Tell Arbid – House and Household

  • Anna Smogorzewska, Tell Arbid. House and Household in a Changing Town (=PAM Monograph Series 9), Warsaw: PCMA, WUW, 2019

    Warsaw 2019
    2nd edition
    ISBN 978-83-235-4090-8
    474 Pages
    Soft cover with flaps

    At the core of community life, the house and household constitute a socio-economic unit that when analyzed in all its respective archaeological aspects—architecture, domestic features and cultural artifacts—can paint a vivid picture of the everyday life of the people that lived there once.

    Tell Arbid in the later mid 3rd millennium BC was a changing town, growing from its Ninevite 5 roots (EJZ 1–EJZ 2) to reach its largest size ever in the late EJZ 2 and EJZ 3 (2550–2350 BC). This formative period in the socio-economic development of the town, itself a representative of the increasingly complex process of the urbanization of Bronze Age sites in the Syrian Jezirah, is well illustrated by the residential district that was uncovered in Area D. Explored in 2001–2007 by a team of Polish archaeologists including the author, the houses of Area D and the prolific assemblage of finds, which covered all categories, from houses and their installations to graves, and a rich repository of objects of material culture and biological remains, including pottery (a collection of altogether 2842 sherds), gave ample opportunity for an in-depth study of everyday life in a middle-sized town in the Syrian Jezirah.

    The results served to reconstruct house architecture, social organization, subsistence economy, and burial customs in the town and, by extrapolation, in an important region in the Near East at a key stage in its civilizational development.

    Anna Smogorzewska is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw. Her main interest is in the Bronze Age archaeology of the Near East with special focus on the Syrian Jezirah. Her other research includes household archaeology, ceramic technologies, archaeology of the Caucasus and Anatolia and ancient economies. Her doctoral dissertation was on relations of Mesopotamia with Eastern Anatolia in the Early Bronze Age. She is an active archaeologist, participating in various archaeological excavation projects in Syria and the Gulf. At present, she is involved in the PCMA UW project in Kuwait where she is investigating pottery traditions in the Neolithic period.

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