Çanak Çömlek Öncesi Neolitik Dönem'den Demir Çağı Sonuna Kadar Dikilitaşlar ve Steller
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The objective of this thesis is, excluding Trace and the Aegean islands, to review the emergence, spatial context, development, similarities and differences of steles and menhirs within the borders of modern Turkey. The spatial-chronological framework from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic to the end of the Iron Age is quite extensive. Following a rigid chronological approach and a coherent grouping of archaeological excavations and single findspots, all steles and menhirs were thoroughly analysed. Lacking any predecessors, stone menhirs occur simultaneously in the Southeastern Anatolian Euphrates and Tigris regions in the PPN, however differ in shape and surface treatment. Menhirs are likewise attested for the Pottery Neolithic, the Early- and Middle Bronze Ages, with their latest examples dating to the Late Bronze Age. After the PPN, menhirs lack any surface decoration and are understood as aniconic monuments. The earliest clay and stone steles appear in the Early Bronze Age. Clay steles are limited to the Aegean littoral and only seen in the EBA. Stone steles worked in different shapes are known from the EBA until the Iron Age. They are both designed as aniconic, decorated and inscribed monuments. They testify to being vessels for the souls of forefathers, gods and goddesses, but can also relate to the presence of the deities themselves. That aside, they inform us about the deeds of kings, and occasionally contain plain political propaganda. Steles and menhirs are also confirmed as having served as funeral monuments. Menhirs prepared for that purpose are generally aniconic. Steles, however, can be separated into iconic and inscribed monuments. Their decorations betray cross-cultural nurturing and multiregional stylistic influences. Inscriptions inform us about diplomatic relations, but also building projects in times of war and peace. All these features testify to Turkey’s rich cultural mosaic from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic until the end of the Iron Age.
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