suppiluliuma I, when it encompassed an area that included most of Asia Minor as well as parts of the northern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia.
A famous text discovered at Hattusa deals with the training of horses. The man who was responsible for the horse-training was a Hurrian called Kikkuli. The terminology used in connection with horses contains many Indo-Aryan loan-words (Mayrhofer, 1974).
After c. 1180 BC, the empire came to an end during the Bronze Age collapse, splintering into several independent “Neo-Hittite” city-states, some of which survived until the 8th century BC.
The Hittite language was a distinct member of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. They referred to their native land as Hatti. The conventional name “Hittites” is due to their initial identification with the Biblical Hittites in 19th century archaeology.
Despite the use of Hatti for their core territory, the Hittites should be distinguished from the Hattians, an earlier people who inhabited the same region (until the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC) and spoke a language possibly in the Northwest Caucasian languages group known as Hattic.
The Hittite military made successful use of chariots. Although belonging to the Bronze Age, they were the forerunners of the Iron Age, developing the manufacture of iron artifacts from as early as the 18th century BC, when the “man of Burushanda”‘s gift of an iron throne and iron sceptre to the Kaneshite king Anitta was recorded in the Anitta text inscription.
After 1180 BC, amid general turmoil in the Levant conjectured to have been associated with the sudden arrival of the Sea Peoples, the kingdom disintegrated into several independent “Neo-Hittite” city-states, some of which survived until as late as the 8th century BC.
The history of the Hittite civilization is known mostly from cuneiform texts found in the area of their kingdom, and from diplomatic and commercial correspondence found in various archives in Egypt and the Middle East.
The first archaeological evidence for the Hittites appeared in tablets found at the Assyrian colony of Kültepe (ancient Karum Kanesh), containing records of trade between Assyrian merchants and a certain “land of Hatti”. Some names in the tablets were neither Hattic nor Assyrian, but clearly Indo-European.
Karum (Akkadian: kārum “quay, port, commercial district”, plural kārū, from Sumerian kar “fortification (of a harbor), break-water”) is the name given to ancient Assyrian trade posts in Anatolia (modern Turkey) from the 20th to 18th centuries BC. The main centre of karum trading was at the ancient town of Kanesh.
The quarter of the city that most interest historians is the Kârum Kaneš, “merchant-colony city of Kaneš” in Assyrian. During the Bronze Age in this region, the Kârum was a portion of the city that was set aside by local officials for the early Assyrian merchants to use without paying taxes, as long as the goods remained inside the kârum. The term kârum means “port” in Akkadian, the lingua franca of the time, although it was extended to refer to any trading colony whether or not it bordered water.
Several other cities in Anatolia also had kârum, but the largest was Kaneš. This important kârum was inhabited by soldiers and merchants from Assyria for hundreds of years, who traded local tin and wool for luxury items, foodstuffs and spices, and, woven fabrics from the Assyrian homeland and from Elam.
The remains of the kârum form a large circular mound 500 m in diameter and about 20 m above the plain (a Tell). The kârum settlement is the result of several superimposed stratigraphic periods. New buildings were constructed on top of the remains of the earlier periods; thus, there is a deep stratigraphy from prehistoric times to the early Hittite period.
The findings have included numerous baked-clay tablets, some of which were enclosed in clay envelopes stamped with cylinder seals. The documents record common activities such as trade between the Assyrian colony and the city state of Assur and between Assyrian merchants and local people. The trade was run by families rather than by the state.
These Kültepe texts are the oldest documents from Anatolia. Although they are written in Old Assyrian, the Hittite loanwords and names in these texts constitute the oldest record of any Indo-European language. Most of the archaeological evidence is typical of Anatolia rather than of Assyria, but the use of both cuneiform and the dialect is the best indication of Assyrian presence.
The Hittites used Mesopotamian cuneiform letters. Archaeological expeditions to Hattusa have discovered entire sets of royal archives in cuneiform tablets, written either in the Semitic Mesopotamian Akkadian language of Assyria and Babylonia, the diplomatic language of the time, or in the various dialects of the Hittite confederation.
Kültepe (Turkish: Ash Hill) is an archaeological site located in the Kayseri Province in Turkey. The nearest modern city to Kültepe is Kayseri, about 20 km southwest. It consists of a tell, the actual Kültepe, and a lower town where an Assyrian settlement was found. Its name in Assyrian texts from the 20th century BC was Kaneš (spoken: Kah nesh), the later Hittites mostly called it Neša, occasionally Anisa.
