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Facing an Empire


Hirbemerdon Tepe and the Upper Tigris Region during the Early Iron Age and Neo-Assyrian Period


Recent archaeological discoveries within the Upper Tigris region in Southeastern Turkey offer a unique opportunity to understand the dynamics of the Assyrian Empire borderlands. Within a few years most of the region will be irreversibly submerged, due to the construction of the Ilisu dam, the biggest hydroelectric power plant project in Turkey. It is of paramount importance to understand and record as much data as possible about the local communities and the foreign connections that flowered in this area.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0146-3
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jun 18,2013
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 220
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0146-3
$138.00
$82.80

Recent archaeological discoveries within the Upper Tigris region in Anatolia (Southeastern Turkey) offer a unique opportunity to understand the dynamics of the Assyrian Empire borderlands and interactions with and between its indigenous communities. The material culture yielded by Hirbemerdon Tepe and other nearby settlements is now playing a major role in bringing to light the socio-economic and historical traits of the ancient past of these lands.

Within a few years most of the region will be irreversibly submerged, due to the construction of the Ilisu dam, the biggest hydroelectric power plant project in Turkey. It is of paramount importance to understand and record as much data as possible about the local communities and the foreign connections that flowered in this area. This volume provides a survey of these local cultures, in particular between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (ca. 13th–10th centuries BCE), and the dramatic changes introduced by the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the following centuries (ca. 10th–7th centuries BCE). These aspects are explored via the case study offered by the Hirbemerdon Tepe Iron Age settlement.

A network emerges, formed by different economic and social components such as pastoral nomadism, chiefdoms and city-states, together with the strong Assyrian influence from the south, creating a lively multiracial, correlated and dynamic environment, contributing to the better-known Mesopotamian low-lands and revealed for its importance within the ancient Near Eastern general landscape.

Recent archaeological discoveries within the Upper Tigris region in Anatolia (Southeastern Turkey) offer a unique opportunity to understand the dynamics of the Assyrian Empire borderlands and interactions with and between its indigenous communities. The material culture yielded by Hirbemerdon Tepe and other nearby settlements is now playing a major role in bringing to light the socio-economic and historical traits of the ancient past of these lands.

Within a few years most of the region will be irreversibly submerged, due to the construction of the Ilisu dam, the biggest hydroelectric power plant project in Turkey. It is of paramount importance to understand and record as much data as possible about the local communities and the foreign connections that flowered in this area. This volume provides a survey of these local cultures, in particular between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (ca. 13th–10th centuries BCE), and the dramatic changes introduced by the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the following centuries (ca. 10th–7th centuries BCE). These aspects are explored via the case study offered by the Hirbemerdon Tepe Iron Age settlement.

A network emerges, formed by different economic and social components such as pastoral nomadism, chiefdoms and city-states, together with the strong Assyrian influence from the south, creating a lively multiracial, correlated and dynamic environment, contributing to the better-known Mesopotamian low-lands and revealed for its importance within the ancient Near Eastern general landscape.

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Contributor Biography

Guido Guarducci

Guido Guarducci is Codirector of the Center for Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies (CAMNES) and supervisor of the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies at the Lorenzo de' Medici Italian International Institute. He holds an M.A. degree in Archaeology of the Ancient Near East from the University of Florence and is currently conducting his PhD research at the University of Reading. He is currently member of the Hirbemerdon Tepe Excavation Project in the Upper Tigris region, in Southeastern Turkey (Diyarbakir) with a focus on the Early Iron Age and Neo-Assyrian levels.

  • Dedication Page (page 5)
  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • List of Figures (page 9)
  • List of Tables (page 15)
  • Foreword (page 17)
  • Preface (page 21)
  • Acknowledgments (page 23)
  • Introduction (page 25)
  • 1. The Area During the Inron Age (page 29)
    • 1.1. The Environmental Context: Geography, Land Use and Resources (page 29)
      • 1.1.1. Assyrian Landscape in the Upper Tigris (page 30)
      • 1.1.2. Colonizing the Resources (page 32)
      • 1.1.3. Symbolic Landscape (page 35)
    • 1.2. Political and Historical Boundaries (page 37)
      • 1.2.1. Major Cities and Kingdoms of the Upper Tigris Valley (page 37)
      • 1.2.2. Nairi: the Upper Tigris and the Neighboring Regions' Historical Events (page 41)
  • 2. The Site During the Iron Age (page 53)
    • 2.1. Settlement and Architectural Contexts (page 53)
      • 2.1.1. Chronology and Sector Division (page 53)
      • 2.1.2. The Excavation Areas (page 54)
    • 2.2. the Pottery Production (page 57)
      • 2.2.1. Analysis Methodology (page 57)
      • 2.2.2. Wares (page 57)
      • 2.2.3. Fabrics (page 59)
      • 2.2.4. Surface Treatment (page 60)
      • 2.2.5. Typology and Comparanda (page 61)
      • Brown/Pink Ware (BPW) (page 62)
      • Grooved Ware (GRW) (page 78)
      • Plain Ware (PW) (page 89)
      • Others (page 113)
  • 3. Discussion and Conclusive Remarks (page 115)
    • 3.1. Issues and Problems Related to the Study (page 115)
      • 3.1.1. Dating the Early Iron Age Phase (page 115)
      • 3.1.2. Architectural and Settlement Dynamics as Expression of Lifestyle (page 119)
    • 3.2. Facing an Empire: Local Vs. Foreign (page 124)
      • 3.2.1. Local Manifestations of Kinship (page 125)
      • 3.2.2. The Correlation of local and Foreign Identities (page 128)
      • 3.2.3. Pottery Production as a Local Distinctive Trait or as a Reflection of Foreign Influence (page 130)
    • 3.3. Conclusions (page 138)
  • Bibliography (page 143)
  • Index (page 167)
  • Figures (page 173)
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