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Agriculture in lowland Mesopotamia in the Late Uruk-Early Dynastic period

Charles, MP; (1990) Agriculture in lowland Mesopotamia in the Late Uruk-Early Dynastic period. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The thesis reviewed the current state of archaeobotanical research in Mesopotamia and considered its significance for the study of Bronze Age agriculture of Lowland Mesopotamia. The climate, natural hydrology and geology of the area were described, with a view to assessing the impact of irrigation on the soils. The traditional irrigation practices of southern Iraq were discussed in relation to modern theory of irrigation and the applicability of the traditional system to that of• the Sumerian's. The types of agriculture practised in the irrigated arid region of Mesopotamia were examined with reference to modern irrigation agriculture theory. This centered on the agricultural systems seen in Lowland Mesopotamia in the early part of the twentieth-century and the way in which they were adapted to the particular local environmental conditions. The recovery, nature and possible modes of arrival of the Tell Abu Salabikh plant remains were considered in the light of the seasonality, ecology and potential uses of the plants. The characteristics of the weed seeds used to group the plants according to crop processing behaviour for the statistical analysis were explained. Statistical analyses of the Abu Salabikh plant remains were undertaken and comparisons were made with data from modern ethnographic studies. The implications of plant material derived from animal dung on the interpretation of crop husbandry and environmental conditions from plant remains recovered from archaeological sites were discussed. The data generated was used to consider currently held views on irrigation agriculture in Bronze Age Lowland Mesopotamia, which have used the existing plant remains and the information derived from the archaeological and cuneiform records.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Agriculture in lowland Mesopotamia in the Late Uruk-Early Dynastic period
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10116501
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