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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article shows how the material culture can sometimes be an even clearer lens through which scholars may view the Hittite imperial organization and modes of engagement. The evidence for the selective adoption of north-central Anatolian ceramic traditions in neighboring regions, changes and continuity in local settlement systems, the direction and intensity of Hittite administrative efforts, and the dialogue of territorial hegemony carried out via landscape monuments suggest that empire, rather than a monolithic entity, is best conceptualized as a complex web of interactions. Imperial–local relationships were less clear cut and in favor of all-encompassing central control than one might infer from the Hittite documents. Instead, we gain the impression of an ongoing process or negotiation of empire that is carried out on a range of different cultural, political, and social levels, and which is neither complete nor uncontested in its closest periphery and throughout its existence.

Keywords: Hittite imperial organization, material culture, Anatolian ceramic traditions

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