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Tying The Threads Of Eurasia

Author : Toby C. Wilkinson
ISBN : 9088903875
Genre : History
File Size : 47.26 MB
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The famous 'Silk Roads' have long evoked a romantic picture of travel through colourful civilizations that connected the western and eastern poles of Eurasia, facilitating the exchange of exotic luxury goods, peoples, pathogens and ideas. But how far back can we trace such interaction? Increasing evidence suggests considerable time-depth for Trans-Eurasian exchange, with the expanding urban networks of the Bronze Age at times anticipating later caravan routes. Tying the Threads of Eurasia applies advanced GIS modelling and critical social archaeology to carefully selected material remains from these earlier connections in order to understand and explain macro-scale processes of interaction in the wider ancient Near East between 3000 and 1500BC. Evidence related to precious stone, metal and textile objects found in Transcaucasia, eastern Anatolia and Central Asia are examined critically and spatially to provide new insights into changing socio-economic relations within and beyond these case-study regions. This book will be of interest to archaeologists and historians researching routes of exchange and interaction, macro-scale historical change or GIS approaches to archaeology, and to specialists of the Bronze Age Near East, especially Anatolia, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Iran.
Category: History

Tying The Threads Of Eurasia

Author : Toby Christopher Wilkinson
ISBN : OCLC:862754032
Genre :
File Size : 35.14 MB
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This thesis aims to examine trade and interaction routes and the flow of materials along them across Eurasia during the period c. 3000-1500BC. Two regions 'eastern Anatolia' and 'western Central Asia' form the geographical case studies for this research. Different sources of evidence for interaction, both direct and indirect, are examined. In Chapter 1, the initial frameworks of research, landscape and chronology are introduced, followed by a review of our knowledge on transportation technologies during the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC and a reflection on the kinds of archaeological evidence from which we expect to gather movement and interaction. Chapter 2 critically examines the traditional approach to route reconstruction, based on the principle of 'route inertia', and presents an assembly of data about routes in different historical periods to assess the usefulness of this approach. Chapter 3 builds on this critique of routes to consider how GIS might contribute new ways to visualize routes and interaction. An experimental model of movement based on 'cost-surface analysis' is proposed as an additional tool for the interpretation of distributions in geographical context: these visualizations are termed 'archaeotopograms'. Chapters 4, 5 and 6 form the substantive core of the thesis, synthesizing direct and indirect evidence for the flow of 3 categories of material: stone, metals and textiles respectively. Raw materials, trends in consumption and displaced material aesthetics (e.g. skeuomorphs) are mapped and 'archaeotopograms', based on suitable datasets, are created. Chapter 7 attempts to bring together these diverse data into a chronological narrative and highlight patterns that indicate low-level but important interconnections between our case-study regions and the wider ancient Near East and wider Eurasia. In the concluding chapter 8, the outcomes of the thesis are summarized. Here it is argued that the constant transformation of 'indigenous cultural foci' drove the evolution of routes and development of long-term cultural-economic interaction.

Storage In Ancient Complex Societies

Author : Linda R. Manzanilla
ISBN : 9781315520957
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 82.72 MB
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The ability to accumulate and store large amounts of goods is a key feature of complex societies in ancient times. Storage strategies reflect the broader economic and political organization of a society and changes in the development of control mechanisms in both administrative and non-administrative—often kinship based—sectors. This is the first volume to examine storage practices in ancient complex societies from a comparative perspective. This volume includes 14 original papers by leading archaeologists from four continents which compare storage systems in three key regions with lengthy traditions of complexity: the ancient Near East, Mesoamerica, and Andes. Storage in Ancient Complex Societies demonstrates the importance of understanding storage for the study of cultural evolution.
Category: Social Science

The Archaeology Of The Caucasus

Author : Antonio Sagona
ISBN : 9781108508612
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 65.84 MB
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In The Archaeology of the Caucasus, Antonio Sagona provides the first comprehensive survey of a key area in the Eurasian land mass, from the earliest settlement to the end of the early Iron Age. Examining the bewildering array of cultural complexes found in the region, he draws on both Soviet and post-Soviet investigations and synthesises the vast quantity of diverse and often fragmented evidence across the region's frontiers. Written in an engaging manner that balances material culture and theory, the volume focuses on the most significant sites and cultural traditions. Sagona also highlights the accomplishments of the Caucasian communities and situates them within the broader setting of their neighbours in Anatolia, Iran, and Russia. Sprinkled with new data, much of it published here for the first time, The Archaeology of the Caucasus contains many new photographs, drawings and plans, many of which have not been accessible to Western researchers.
Category: Social Science