Kaneš, inhabited continuously from the Chalcolithic period to Roman times, flourished as an important Hattic, Hittite and Hurrian city, which contained a colonised large merchant quarter (kârum) of the Old Assyrian Empire from ca. 21st to 18th centuries BC. This kârum appears to have served as “the administrative and distribution centre of the entire Assyrian colony network in Anatolia.”
A late (c 1400 BC) witness to an old tradition includes a king of Kaneš called Zipani among seventeen local city-kings who rose up against the Akkadian Naram-Sin (ruled c.2254-2218 BC).
It is the site of discovery of the earliest traces of the Hittite language, and the earliest attestation of any Indo-European language, dated to the 20th century BC. The native term for the Hittite language was nešili “language of Neša”.
The king of Zalpuwa, an as-yet undiscovered Bronze Age Anatolian city of ca. the 17th century BC, Uhna, raided Kanes, after which the Zalpuwans carried off the city’s “Sius” idol. Pithana, the king of Kussara, conquered level Ia Neša “in the night, by force”, but “did not do evil to anyone in it.”
Neša revolted against the rule of Pithana’s son, Anitta, but Anitta quashed the revolt and made Neša his capital. Anitta further invaded Zalpuwa, captured its king Huzziya, and recovered the Sius idol for Neša. Soon after that, Zalpuwa seems to have become culturally Hittite and Nesian-speaking.
In the 17th century BC, Anitta’s descendents moved their capital to Hattusa (which Anitta had cursed), thus founding the line of Hittite kings. These people named their language Nešili, “the language of Neša”.
Kussara (Kushshar) was a kingdom of the Bronze Age in Anatolia. The kingdom, though apparently important at one time, is mostly remembered as the origin of the dynasty that would form the Old Hittite Kingdom.
The Kussaran king Pithana with his son Anitta, forerunners of the later Hittite kings, conquered Kanesh (Nesa) and its important trade centrum in ca.1780 BC. The seat of the Kussaran dynasty was then moved to Kanesh, though Kussara appeared to retain ceremonial importance.
Anitta took the title of Great King when he defeated the polities of Zalpuwa and Hattum. Pithana and Anitta are the only two recorded kings of Kussara, and their exploits are known chiefly from the so-called ‘Anitta Text,’ the earliest inscription in the Hittite language yet discovered.
A further king, Labarna I is accepted as a king of Kussara by most scholars. Hattusili I, recognized as one of the first Hittite kings, referred to himself as ‘man of Kussara,’ but moved his capital from there to Hattusa (from which he took his name). It is clear, however, that even after the capital was moved, Kussara retained some importance, as it was there that Hattusili would call a council on his own succession.
Kussara is occasionally mentioned in the clay tablets of the old Assyrian trade period of Anatolia (Ku-ša-ra) and less often in the early Hittite Kingdom (KUR URU Ku-uš-ša-ra). The borders of Kussara are unknown and the old city of Kussara has not been found, though several proposals for its placement have been advanced.
For instance, Massimo Forlanini, the expert of the geography of old Anatolia, has stated that Kussara was probably situated southeast of Kanesh, but presumably north of Luhuzzadia/Lahu(wa)zzandiya, between Hurama and Tegarama (modern day Gürün), perhaps on a road which was crossing another road to the north in the direction of Samuha.
Professor Trevor Bryce, meanwhile, says “[t]he city of Kussara probably lay to the south-east of the Kizil Irmak basin in the anti-Taurus region, on or near one of the main trade routes from Assyria and perhaps in the vicinity of modern Şar (Comana Cappadocia).”
From the Old Assyrian trade tablets we know that a palace and an Assyrian trade station, or Karum, existed in the city. The language or dialect of Kussara is neither found nor described in either the Assyrian or Hittite texts.
The Kings of Kussara became the Kings of Kanesh in the Karum IB period of Kanesh. Hattusili I and Hattusili III mentioned the origins of the Kings of the land of Hatti as Hattusili I styled himself: “man of Kussara . . . Great King Tabarna, Hattusili the Great King, King of the land of Hatti.” No other town or land was ever mentioned by a King of Hattusa as the origin of the Kings of Hattusa.
