Monday, February 29, 2016

Deve Hüyük - the full catalogue

Following Friday's post, I found Roger Moorey's catalogue of finds.  It was embarrassingly easy and I don't know why my earlier searches didn't turn it up, but here goes anyway.  Although most of what's shown is in the form of line drawings, it's still a rich gallery of objects common to our time period.

An important note on time periods:  The site as a whole comprises several phases.  Deve Hüyük I seems to be Neo-Assyrian, while Deve Hüyük II is Achaemenid.  There's also a few Arsacid-period graves in phase II; these are termed Deve Hüyük III.  Therefore if you're interested in any particular object, you need to confirm which phase it belongs to.

Moorey states, on the basis of the long sword and hilt fragments from Persepolis (see OIP #69), that the flanged dagger was used throughout the Achaemenid period.  He also lends some credence to something I've long suspected, that this dagger is the same as the "Elamite" dagger worn by robe-clad Persians and Elamites in period art.

There's a lot of highly decorated pottery, including several "flasks" shaped like pointed amphorae but without handles.  A canteen broadly similar to the ones from Persepolis but slightly different in detail is here described as a "pilgrim flask," while another, highly decorated glazed one is considered to be of Egyptian influence.

Those looking to add more flare to high-class impressions may look to the variety of bronze bracelets, anklets, rings and earrings, many of which should be simple to fabricate from metal rod or strips with annealing and filing.  Beads of all sorts of materials appear, as well as small, ceramic human head and animal pendants.

Among toiletries are a pair of tweezers, several circular bronze mirrors, and tubes and applicator sticks for kohl, a kind of eyeliner.  The kohl tubes and sticks are not necessarily feminine accessories, as Xenophon claims that Astyages, like other Median men, wore "pencillings beneath his eyes."  (Some of the attached codes may clarify this but I'm only skimming for the time being.)

Achaemenid bronze bowls, rhytons, iron akinakai, sagarides, arrowheads, tanged javelin heads, a second gorytos cover decoration, snaffle bits, arm fibulae and cylinder seals mostly reinforce what we already know.  One socketed trilobate arrowhead is attached to a bronze chain for some reason, and most of the spearheads run to proportionally rather narrow, though they may have corroded at the edges.  There's also a bronze bell described as a horse fitting.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Further perspective on grave finds from Deve Hüyük

I stumbled across this Halehs World of Archaeology post on architecture at Paphos.  I haven't read the whole article yet but I was drawn to a section about three quarters of the way down discussing Deve Hüyük:

Also the pottery, “coarse redware lamps”, accompanying the dead soldiers, showed no likeness what so ever with any objects from the same period from Palestine, Syria or Iraq. However they do look extremely similar to finds in Dailaman in “…south-western shore of the Caspian Sea” in Iran.

Even though these finds do point to Iranian origins, they are not local to Persis or the Persians. It rather appears that these soldiers were from northern Iran, probably along the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, were also their “Cist tombs” would have been a local tradition. This region would have been during the Achaemenid period, under the Satrapy of Media.

Sobering thought there.

Most surprising for me is the line drawing featuring a dagger with a flanged tang and crescent pommel.  I may be the last to find this out, but I find the implication interesting that this type of dagger, popularly lumped in with the Luristan bronzes but actually widely used in northern Mesopotamia and northern Iran, is accurate (when made of iron) to at least the beginning of the Achaemenid period.

Monday, February 8, 2016 is shutting down

Breaking:  In light of the fact that, as Christian Cameron observed, Amphicyonia's website is going unused, they have decided to stop renewing it.  Further contact with the Amphictyonic League will be through their Facebook page.

If there are any pages over at the old website you want to save, do it now.