The Rise of Urbanized Landscapes in Mesopotamia: The QADIS Integrated Survey Results and the Interpretation of Multi-Layered Historical Landscapes

Nicolò Marchetti 1 , Abbas Al-Hussainy 2 , Giacomo Benati 3 , Giampaolo Luglio 4 , Giulia Scazzosi 5 , Marco Valeri 6  and Federico Zaina 7
  • 1 Department of History and Cultures, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  • 2 College of Archaeology, Qadisiyah University, Diwaniyah, Iraq
  • 3 Department of History and Cultures, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  • 4 Department of Classics, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
  • 5 Department of Humanities, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • 6 Department of History and Cultures, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  • 7 Department of History and Cultures, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Abstract

This paper draws on the preliminary results of the QADIS survey project, conducted by the University of Bologna and the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage since 2016 in the Qadisiyah province. The project addresses phenomena related to anthropogenic transformation of landscapes in a region that was at the core of the early Mesopotamian urbanization process. Building upon the seminal work conducted by R. McC. Adams in the 1960 s and 1970 s, we implemented an integrated documentation technique to reconstruct at regional levels the changes in the dense network of human settlements and artificial water infrastructures characterizing the evolution of this archaeological landscape over time. The aim of the article is that of providing a finer-grained regional picture of 4th and 3rd millennium BC urban developments which can be useful for better conceptualizing the scale and pace of early Mesopotamian urbanism.

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The journal publishes papers and reviews from the field of Ancient Eastern Philology, and religious, legal, economic and social history, together with Middle Eastern archaeology and art history. The main geographical areas covered are Mesopotamia, Northern Syria, Anatolia, Ancient Armenia and Elam.

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