Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Art & Archaeology of Mediterranean World

First Advisor

Charles B. Rose


Scholars have characterized the 8th to 6th centuries BCE of the eastern Mediterranean as a period of increasing contact and exchange between the cultures of the Near East and those of Greece and Etruria. This “Orientalizing” period, in which objects, motifs, ideas, and skills were adopted and adapted from the east by the Greeks, has increasingly been seen as fruitful ground for exploring modern discourses on Orientalism and Globalization. As Classical and Near Eastern scholars have deconstructed these monolithic visions of the “Greeks” and the “East,” a much more complicated and nuanced vision of cultural interaction in this period has come into focus. However, while our understanding of the role of, for example, the Assyrians and Phoenicians has greatly increased, the importance of Anatolia and the central Anatolian civilizations of Phrygia and Lydia in these networks of interaction remain underexplored, or, indeed, ignored. Given the historiographical tradition that posits Anatolia, or modern Turkey, as the West’s entrée into the Middle East, an investigation of the role these two regions played in this period is worthy of new examination. This dissertation, therefore, explores the ways in which elements of Anatolian culture were taken up and adapted by the Greeks, and does so through three main bodies of evidence: the cult of the Anatolian Mother Goddess, Phrygian bronze bowls and fibulae, and the early use of the Greek and Phrygian alphabets. Drawing upon postcolonial theories like hybridity, middle ground, and appropriation, the dissertation further explores the social role these Anatolian objects, ideas, and images held in early Greek society. Ultimately, it is demonstrated that, rather than a quiescent backwater of the dynamic Levant, Anatolia was an important component of the Greeks’ encounter with, and conception of, the east, and played a critical role in the development of its art and society.

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