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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 2011 → Specialized pastoralism and urban process in third millennium BC Northern Mesopotamia a treatment of zooarchaeological data from the Khabur Basin of Syria

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY (2011)

Specialized pastoralism and urban process in third millennium BC Northern Mesopotamia a treatment of zooarchaeological data from the Khabur Basin of Syria

Rufolo, Scott J.

Titre : Specialized pastoralism and urban process in third millennium BC Northern Mesopotamia a treatment of zooarchaeological data from the Khabur Basin of Syria

Auteur : Rufolo, Scott J.

Université de soutenance : JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2011

Résumé
Over the course of the third millennium BC, the human landscape of northern Mesopotamia transitioned from a period of small, dispersed settlements to one characterized by a more diverse network of villages, towns, and cities . This event was one component of a larger phenomenon that saw the emergence of urban networks throughout the broader Near East, a shift in socioeconomic structures that has been termed the "Second Urban Revolution." Located in its geographic core, the Khabur Basin in northeastern Syria hosted several large urban centers that crystallized around 2600 BC. In addition, the middle stretch of the Khabur River was dotted with numerous small sites, founded in the early centuries of the millennium and featuring an unusual concentration of storage and craft facilities. These settlements flourished up until about 2400 BC, largely being abandoned in tandem with the rise of the cities to the north. The purpose of the Middle Khabur villages has been the subject of much discussion in the academic literature. Preliminary examination of the animal bone assemblages recovered from four of these Syrian sites - ’Atij, Gudeda, Raqa’i, and Ziyadeh - detected the development of specialized pastoralism, prompting some to conclude that their economy focused in part on the production of wool. The scale of the economic network, the scope of the Middle Khabur’s involvement, and the manner in which it resulted from and contributed to urban growth in northern Mesopotamia all remain unsettled questions, however. Through a more detailed zooarchaeological analysis, the faunal material from these four sites is reconsidered here in order to model the evolution of husbandry practices over the course of the Early Bronze Age (3000-2000 BC). Taxonomic abundance profiles, survivorship curves, and body part distributions document a varied set of subsistence practices and pastoral strategies, lacking signals of a tightly integrated regional economy controlled in large part by urban authorities. Rather, they appear to have been a more independent and localized expression of greater sociocultural complexity born on the margins of early state-level societies whose centralization and territorial control were more circumscribed than has historically been thought for the early Near Eastern state

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