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1993-94 Annual Report

Tony Wilkinson

During the summer of 1993 research continued on the archaeological landscape of the Balikh valley, Syria, in conjunction with a team from the National Museum of Antiquities, The Netherlands (see separate report). En route for Syria Tony Wilkinson visited Gordion, Alishar Höyük, Kerkenes Kale, and Kestel in Turkey. At the last-named site, a preliminary reconnaissance was made in preparation for a future landscape study of the agricultural supply zone of the Kestel/Göltepe tin-mining complex. Also on the subject of landscape studies and early agriculture, during the spring of 1994 a new project was initiated in the high plains of Yemen (with McGuire Gibson, see separate report).

Progress has been made on mapping the landscape of southern Iraq using satellite imagery, and a team comprising McGuire Gibson, John Sanders, Michael Rand, and Matthew Huber now has preliminary results for part of the Adhaim-Samarra-Diyala area. Using the existing Sun SPARCstation computer at the Oriental Institute, it should now be possible to extend this work over the entire southern alluvium of Iraq and to add much needed detailed coverage for specific areas of interest such as around Nippur and Abu Salabikh.

Publications in press include a major article on the growth, structure, and development of Early Bronze Age towns in Upper Mesopotamia (Current Anthropology); a report on the development of the archaeological landscape of the Balikh valley, Syria (in a monograph on Excavations at Sabi Abyad); an article analyzing the limit of rain-fed farming in northern Syria (National Geographic's Research and Exploration); and a review article concerning recent books on geoarchaeology (Journal of Field Archaeology).

In addition to giving a number of seminars at the Oriental Institute, an updated version of the course on landscape archaeology was offered during the winter quarter of 1994. The following public lectures were presented: "The Development of the Archaeological Landscape of the Balikh Valley, Syria" (at the Boston meeting of the Chowder and Marching Society, October 1993); "Climatic Change and Archaeology in Upper Mesopotamia" (at Argonne National Laboratory, November 1993); "Assyrian Settlement Geography" (Rome, November 1993); "Urban Change and Population Dynamics in Early Bronze Age Upper Mesopotamia" (with Guillermo Algaze, at the Society for American Archaeology meetings, Anaheim, California, April 1994).

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