Settlement Patterns and Cultural Interactions in Northern Mesopotamia (2nd - 4th century CE)
TL;DR: In this article, a study about the Roman Near East and the relations and interactions with the Eastern neighbours and the local populations is presented, with the starting point for the comprehension of such dynamics must be the identification of the points of interactions as well as the differences, always bearing in mind the hybridisation that occurred.
Abstract: The present study has been conceived on the trails of those works about the Roman Near East and the relations and interactions with the Eastern neighbours and the local populations. In more recent times, the on-going excavations projects in the area and the new notions of interaction and integration related to the Roman presence have made relevant further steps in the understanding of the topic. Considering exclusively Roman or, at the contrary, exclusively Parthian (or Sasanian) a site means, nowadays, ignoring the dynamics that characterized the whole area in the period at issue. It is doubtless that the starting point for the comprehension of such dynamics must be the identification of the points of interactions as well as the differences, always bearing in mind the hybridisation that occurred. The term hybridisation indeed, even if it is a modern word, perfectly fits with the mixture of races, religions and social institutions that shaped the Near East in the period from the Hellenistic period to the late 4th century CE. The theory is quite easily applicable in the major centres (Nisibis, Singara, Hatra), where the abundance of data is widely used to identify this kind of hybridisation such as the distinctive and unmistakable feature of a given culture as well, while it appears to be slightly tougher to track in the minor settlements. The lack of historical and archaeological evidence, indeed, affects our knowledge about the rural landscape and the countryside itself. Some of the minor sites mentioned in the literary sources are still not only unexcavated, but quite often unidentified too, while the fewer where excavation works have been conducted are the same sites almost practically unknown to the ancient sources (see the specifica case of Tell Barri). Notwithstanding this lack of evidence on both sides the countryside and the rural landscape still remains a keystone for the understanding of the Roman occupation in the area, as well as the organization and administration of the newly acquired territory after the severian annexation. The integration of the archaeological data with the known literary and epigraphic evidence could be the only way through which the presence of Rome beyond the Euphrates could be better understood. The region itself, indeed, represents one of the most archaeologically important areas of the world and thus the isolation of a given event in a specific chronological period forcedly needs more elements than elsewhere.
"Settlement Patterns and Cultural In..." refers background or methods in this paper
...The presence of this kind of wares, with slightly different features such as the flatcollared rim or the hole-mouth jar with grooved rim, is also attested in other areas of the region, as the surveys carried out by Wilkinson and Tucker (1997) and Ur (2010) have proved....
...On the use of these images in archaeological contexts see UR 2003 and UR 2010....
...465 The “Working Ceramic Typology” is so far unpublished and, even if started by Jason Ur, sees the continous contribution of several scholars who deal with or dealt with the survey projects in the area Major contributions to the typology come from these past and on-going projects: Iraqi North Jazira Project, Tell Beydar Survey 1997-1998, Tell Hamoukar Survey 1999-2001, Tell Brak Survey 2002-2005, Hirbermedon Tepe Survey 2007-2011, Erbil Plain Archaeological Survey 2012, Land of Nineveh Regional Survey 2012. 466 In general see Howard 2006; the application of standard and innovative methods to the Mesopotamian landscape is well treated in Ur 2010. 467 An interesting volume on the matter and the differences between East and West has been published by Susan ALCOCK and John CHERRY (2004). In particuar should be considered in that same volume the contribution of WILKINSON, CASANA and UR (2004, see references)....
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