The ethnical history of Kizzuwatna: an onomastic approach

  • Vladimir Shelestin


The mixed nature of Kizzuwatna’s population is widely accepted by the scholars, considering the Hurrians and the Luwians its main components. Which of these peoples came to the Cilician plain earlier than another one, is the subject of the discussion between archaeologists and linguists. In the course of this discussion, the onomastic and toponymical data were underestimated and became the subject of my investigation.
The onomastic data collected from the historical and ritual texts coming from Kizzuwatna, seals and sealings discovered or bought at the Cilician plain give us a collection of proper names dating to Middle Hittite, New Hittite and Late New Hittite periods. Their distribution by language and period gives us the picture of the Hurrian domination in the Middle Hittite period. By the Late New Hittite period the Luwian names became prevailing. This trend supports the scenario of the Hurrian earlier arrival. Both Hittite and Luwian presence in the Middle Hittite period should reflect the traces of the first conquest of Kizzuwatna by the Old Hittite kingdom, and the Luwian influence increased after the second conquest of Kizzuwatna by the New Hittite kingdom. The geographical distribution between Luwian West and Hurrian East should be further investigated on the ground of the place names of the Cilician plain through ages.

How to Cite
Shelestin, V. (2019). The ethnical history of Kizzuwatna: an onomastic approach. BAF-Online: Proceedings of the Berner Altorientalisches Forum, 3.
Panel 4: Group & Self