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Urbanscape, Land Use Change and Centralization in the Region of Uruk, Southern Mesopotamia from the 2nd to 1st Millennium BCE

Clark, Shmuel; Altaweel, Mark; Gordin, Shai; (2022) Urbanscape, Land Use Change and Centralization in the Region of Uruk, Southern Mesopotamia from the 2nd to 1st Millennium BCE. Land , 11 (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

We produce results that bridge the gap between physical and textual study of the ancient Mesopotamian landscape in the region south and west of the city of Uruk (Biblical Erech, Modern Warka). A brief survey of gazetteers of Mesopotamia, volumes listing place-names drawn from translated and published cuneiform texts from the 2nd and 1st Millennium BCE, are presented. The various gazetteers were reviewed for relevant place-names, and the results were recorded and analyzed. These are described in detail below, as are their implications. The resulting data are then compared to the results of a recently-completed archaeological survey of the same region. The synthesis of textual and archaeological surveys indicates a more exacting methodology to add geographic objectivity to textual results, while connecting physical results to the qualitative detail available within the Uruk textual record. More broadly, we demonstrate how long-term historical records align with archaeological data, delineating state-level and local land use efforts around a major Mesopotamian city. In the 2nd millennium BCE, settlements were generally small but more numerous, but in the 1st Millennium BCE there was a shift towards fewer and larger settlements connected to the city of Uruk. These shifts reflect deliberate central, government policy and local responses.

Type: Article
Title: Urbanscape, Land Use Change and Centralization in the Region of Uruk, Southern Mesopotamia from the 2nd to 1st Millennium BCE
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 by the authors. Submitted for possible open access publication under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/license s/by/4.0/)
Keywords: Mesopotamia, watercourses, texts, archaeology, Uruk, settlement, survey
UCL classification: 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 > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10158193
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