Because the Kings of Kussara and their clan formed the base of the Old Kingdom of the Hittites, the Hittite language (known as ‘Nesili’ to its speakers after the city of Kanesh or Nesa) was the language of the ruling officials. It is assumed that the language of Kussara was Indo-European, because if it were not, many more non Indo-European elements would be expected in its apparent successor, Hittite.
Craigh Melchert concludes in the chapter Prehistory of his book The Luwians (2003–17): “Hittite core vocabulary remains Indo-European”. The Anitta Text records that when Pithana captured Kanesh, he did no harm to it, but made the inhabitants ‘his mothers and fathers.’ Some scholars have taken this unique statement to mean there were cultural and/or ethnic affinities between Kussara and Kanesh.
Because there is a great geographic difference between the basin of the upper stream of the Kızılırmak River, the centrum of the Upperland of Hittite Anatolia and the Anti-Taurus Mountains area of Kussara we can expect a great number of differences in culture, languages and dialects between these regions.
The name of the country of Ishuwa means “horse-land”. Isuwa, the ancient Hittite name for one of its neighboring Anatolian kingdoms to the east, was in an area which later became the Luwian Neo-Hittite state of Kammanu.
Aśvaḥ (अश्व) is the Sanskrit word for a horse, one of the significant animals finding references in the Vedas as well as later Hindu scriptures. The corresponding Avestan term is aspa. The word is cognate to Latin equus, Greek ίππος (hippos), Germanic *ehwaz and Baltic *ašvā all from PIE *hek’wos.
The usual Indo-European word is represented by Old English eoh, Greek hippos, Latin equus, from PIE *ekwo- “horse”. The word equus is Latin for “horse”, and is cognate with the Greek “ἵππος” (hippos), “horse”, and Mycenaean Greek i-qo /ikkʷos/ (cf. the alternative development of the Proto-Greek labiovelar in Ionic “ἴκκος” ikkos), the earliest attested variant of the Greek word, written in Linear B syllabic script.
The area was one of the places where agriculture developed very early in the Neolithic period. Urban centres emerged in the upper Euphrates river valley around 3000 BC. The first states may have followed in the third millennium BC.
The Isuwans left no written record of their own, and it is not clear which of the Anatolian peoples inhabited the land of Isuwa prior to the Luwians. They could have been Indo-Europeans like the Luwians, related to the Hittites to the west, Hattians, Hurrians from the south, or Urartians who lived east of Isuwa in the first millennium BC.
The name Isuwa is not known until the literate Hittite period of the second millennium BC. Few literate sources from within Isuwa have been discovered and the primary source material comes from Hittite texts.
The Early Bronze Age culture was linked with Caucasus in the northeast. The earliest settlements in Isuwa show cultural contacts with Tell Brak to the south, though not being the same culture. Agriculture began early due to favorable climatic conditions.
Isuwa was at the outer fringe of the early Mesopotamian Uruk period culture. The people of Isuwa were also skilled in metallurgy and they reached the Bronze Age in the fourth millennium BC. Copper were first mixed with arsenic, later with tin.
In the Hittite period the culture of Isuwa shows great parallels to the Central Anatolian and the Hurrian culture to the south. The monumental architecture was of Hittite influence.
The Neo-Hittite state show influences both from the Phrygia, Assyria and the eastern kingdom of Urartu. After the Scythian people movement there appear some Scythian burials in the area.
A great salvage campaign was undertaken in the upper Euphrates river valley at instigation of the president of the dam project Kemal Kurdaş. A Turkish, US and Dutch team of archaeologists headed by Maurits van Loon began the survey. Work then continued downstream where the Atatürk Dam was being constructed.
The excavations revealed settlements from the Paleolithic down into the Middle Ages. The sites of Ikizepe, Korucutepe, Norşuntepe and Pulur around the Murat (Arsanias) river, a tributary of the Euphrates to the east, revealed large Bronze Age settlements from the fourth to the second millennium BC. The center of the kingdom Isuwa may have lain in this region which would equate well with the Hittite statements of crossing the Euphrates in reaching the kingdom.
The important site of Arslantepe near the modern city of Malatya luckily remained safe from the rising water. Today an Italian team of archaeologists led by Marcella Frangipane are working at the site and studying the surrounding area. The site of Arslantepe was settled from the fifth millennium BC until the Roman period. It was the capital of the Neo-Hittite kingdom of Malatya.
To the west of Isuwa lay the hostile kingdom of the Hittites. The Hittite king Hattusili I (c.1600 BC) is reported to have marched his army across the Euphrates River and destroyed the cities there. This corresponds with burnt destruction layers discovered by archaeologists at town sites in Isuwa at roughly this date.
