Figural Anatolian stamp seals from three Assyrian colony period sites : Karahöyük-Konya, Acemhöyük and Kültepe
Embargo Lift Date: 2018-07-01
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The first half of the 2nd millennium B.C. in Anatolia is marked by the presence of Assyrian merchants, who settled down in the region. The foreigners introduced a new glyptic tradition to Anatolian inhabitants, who up to that moment were using solely stamp seals. These encounters and daily cohabitation resulted in the emergence of four different styles in glyptic present in the Assyrian Colony Period. The analyzed stamp seals from Karahöyük-Konya, Acemhöyük, and Kültepe belong to the Anatolian Style group. However, each site had its own approach to the themes and motifs. The seals from Karahöyük-Konya and Kültepe focus on the various animal representations. However, in the case of Kültepe seals the phenomenon of horror vacui can be observed, whereas the layout in Karahöyük-Konya is more organized. The deity figures in both sites tend to be simply executed, therefore it is difficult to identify the nature of the divinity. On the other hand, the anthropomorphic divine iconography is predominant in Acemhöyük, showing the most sophisticated and elaborate figures, who are often accompanied with attributes. Moreover, the seals from Acemhöyük are also very fond of mythological creatures. Finally, the differences between local cylinder and stamp glyptic is also noticeable. The motifs and themes like the figures of War god, Weather god, bull, bull altar, and combat scenes popular in the cylinder seals are missing in their Anatolian stamped counterparts.