Date of Graduation

12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Anthropology

Advisor

Jesse Casana

Committee Member

W. Fredrick Limp

Second Committee Member

Thomas Green

Abstract

The development of urbanism in the Near East during the 4thmillennium BCE has been an important debate for decades and with recent scientific findings, a revival of this intellectual discussion has come about. Many archaeologists suggested that urban societies first emerged in southern Mesopotamia, and then expanded to the north and northwest. With recent excavations in northern Mesopotamia, significant evidence has come to light with the finding of monumental architecture and city walls dated to the beginning of the 4th millennium BCE, well before southern Mesopotamian urban expansion. These discoveries reflect important administrative systems and stratified sociopolitical structures within these sites and have made archaeologists reevaluate the traditional theories regarding the origin of complex societies. However, the northern Levant has been neglected discussions of urban origins in the Near East. In this regard, this thesis offers a contribution to the understanding of changes that took place during this time in northern Levant and aims to deepen the knowledge of the presence of the Late Chalcolithic pottery types. Thus, answering open questions about commerce, trade, city development, and pottery production by local populations. The investigation synthesizes published evidences from both excavations and regional surveys, evaluates the appearance of Late Chalcolithic sites on satellite imagery, and reports on new evidence of Late Chalcolithic settlement at the site of Tell Qarqur in the Orontes River Valley of western Syria. This framework may help us to understand if urbanism in the Levant mirrors southern and northern Mesopotamian counterparts and ultimately, contribute to the understanding of this formative period across the entire Near East.