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Title: Early Bronze Age urbanisation in upper Mesopotamia : ceramic production and exchange in the middle Euphrates valley, northern Syria.
Author: Mavros, Michael
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1999
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Recent archaeological research has viewed movements towards urbanisation and socio-political complexity in the periphery of Mesopotamia as a result of southern influence. While this study recognises the importance of interregional exchange in regional socio-political developments, and underlying world system theories, it holds that understanding of local urban growth can only be further advanced at the intraregional level. Archaeologists have also traditionally seen increasing sociopolitical complexity in a direct linkage with ever increasing specialisation in craft production which presumably is controlled by emerging elites or centralised institutions. To examine the organisation of ceramic production within one region of Upper Mesopotamia and its relation to the mid-late third millennium Be urbanisation, a ceramic compositional analysis was undertaken. Representative pottery from the Middle Euphrates valley in northern Syria was analysed by application of neutron activation analysis and multivariate statistical analysis. The results of this investigation suggest that the majority of the Middle Euphrates ceramics were not incorporated into the political economy and therefore their production was not politically controlled. Site-specific production of ceramics was the dominant pattern. This is also supported by the written evidence, and is in accordance with recent studies in Upper Mesopotamia which preclude a ceramic role in a developing regional political economy. However, the patterns for some fine ware subsets suggest production in a more limited number of nucleated workshops possibly associated with major urban centres within the valley. These ceramic subsets due to style or function probably had a special role within the regional political economy, a suggestion which is also supported by the mortuary and glyptic evidence. Overall, ceramic production does not appear to have been incorporated into the regional political economy, but rather to intersect it. However, the Middle Euphrates valley ceramic production organisation seems to have been complex and regionally integrated, which is in line with the urban processes and intensification attested in the mid-late third millennium. Finally, the analyses also provide additional insight into typological problems connected with the ceramics that were examined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available