Reflecting on the Thebes Treasure and its Kassite Findings, The Glyptic Art and its Geo-Political Context and Distribution

Document Type : Original Research Article

Author

PhD, Italian Society Preservation Cultural Heritage, Italy

Abstract

Kassites were an Iranian ethnic group and lived in the Zagros Mountains. Although the origin of Kassites is not certain, many scholars, according to archaeological, linguistic studies, and ancient written sources, have tended to target the Zagros Mountains (it is probable Luristan province) as their original homeland. They ruled Babylonia almost continuously from 17/16th to c.1155 BC. The Elamites conquered Babylonia in the 12th BC. Individual Kassites occupied important positions in the kingdom of Babylonia and even Karduniash. In accordance with the history, archaeology, and art of the Kassites, significant studies have been conducted outside Iran and the results have been published in books and articles, but no appropriate research has been done in Iran during this period. The discovery of a Kassite group of seals in Greece probably indicates cultural-political exchanges in that region. This paper studies the Kassite seals reflecting on the so-called Thebes treasure (Greece) and its findings referred to the Kassite group of the Late Bronze Age. The research method is descriptive-analytical (content) which is based on library studies. Many questions are addressed in this research, but the main questions are consisting of 1- Why and how were the Near Eastern Seals imported to Thebes into an Aegean palatial centres? 2 - How were the chronology and the usage of the seals? 3 - Were they also intended to be used as raw material? 4 - Was it because they were considered to be simple jewellery or because of their amuletic character? The seals are coming from various regions (Mesopotamia, Syria, Hittite Anatolia, Cyprus) and perhaps preserved all together in a wooden box. The meaning of this collection is enforced because of the other precious objects found with the seals revealing how this treasure represents the most important finding of Kassite archeology outside the Mesopotamia and its strong impact on the Greek culture.

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