Quantitative approaches to Hittite historical geography: a network analysis of Hittite toponyms

Date
2023-08
Advisor
Gerçek, N. İlgi
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Bilkent University
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English
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Thesis
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Abstract

There are many references to place names in the Hittite texts, and the understanding of their locations is crucial to the study of Hittite history and society. In the past, the examination of these place names, which occur more than 20,000 times, was limited to methods that were qualitative in nature. Nonetheless, due to the Hittite Toponyms project led by Adam Kryszeń, there is now an exciting opportunity to conduct a comprehensive quantitative study of Hittite toponyms. This research presents an original statistical methodology based on network analysis to gain a deeper understanding of the relative positions of toponyms in Hittite texts. Toponyms are represented as nodes in a network, and the strength of their connections is determined by the frequency of their occurrence in the same text fragment. This thesis demonstrates the proposed methodology's ability to explain geography through examples at different scales, including a modern case study and a case study on Durmitta's location. The results highlight that when combined with qualitative methods, the suggested statistical approach can offer new insights into Hittite historical geography, improving our comprehension of this ancient civilization.

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Hittite historical geography, Network analysis, Co-occurrence network, Quantitative text analysis, Toponymy
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Published Version (Please cite this version)