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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55025
Doc. No:TL24979
Call number:‭3288168‬
Main Entry:Jeffrey Justin Szuchman
Title & Author:Prelude to empire: Middle Assyrian Hanigalbat and the rise of the AramaeansJeffrey Justin Szuchman
College:University of California, Los Angeles
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:277
Abstract:The Assyrian empire emerged from a foggy period of Mesopotamian history, which neither texts nor archaeology have illuminated. Prior to that Dark Age at the turn of the first millennium, the Middle Assyrian kingdom controlled provinces in north Syria southeast Turkey, the region they called Hanigalbat, until they withdrew in the 11th century. Recently published excavations and archives have increased our knowledge of the Middle Assyrian period considerably. However, several questions remain about the mechanisms of Middle Assyrian administration and stability, the effect of their administration on pastoral nomadic Aramaean tribes of Hanigalbat, and the transition from the Late Bronze to the Iron Age in north Syria. This dissertation addresses those questions, among others, in two ways. The first part synthesizes the published excavations of fifteen Middle Assyrian sites in Hanigalbat. Such a synthesis is long overdue, and shows that not only there was no decline during the 12th century, as has been assumed, but that many of the ideological aspects of elite culture of the Neo-Assyrian Empire were forged in the Middle Assyrian period. The second part uses the anthropology of pastoral nomadism in the Middle East to build a model of Aramaean settlement that takes into account the political, economic, and social role of pastoral nomadism in the Late Bronze Age. The ethnographic data suggest that nomads are most likely to settle during periods of political and economic stability—precisely those conditions that prevailed during the height of the Middle Assyrian kingdom. Surveys conducted throughout the region of Middle Assyrian settlement show indications that nomads began to settle well before the Assyrian withdrawal from Hanigalbat. Those sites might contain cultural material that reflects a mobile heritage, a culture that archaeologists may be able to access. An archaeology of sedentarization may provide clues about nomad-sedentary relations during the Middle Assyrian period and beyond. This dissertation thus generates a comprehensive model of Middle Assyrian expansion, administration, and decline, and the settlement, political consolidation, and state-formation of Aramaean tribes. The Middle Assyrian kingdom encapsulates a moment along a long continuum of cultural development, when new interactions with new peoples occurred, innovative imperial strategies were tested, and the Assyrian identity itself began to take shape.
Subject:Social sciences; Aramaeans; Assyrian; Bronze Age; Hanigalbat; Nomad; Syria; Turkey; Archaeology; 0324:Archaeology
Added Entry:E. Carter
Added Entry:University of California, Los Angeles