Rural administration in Hittite Anatolia
AdvisorGerçek, N. Ilgi
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Administration is a tool consisting of a set of processes that underpin modern management methods in all realms of society. Its use is taken for granted in most present day cultures, by all governments and in most institutions. The elements of modern administration are well set out in management text books and ‘how to’ manuals, yet surprisingly little is known about the historical development of administration, other than in specialised modern arenas, such as public administration, the judiciary and the defence forces. This thesis aims to describe the administrative system in an ancient civilisation, that of the Hittites in Bronze Age Central Anatolia. The study compared evidence from archaeological and textual data with a framework of dimensions of administration in ancient societies identified from the literature. The Hittite system of rural administration rated highly on almost all dimensions and the conclusion drawn is that it was well developed and comprehensive. However, a propensity to rely too heavily on traditional systems beyond their use-by date may have prevented a level of flexibility developing to deal with new problems as they arose, such as climate change and the migration of new groups into the area. Further research is needed to assess whether a propensity for administrative traditionalism contributed to the eventual collapse of the Hittite civilisation. Research is also needed to assess the impact of technological innovation on social and administrative change, including grain storage and water management technologies.