Figurines as social markers: the Neo-Assyrian impact on the Northern Levant as seen from the material culture
This paper aims to analyse some social dynamics which occurred during the late Iron Age in the Syro‑Anatolian region from a particular point of view, i.e. that of clay figurine finds. The coroplastic production under consideration is a uniform corpus composed of two main subjects: the Handmade Syrian Horse and Riders (HSHR’s) and the Syrian Pillar Figurines (SPF’s). These figurines are inscribed within the Middle Euphrates coroplastic tradition with Karkemish as the primary productive centre. They are attested since the mid‑eighth century BC, reaching a peak during the seventh century BC, a historical period corresponding to the Neo‑Assyrian expansion in the Northern Levant. The close relationship among these figurines with social changes which took place with the Neo-Assyrian political and military influence is here presented through different aspects. On one hand, throughout the contextual study both in productive and widespread regions, contexts provide interesting data on the use of these artefacts and the involvement of the local populations in activities supporting the Neo-Assyrian Empire. On the other hand, the gradual acculturation of the Assyrian reality to local traditions is further attested through the iconographic analysis of figurines. A remarkable “Assyrianization” is observable in their costumes and decorations both on human and animal subjects.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Barbara Bolognani, "Figurines as social markers: the Neo-Assyrian impact on the Northern Levant as seen from the material culture", in: Katia Gavagnin, Rocco Palermo (Edited by), "Imperial Connections. Interactions and Expansion from Assyria to the Roman Period. Volume 2. Proceedings of the 5th “Broadening Horizons” Conference (Udine 5-8 June 2017)", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2020, pp. 43-57
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