Recent Research on Mesopotamian Urbanism:
Origins, Structure, Economy (SAA 2009)
Organizer and Chair: Jason Ur (Harvard University)
Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting, April 22-26, 2009, Atlanta, GA.
Recent years have seen interesting developments in the study of Mesopotamian cities. In northern Mesopotamia (modern NE Syria and SE Turkey), fieldwork is increasingly directed toward large questions of structure and demography, patterns of growth, subsistence and political economy, administration, and social organization. For southern Mesopotamia, archaeological research has employed new methods and innovative use of old datasets, particularly remote sensing and agent-based modeling. This session will highlight recent research from urban origins to the capitals of empires, and to introduce it to a broader audience of scholars of early urbanism via a comparative perspective.
Schedule for Thursday, April 23rd
Jason Ur (Harvard University)
"Extensive Settlements as Precursors to the Earliest Mesopotamian Cities"
Elizabeth Stone (Stony Brook University)
"Mesopotamian Settlement Structure: The View from Space"
Lauren M. Ristvet (University of Pennsylvania)
"Performing the State: Ritual, Practice and Politics in Northern Mesopotamia"
Alexandra R. Witsell (University of Chicago)
"Physical Urban Form in Third Millennium BC Khafajah, Southern Iraq"
Clemens D. Reichel (University of Toronto)
"Urbanism, Competition, and Conflict in Northern Syria during the Chalcolithic period (5000 - 3000 B.C.)--a view from Tell Hamoukar"
Nicola Laneri (University of Catania)
"The Lifestyle of Ancient Entrepreneurs: Trade and Urbanization in Mesopotamia"
Questions and Discussion
Timothy Matney (University of Akron)
"Understanding Early Bronze Age Social Structure Through Mortuary Remains: A Pilot aDNA Study from Titri? Höyük, Southeastern Turkey"
Monica L. Smith (UCLA), Discussant
Michael E. Smith (Arizona State University), Discussant