PhD ceremony: Ms. C.G. Williamson, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Dissertation: City and sanctuary in Hellenistic Asia Minor. Constructing civic identity in the sacred landscapes of Mylasa and Stratonikeia in Karia
Promotor(s): prof. O.M. van Nijf, prof. F. Pirson, prof. P.A.J. Attema
In the third to first centuries BC, several developing cities in Asia Minor (Turkey) had protective deities whose temple complexes were located deep in the countryside, well beyond the city limits. Christina Williamson explores this phenomenon by examining in close detail four case studies, all of which are located in Karia, in southwest Asia Minor. These are the sanctuaries of Zeus at Labraunda and Sinuri and their relationship with the ancient city of Mylasa, underwent a major reorganization in the second half of the third century BC, and the sanctuaries of Hekate at Lagina and Zeus at Panamara in connection with the expansion of the city of Stratonikeia, a new foundation in roughly the same period. This research has a strong interdisciplinary character and has produced a methodological framework which draws on historical and archaeological studies, but also cognitive psychology, socio-geographical studies, and network theory, in order to adequately assess this phenomenon. A close application of this framework has demonstrated how these seemingly remote sanctuaries were critical to a number of transformative processes in city formation and how their festivals and processions were vital in establishing social cohesion, territorial integrity, and civic identity among hybrid and dispersed communities.
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