Mehmet Işikli (Ed.)
The Economic Structure of Eastern Anatolian Highland from Urartian Period to the End of Late Antiquity
Panel 2.6Archaeology and Economy in the Ancient World – Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Cologne/Bonn 2018
The Eastern Anatolian Highlands was one of the prominent sub-regions of the ancient Near East due to its very specific location. This region, which has rugged geographical features and harsh climate conditions, is situated between Northern Mesopotamia, the Southern Caucasus, Northwestern Iran and Central Anatolia, each of which were important cultural regions of the Near East. The Eastern Anatolian Highlands have played an important role in the economic networks and cultural relationships developed between the southern and northern regions through the ages. Despite its difficult geography and unfavourable climate conditions, the region hosted many cultures and societies through time on account of its strategic location and richness in natural resources and raw materials. The archaeological evidence shows that the initial periods of centralization and state formation in the region began with Urartu and continued through time. The most important factor in this regard is the fact that the region effectively functioned as a transit point on account of its strategic geographic position. Thereafter, the economic and political structures in this mountainous zone of the Near East are more easily observed. The economic structures of this marginal zone of the ancient Near East will be analysed from the Urartian period to the end of Late Antiquity in this session.
Mehmet Işıklı is Professor of Archaeology at Atatürk University in Erzurum, Turkey. He mostly works in South Caucasian and Eastern Anatolian Archaeology, especially the Kura-Araxes Culture, which is a hallmark of this vast region, and the Kingdom of Urartu, which characterised the Iron Age in the region. These cultures also were the subject of an International Symposium of Eastern Anatolian and Southern Caucasian Cultures (EASC) that was held in 2013 in Erzurum. Mehmet Isikli was one of the editors in this symposium, whose proceedings were published by Cambridge Scholar Publishing (CSP) in 2015. In addition to that, Mehmet Isikli has been director of the excavations at Ayanis, an Urartian Castle located on the shores of Lake Van in Eastern Turkey, since 2013. Mehmet Işıklı has published a number of articles, papers, presentations and books on the archaeology of this remarkable and still somewhat mysterious region of Eastern Anatolia and Southern Caucasus.