Hayasa-Azzi or Azzi-Hayasa was a Late Bronze Age confederation formed between two kingdoms of Armenian Highlands, Hayasa located South of Trabzon and Azzi, located north of the Euphrates and to the south of Hayasa. The Hayasa-Azzi confederation was in conflict with the Hittite Empire in the 14th century BC, leading up to the collapse of Hatti around 1190 BC.
Hittite inscriptions deciphered in the 1920s by the Swiss scholar Emil Forrer testify to the existence of a mountain country, the Hayasa and/or the Azzi, lying around Lake Van. Several prominent authorities agree in placing Azzi to the north of Ishuwa. Others see Hayasa and Azzi as identical.
The similarity of the name Hayasa to the endonym of the Armenians, Hayk or Hay and the Armenian name for Armenia, Hayastan has prompted the suggestion that the Hayasa-Azzi confereration was involved in the Armenian ethnogenesis.
The term Hayastan bears resemblance to the ancient Mesopotamian god Haya (ha-ià) and another western deity called Ebla Hayya, related to the god Ea (Enki or Enkil in Sumerian, Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian).
Telipinu was a king of the Hittites ca. 1460 BC (short chronology timeline). At the beginning of his reign, the Hittite Empire had contracted to its core territories, having long since lost all of its conquests, made in the former era under Hattusili I and Mursili I – to Arzawa in the West, Mitanni in the East, the Kaskians in the North, and Kizzuwatna in the South.
Telipinu was a son-in-law of Ammuna and brother-in-law of Huzziya I as a husband of Ammuna’s daughter Ištapariya. His name was taken from the agricultural god Telipinu. During Telipinu’s reign, Huzziya and his five brothers were killed.
He was able to recover a little ground from the Hurrians of Mitanni, by forming an alliance with the Hurrians of Kizzuwatna; however, with the end of his reign, the Hittite Empire enters a temporary “Dark Ages”, the Middle Kingdom, lasting around 70 years, when records become too scanty to draw many conclusions.
Kizzuwatna (or Kizzuwadna; in Ancient Egyptian Kode), is the name of an ancient Anatolian kingdom in the 2nd millennium BC. It was situated in the highlands of southeastern Anatolia, near the Gulf of İskenderun in modern-day Turkey. It encircled the Taurus Mountains and the Ceyhan River. The center of the kingdom was the city of Kummanni, situated in the highlands. In a later era, the same region was known as Cilicia.
The country possessed valuable resources, such as silver mines in the Taurus Mountains. The slopes of the mountain range are still partly covered by woods. Annual winter rains made agriculture possible in the area at a very early date. The plains at the lower course of the Ceyhan River provided rich cultivated fields.
Several ethnic groups coexisted in the Kingdom of Kizzuwatna. The Hurrians inhabited this area at least since the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. The Hittite expansion in the early Old Kingdom period (under Hattusili I and Mursili I) was likely to bring the Hittites and the Luwians to southeastern Anatolia.
The Luwian language was part of the Indo-European language group, with close ties to the Hittite language. Both the local Hittites and the Luwians were likely to contribute to the formation of independent Kizzuwatna after the weakening of the Hittite Old Kingdom.
The toponym Kizzuwatna is possibly a Luwian adaptation of Hittite *kez-udne ‘country on this side (of the mountains)’, while the name Isputahsu is definitely Hittite and not Luwian (Yakubovich 2010, pp. 273–4). Hurrian culture became more prominent in Kizzuwatna once it entered the sphere of influence of the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni.
Puduhepa, queen of the Hittite king Hattusili III, came from Kizzuwatna, where she had been a priestess. Their pantheon was also integrated into the Hittite one, and the goddess Hebat of Kizzuwatna became very important in Hittite religion towards the end of the 13th century BC. A corpus of religious texts called the Kizzuwatna rituals was discovered at Hattusa.
The kings of Kizzuwatna of the 2nd millennium BC had frequent contact with the Hittites to the north. The earliest Hittite records seem to refer to Kizzuwatna and Arzawa (Western Anatolia) collectively as Luwia.
In the power struggle that arose between the Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni, Kizzuwatna became a strategic partner due to its location. Isputahsu made a treaty with the Hittite king Telepinu. Later, Kizzuwatna shifted its allegiance, perhaps due to a new ruling dynasty.
