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Title: Constructing urbanism : relating the construction of architecture to the process of urbanization in the Middle Bronze Age southern Levant
Author: Homsher, R. S.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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In this thesis, I seek a framework for understanding urbanization during the early Middle Bronze Age in the southern Levant by identifying and investigating patterns in the archaeological record during the transition from non-urban society and culture to a system of urbanism. The broad focus of my research is how urbanization occurred during this period, by specifically addressing three questions: (1) how were urban settlements built, in terms of materials and building practices? (2) what was the energetic cost of building cities, and how was this construction organized, in terms of resources and labour? and (3) how does this process of construction relate to the overall organizational processes of urbanization? I investigate patterns in the process of construction during this period by detailing architectural innovations throughout the region within their chronological and stratigraphic contexts. My methods include compiling databases of the dimensions of different aspects of architecture at a number of sites, as well as a detailed sampling and geoarchaeological analysis of mud-bricks at three case-study sites (Dan, Megiddo and Pella). By analysing bricks and reconstructing the process of their manufacture and use, I address the energetic cost of building cities, and how construction was organized, in terms of resources and labour. By highlighting the chaîne opértoire of urban construction, I indicate the key socio-economic mechanisms in practice during urbanization and identify degrees of social organization through labour and material resources. Patterns of labour management and modes of production provide a window into social processes otherwise difficult to perceive, including possible power structures and discrete social entities. Taken together with other aspects of technological innovation during this period, architecture allows for a discussion of urbanization as a process of developing social complexity that is based on patterns of standardization measureable through the archaeological record.
Supervisor: Rosen, A. M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available