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Exploring the rural landscape of the Neo-Assyrian Empire: settlement increase in the Iron Age Near East

Yahambaram, Parthiban; (2018) Exploring the rural landscape of the Neo-Assyrian Empire: settlement increase in the Iron Age Near East. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The Neo-Assyrian Empire was a complex political entity that controlled most of the Near East from the 9th to the 7th centuries BCE. This empire has been described in recent scholarship as having made a unique imprint on the regional landscape. This thesis is a re-examination of the archaeological evidence that explores the changes in settlement patterns that have been noted in surveys carried out in various parts of the Near East. It also examines excavation evidence from a number of sites in former Assyrian provinces in order to obtain a clearer picture of the rural landscape of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and to consider whether the Pax Assyriaca hypothesis provides a valid interpretative framework for the survey and excavation evidence. The thesis will reconsider the survey data from the Tigris-Euphrates Archaeological Reconnaissance Project, which was used to support the ‘agricultural colonisation’ hypothesis proposed by Bradley Parker, and compare this with evidence obtained from other surveys conducted in Syro-Mesopotamia and the southern Levant. It will then examine excavation evidence from a series of sites – a medium-sized tell in the upper Euphrates region, four small sites in the Upper Tigris valley, four other small sites in Syro-Mesopotamia and two small sites in the southern Levant. These sites have been selected to provide a sample of the different kinds of settlements that were established in the Assyrian countryside. The examined evidence will show that there was a definite increase in settlement in the Neo-Assyrian period, which means that these changes are likely to have been the result of Assyrian policy. The thesis will then conclude with a discussion of the different roles (either agricultural or military) played by these sites, and of the potential function of the larger buildings discovered in some of them. These findings will provide a better understanding of the countryside during this period, and a more elaborate picture of the landscape of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Exploring the rural landscape of the Neo-Assyrian Empire: settlement increase in the Iron Age Near East
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058091
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