The city state of Alalakh to the south expanded under its new vigorous leader Idrimi, himself a subject of the Mitannian king Barattarna. King Pilliya of Kizzuwatna had to sign a treaty with Idrimi. Kizzuwatna became an ally of Mitanni from the reign of Shunashura I, until the Hittite king Arnuwanda I overran the country and made it a vassal kingdom.
Kizzuwatna rebelled during the reign of Suppiluliuma I, but remained within the Hittite empire for two hundred years. In the famous Battle of Kadesh (c. 1274 BC), Kizzuwadna supplied troops to the Hittite king. After the fall of the Hittite empire, several minor Neo-Hittite kingdoms emerged in the area, such as Tabal, Kammanu and Quwe.
Kammanu was a Luwian – Proto-Armenian speaking Neo-Hittite state in Armenian Highlands in the late 2nd millennium BC, formed from part of Kizzuwatna after the collapse of the Hittite Empire. Its principal city was Melid.
Tabal (c.f. biblical Tubal) was a Luwian speaking Neo-Hittite kingdom of South Central Anatolia. According to archaeologist Kurt Bittel, the kingdom of Tabal first appeared after the collapse of the Hittite Empire.
Quwê – also spelled Que, Kue, Qeve, Coa, Kuê and Keveh – was a “Neo-Hittite” Assyrian vassal state or province at various times from the 9th century BCE to shortly after the death of Ashurbanipal around 627 BCE in the lowlands of eastern Cilicia (also known as Hiyawa), and the name of its capital city, tentatively identified with Adana, in modern Turkey. According to many translations of the Bible, it was the place from which King Solomon obtained horses. (I Kings 10: 28, 29; II Chron. 1:16).
Arzawa in the second half of the 2nd millennium BCE (roughly from late 15th century BCE until the beginning of the 12th century BCE) was the name of a region and a political entity (a “kingdom” or a federation of local powers) in Western Anatolia.
The core of Arzawa is believed to have been located along the Kestros River (Küçük Menderes), with its capital at Apasa, later known as Ephesus. When the Hittites conquered Arzawa it was divided into three Hittite provinces: a southern province called Mira along the Maeander River, which would later become known as Caria; a northern province called the Seha River Land, along the Gediz River, which would later become known as Lydia; and an eastern province called Hapalla.
It was the successor state of the Assuwa league, which also included parts of western Anatolia, but was conquered by the Hittites in c. 1400. Arzawa was the western neighbour and rival of the Middle and New Hittite Kingdoms.
On the other hand it was in close contact with the Ahhiyawa of the Hittite texts, which corresponds to the Achaeans of Mycenaean Greece. Moreover, Achaeans and Arzawa formed a coalition against the Hittites, in various periods.
According to Hittite sources, the capital of the Kingdom of Arzawa was Apasa (or Abasa), corresponding with later Greek Ephesus.
The languages spoken in Arzawa during the Bronze Age and early Iron Age cannot be directly determined due to the paucity of indigenous written sources. The current consensus among scholars is that the linguistic identity of Arzawa was predominantly Luwian, based, inter alia, on the replacement of the designation Luwiya with Arzawa in a corrupt passage of a New Hittite copy of the Laws, which appears to reflect a change in the name of the region.
However, one scholar has recently argued that Luwiya and Arzawa were two separate entities, because Luwiya is mentioned in the Hittite Laws as a part of the Hittite Old Kingdom, whereas Arzawa was independent from the Hittites during this period. He also argued that there was no significant Luwian population in Arzawa, but instead that it was predominantly inhabited by speakers of Proto-Lydian and Proto-Carian.
The zenith of the kingdom was during the 15th and 14th centuries BC. The Hittites were then weakened, and Arzawa was an ally of Egypt. This alliance is recorded in the correspondence between the Arzawan ruler Tarhundaradu and the Pharaoh Amenophis III called the Arzawa letters, part of the archive of the Amarna letters (Nr.31 and 32), having played a substantial role in the decipherment of the Hittite language in which they were written.
According to Hittite records, in c. 1320 BC Arzawa joined an anti-Hittite alliance together with the region of Millawanta (Milet) under the king of Ahhijawa (the latter widely accepted as Mycenaean Greece or part of it).
As a response of this initiative, the Hittite kings Suppiluliuma I and Mursili II finally managed to defeat Arzawa around 1300 BC. The king of Arzawa managed to escape to Mycenaean controlled territory. Arzawa was then split by the Hittites it into vassal kingdoms.
