Throughout the Bronze Age, material and historical frameworks attest to a broad cultural interchange between Central Anatolia and the Northeast Mediterranean, superimposed on patterns of regional differentiation. After the demise of the Hittite Empire, around 1200 BCE, political unity and strong cultural interference left place to a more fragmented panorama, coupled with a conspicuous reduction in interregional contacts evidenced by archaeological, linguistic, and historical sources. This paper explores how cultural interactions were reshaped during this transition. We show that niches of cross-regional convergence existed in the 8th century BCE, as especially evidenced by the distribution of religious motifs in the Syro-Anatolian area, chiefly the Storm-god of the Vineyard. We propose that this convergence was made possible by the local diachronic resilience of cultic traditions facilitated by a limited, cross-regional, synchronic interference.
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