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The Archaeology of Imperial Landscapes
A Comparative Study of Empires in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean World

Bleda S. Düring, Tesse D. Stek, Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, Henry Colburn, Peter Attema, Lauren Ristvet, Anna Lucille Boozer, Lidewijde de Jong, Rocco Palermo, Joanita Vroom, J. Daniel Rogers, Bradley J. Parker
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  • Date Published: May 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316639245


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About the Authors
  • The Archaeology of Imperial Landscapes examines the transformation of rural landscapes and societies that formed the backbone of ancient empires in the Near East and Mediterranean. Through a comparative approach to archaeological data, it analyses the patterns of transformation in widely differing imperial contexts in the ancient world. Bringing together a range of studies by an international team of scholars, the volume shows that empires were dynamic, diverse, and experimental polities, and that their success or failure was determined by a combination of forceful interventions, as well as the new possibilities for those dominated by empires to collaborate and profit from doing so. By highlighting the processes that occur in rural and peripheral landscapes, the volume demonstrates that the archaeology of these non-urban and literally eccentric spheres can provide an important contribution to our understanding of ancient empires. The 'bottom up' approach to the study of ancient empires is crucial to understanding how these remarkable socio-political organisms could exist and persist.

    • Introduces a shift from classificatory approaches to ancient empires
    • Provides a bottom up study of ancient empires and their hinterlands
    • Presents a comparative archaeology of ancient empires that shows why empires are a meaningful category and how a comparative study of them is feasible by focusing on marginal and rural areas
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316639245
    • length: 386 pages
    • dimensions: 255 x 180 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • contains: 46 b/w illus. 35 maps 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Ancient empires on the ground: provincial and peripheral perspectives Bleda S. Düring and Tesse Stek
    Part I. The Transformation of Rural Societies and Landscapes:
    2. Engineering empire: a provincial perspective on the Middle Assyrian empire Bleda S. Düring
    3. The creation of the Assyrian heartland: new data from the 'land behind Nineveh' Daniele Morandi Bonacossi
    4. Pioneers of the Western Desert: the Kharga Oasis in the Achaemenid Empire Henry Colburn
    5. Power at a distance: the Hellenistic rural exploitation of the 'farther' chora of Chersonesos (Crimea, Ukraïne) from the perspective of the Džarylgaè survey project Peter Attema
    6. Early Roman colonization beyond the Romanizing agro-town: village patterns of settlement and highland exploitation in the Abruzzo, Central Italy Tesse D. Stek
    Part II. The Transformation of Peripheral Societies and Landscapes:
    7. Negotiation, violence, and resistance: Urartu's frontiers in the Iron Age Caucasus Lauren Ristvet
    8. The archaeology of imperial borderlands: a view from Roman Egypt and Sudan Anna Lucille Boozer
    9. Living on the edge: the Roman Empire in the North Mesopotamian Steppe Lidewijde de Jong and Rocco Palermo
    10. On the edge: Butrint on the western frontier of the Byzantine Empire Joanita Vroom
    Part III. Comparing Repertoires of Rule in Rural and Peripheral Regions:
    11. Strategies of empire expansion J. Daniel Rogers
    12. What's the big picture? Comparative perspectives on the archaeology of empire Bradley J. Parker
    13. Towards a patchwork perspective of ancient empires Tesse D. Stek and Bleda S. Düring

  • Editors

    Bleda S. Düring, Universiteit Leiden
    Bleda S. Düring is Associate Professor in Near Eastern Archaeology at the Faculty of Archaeology of Universiteit Leiden. He directed an ERC Starting Grant Research project (2012-2016) on the archaeology of the early Assyrian Empire. He is the author of The Prehistory of Asia Minor (Cambridge, 2010).

    Tesse D. Stek, Universiteit Leiden
    Tesse D. Stek is Associate Professor in Mediterranean Archaeology and Head of the World Archaeology Department of the Faculty of Archaeology of Universiteit Leiden. He coordinates the NWO funded research project Landscapes of Early Roman colonization and is the author of Cult places and cultural change in Republican Italy and co-editor of Roman Republican Colonization (2014) and The Impact of Rome on Cult Places and Religious Practices in Ancient Italy (2015).


    Bleda S. Düring, Tesse D. Stek, Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, Henry Colburn, Peter Attema, Lauren Ristvet, Anna Lucille Boozer, Lidewijde de Jong, Rocco Palermo, Joanita Vroom, J. Daniel Rogers, Bradley J. Parker

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