The Assuwa league, suggested as the origin for the name of the continent Asia (Bossert, 1946), was a confederation of states in western Anatolia, defeated by the Hittites Tudhaliya I around 1400 BC. The league formed to oppose the Hittite empire. The list of its members contains 22 names, including […]uqqa, Warsiya, Taruisa, Wilusiya and Karkija (Caria).
Some of the identifications of these names are disputed. Wilusiya is commonly identified with Ilion (Troy), and Taruisa with the surrounding Troad, and Warsiya may be associated with Lukka (Lycia).
However, identification of [..]uqqa with later-attested Lukka (Lycia) is problematic, because that would put the Assuwa league both north and south of Arzawa in southwestern Anatolia.
Assuwa appears to lie north of Arzawa, covering the northwestern corner of Anatolia. Homer in the Iliad seems to refer to two Lycias; in 2.876-77, 5.479 Sarpedon is a leader of “distant Lycia” while in 2.824ff. 5.105 Pandarus is another leader of Lycians from around Mount Ida near Troy, so that Lukka vs. […]uqqa may find its explanation in these terms.
However, the Assuwa League included Karkija (Caria), in southwest Anatolia, south of even the proposed Lukka (Lycia). So, since also Assuwa was only a confederate league, it could easily have included a wide-ranging array of anti-Hittite minor powers, across the region.
This confederacy is mentioned only in the fragmentary tablets making up Laroche’s CTH 142/85. Since Tudhaliya IV was known to have had frontier trouble between 1250 and 1200 BC, and since the text lists rebel nations in much the way Ramesses II does, the first consensus dated this text — and so Assuwa — to Tudhaliya IV.
This dating appears in all older literature on the fall of the Hatti, and crops up every now and then to this day. However the consensus has since then come around to dating Assuwa to an earlier Tudhaliya, which means prior to Suppiluliuma and so prior to 1350 BC.
A number of fragmentary Hittite records imply that the anti-Hittite rebellion of the Assuwa league received a certain decree of support from Mycenaean Greece (Ahhiyawa in Hittite).
The Achaeans (Akhaioí) constitute one of the collective names for the Greeks in Homer’s Iliad (used 598 times) and Odyssey. The other common names are Danaans (Danaoi; used 138 times in the Iliad) and Argives (Argeioi; used 182 times in the Iliad) while Panhellenes and Hellenes both appear only once; all of the aforementioned terms were used synonymously to denote a common Greek civilizational identity.
In the historical period, the Achaeans were the inhabitants of the region of Achaea, a region in the north-central part of the Peloponnese. The city-states of this region later formed a confederation known as the Achaean League, which was influential during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.
The Homeric “long-haired Achaeans” would have been a part of the Mycenaean civilization that dominated Greece from circa 1600 BC until 1100 BC. However, by the Archaic and Classical periods, the term “Achaeans” referred to inhabitants of the much smaller region of Achaea. Herodotus identified the Achaeans of the northern Peloponnese as descendants of the earlier, Homeric Achaeans.
According to Pausanias, writing in the 2nd century CE, the term “Achaean” was originally given to those Greeks inhabiting the Argolis and Laconia. However, this clearly is not the manner in which Homer uses the term.
Pausanias and Herodotus both recount the legend that the Achaeans were forced from their homelands by the Dorians, during the legendary Dorian invasion of the Peloponnese. They then moved into the region that later bore the name of Achaea.
A scholarly consensus has not yet been reached on the origin of the historic Achaeans relative to the Homeric Achaeans and is still hotly debated. Former emphasis on presumed race, such as John A. Scott’s article about the blond locks of the Achaeans as compared to the dark locks of “Mediterranean” Poseidon, on the basis of hints in Homer, has been rejected.
The contrasting belief that “Achaeans”, as understood through Homer, is “a name without a country”, an ethnos created in the Epic tradition, has modern supporters among those who conclude that “Achaeans” were redefined in the 5th century BC, as contemporary speakers of Aeolic Greek.
Karl Beloch has suggested that there was no Dorian invasion, but rather that the Peloponnesian Dorians were the Achaeans. Eduard Meyer, disagreeing with Beloch, has instead put forth the suggestion that the real-life Achaeans were mainland pre-Dorian Greeks.
