The Sumerian civilization of southern Mesopotamia is best known for the development of the first cities and for the invention of writing. However, Mesopotamia also founded the world’s earliest known colonial system. The newly established Mesopotamian city states of the Uruk period (ca. 3800-3100 BC) established a series of trading settlements along the Euphrates river and other key trade routes, in an effort to gain access to resources such as copper, lumber, and semi-precious stones from the highlands of Anatolia and IranAlthough many of these Uruk colonies have been excavated, we know almost nothing about the relationship between the Mesopotamians and the local people with whom they traded. Excavations at the site of Hacinebi, in the Euphrates river valley of southeast Turkey give us a rare chance to study the effects of the Mesopotamian trading colonies on the local cultures of Anatolia. Hacinebi is a local Anatolian site, strategically located at the juncture of two main trade routes. A small group of Mesopotamians seems to have been present at Hacinebi, living in one corner of the site and trading with their local host community. By comparing the archaeological evidence from the Mesopotamian and local Anatolian quarters at Hacinebi, we can reconstruct the organization of this ancient colonial system and the role of Mesopotamia in the development of Anatolian civilization.
March 21, 2006, at 5:00 PM; University Room, the Institute for the Arts & Humanities, Hyde Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill
The inaugural Carolina Lecture in Archaeology, sponsored by the Faculty Working Group in Early Mediterranean Societies of the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, in conjunction with the Department of Classics, the Research Laboratories of Archaeology & the UNC Program in Archaeology.
Department of Classics
The University of North Carolina
CB# 3145, 212 Murphey Hall
Chapel Hill NC 27599-3145 U.S.A.
919-962-7191; f: 919-962-4036
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