Alternative Paths to Urbanism: Mobility and the Emergence of Complexity during the Late Chalcolithic, Northern Syria
Dr. Khaled Abu Jayyab, a candidate for the Assistant Professor Near Eastern Archaeology (CLTA) position
The site of Hamoukar presents an anomaly that challenges two notions in the grand narrative of the Chalcolithic of the ancient Near East. With the sites extensive Late Chalcolithic 1 and 2 (4500-3800 BC) occupation and the apparent mobile nature of the inhabitants, Hamoukar challenges the idea that Late Chalcolithic 1 and 2 (LC1 and 2) were transitional periods on the path to urbanism and that mobile pastoralism as a practice was epiphenomenal along this path.
In this talk, in order shed light on the nature of mobility during LC1 and 2, I will present some of our finds from the southern extension of Hamoukar. I will argue that pastoral mobility played a major role at the site and the region in the development of later complex urban societies through the expansion of networks of communication and interaction across northern Syria, northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey. Here mobility played a formative role in the flow of new people, ideas, and objects. These conditions set the stage for later urban developments through the mediation of cohabitation of disparate groups. The evidence from Hamoukar shows that developments in the Near East in most cases were highly dynamic and historically contingent phenomena rather than linear and evolutionary which in turn is relevant the archaeology of the ancient Near East at large.
To attend, click the zoom link on Wednesday, August 18 at 2 PM
Meeting ID: 825 0308 7472