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A Note on the Anatolian Connections of the Tôd Treasure

  • K. R. Maxwell-Hyslop


Since the detailed study by Edith Porada of the cylinder seals and small objects from the celebrated treasure found in the temple of Mont at Tôd in Upper Egypt, questions concerning its origin and date still remain unanswered. Porada suggested that in addition to seals from Eastern Iran and possibly Afghanistan, a North Syrian origin for two of the cylinders seems a distinct possibility. Two other cylinder seals were carved in Mesopotamian style, one of them being datable to the period of the Third Dynasty of Ur. She also showed conclusively that there are no cylinders which can be dated later than 1800 B.C. (Middle Chronology) and that the latest cylinders belonged to the Isin-Larsa period. Her conclusions concerning the origin of the treasure and the importance of parallels for the amulets and other small objects with material from Mari and Ebla are entirely convincing. A recent study by Christine Lilyquist stresses the evidence for a date within the reign of Amenemhet II for the deposition of the treasure which was found in four metal boxes inscribed with the king's name. While in studies concerning the 153 silver vessels Cretan and Mycenaean prototypes have been cited, Anatolia has not received so much attention. Here it will be suggested that there is considerable recently published evidence from Anatolia and Syria which is relevant to the Tôd silver cups, and that a consideration of recently published textual material from Mari, Ebla, Rimah and Brak may also be useful.



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1 Porada, E., “Remarks on the Tôd treasure in Egypt”, in Societies and Languages of the Ancient Near East: Studies in Honor of I. M. Diakonoff eds. Dandamayev, M. A. et al. (Warminster, 1982), 285303.

2 Lilyquist, Christine, “Granulations and glass: chronological and stylistic investigations at selected sites, ca. 2500–1400 B.C.” in BASOR 290291 (1993), 2994. Schemes for the date of Amenemhet II (traditional date 1929–1892 B.C.) may now differ by about 20 years (information from J. Malek). Lilyquist prefers Kitchen's date, 1901–1866. See also Schachermeyr, F., Ägäis und Orient 4 (1967), 57; Matthäus, H. “Die Bronzegefässe der Kretisch-Mykenischen Kultur” in Prähistorische Bronzefunde Abt. II.1 (Munich, 1980) 249 ff.

3 de la Roque, F. Bisson, Trésor de Tôd (Catalogue Générale des Antiquités Égyptiennes du Musée du Caire Nos. 70501–754; de la Roque, F. Bisson, Contenau, G., Chapouthier, F., Le trésor de Tôd, Documents de Fouilles de l'Institut Français d'Arch. Orientale du Caire, XI (1953); Vandier, J., “À propos d'un dépôt de provenance asiatique trouvé à Tôd”, Syria 18, 174 ff.

4 Matthews, D. and Eidem, J., “Tell Brak and Nagar”, Iraq LV (1993), 204.

5 Maran, Joseph, “Die Silbergefässe von et-Tôd und die Schachtgräberzeit auf dem griechischen Festland”, PZ 62 (1987) 221–7; Laffineur, R., “Réflections sur le trésor de Tôd”, Aegeum 2 (1988), 1730, and Material and craftsmanship in the Mycenae shaft graves”, Minos NS XXV–XXVI (19901991), 245–95. See also Hood, S., The Arts in Prehistoric Greece (Harmondsworth, 1978), 153–66; Warren, P. and Hankey, V., Aegean Bronze Age Chronology (Bristol, 1989). For examples of Vapheio cups with cotton-reel handles portrayed in Egyptian tombs of the 18th Dynasty see Kantor, , The Aegean and the Orient in the Second Millennium B.C. (1947), pl. IX D, E.

6 Davis, E. N., The Vapheio Cups and Aegean Gold and Silver Ware (New York, 1977) 72; Özgüç, T., Kültepe-Kaniş II (Ankara, 1986), pl. 124, 16, 17; Temizer, R., “Kayapınar Hüyügü Buluntaları”, Belleten XVIII (1954), Res. 15; Metal Vessels, Museum of Anatolian Civilisations (Ankara, 1992) No. 34 (note the handle is shown with no. 33 but belongs to no. 34); see Temizer in Belleten, op. cit.