Dynamics Of Production In The Ancient Near East

Author : Juan Carlos Moreno Garcia
ISBN : 9781785702846
Genre : History
File Size : 86.45 MB
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The transition between the 2nd and the 1st millennium BC was an era of deep economic changes in the ancient Near East. An increasing monetization of transactions, a broader use of silver, the management of the resources of temples through “entrepreneurs”, the development of new trade circuits and an expanding private, small-scale economy, transformed the role previously played by institutions such as temples and royal palaces. The 17 essays collected here analyze the economic transformations which affected the old dominant powers of the Late Bronze Age, their adaptation to a new economic environment, the emergence of new economic actors and the impact of these changes on very different social sectors and geographic areas, from small communities in the oases of the Egyptian Western Desert to densely populated urban areas in Mesopotamia. Egypt was not an exception. Traditionally considered as a conservative and highly hierarchical and bureaucratic society, Egypt shared nevertheless many of these characteristics and tried to adapt its economic organization to the challenges of a new era. In the end, the emergence of imperial super-powers (Assyria, Babylonia, Persia and, to a lesser extent, Kushite and Saite Egypt) can be interpreted as the answer of former palatial organizations to the economic and geopolitical conditions of the early Iron Age. A new order where competition for the control of flows of wealth and of strategic trading areas appears crucial.
Category: History

Revolutionizing A World

Author : Mark Altaweel
ISBN : 9781911576631
Genre : History
File Size : 87.88 MB
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This book investigates the long-term continuity of large-scale states and empires, and its effect on the Near East’s social fabric, including the fundamental changes that occurred to major social institutions. Its geographical coverage spans, from east to west, modern-day Libya and Egypt to Central Asia, and from north to south, Anatolia to southern Arabia, incorporating modern-day Oman and Yemen. Its temporal coverage spans from the late eighth century BCE to the seventh century CE during the rise of Islam and collapse of the Sasanian Empire. The authors argue that the persistence of large states and empires starting in the eighth/seventh centuries BCE, which continued for many centuries, led to new socio-political structures and institutions emerging in the Near East. The primary processes that enabled this emergence were large-scale and long-distance movements, or population migrations. These patterns of social developments are analysed under different aspects: settlement patterns, urban structure, material culture, trade, governance, language spread and religion, all pointing at movement as the main catalyst for social change. This book’s argument is framed within a larger theoretical framework termed as ‘universalism’, a theory that explains many of the social transformations that happened to societies in the Near East, starting from the Neo-Assyrian period and continuing for centuries. Among other influences, the effects of these transformations are today manifested in modern languages, concepts of government, universal religions and monetized and globalized economies.
Category: History

The Elamite World

Author : Javier Álvarez-Mon
ISBN : 9781317329831
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 55.78 MB
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Amongst the civilizations to participate in the dynamic processes of contact and interchange that gave rise to complex societies in the ancient Near East, Elam has remained one of the most obscure, at times languishing in the background of scholarly inquiry. In recent years, however, an increasing body of academic publications have acknowledged its relevance and suggested that its legacy was more considerable and long-lasting than previously estimated. The Elamite World assembles a group of 40 international scholars to contribute their expertise to the production of a solid, lavishly illustrated, English language treatment of Elamite civilization. It covers topics such as its physical setting, historical development, languages and people, material culture, art, science, religion and society, as well as the legacy of Elam in the Persian empire and its presence in the modern world. This comprehensive and ambitious survey seeks for Elam, hardly a household name, a noteworthy place in our shared cultural heritage. It will be both a valuable introductory text for a general audience and a definitive reference source for students and academics.
Category: Social Science

China Marches West

Author : Peter C Perdue
ISBN : 9780674042025
Genre : History
File Size : 22.61 MB
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From about 1600 to 1800, the Qing empire of China expanded to unprecedented size. Through astute diplomacy, economic investment, and a series of ambitious military campaigns into the heart of Central Eurasia, the Manchu rulers defeated the Zunghar Mongols, and brought all of modern Xinjiang and Mongolia under their control, while gaining dominant influence in Tibet. The China we know is a product of these vast conquests. Peter C. Perdue chronicles this little-known story of China's expansion into the northwestern frontier. Unlike previous Chinese dynasties, the Qing achieved lasting domination over the eastern half of the Eurasian continent. Rulers used forcible repression when faced with resistance, but also aimed to win over subject peoples by peaceful means. They invested heavily in the economic and administrative development of the frontier, promoted trade networks, and adapted ceremonies to the distinct regional cultures. Perdue thus illuminates how China came to rule Central Eurasia and how it justifies that control, what holds the Chinese nation together, and how its relations with the Islamic world and Mongolia developed. He offers valuable comparisons to other colonial empires and discusses the legacy left by China's frontier expansion. The Beijing government today faces unrest on its frontiers from peoples who reject its autocratic rule. At the same time, China has launched an ambitious development program in its interior that in many ways echoes the old Qing policies. China Marches West is a tour de force that will fundamentally alter the way we understand Central Eurasia.
Category: History