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Oriental Institute Publications (OIP)

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OIP 109.

Town and Country in Southeastern Anatolia, Volume 1: Settlement and Land Use at Kurban Höyük and Other Sites in the Lower Karababa Basin.

T. J. Wilkinson (with contributions by D. Gurney, M. M. A. McDonald, and N. F. Miller).

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Detailed survey within an area of 100 km2 along the south (left) bank of the River Euphrates (Firat Nehri) in southeastern Turkey provided a fourteen period sequence of settlement covering a span of 8,000 years. Population growth during the late Chalcolithic and the mid-late Early Bronze Age (late fourth and second half of third millennia b.c. respectively) appears to have resulted in the gradual removal of woodland from the area. During the latter peak, a network of nodal settlements developed within cultivable lowlands, and formed part of a moderately well-integrated hierarchy of villages and small towns.

Following a late Bronze Age-early Iron Age decline in visible remains of settlement, population again increased during the Seleucid-Hellenistic Period to reach a peak in the late Roman-early Byzantine times. By this time, all cultivable land was under either extensive or intensive cultivation and the limestone uplands probably formed rough pasture. Little woodland can have existed by this time. There followed, during the seventh-tenth centuries a.d., a remarkable decline in remains of sedentary occupation, which only recovered slightly in the Medieval period. Several hundred years of poorly documented settlement followed which culminated in the establishment, probably by the nineteenth century, of the modern network of settlements. A substantial growth in total cultivated area appears to have resulted from large-scale mechanization during the twentieth century.

The high intensity of land use inferred by the presence of extensive manuring-related artifact scatters, occurred during the late Early Bronze Age and the late Roman-early Byzantine periods. Both occurrences coincided with peaks in population, as inferred from aggregate site area, and this lends support to Boserup's hypothesis that increases in the intensity of land use result from increases in population and not vice versa. [From the Introduction, p. 3, by T. J. Wilkinson].

  • Oriental Institute Publications 109
  • Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 1990
  • ISBN 0-918986-64-8
  • Pp. xix + 315, 90 figures, 4 plates, 20 tables
  • Clothbound 9 x 11.75 in / 23 x 30 cm
  • $70.00

Revised: October 8, 2013

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