B 07

A Hunt for Raw Materials? Dynamics of Settlement Development in the Northern Periphery of Mesopotamia

Academic discipline

Near Eastern Archaeology,




Project management

Pfälzner, Peter, Prof. Dr.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Institut für die Kulturen des Alten Orients (IANES)

Schloss Hohentübingen

Burgsteige 11

72070 Tübingen

Telephone: +49 7071 29 78530

E-mail: peter.pfaelznerspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de


Scholten, Thomas, Prof. Dr.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Forschungsbereich Geographie

Lehrstuhl für Bodenkunde und Geomorphologie

Rümelinstraße 19–23

72070 Tübingen

Telephone: +49 7071 29 72400

E-mail: thomas.scholtenspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

PhD candidates

and Postdocs

Sconzo, Paola, Dr.

SFB 1070 RessourcenKulturen

Burgsteige 11

Room 313

72074 Tübingen

Telephone: +49 7071 29 73592

Fax: +49 7071 29 35266

E-mail: paola.sconzospam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

The project studies social dynamics emerging from the use of resources in the mountainous region north of Mesopotamia from an endogenous as well as from a Mesopotamian perspective. During the first phase of the project those states’ interests in the resources of the mountainous region were examined by textual analyses and four seasons (2014 – 2016) of archaeological survey work in the Ḫabur Valley (North Iraq). It became clear that access to the raw-materials of the region and the economic use of its resources were not the main motivation for the expansion. Instead the connection to traffic networks and their control can be identified as a decisive reason for the political activities of the Mesopotamian states. In addition it could be determined that the region itself was based on two major ResourceComplexes: first agricultural use of soil and water, and second regional and interregional exchange via roads and networks. To understand both these ResourceComplexes is the primary aim of the project in its second phase. The study applies a diachronic and comparative perspective in order to distinguish characteristic constellations of different periods in the same region. We work on the hypothesis, that differently organised networks are the reason for differing characteristics of the two major ResourceComplexes. These networks are studied primarily using the spatial parameters in the settlement systems of the respective periods. A special focus is on the identification of periods when external states were exerting influence on the local networks or connected them to their own, and, in contrast, which were the times when local networks developed without external impact. The aim is to distinguish endogenous from exogenously influenced networks. In order to analyse and integrate the natural components of networks (soil, water, topography) into historical models Geography (supported by project S) is joining the interdisciplinary project, including combined fieldwork. Together, the main resources of endogenous networks are analysed and interpreted: the agrarian potential based on a study of soils; the role of water in rivers, sources and wells; regional and interregional exchange based on roads and topography as well as on the evaluation of settlement patterns; the social integration based on the settlement systems specific for each period. Networks of each period are reconstructed via a detailed evaluation of the spatial relations between settlements and settlement clusters. Archaeological surveys are expanded or intensified where necessary. In each case several neighbouring, but topographically and biogeographically different settlement clusters are studied by surveys, in order to analyse their regional and interregional structure via the distribution of settlements in general and the location of ‘gateway communities’. Thus, it will be possible to determine how ResourceComplexes were activated during specific periods and to which level of complexity they were developed. Also a distinction between macro-, meso-, and micro-networks will be accomplished that will enhance our insight into the evolution and devolution of ResourceComplexes.