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The importance of flat archaeological sites in the Age of Empires and new digital methods for their identification and analysis: A case study from the Peshdar Plain in Iraqi Kurdistan

Altaweel, M; (2020) The importance of flat archaeological sites in the Age of Empires and new digital methods for their identification and analysis: A case study from the Peshdar Plain in Iraqi Kurdistan. In: Hasegawa, S and Radner, K, (eds.) The Reach of the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires Case studies in Eastern and Western Peripheries. (pp. 5-21). Harrassowitz Verlag: Wiesbaden, Germany. Green open access

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Abstract

In the Age of Empires of the first millennium BCE when large, major urban centres dominated the plains of Mesopotamia and the coastal regions of the Mediterranean, the rural landscape began to transform, with settlements often located away from traditional, mounded sites. Finding these sites can be challenging but is not impossible. However, the mountainous regions in Iraq and the neighbouring areas present special methodological challenges. Many sites occupied were flat and low, making them less visible in surveys and even in satellitebased remote sensing data. Machine-learning techniques and the use of point pattern analysis of stone debris offer the possibility of finding the typically less detectable flat sites using drone (UAV) imagery. Once detected, flat sites offer the considerable advantage that street networks and urban zones can be more easily mapped by using geophysical prospection. This provides advantages in understanding movement within such sites using graph analysis and can help provide insight into social behaviour in the use of urban zones and land use more easily than Bronze Age mounded sites. This paper explores both these issues and discusses their usefulness in Iraqi Kurdistan and beyond.

Type: Book chapter
Title: The importance of flat archaeological sites in the Age of Empires and new digital methods for their identification and analysis: A case study from the Peshdar Plain in Iraqi Kurdistan
ISBN-13: 978-3-447-11477-6
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.13173/9783347114776
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.13173/9783347114776
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 (BY-NC-ND) which means that the text may be used for non-commercial use, distribution and duplication in all media, provided that no changes are made and the original author(s) and publication are indicated. For details go to: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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/10108808
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