7 Özgüç, and Temizer, , “The Eskiyapar Treasure” in Studies in Honor of Nimet Özgüç (Ankara, 1993) 613–28; Haller, A., Die Gräber und Grüfte von Assur (Berlin, 1954) Taf. 10 h; Calmeyer, P., “Das Grab eines altassyrischen Kaufmanns”, Iraq XXXIX (1977) 8197; Bittel, K., JDAI 74 (1959) 134: Metal Vessels (see n. 6) nos. 28, 29, 32, 37, 41–43.

8 Özgüç, T., “New Observations on the relationship of Kültepe with S.E. Anatolia and North Syria during the Third Millennium B.C.” in Ancient Anatolia, Aspects of change and Cultural Development, Essays in Honor of Machteld J. Mellink (Madison, 1986), 3147.

9 Metal Vessels (see n. 6) Nos. 16, 17, 18, from Alaca, No. 32 from Eskiyapar; Bisson de la Roque, Documents de l'Institut Français, Pl. XV, No. 70583.

10 Özgüç, , “New finds from Horoztepe”, Anatolia VIII (1964) 125.

11 Özgüç, , “Some early Bronze Age objects from the district of Çorum”, Belleten XLIV (1980) pl. X, 468, 471.

12 D., and Oates, J., “Excavations at Tell Brak, 1992–3”, Iraq LV (1993) 155–99, figs. 12, 15; Documents de l'Institut Français, pl. IV.

13 Frayne, D. R., Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia II, Early Periods 2, Sargonic and Gutian Periods, No. 11, p. 27. For Yarmuti see Röllig, in RLA V 266, where a location in the coastal area of Southern Lebanon is proposed.

14 Analysed silver artifacts from Yener's eastern artifact group 2 include silver ingots from a pve-karum level at Acem Hüyük, a hoard of silver ingots from Mahatlar and a silver vessel from Alaca. Analysed silver artifacts from Syria and Mesopotamia include an Old Assyrian bracelet from Assur, a ring from Tello, a silver cup from Ur (PG800) and silver artifacts from Khafajeh. See Sayre, , Yener, , Joel, , “Statistical evaluation of the presently accumulated lead isotope data from Anatolia and the surrounding regions”, Archaeometry 34, 1 (1992), 73105, and Yener, K. A., “The 1993 excavation season at Göltepe, Turkey”, in Archaeology (1994), Oriental Institute Annual Report, 33–42.

15 Archi, A. in Syrie, Mémoire et Civilisation, Catalogue of the Paris Exhibition 19931994, 112–13.

16 Alkım, U. B., AS XIV (1964), 2325, AS XV (1965) 2930; Anatolia I (Geneva, 1968), and in Archaeology 22 (1969), 288–9.

17 Woolley, C. L., Ur Excavations II, pls. 112, 113.

18 Limet, H., Le travail du métal au pays de Sumer au temps de la IIIe Dynastie d'Ur (Paris, 1960), 47, 144 ff.

19 ARM VII No. 239; ARM VI, nos. 14, 23; Guichard, M. in Syrie, Mémoire et Civilisation, 198. For the possibility that inventories of precious objects may sometimes refer to a special technique associated with a country rather than the actual origin of the object, see Maxwell-Hyslop, , “An illustration to a Mari inventory”, Iraq XXXIII (1970) 165.

20 M. Guichard, op. cit. 196–9.

21 Archi, A. in Syrie, Mémoire et Civilisation, 113, 116 f., 111.

22 Matthiae, F., I Tresori di Ebla (Rome-Bari, 1984) Tav. 84.

23 See n. 2.

A Note on the Anatolian Connections of the Tôd Treasure

  • K. R. Maxwell-Hyslop


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