Public lecture to explore links between Troy and the Hittites

Published 20 April 2010

lionA public lecture at the University of New England next week will include a fresh examination of the story of the Trojan War based on the latest archaeological discoveries.

UNE’s Maurice Kelly Annual Lecture for 2010, titled “A tale of two cities: Troy and the Hittite capital Hattusa”, will be presented on Wednesday 28 April by one of the world’s most eminent authorities on the civilisations of the ancient Near East, Professor Trevor Bryce.

Trevor Bryce, who was Professor of Classics and Ancient History at UNE from 1984 to 1993, has published 12 books and about 100 book chapters and scholarly articles – primarily on the history and civilisations of the ancient Near East. These include The Kingdom of the Hittites (Oxford, 1998, 2005), Life and Society in the Hittite World (Oxford, 2002), The Trojans and their Neighbours (Routledge, 2005), and The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia (2009). The 944-page Handbook contains about 1,500 entries on the kingdoms, countries, cities and population groups of Anatolia, Cyprus, Syria-Palestine, Mesopotamia, Iran and parts of central Asia – from the early Bronze Age to the end of the Persian Empire.

Trevor Bryce is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and an Emeritus Professor at UNE. He is currently an Honorary Research Consultant in the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics at the University of Queensland. He has been a consultant for – and has appeared in – a number of television documentaries on Troy and the Hittites.

His lecture on Wednesday 28 April, in Room 111 of UNE’s Education Building, will be at 5.30 pm (preceded by light refreshments at 5 pm). “In the lecture I’ll be looking at the development of Troy and the Hittite capital Hattusa, and the picture we can build up of their history and society through both archaeology and written sources,” he said. “I’ll be discussing the most recent excavations of the sites and the conclusions that we can draw from them. This will involve a new examination of the story of the Trojan War, and the ways in which tablets found in Hattusa’s archives have contributed to the debate about whether such a war took place.”

This year’s Maurice Kelly Lecture will be the 14th in the annual series. The lecture, named in honour of Dr Maurice Kelly, is presented each year by the committee of UNE’s Museum of Antiquities. Dr Kelly, who has lived in Armidale since 1954, established the Museum – which houses a collection of national significance – in 1959.