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Uruk expansion or integrated development? A petrographic and geochemical perspective from Gurga Chiya, Iraqi Kurdistan

Lewis, MP; Quinn, PS; Carter, R; (2020) Uruk expansion or integrated development? A petrographic and geochemical perspective from Gurga Chiya, Iraqi Kurdistan. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports , 33 , Article 102516. 10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102516. Green open access

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Abstract

The Late Chalcolithic (LC; c.4500-3100BCE) was an important period in the developmental history of ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq, north-eastern Syria and south-eastern Turkey). New forms of socio-political and economic organisation are observed, characterised by household/settlement hierarchies, centralised production, craft specialization and redistribution. The Uruk Phenomenon of the latter 4th millennium BCE (LC3-5 in northern Mesopotamia and Middle-Late Uruk Period in southern Mesopotamia) coincides with the world’s first urban societies in northern and southern Mesopotamia. This phenomenon includes the extension of long-distance trade and the spread of material culture (including pottery), architectural elements and administrative devices from southern Iraq across Mesopotamia. Nevertheless, the reasons for the spread of this material culture are a major point of contention in archaeological debate. Within this paper, we apply a combined quantitative and qualitative methods featuring macroscopic observations, ceramic petrography and pXRF to a selection of 38 pottery sherds from Gurga Chiya, a small site located within the Shahrizor Plain, Iraqi Kurdistan. Results demonstrate that the pottery analysed was all locally produced, perhaps at Gurga Chiya itself. Potential reasons for the transmission of the Uruk Phenomenon and its appearance at Gurga Chiya are discussed. We suggest that frequent, low-level contacts between Gurga Chiya and communities of the Shahrizor and adjacent regions as a prospective reason for the transmission of this cultural package into the region.

Type: Article
Title: Uruk expansion or integrated development? A petrographic and geochemical perspective from Gurga Chiya, Iraqi Kurdistan
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102516
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102516
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Late Chalcolithic, Uruk Expansion, Mesopotamia, Ceramics, Ceramic petrography, pXRF
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108391
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