Wine and Viticulture in Hittite Anatolia

Lead: Dr Carlo Corti
Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (2015–18)

The objective of the project Wine and Viticulture in Hittite Anatolia is an exhaustive study of viticulture and wine in Hittite Anatolia based on a comprehensive evaluation of the textual sources, in particular the large body of Hittite cuneiform texts; while primarily a Hittitological research programme, the analysis and interpretation of the textual sources will be aided by the use of archaeological data as it emerges from excavations, landscape analysis and palaeobotanical research.

The scope of the topic comprises not only a wide array of various genres of texts from the Hittite archives but also concerns various segments of Hittite culture: economy and administration; society, labour and royal ideology; religious ideas, cult of the gods and funerary practices.

The individual objectives of the proposed research programme whose results will be published as an authored book are

  1. a comprehensive, context-based lexical analysis of the complex terminology associated with viticulture and its products in texts from Hittite Anatolia,
  2. a reconstruction of the main vine cultivation areas of Hittite Anatolia and an analysis of their position within the organizational structures of the Hittite state,
  3. a reconstruction of the distributional structures that connected vine cultivation and wine production with the main places of consumption, especially the Hittite temple cult,
  4. a study of the experts and workers associated with viticulture,
  5. a study of the symbolic values attributed to the vine and to wine in Hittite society and of the contexts in which these symbolic values are employed, especially within the sphere of the cult,
  6. reconstructions and critical editions of a selection of cuneiform texts that are key for an understanding of Hittite viticulture (including an online presentation of these texts within the framework of the Hethitologie-Portal Mainz: http://www.hethport.uni-wuerzburg.de).