Landscape monuments and political competition in late Bronze Age Anatolia: an investigation of costly signaling theory

Glatz, C. and Plourde, A.M. (2011) Landscape monuments and political competition in late Bronze Age Anatolia: an investigation of costly signaling theory. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 361, pp. 33-66.

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Abstract

Stone monuments as instruments for the display of political and ideological power are a well-established cross-cultural tradition in early state societies and empires. In this paper we take another look at the question of ‘Why build monuments?’, more precisely: why build monuments in the landscape away from urban centers, which form the main focus for socio-political display, competition and negotiation in these societies. We do so with reference to the landscape monuments of Late Bronze Age Anatolia and the power-political dynamics of the Hittite empire to which they bear witness. Contrary to previous interpretations, we argue that these monuments are not commemorative of Hittite hegemony, but are the media through which ongoing territorial contests are at least partially moderated. Using Costly Signaling Theory as a theoretical framework we formulate a simple, but explicit, model of landscape monument construction, which generates a series temporal and spatial expectations to aide in the interpretation of landscape monuments in Anatolia and elsewhere.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Glatz, Professor Claudia
Authors: Glatz, C., and Plourde, A.M.
Subjects:C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CN Inscriptions. Epigraphy.
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
ISSN:0003-097X
ISSN (Online):2161-8062

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