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The origins, development, and spatial distribution of medieval fortifications and rural settlements in Cilicia 1075-1375

Vandekerckhove, Dweezil 2014. The origins, development, and spatial distribution of medieval fortifications and rural settlements in Cilicia 1075-1375. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The migration of the Armenian people into Cilicia in the late 11th century AD was caused by an agreement of several Armenian princes with the Byzantine emperor to leave their homelands to the north in return for imperial military appointments in Cappadocia, Mesopotamia, and Cilicia. Following the defeat of the emperor, Romanos Diogenes, at Manzikert by the Seljuk Turks in 1071, however, the Byzantines gradually lost control of these territories, allowing the Armenians to establish more or less independent chieftaincies there. This culminated in 1198 in the establishment of an Armenian kingdom in the region of Cilicia, which lasted until the Mamluk conquest in 1375. A dearth of historical sources makes it difficult to establish a definite framework for the political history of the period. This doctoral thesis focuses on the origins, development, and spatial distribution of fortified sites in the Armenian Kingdom (1198-1375). Through the examination of known and newly identified castles, this work increased the number of sites and features to be associated with the Armenian Kingdom. Furthermore, it examines the historical landscape of medieval fortifications and analyzes their relationship with several variables, such as nearby un-surveyed rural settlements. Despite the abundance of archaeological remains, little work had focused on the Armenian heritage. In his 1987 book, Robert Edwards argued that the organization of the Armenians in Cilicia represented the triumph of a non-urban strategy. According to Edwards military architecture developed as a primary alternative to urban organization. It is my aim with this work to refine his ideas with new archaeological evidence. It is an attempt to develop a comprehensive and flexible model that explains the role of the military fortifications not as just the product of one particular strategy. Although many of the sites are still relatively well preserved, the project is also timely, as the continuing expansion of the population into the Cilician Highlands is causing archaeological remains to be plundered for building material.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Funders: AHRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 17:20

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