This volume is the first dedicated to the urbanism of pre-classical Syria.
This volume corresponds to the acts of a conference that closes the international interdisciplinary research project Badiyah, directed by Corinne Castel and Jan-Waalke Meyer (Directors of the Tell Al-Rawda and Tell Chuera archaeological missions). Both sites illustrate the importance of the 3rd millennium BCE ‘circular cities’ discovered in today’s Syria. These pre-planned cities were fortified and organized following a concentric and radial urban pattern. They represent a particular form of the endogenous process of urbanization that appeared in this region when the first cities and territorial states emerged. The main results obtained from these two sites are compared to other Syrian ‘circular cities’ of the Early Bronze Age. Twenty-nine contributions enable us to reassess the process of urbanization in the Near East and to question the Southern Mesopotamian model as the unique cradle of urban civilization.