NIT Lecture: Body Modification in Hittite Anatolia

Netherlands Institute in Turkey (Hollanda Araştırma Enstitüsü - NIT)

Tarih : 12-09-2018 18:30

Image: Hittite Ivory Figurine (1400-1200 BC), British Museum, SOC.151

In traditional societies, status differences are even more rigid and conspicuous than in industrial societies, so that whatever an individual’s body displays is very meaningful. In Hittite Anatolia (XVII-XIIth c. BCE), a person’s body may be modified on several occasions: 1) during purification rituals and cultic events; 2) during a rite of passage; 3) as a punishment or even a curse. Body alterations may be superficial, such as a change of clothes, or more drastic, such as body mistreatments and body markings. Each of them symbolize a person’s change of state: from impure to pure or from one social category to another, for instance.
Alice Mouton holds a Ph.D. (2003) in Hittitology and Assyriology from the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris Sorbonne University) and Leiden University. She is a CNRS scholar (Directeur de Recherche) in Paris. She teaches Hittite language at the Catholic University of Paris. Her research is focused on Hittite religious practices and beliefs and on religious anthropology applied to Hittite Anatolia.

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