Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Vol 16, No 1 (2003)

Settlement Heterogeneity and Multivariate Craft Production in the Early Bronze Age Southern Levant

Timothy P. Harrison, Steven H. Savage
Issued Date: 21 Mar 2007


Urbanization, as a formative process in the rise of social and economic complexity, has long dominated conceptualizations of the Early Bronze Age (EBA) southern Levant, with many synthetic reconstructions assuming a process structurally analogous to developments witnessed elsewhere in the ancient Near East. Viewed from this perspective, urbanism as experienced in the EBA southern Levant was little more than a secondary, derivative expression of the earlier and larger-scale manifestations that had occurred in southern Mesopotamia and Egypt. Settlement patterns and excavated remains from the Central Highlands of Jordan, however, reveal a striking pattern of low-level integration and autonomous development. Although a complex social order clearly emerged, the evidence suggests the formation of heterarchically organized regional communities, rather than the hierarchical, centralized urban landscape typically assumed for the region. This paper examines the evidence for heterarchy in the EBA, and its implications regarding prevailing views about the development of urbanism in the southern Levant.

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DOI: 10.1558/jmea.v16i1.33


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