His conclusion is based on his research on the similarity between the languages of the Achaeans and pre-historic Arcadians. William Prentice disagrees with both, noting that archeological evidence suggests that the Achaeans instead migrated from “southern Asia Minor to Greece, probably settling first in lower Thessaly” probably prior to 2000 BC.
Emil Forrer, a Swiss Hittitologist who worked on the Boghazköy tablets in Berlin, stated that the Achaeans of pre-Homeric Greece were directly associated with the term “Land of Ahhiyawa” mentioned in the Hittite texts.
However, his conclusions at the time were challenged by other Hittitologists (i.e. Johannes Friedrich in 1927 and Albrecht Götze in 1930), as well as by Ferdinand Sommer, who published his monumental Die Ahhijava-Urkunden (“The Ahhiyawa Documents”) in 1932.
Some Hittite texts mention a nation lying to the west called Ahhiyawa. In the earliest reference to this land, a letter outlining the treaty violations of the Hittite vassal Madduwatta, it is called Ahhiya.
Another important example is the Tawagalawa Letter written by an unnamed Hittite king (most probably Hattusili III) of the empire period (14th–13th century BC) to the king of Ahhiyawa, treating him as an equal and suggesting that Miletus (Millawanda) was under his control.
It also refers to an earlier “Wilusa episode” involving hostility on the part of Ahhiyawa. Ahhiya(wa) has been identified with the Achaeans of the Trojan War and the city of Wilusa with the legendary city of Troy (note the similarity with early Greek Ϝίλιον Wilion, later Ἴλιον Ilion, the name of the acropolis of Troy).
The exact relationship of the term Ahhiyawa to the Achaeans beyond a similarity in pronunciation was hotly debated by scholars, even following the discovery that Mycenaean Linear B is an early form of Greek; the earlier debate was summed up in 1984 by Hans G. Güterbock of the Oriental Institute.
More recent research based on new readings and interpretations of the Hittite texts, as well as of the material evidence for Mycenaean contacts with the Anatolian mainland, came to the conclusion that Ahhiyawa referred to the Mycenaean world, or at least to a part of it.
It has been proposed that Ekwesh of the Egyptian records may relate to Achaea (compared to Hittite Ahhiyawa), whereas Denyen and Tanaju may relate to Classical Greek Danaoi.
Adana is a large city in southern Turkey and a major agricultural and commercial center. The city is situated on the Seyhan River, 30 kilometres (19 miles) inland from the Mediterranean Sea, in south-central Anatolia. It is the administrative seat of the Adana Province.
The history of the Tepebağ tumulus in the middle of Adana dates to the Neolithic Period, 6000 B.C., and the time of the first human settlements. It is considered to be the oldest city of the Çukurova region.
Adana’s name has had many different versions over the centuries: Adanos, Ta Adana, Uru Adaniya, Erdene, Edene, Ezene, Batana, Atana, Azana, Addane. A place called Adana is mentioned by name in a Sumerian epic, the Epic of Gilgamesh, but the geography of this work is too imprecise to identify its location.
According to the Hittite inscription of Kava, found in Hattusa (Boğazkale), Kizzuwatna was the first kingdom that ruled Adana, under the protection of the Hittites by 1335 BC. At that time, the name of the city was Uru Adaniyya, and the inhabitants were called Danuna.
These areas also show evidence of close ties with the Aegean as a result of the Late Helladic IIIC 1b (1090–1060 BC) pottery found in these areas. Some scholars argue for a connection with the Greek Danaoi – alternate names for the Achaeans familiar from Homer. Greek myth refers to Danaos who with his daughters came from Egypt and settled in Argos. Through Danaë’s son, Perseus, the Danaans are said to have built Mycenae.
In Greek mythology Danaus, was the twin brother of Aegyptus and son of Achiroe and Belus, a mythical king of Egypt. The myth of Danaus is a foundation legend (or re-foundation legend) of Argos, one of the foremost Mycenaean cities of the Peloponnesus. In Homer’s Iliad, “Danaans” (“tribe of Danaë”) and “Argives” commonly designate the Greek forces opposed to the Trojans.
Danaus had fifty daughters, the Danaides, twelve of whom were born to Polyxo and the rest to Pieria and other women, and his twin brother, Aegyptus, had fifty sons. Aegyptus commanded that his sons marry the Danaides. Danaus elected to flee instead, and to that purpose, he built a ship, the first ship that ever was.
