The Lydians and Their Neighbors

Ethnolinguistic Identities and Cultural Contact in Anatolia around 700-330 BC

Friday, December 13, 2019


Organized by Rostislav Oreshko and hosted by the Center for Hellenic Studies, the workshop on “The Lydians and Their Neighbors” aims to take another look at what constitutes the most inherent and defining features of the Lydian people and the Lydian culture – from material culture to religious beliefs and to language and social organization. Chronologically, the discussion will naturally focus on the period before the onset of the extensive Hellenization of Lydia, i.e. on the so-called ‘Lydian’ (ca. 700-540 BC) and ‘Persian’ (ca. 540 BC-330 BC) periods, but later evidence will also be taken into account. Geographically, it will cover not only Lydia proper, but also areas further east (Phrygia) and south-east (Phrygian-Pisidian borderlands). The chosen perspective – the Lydians and their neighbors – underlines the comparative and contrastive approach: to define the Lydians one has to know what the non-Lydians are and, on the other hand, to make a distinction between general areal – as ‘Anatolian’ or ‘Aegean’ – and specifically Lydian features. The discussion will further touch upon the questions of cultural contact and cultural blending, which was a remarkable phenomenon in Anatolia even before the Hellenistic period.


10:00-10:15am Introduction

10:15-10:55am Nicholas Cahill: “Lydian Cultural Identity in Everyday Utensils”

10:55-11:35am Güzin Eren: “Building Cultural Identity: Monumental Architecture in Early Lydian Sardis”

11:35am-12:15pm William Bruce: “Cybele, Puppy Dinners, and Religious Cult in the Lydian and Persian Periods”

2:00-2:40pm Milena Anfosso: “Between Lydia and Phrygia: the Case Study of Kelainai”

2:40-3:20pm Brian Rose: “The Lydians at Gordion”

3:40-4:20pm Elizabeth Baughan: “«Lydian» Tomb Traditions Outside of Lydia”

4:20-5:00pm Rostislav Oreshko: “Cultural Contact and Creation of Lydian Identity: Epigraphic and Linguistic perspectives”