21. The Influence of East and West on Bronze Objects Found in Central Anatolia: Small Bronze Finds from Kaman-Kalehöyük
The influences from the East and West manifested in ancient bronze (copper-tin alloy) technology in Central Anatolia are examined, specifically at the site of Kaman-Kalehöyük, which has been excavated by the Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology (JIAA) since 1986. Evidence of copper and bronze refining and manufacture has been found from the Middle Bronze Age (MBA, ca. 1950 BC) through the Middle Iron Age (ca. 600 BC) at Kaman-Kalehöyük. Crucibles, fibula molds, an unfinished fibula, stone molds for casting small bronze objects, and copper slag are considered material evidence of bronze-working and manufacture at the site. The results of analytical studies on bronze objects and slag composition indicate the importation of materials and the selective use of copper ores. Given its location along ancient trade routes, Kaman-Kalehöyük may have served as a conduit for the intraregional exchange of materials and manufacturing technologies. Several fibulae are presented to illustrate these exchanges and the multiethnic influences at Kaman-Kalehöyük. The authors examine some of these influences and movements as they relate to ancient bronze technology in Anatolia.
- Alice Boccia Paterakis, Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology, Kaman
- Sachihiro Omura, Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology, Kaman
The portrait of a Hellenistic ruler in the National Museum of Iran (inv. 2477) is the most prominent archaeological testimony of the Hellenistic presence in Iran. It shows the spread of Hellenistic large-scale sculpture in the regions east of the Tigris River, of which there is otherwise very little evidence. Furthermore, it is one of the few preserved original Hellenistic large-scale bronzes. Nevertheless, this extraordinary piece of art is rarely illustrated in handbooks on Hellenistic sculpture or ruler portraits, and only a few specialists are familiar with this bronze. The head represents a ruler, likely a king of the Seleucid dynasty, which ruled Iran in the third and second centuries BC. But due to the portrait’s intense deformation, the ruler represented could not be identified until now. In August 2015 a project was started with the aim of reconstructing the original facial features. Although this aim has not been achieved, the investigations at the National Museum of Iran have already yielded extraordinary results.
- Gunvor Lindström, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin
The Roman-Syrian city of Palmyra is well known for its extensive corpus of surviving sculpture carved in the locally quarried limestone, dating from the early first century to the middle of the third century AD. Although bronze statuary was subordinate to stone as the Palmyran sculptor’s medium of choice, surviving fragments and inscriptional evidence document its existence in the city. However, an examination of Palmyran sculpture reveals that local artists included in their repertoire of stone-carving certain forms drawn from bronze prototypes and that these borrowings are more extensive than previously thought.
- Fred C. Albertson, University of Memphis, Tennessee
The more obvious features are incised grooves outlining the lips, deepened grooves beneath the corners of the mouth, and the sharply defined corkscrew curls with pointed tips found in male hairstyles. Additional features, previously attributed to Near Eastern traditions of stone-carving, may also be included among the group originating in bronze-working. One is the incision of the eyebrows as a herringbone pattern; another is the hollowing out of the iris as a circular cavity with a flat base, clearly intended for the insertion of a different material, which can now be identified as blue glass paste. All these features can be traced to the tradition of Graeco-Roman bronze statuary.
The Palmyran distinction is that the number of examples depicting these features drawn from bronze-working are relatively few and each adaption is chronologically short-lived and not necessarily contemporary, suggesting that their borrowing was not wholesale but selective, probably the result of decisions made by individual artisans or workshops.
The Transformation of Bronze Sculpture in the Hellenistic East and the Iranian World
Bronze enjoyed a special status in Hellenistic Asia both because of its ability to take on a bright finish and for its associations with prestigious cultic and royal contexts. Although the medium was certainly not unknown in the lands of the former Achaemenid Empire and the earlier cultures of ancient Western Asia, the new Graeco-Macedonian modes of representation and royal cultures transformed the role of bronze sculpture in these regions.
- Matthew P. Canepa, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
This paper examines the dynamic intersection between medium, style, and political and religious power in the dissolution of the Seleucid Empire and rise of the new Iranian political and visual cultures of power under such dynasties as the Arsakids, Orontids, and Mithradatids.
The Hellenistic Heritage of Termez
According to historical tradition, Bactria was called “the land of a thousand cities,” one of which was Termez, Uzbekistan, where a large-scale study of the archaeological monuments of the Hellenistic period is now under way. The materials from the excavations, which allow us to reconstruct the extent and boundaries of the Hellenistic transfers in the region, are stored in the Termez Archaeological Museum.
- Djalalitdin Mirzaev, Termez Archaeological Museum, Uzbekistan
Analysis of materials from monuments in the region allows us to associate them directly with events that followed the campaign of Alexander the Great and colonization activities of the Greek settlers, who brought to the territory of Central Asia completely new elements of Greek culture. However, the Greeks borrowed a lot of local technologies and practices to adapt to the particularities of nature, climate, and population, which resulted in a transformation. For example in sculpture, technological development was associated with a limited number of materials using local stone types, although preference was given to clay.
The development of technology for clay sculptures on the basis of ancient, preexisting traditions received a powerful boost from the emergence of a new genre of art—painted clay sculptures—the style and iconography of which remained Greek. Thus, the composition of the products of Bactria in the third to first century BC in general corresponds to that in the Greek cities; the emergence of a variety of styles testifies to the intense processing of the imported traditions.