Palatial Architecture and the Mitanni Mode of Governance: a Cross-Comparative Analysis of Administrative Centers from Tell Brak, Alalakh, and Nuzi

Matthew Gracia : Near Eastern Studies

Mentor: Professor Marian Feldman, Near Eastern Studies

Matthew hopes to contribute to discussion within scholarship of the Ancient Near East on the study of the Mitanni state, a polity in Upper Mesopotamia that attained international power during the second millennium BCE. He proposes to elucidate one, fairly restricted aspect of the larger question regarding the Mitannian system of governance by comparing recently published information on palatial administrative architecture from a site in the Mitanni heartland, Tell Brak, with the much more extensively documented peripheral sites of Alalakh and Nuzi. Through this cross-comparative study of the three administrative buildings, Matthew proposes to hypothesize potential connections between use of space and structure of empire, and conclude whether the architecture in the periphery was used in the same way, and by the same people, as the Brak administrative center, which can be securely situated in a quintessentially Mitanni framework.