Artistic reconstruction of Late Bronze Age Troy (VIIa) as described by Guido de Columnis, Historia Destructionis Troiae (5.100-245) in 1287 (© Christoph Haußner)
Colloquium on Luwian Studies to be held in ZurichJune 13, 2016
Luwian language and script will be the primary subjects of the first colloquium of the foundation Luwian Studies, which will be held on 3 November Read more ...
Luwian Studies receives global media attentionMay 14, 2016
The launch of the Luwian Studies’s website in English and German received much media attention around the globe: New Scientist, NZZ, Die Zeit, Popular Archaeology, Read more ...
Book “The Luwian Civilization” has appearedMay 11, 2016
The foundation Luwian Studies today announced the go-live of its website in English and German as well as the publication of a book entitled “The Read more ...
- The book "The Luwian Civilization" can now be ordered online in German speaking countries: https://t.co/hxGN6LZqCl https://t.co/Y8rNwpkFjZ
- Earlier books by Eberhard Zangger are available for free download as PDF https://t.co/CA6g15yjpB https://t.co/lCA6Mu1Yvf
- The first colloquium by @LuwianStudies takes place Nov 3 in the Medieval part of Zurich: https://t.co/ZdycxEIWnz https://t.co/XvJsOfY5Ph
A new perspective on Aegean prehistory
This website invites you to a journey into the past, when the so-called Sea Peoples raided the coasts of the Eastern Mediterranean and Greek heroes set off to conquer legendary Troy. The majority of civilizations around the Eastern Mediterranean disappeared within a few years shortly after 1200 BCE. Here you will find for the first time a coherent reconstruction of what might have happened. Instead of natural disasters and unknown invaders, the thus far little-known Luwian people will now assume the pivotal role in triggering this demise. Once their significance is acknowledged, answers to a number of hitherto puzzling questions in Mediterranean Archaeology are likely to fall into place.
During the second millennium BCE people speaking a Luwian language lived throughout Asia Minor. They were contemporaries, trading partners, and at times opponents of the well-known Minoan, Mycenaean, and Hittite cultures of Greece and Asia Minor.
However, the Luwians in Asia Minor possessed the knowledge of writing at least five centuries before it became customary at Mycenaean courts. And when the art of writing was lost in Greece at the end of the Bronze Age, it still persisted amongst Luwians for as long as half a millennium. In the 19th century European scholars discovered these Luwian inscriptions long before the first Mycenaean, Minoan, and Hittite documents.
The territory inhabited by Luwian-speaking populations was about three times as large as the core area of the Mycenaean civilization and five times as large as that of the Hittite. We know already today as many Luwian settlement sites as Mycenaean, Minoan, and Hittite combined. The world’s first large-scale excavation of a prehistoric archaeological site was Troy, a citadel in Luwian territory. And still today this is the most important stratified archaeological site in the world.
Yet the Luwians have remained completely unknown archaeologically. They do not appear on any political map of the Aegean Bronze Age, and there are still virtually no prehistorians who would say publicly that the Luwians ever wielded economic and political power.
What are the main new ideas and suggestions put forward by Luwian Studies?
- Archaeological research has thus far overlooked an entire civilization in western Turkey.
- 340 settlements of this Luwian civilization which were inhabited during most of the 2nd millennium BCE have been systematically recorded for the first time. [more]
- For the first time, the end of the Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean can be plausibly explained – as a sequence of three different wars. [more]
- The city of Troy has not been found yet. Its remains are buried 5-6 meter deep in the alluvial plain of the Scamander River below the citadel of Ilion, whose excavated ruins attract countless tourists. [more]
- The Troy myth that existed from antiquity to the time of Shakespeare rests on genuine memories of the Bronze Age city, fragments of which have been preserved and transmitted in ancient and medieval texts up until today. [more]
- Past events much like those in the present are primarily determined by politics, the economy and technological advances. If we want to better understand past cultures, these issues need to be examined more closely. [more]
- Archaeology was conceived at a time when Europe fought the Ottoman Empire. Until the 20th century paradigms were formulated to amplify European civilizations while belittling those on Turkish soil. [more]
Interactive Map of the Luwian Civilization (c. 1800–1200 BCE)
“Luwian” is used to designate people and places of the 2nd mill. BCE in western Asia Minor that clearly belonged neither to the Mycenaean realm in southern Greece nor to the Hittite kingdom in central Asia Minor. This definition leaves virtually all of western Anatolia to be occupied by what we consider Luwians.
Over the past few years, researchers at Luwian Studies have recorded substantial archaeological settlement sites in this region as they already appear dispersed in the scientific literature. This worked has been backed up by satellite image analysis, field check and extensive use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
The main characteristics of the physical environment of western Asia Minor are highlighted in this map and can be activated individually. The names of the Late Bronze Age petty states in western Asia Minor are well known from Hittite documents. However, experts do not agree on their geographic positions. Different models can be selected below.
Please activate check boxes: