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Mesopotamian City Grew Regardless Of Kingly Rule
New Scientist ^ | 8-30-2007 | Roxanne Khamsi

Posted on 08/30/2007 3:39:12 PM PDT by blam

Mesopotamian city grew regardless of kingly rule

19:00 30 August 2007
NewScientist.com news service
Roxanne Khamsi

Changes in pottery over the years allowed researchers to develop a timeline for the Tell Brak's expansion

Contrary to the assumption that ancient cities always grew outwards from a central point, the urban site of Tell Brak in north-eastern Syria appears to have emerged as several nearby settlements melded together, according to researchers' analysis of archaeological evidence.

Experts say that the findings lend support to the theory that early Mesopotamian cities developed as a result of grassroots organisation, rather than a mandate from a central authority.

The new study provides important details about Tell Brak, helping to make it "the first early city of which we have a picture about how it formed," comments Geoff Emberling at the Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago, Illinois, US, who was not involved in this study but has done archaeological work at Tell Brak.

Located in north-eastern Syria, Tell Brak lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and can therefore be considered as an ancient Mesopotamian site. It is thought to have been settled as early as 6000 BCE, according to Harvard University researcher Jason Ur.

Ceramic clues

Ur and his colleagues examined the distribution of ancient pottery pieces around Tell Brak to determine a timeline of urban development there. He says this is possible because certain ceramic styles appeared within a specific time period.

(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; city; godsgravesglyphs; king; mesopotamia; mesopotamian; rule; syria

1 posted on 08/30/2007 3:39:17 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 08/30/2007 3:39:48 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

Harvard University researcher Jason Ur? Is he a Chaldean?..........


3 posted on 08/30/2007 3:46:30 PM PDT by Red Badger (ALL that CARBON in ALL that oil & coal was once in the atmospere. We're just putting it back!)
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To: Red Badger

I think that he off base. A series of towns in an expanding economy will merge, when you walls rub a political accommodation follows.


4 posted on 08/30/2007 3:57:43 PM PDT by Little Bill (Welcome to the Newly Socialist State of New Hampshire)
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To: blam

“...the urban site of Tell Brak in north-eastern Syria appears to have emerged as several nearby settlements melded together,”

Kind of like the Los Angeles megalopolis, or SoCal, as we call it.


5 posted on 08/30/2007 4:08:49 PM PDT by wizr (A step in Faith will set you free.)
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To: blam

So urban sprawl has been around for thousands of years. Who knew?


6 posted on 08/30/2007 4:41:57 PM PDT by wildbill
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To: blam

Archaeological sites should always be evaluated by non-Archaeologists before ready conclusions are drawn, but they seldom are. That is, once a site has been excavated and reconstructed based on known ruin materials, “guests” should be brought in to make their own hypotheses known, based on their expertise.

For example, I visited a site that with even a brief inspection I took to be a thousand year old fortress, and a well designed one, looking through my military trained eyes. To me, it had been carefully crafted as a fortification, to include its basic location, and it would have been easy to defend and very hard to attack, or even approach without detection, even at night. Even a small group could hold off a much larger one from that place.

So I asked a curator about the enemies of the people who lived there. He assured me that they had no enemies, that they were a peaceful people, and that there was no evidence of any conflict at all. Uh-huh. My next question was about any military experience he had. He had none.

But despite my describing to him that good dozen military reasons for that fortification being right there and being constructed the way it had been, he held to his invested theory.

I’m sure his theory was an interesting one, but I’ve yet to see people build a serious fortification just for the sheer joy of doing so anywhere else in the world.

From that point, I’ve been suspicious about conclusions reached on scant evidence in archeology, such as that the Mayans were peace-loving children of nature.


7 posted on 08/30/2007 4:43:19 PM PDT by Popocatapetl
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To: blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
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8 posted on 08/30/2007 4:45:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Wednesday, August 29, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
Experts say that the findings lend support to the theory that early Mesopotamian cities developed as a result of grassroots organisation, rather than a mandate from a central authority.

No central planning, no zoning? They probably didn't even have building inspectors. How did they manage???

9 posted on 08/30/2007 4:53:27 PM PDT by colorado tanker (I'm unmoderated - just ask Bill O'Reilly)
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To: blam
Brick o' Brak?
10 posted on 08/30/2007 7:34:03 PM PDT by mikrofon (Syriasly)
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To: Popocatapetl
The very existence of sturdy walls is evidence of enemies or large wild animals.Humans don't build fences and walls out of sheer love for the work.And peaceful farmers have a tendency to build close to a reliable water source NOT on a hilltop where everything must be carried uphill.

It is amazing how much effort some experts invest in ignoring the realities of human and animal struggle for survival.

11 posted on 08/30/2007 7:42:45 PM PDT by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a creditcard?)
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To: SunkenCiv

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/17/healthscience/snbattle.php

Signs of an ancient clash unearthed in Syria

Expanded excavations at Tell Brak, Habuba Kabira, Hamoukar and elsewhere in northern Syria, Algaze said, have revealed that some northern cities were larger at an earlier time than was expected. And ample evidence is being found for specialized industries like the obsidian works at Hamoukar...

...Research at Hamoukar has been under way since 1999. The Chicago-Syria team has now determined that the 40- acre, or 16-hectare, heart of the city was surrounded by a 10-foot-, or 2.5-meter- thick wall. The main mound covering ruins extends over 260 acres, and to the south, pottery and obsidian flakes and cores are scattered over some 700 acres.

Reichel, the American co-director of the project, said that excavations in the recent season turned up more evidence of “how the city looked the day it was destroyed.” In a swift and intense attack, he said, “buildings collapsed, burning out of control, burying everything in them under a vast pile of rubble.”...


12 posted on 08/30/2007 8:28:25 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (Fair dinkum!)
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To: Fred Nerks

Thanks. I think we’ve got a few Tel Hamoukar topics around. :’)


13 posted on 08/30/2007 8:58:41 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Wednesday, August 29, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2006/03.16/11-canal.html

Satellite images of Tell Brak, Syria, led archaeologist Jason Ur to a deeper understanding of how ancient road networks moved food into the city.

14 posted on 08/30/2007 10:03:42 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (Fair dinkum!)
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To: colorado tanker

Planning presupposes a need to plan. :’)


15 posted on 09/01/2007 11:54:50 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Wednesday, August 29, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Fred Nerks

Thanks Fred!


16 posted on 09/01/2007 11:55:07 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Wednesday, August 29, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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17 posted on 07/03/2008 6:34:13 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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