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Durham e-Theses
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Landscapes of Burial? The Homs Basalt, Syria in the 4th-3rd
millennia BC

BRADBURY, JENNIE,NICOLE (2011) Landscapes of Burial? The Homs Basalt, Syria in the 4th-3rd
millennia BC.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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In the basaltic landscape of the Homs region, there exist thousands of hitherto unrecognized burial cairns and settlements provisionally dated to the 4th-3rd millennia BC. They represent a unique opportunity to analyze a largely extant archaeological record of human activity, which contrasts with the traditional landscape of tells characteristic of the Middle East. With this in mind, this thesis aims to investigate such structures and their role within processes of social reproduction in what can be termed 'non-optimal' zones. The timing of their construction, when societies in lowland zones were undergoing a significant augmentation of political and economic complexity,concomitant with the rise of states, is pivotal. Despite assumptions regarding the association between these monuments and nomadic groups, preliminary research within the Homs area suggests that such an association is not necessarily straightforward. As such, the long-term interplay between mobile and sedentary populations within sub-optimal zones is crucial for the consideration of these monuments. Preliminary analysis of data from the Homs area, as well as other areas within the Levant, has also suggested that a sole 4th/3rd millennia BC attribution for these monuments cannot be supported. Accordingly, my research is also concerned with the re-incorporation of these monuments within changing landscape and settlement structures during later periods. It draws upon concepts such as experiential landscapes, previously under utilized by researchers in the Middle East, to reconsider the notion that such monuments represented a unified phenomenon.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Burial Monuments, Cairns, Levant, 4th-3rd millennia BC, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, Sub-optimal
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 Apr 2011 14:50

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