Melid

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Melid
Arslantepe7.jpg
Melid/Arslantepe
Melid is located in Turkey
Melid
Shown within Turkey
Location Malatya Province, Turkey
Region Anatolia
Coordinates 38°22′55″N 38°21′40″E / 38.38194°N 38.36111°E / 38.38194; 38.36111Coordinates: 38°22′55″N 38°21′40″E / 38.38194°N 38.36111°E / 38.38194; 38.36111
Type Settlement
Site notes
Condition In ruins

Melid (Hittite: Malidiya[1] and possibly also Midduwa;[2] Akkadian: Meliddu;[3] Urartian: Melitea; Latin: Melitene) was an ancient city on the Tohma River, a tributary of the upper Euphrates rising in the Taurus Mountains. It has been identified with modern archaeological site Arslantepe near Malatya, Turkey.

History[edit]

The site has been inhabited since the development of agriculture in the fertile crescent dating to the Uruk period. Around 3000 BCE, there was widespread burning and destruction, after which Kura-Araxes culture pottery appeared in the area. This was a mainly pastoralist culture connected with Caucasus mountains.[4]

Numerous similarities have been found between these early layers at Arslantepe, and the somewhat later site of Birecik (Birecik Dam Cemetery), also in Turkey, to the southwest of Melid.[5]

From the Bronze Age the site became an administrative center of a larger region in the kingdom of Isuwa. The city was heavily fortified, probably due to the Hittite threat from the west. The Hittites conquered the city in the fourteenth century BC. In the mid 14th century BC, Melid was the base of the Hittite king Suppiluliuma I on his campaign to sack the Mitanni capital Wassukanni.

After the end of the Hittite empire, from the 12th to 7th century BC, the city became the center of an independent Luwian Neo-Hittite state of Kammanu. A palace was built and monumental stone sculptures of lions and the ruler erected.

The encounter with the Assyrian king of Tiglath-Pileser I (1115-1077 BC) resulted in the kingdom of Melid being forced to pay tribute to Assyria. Melid remained able to prosper until the Assyrian king Sargon II (722-705 BC) sacked the city in 712 BC.[6] At the same time, the Cimmerians and Scythians invaded Anatolia and the city declined.

Archaeology[edit]

Cylinder-seal from Arslantepe.

Arslantepe was first investigated by the French archaeologist Louis Delaporte from 1932 to 1939. [7] [8] [9] From 1946 to 1951 Claude F.A. Schaeffer carried out some soundings. The first Italian excavations at the site of Arslantepe started in 1961, and were conducted under the direction of Professors Piero Meriggi and Salvatore M. Puglisi until 1968. [10] [11] [12] The choice of the site was initially due to their desire of investigating the Neo-Hittite phases of occupation at the site, period in which Malatya was the capital of one of the most important reigns born after the destruction of the Hittite Empire in its most eastern borders. Majestic remains of this period were known from Arslantepe since the 30s, brought to light by a French expedition. The Hittitologist Meriggi only took part of the first few campaigns and later left the direction to Puglisi, a palaeoethnologist, who expanded and regularly conducted yearly investigations under regular permit from the Turkish government. Alba Palmieri took over the supervision of the excavation during the 1970s. [13] [14] Today the archaeological investigation is led by Marcella Frangipane.[15]

Early swords[edit]

The first swords were claimed for the Early Bronze Age (c. 33rd to 31st centuries), based on finds at Arslantepe by Marcella Frangipane of Rome University.[16][17][18] A cache of nine swords and daggers was found; they are composed of arsenic-copper alloy. Among them, three swords were beautifully inlaid with silver.

These are the weapons of a total length of 45 to 60 cm which could be described as either short swords or long daggers.

These discoveries were made back in the 1980s. They belong to the local phase VI A. Also, 12 spearheads were found.

Phase VI A at Arslantepe ended in destruction - the city was burned. And later on, some new occupants also left some bronze weapons, including swords. They were found in the rich tomb of "Signori Arslantepe" or "Signor Arslantepe", as he was called by archaeologists. He was about 40 years old, and the tomb is radiocarbon dated to 3081-2897 (95% probabiity).[19]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Melid." Reallexikon der Assyriologie. Accessed 12 Dec 2010.
  2. ^ KBo V 8 IV 18. Op. cit. Puhvel, Jaan. Trends in Linguistics: Hittite Etymological Dictionary: Vol. 6: Words Beginning with M. Walter de Gruyter, 2004. Accessed 12 Dec 2010.
  3. ^ Hawkins, John D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions. Vol. 1: Inscriptions of the Iron Age. Walter de Gruyter, 2000.
  4. ^ Frangipane, Marcella (2015). "Different types of multiethnic societies and different patterns of development and change in the prehistoric Near East". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112 (30): 9182–9189. doi:10.1073/pnas.1419883112. ISSN 0027-8424. 
  5. ^ Schmidt-Schultz Tyedje, Schultz Michael, Sadori Laura, Palmieri A., Morbidelli Paola, Hauptmann Andreas, Di Nocera Gian Maria, Frangipane Marcella, New Symbols of a New Power in a "Royal" Tomb from 3 000 BC Arslantepe, Malatya (Turkey). Paléorient, 2001, vol. 27, n°2. pp. 105-139
  6. ^ J. D. Hawkins, Assyrians and Hittites, Iraq, vol. 36, no. 1/2, pp. 67-83, 1974
  7. ^ Louis De Laporte, Malatya. La Ville et le Pays de Malatya, Review Hittites et Asian, vol. 2, no. 12, pp. 119-254, 1933
  8. ^ Louis De Laporte, Malatya - Céramique du Hittite Recent, Review Hittites et Asian, vol. 2, no. 15, pp. 257-285, 1934
  9. ^ Louis De Laporte, La Troisième Campagne de Fouille è Malatya, Review Hittites et Asian, vol. 5, no. 34, pp. 43-56, 1939
  10. ^ S.M. Puglisi and P. Meriggi, Malatya I: Rapporto preliminare delle Campagne 1961 e 1962, Orientis Antiqui Collectio, vol. 7, 1964
  11. ^ E. Equini Schneider, Malatya II: Rapporto preliminare delle Campagne 1963-1968. Il Livello Romano Bizantino e le Testimonianze Islamiche, Orientis Antiqui Collectio, vol. 10, 1970
  12. ^ P.E. Pecorella, Malatya III: Rapporto preliminare delle Campagne 1963-1968. Il Livello Eteo Imperiale e quelli Neoetei, Orientis Antiqui Collecti, vol. 12, 1975
  13. ^ A. Palmieri, Excavations at Arslantepe (Malatya), Anatolian Studies, vol. 31, pp. 101-119, 1981
  14. ^ Alba Palmieri, "Arslantepe Excavations,1982," Kazi Sonuçlari Toplantisi, vol. 5, pp. 97-101, 1983
  15. ^ [1] Historical Dictionary of the Hittites, pp 185-186
  16. ^ Oldest Swords Found in Turkey
  17. ^ Frangipane, M. et.al. 2010: The collapse of the 4th millennium centralised system at Arslantepe and the far-reaching changes in 3rd millennium societies. ORIGINI XXXIV, 2012: 237-260.
  18. ^ Frangipane, "The 2002 Exploration Campaign at Arslantepe/Malatya" (2004)
  19. ^ The Sword, chapter I: Birth of the Swordsman

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Burney, Charles Allen (2004). Historical Dictionary of the Hittites. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4936-4. 
  • Louis De Laporte, La porte des lions, 1940

External links[edit]