Algaze, Guillermo, 1954-. The Uruk world system: the dynamics of expansion of early Mesopotamian civilization

Table of Contents

Publication Information

1 Introduction

A Supraregional Perspective

Resource Procurement Strategies And Their Impact

“momentum Toward Empire” In The Uruk Period

A Conceptual Framéwork For The Analysis Of The Evidence

2 Uruk Sites In The Susiana Plain Of Khuzestan

Geographical Framework

Mesopotamian Colonization

Chronology And Conclusions

3 Uruk Settlements In The Syro-mesopotamian Plains And Surrounding Highlands

Geographical Framework

The Syrian Saddle

The Jezira Of Mesopotamia

The Transtigridian Plains

Uruk Enclaves In Syro-mesopotamia

Discovery And Background

The Location Of Uruk Enclaves

The Nature Of Uruk Enclaves

The Strategic Rationale Of Uruk Settlement In Syro-mesopotamia

Overland Routes Across Syro-mesopotamia In The Classical Age

Historical Models And Archaeological Evidence

Uruk Enclaves At Strategic Nodes Of The Lines Of Communication

Uruk Stations Along The Lines Of Communication

Uruk Outposts In The Periphery

The Chronology Of Uruk Settlement In The Periphery



4 The Function Of Uruk Settlements In The Syro-mesopotamian Plains And Surrounding Highlands

Gateway Communities

Uruk Materials In The Surrounding Piedmont And Highlands

Highland Routes

Highland Resources

Uruk Materials In The Syromesopotamian Plains

The Commodities Exchanged



5 The Late Chalcolithic Period In Syro-mesopotamia


Late Chalcolithic Culture And Social Integration

Relations Between Uruk Enclaves And Indigenous Communities

6 Social Change In The Northern Periphery And The Collapse Of The Uruk Expansion

The Impact On Indigenous Societies

Hammam Et-turkman

Kurban Höyük

Arslan Tepe

The Collapse Of The Uruk Enclave Network

Early Bronze Age Sociopolitical Development In The Periphery

7 Conclusions

The View From The Periphery: Informal Empire In The Uruk Period

The View From The Core: A World System Of The Uruk Period

The Context Of Expansion

Outstanding Problems And Suggestions For Further Research

The Roots Of Expansion

The Initial Impetus For Expansion

The Mechanics Of Cross-cultural Exchange

Undiscovered Uruk Settlements In The Periphery

Theoretical Reprise And Cross-cultural Parallels

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Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: The Uruk world system: the dynamics of expansion of early Mesopotamian civilization

Published By: Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. xii, 162 p.: ill.

By line: Guillermo Algaze

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Late Chalcolithic Mesopotamia (MH60)

Subjects: Settlement patterns (361); Ceramic technology (323); Routes (487); Chronologies and culture sequences (911); Cultural stratigraphy (912); Cultural participation (184); Acculturation and culture contact (177); External migration (167);

Abstract: Recent studies on the archaeological development and early history of areas in the northern and eastern periphery of the southern Mesopotamian alluvium has produced an abundance of information allowing the scholar to explore a number of questions of major import for the early historical development of ancient Near Eastern societies. One of these questions provides the primary focus of this document: '…that of the extent and magnitude of the processes of external expansion that accompanied the crystallization of Sumer-Akkadian civilization in the Mesopotamian alluvium duiring the Uruk period in the second half of the fourth millennium B.C.' (p. ix). However, instead of examining the emergence of civilization in the alluvium from the point of view of changes in the Mesopotamian core iteself, the author focuses on the external manifestation and consequences of that process that includes the colonization of the neighboring Susiana plain of Khuzestan (Iran)and the establishment of a variety of specialized setttlements at strategic locations across the northern plains and in the surrounding highlands.

Document Number: 3

Document ID: mh60-003

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Revision of thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Chicago, 1986.

Field Date: 1988-1990

Evaluation: Archaeologist-4, 5

Analyst: John Beierle; 2006

Coverage Date: 6000-5100 BP (4000-3100 BC)

Coverage Place: Uruk sites, Syro-Mesopotamian Plains, Turkey, Iraq, and Syria

LCSH: Iraq--Civilization--To 634/Middle East--Civilization--To 622


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