OIS 11. The Late Third Millennium in the Ancient Near East: Chronology, C14, and Climate Change

Edited by Felix Höflmayer, with contributions by Matthew J. Adams, Aaron A. Burke, Michael W. Dee, Aron Dornauer, Donald Easton, Hermann Genz, Raphael Greenberg, Roman Gundacker, Felix Höflmayer, Sturt W. Manning, Peter Pfälzner, Simone Riehl, J. David Schloen, Thomas Schneider, Glenn M. Schwartz, Harvey Weiss, and Bernhard Weninger

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This volume contains the papers of the tenth annual University of Chicago Oriental Institute Postdoc Seminar on “The Early/Middle Bronze Age Transition in the Ancient Near East: Chronology, C14, and Climate Change. The seminar brought together specialists from various fields, including Egyptology, Near Eastern archaeology, radiocarbon dating and Assyriology. The articles in this volume discuss the complex interconnection between the rapid climate change around 2200 BC and societal collapses throughout the ancient Near East in the mid-late third millennium BC. A reassessment of this crucial period in Near Eastern history became necessary as radiocarbon dating projects conclusively showed that the Early Bronze Age chronology has to be raised considerably. Part I raises questions of urbanism and its demise in the Early Bronze Age southern, central, and northern Levant. Part II discusses issues of the collapse of the Akkad empire and how it might be connected to the rapid climate change around 2200 BC. Part III (Egypt) focuses on the end of the Egyptian Old Kingdom, and questions of absolute calendrical dates, but also presents a reassessment of Egyptian texts and toponyms based on the new radiocarbon chronology for the Early Bronze Age Levant. Part IV sets the topic into the wider context of the late third millennium Eastern Mediterranean. It is hoped that the present volume will serve as a concise reference for this crucial period in the coming years.

Contents

  1. The Late Third Millennium B.C. in the Ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean: A Time of Collapse and Transformation. Felix Höflmayer
  2. No Collapse: Transmutations of Early Bronze Age Urbanism in the Southern Levant. Raphael Greenberg
  3. Economic and Political Implications of Raising the Date for the Disappearance of Walled Towns in the Early Bronze Age Southern Levant. J. David Schloen
  4. The Transition from the Third to the Second Millennium B.C. in the Coastal Plain of Lebanon: Continuity or Break? Hermann Genz
  5. Western Syria and the Third- to Second-Millennium B.C. Transition. Glenn M. Schwartz
  6. “Seventeen Kings Who Lived in Tents”. Harvey Weiss
  7. Ḫabur Ware and Social Continuity: The Chronology of the Early to Middle Bronze Age Transition in the Syrian Jezireh. Peter Pfälzner
  8. Bioclimatic and Agroecological Properties of Crop Taxa: A Survey of the Cuneiform Evidence Concerning Climatic Change and the Early/Middle Bronze Age Transition. Aron Dornauer
  9. Regional Environments and Human Perception: The Two Most Important Variables in Adaptation to Climate Change. Simone Riehl
  10. Amorites, Climate Change, and the Negotiation of Identity at the End of the Third Millennium B.C. Aaron A. Burke
  11. “What Is the Past but a Once Material Existence Now Silenced?”: The First Intermediate Period from an Epistemological Perspective. Thomas Schneider
  12. Absolutely Dating Climatic Evidence and the Decline of Old Kingdom Egypt. Michael W. Dee
  13. The Significance of Foreign Toponyms and Ethnonyms in Old Kingdom Text Sources. Roman Gundacker
  14. A Gap in the Early Bronze Age Pottery Sequence at Troy Dating to the Time of the 4.2 ka cal. b.p. Event. Bernhard Weninger and Donald Easton
  15. Comments on Climate, Intra-regional Variations, Chronology, the 2200 B.C. Horizon of Change in the East Mediterranean Region, and Socio-political Change on Crete. Sturt W. Manning
  16. Egypt and the Levant in the Early to Middle Bronze Age Transition. Matthew J. Adams
  • Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2017
  • ISBN 978-1-61491-036-7
  • Pp. xii + 516; 176 illustrations
  • Oriental Institute Seminars 11
  • $25.95