Silvia Balatti, Alumni


Silvia Balatti (Italy, 1984)

M.A. in Ancient History and Ancient Near Eastern Studies

PhD project
Mountain People in the Ancient Near East: The Case of the Zagros.
The present project aims at investigating the way of life, the social organization, and the relationship of the mountain people of the Zagros with their surrounding environment and with political authorities of the plains of ancient pastoral societies in the Zagros Mountains. Chronologically speaking, this investigation covers the time span from the Early Iron Age to the Hellenistic period.

The entire corpus of the Neo-Assyrian royal inscriptions and letters has been taken into consideration as well as the royal inscriptions from Urartu, some interesting Neo-Babylonian economic texts, the already published Persepolis Fortification Tablets, and a fair amount of classical sources. A complex scenario, which depicts the lasting presence of several small political or social entities with common features in the Zagros, seems to emerge from the comparative analysis of the texts. In addition, a series of literary topoi and ideological mechanisms has been identified during the analysis of foreign views of the Zagros Mountains and its inhabitants.

Since the economic system of this region was mainly based on transhumant pastoralism, the relationship between the Zagrosian societies and the surrounding mountainous environment and its resources is of primary importance. For this reason, it is necessary to gain a deep knowledge of the ancient environment in order to understand socio-political dynamics and to detect distorted views, which are often suggested by foreign written sources. The small number of palaeoenvironmental investigations carried out in the region has also been considered. They consist predominantly of palynological studies on the organic remains of archaeological sites.

In conclusion, an overview of the main archaeological sites excavated in the region and their remains (especially metal works, building materials, and structures) may validate some information on the characteristics of the people of the Zagros emerging from the analysis of the written sources.

Research interests Ancient Near Eastern history, epigraphy and archaeology; Assyriology; Hittitology, Iranian Studies; Greek history; Cultural anthropology, environmental history.

Since April 2010
Member of the graduate school "Human Development in Landscapes" at the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel.

April 2009
Master degree Università degli Studi di Pavia (Italy) with a thesis on the Luwian-hieroglyphic inscriptions from Tyana/ Kemerishar (southern Cappadocia-Turkey).

September 2003- April 2009
Study of classical and oriental studies/ ancient history at the University of Pavia (Italy).

Internship and researches at the University of Konstanz, Department of History.

Work experience

August - September 2011
Excavation at Kinik Höyük (Università di Pavia/ University of New York). Material processing and excavation in two sectors of the mound with levels from the Iron Age (Neo-Hittite) to the Middle Age (Seljukid) times.

July 2010
Geo-archaeological survey at K¹n¹k Höyük (Southern Cappadocia-Turkey). Typological analysis of the pottery and geo-magnetic survey.

November 2008
Collaboration with the Department of Antiquities of the University of Pavia and IUSS Pavia in organizing the international conference "Geo-archaeological activities in southern Cappadocia".

Part of the project "Archaeological Survey in Southern Cappadocia" of the University of Pavia, Department of Antiquities, Orientalistic Studies.

Assistant at the library "Francesco Petrarca", University of Pavia, Department of Classical Philology, Archaeology and Ancient History.

Several research and archaeological trips to Greece and Middle Eastern countries.

Selected publications

Balatti, S.: The People of the Northern Zagros and the Empires: from the Manneans to the Carduchians’. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Eastern Anatolia and South Caucasus Cultures, 10-13 October Atatürk University and ESRUC Consortium. Erzurum.

Balatti, S.: Some remarks on the dating of the ANDAVAL stela: palaeographic and iconographic analysis`, Anatolica 38 (2012).

in press
Balatti, S., in press. ‘The People of the Northern Zagros and the Empires: from the Manneans to the Carduchians’. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Eastern Anatolia and South Caucasus Cultures, 10th -13th October Atatürk University and ESRUC Consortium. Erzurum.

Balatti, S., 2012. ‘Some remarks on the dating of the ANDAVAL stela: palaeographic and iconographic analysis’, Anatolica 38.

Mora, C., Balatti, S.: Stelae from Tuwana. In: Lanfranchi, G.B., Morandi Bonacossi, D., Pappi, C. and Ponchia S. (eds.) Leggo! Studies presented to Prof. Frederick Mario Fales on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday (Leipziger Altorientalische Studien, 2), Wiesbaden.

Balatti, S., Balza, M. E.: Kinik-Höyük and Southern Cappadocia (Turkey): Geo-Archaeological Activities, Landscapes and Social Spaces, In: Hofmann, R., Moetz, F.K. and Müller, J. (eds.) Tells: Social and Environmental Space (Universitätsforschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie), Bonn.

  • IAA International Association for Assyriology (Leiden)