In it, he fled to Argos, to which he was connected by his descent from Io, a priestess of Hera at Argos, who was wooed by Zeus and turned into a heifer and pursued by Hera until she found asylum in Egypt.
Argos at the time was ruled by King Pelasgus, the eponym of all autochthonous inhabitants who had lived in Greece since the beginning, also called Gelanor (“he who laughs”). The Danaides asked Pelasgus for protection when they arrived, the event portrayed in The Suppliants by Aeschylus. Protection was granted after a vote by the Argives.
Beginning with the collapse of the Hittite Empire, c. 1191-1189 BC, invasions from the west caused a number of small kingdoms to take control of the plain, as follows: Quwê Assyrians, 9th century BC; Persians, 6th century BC; Alexander the Great in 333 BC; Seleucids; the pirates of Cilicia; Roman statesman Pompey the Great; and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia (Cilician Kingdom).
A legend relates the city’s name to Adad (also known as Tesup or Ishkur), the Thunder God in the Akkadian, Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian and Hittite mythologies, who was believed to live in the nearby forest, and whose name was given to the region.
The Hittites’ names and writings have been found in the area, evidencing this possibility. The theory goes that since the Thunder God brought so much rain and this rain in turn brought such great abundance in this particular region, this god was loved and respected by its inhabitants and, in his honor, the region was called the “Uru Adaniyya”; in other words “the Region of Ada”.
According to numerous sources, the name Adana is derived from the Hittite Adaniya of Kizzuwatna, while others assert that it is related to the legendary character Danaus, or to the Danaoi, a mythological Greek tribe who came from Egypt and established themselves in the Greek city Argos. The earlier Egyptian texts for a country Danaja are inscriptions from Thutmosis II (1437 BC) and Amenophis III (1390-1352 BC).
After the collapse of the Mycenean civilization (1200 BC) some refugeees from the Aegean area went to the coast of Cilicia. The inhabitants Dananayim or Danuna are identified as one group of the sea-peoples who attacked Egypt on 1191 BC during the reign of Ramesses III.
Denyen are identified as inhabitants of the city Adana. It is also possible that the name is connected with the PIE da-nu (river) Da-na-vo (people living by the river), Scythian nomad people, water demons in Rigveda (Danavas).
The Denyen are one of the groups constituting the Sea Peoples. They are mentioned in the Amarna letters from the 14th century BC as possibly being related to the “Land of the Danuna” near Ugarit.
The Denyen have been identified with the people of Adana, in Cilicia who existed in late Hittite Empire times. They are also believed to have settled in Cyprus. A Hittite report speaks of a Muksus, who also appears in an eighth-century bilingual inscription from Karatepe in Cilicia.
The kings of Adana are traced from the “house of Mopsos,” given in Hieroglyphic Luwian as Moxos and in Phoenician as Mopsos, in the form mps. They were called the Dananiyim. The area also reports a Mopsukrene (Mopsus’ fountain in Greek) and a Mopsuhestia (Mopsus’ hearth in Greek), also in Cilicia.
Mopsus was the name of two famous seers in Greek mythology; his rival being Calchas. A historical or legendary Mopsos or Mukšuš may have been the founder of a house in power at widespread sites in the coastal plains of Pamphylia and Cilicia during the early Iron Age.
They were raiders associated with the Eastern Mediterranean Dark Ages who attacked Egypt in 1207 BC in alliance with the Libyans and other Sea Peoples, as well as during the reign of Rameses III.
The 20th Egyptian Dynasty allowed them to settle in Canaan, which was largely controlled by the Sea Peoples into the 11th century BC. Mercenaries from the Peleset manned the Egyptian garrison at Beth-shan, and the Denyen shared the same fashion as them which some archeology suggests signifies a shared cemetery there.
In the Iliad of Homer, the city is called Adana. In Hellenistic times, it was known as Antiochia in Cilicia or Antiochia ad Sarum (“Antiochia on the Sarus”). The editors of The Helsinki Atlas tentatively identify Adana as Quwê (as contained in cuneiform tablets), the Neo-Assyrian capital of Quwê province. The name also appears as Coa, and may be the place referred to in the Bible, where King Solomon obtained horses. (I Kings 10:28; II Chron. 1:16). The Armenian name of the city is Atana or Adana.
According to an ancient Greco-Roman legend, the name has its origins in Adanus and Sarus, the two sons of Uranus, who came to a place near the Seyhan (Sarus) River, where they built Adana.