Women’s position in state administration investigated in Carchemish
Located in the southeastern province of Gaziantep on the Turkey-Syria borderline, Carchemish was the most important administrative center of the Hittites that ruled in the Anatolia and Mesopotamia regions for centuries.
The 10th season excavations in the ancient city of Carchemish, which dates back to 6,000 B.C., have been completed by a Turkish-Italian team under the chairmanship of Professor Nicolo Marchetti from the University of Bologna, Italy, and Associate Professor Hasan Peker from Istanbul University.
The excavations, supported by Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, SANKO Holding and the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry, were carried out in areas that will illuminate the history of the city of Carchemish in detail.
During the work in the eastern part of the lower palace area, more than 100 clay seal impressions - belonging to the highest officials of the Hittite administration - were found in the administrative building called the Seal House.
As the archaeologists found out that two-thirds of the Anatolian hieroglyphic seal impressions belonged to a woman named Matiya, this discovery showed that women might have played a significant economic role in the state administration during that period.
Now the history of women in state administration will also be examined in the ancient era in the region.
This year’s excavations also uncovered the Anatolian hieroglyph, which was first encountered in Anatolia, with an inscription “Manager of the City, …patu” drawn with paint on a pot.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Şahin said that Carchemish was one of the most important archaeological centers in Turkey and the Mediterranean.
Stating that the ancient city will attract the attention of the world, Şahin said: “This city that will bring investment and development in our region and is a unique opportunity for us. We need to have the vision to make this opportunity a reality. The metropolitan municipality believed in this project from the very beginning and gave all kinds of support and will continue to do so.”
Emphasizing that one of the most significant values of Gaziantep is culture, Şahin said: “In 2012, we organized an International Press Day at the excavation site with the Carchemish team. Press members were able to enter the city, which is located in the military zone, after 100 years. Now we have completed the construction of an excavation house and archaeological research center for the team.”
“We believe that the Carchemish project represents enormous potentials for our region. We are proudly celebrating the opening of an archaeological park here since July 2019, and it will greatly benefit the tourism development in the region. We look forward to seeing this unique city on the UNESCO World Heritage List,” he added.