Violence and the Fall of the Akkadian Empire

Photo: Skeletal Remains at Titris Hoyuk

Courtesy: Titris Hoyuk Archive



Turkish archaeologist Omur Dilek Erdal has found an Early Bronze Age site in southern Turkey that contains the remains of men, women, and children. According to Erdal, the mass killings is associated with the fall of the Akkadian Empire.

Below is an excerpt from the article detailing the discovery:

Erdal of Hacettepe University, Department of Anthropology, Ankara, also suggested that the distressed social and economic situations following the fall of Akkadian Empire may have forced incidents of violence and massacre in Titris Hoyuk. The Akkadian Empire reigned in Mesopotamia, the region that constituted the present-day southeastern Turkey.

Earlier, it was widely believed that the Anatolians did not experience violence, but the latest research on the skeletal remains of Titris Hoyuk site depicts that violence rather spread in Anatolia during the Bronze Age (3000-1200 BC), starting in the Early Bronze Age .

“Current interpretations of the fractures identified on this sample, which includes individuals from all age and sex groups, ranging from infants to old adults, suggests that they were victims of violence,” Erdal said.

Large scale development of fortifications at Titris Hoyuk towards the end of the Early Bronze Age is yet another factor that intrigues archaeologists to believe that massacres may have occurred at this ancient site with outside invaders having killed the people.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary


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