Women’s position in state administration investigated in Carchemish

It has been determined that most of the 100 seal impressions, which were unearthed during the excavations carried out in the ancient city of Carchemish (Karkamış), belonged to a woman named Matiya.


Located in the southeastern province of Gaziantep on the Turkey-Syria borderline, Carchemish was the most important administrative center of the Hittites that ruled in the Anatolia and Mesopotamia regions for centuries.

The 10th season excavations in the ancient city of Carchemish, which dates back to 6,000 B.C., have been completed by a Turkish-Italian team under the chairmanship of Professor Nicolo Marchetti from the University of Bologna, Italy, and Associate Professor Hasan Peker from Istanbul University.

The excavations, supported by Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, SANKO Holding and the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry, were carried out in areas that will illuminate the history of the city of Carchemish in detail.

During the work in the eastern part of the lower palace area, more than 100 clay seal impressions - belonging to the highest officials of the Hittite administration - were found in the administrative building called the Seal House.

As the archaeologists found out that two-thirds of the Anatolian hieroglyphic seal impressions belonged to a woman named Matiya, this discovery showed that women might have played a significant economic role in the state administration during that period.


Now the history of women in state administration will also be examined in the ancient era in the region.

This year's excavations also uncovered the Anatolian hieroglyph, which was first encountered in Anatolia, with an inscription "Manager of the City, …patu" drawn with paint on a pot.


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