Hollanda Araştırma Enstitüsü  -  Nederlands Instituut in Turkije

28 Nov 18:30

Lecture Commanding views. Anchors of territory in the landscape of Pergamon

Christina Williamson

NIT, Istanbul, Turkey

28 Nov 18:30

This research investigates how landmark sites and their commanding views were used as organizing principles in the ancient city of Pergamon, seat of the Attalid dynasty in the Hellenistic era. As it developed into a kingdom, Pergamon was made the centripetal focus of a visual network of authority constructed from local sacred, heroic, and military landscapes. Under constant threat of war, the immediacy of visible power in the territory would have been a prime concern to the emerging state; archaeological fieldwork has recently demonstrated a significant increase in monumental sites on prominent hilltops coinciding with the rise of Pergamon, making it now possible to explore the expression and reception of the Residenzstadt in the wider region. Instead of borders, this research focuses on the internal mechanisms of how landscape is turned into territory by examining political change through the lens of visibility, with the help of GIS-driven viewshed-analyses. This paper reflects a project using data from the DAI fieldwork in Pergamon; funding was provided by NWO (Rubicon grant), and the research was conducted in Pergamon and at Brown University in 2014-15, at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.