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The assembled palace of Samosata: object vibrancy in 1st C. BCE Commagene

This dissertation develops an innovative approach to cultural transformation in the kingdom of Commagene (modern south-east Turkey) during the 1st c. BCE, focusing on a palatial context in the capital Samosata.

L.W. Kruijer
24 May 2022
The publication in Open Access

The dissertation integrates the excavation documentation with archaeological material nowadays stored at the Archaeological Museum of Adiyaman. In addition to a conventional analysis of the chronology, lay-out and architectural character of the palace, a critique is formulated on the problematic character of acculturative and anthropocentric approaches still characterizing scholarship dealing with ‘Hellenism in the East’. As an alternative, it is proposed to reconceptualize the palace of Samosata as a heterogenous and vibrant assemblage, with objects as historical protagonists rather than passive, representational entities. As such, the palace assemblage becomes a laboratory to study the impact of pre-modern globalization processes, with increased connectivity causing the emergence of new relations. 

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