This article explores the complexity of nonurban and rural landscapes. Using published and unpublished survey data from the Balikh River valley and integrating remotely sensed data sets, such as satellite imagery, I demonstrate that subregional environmental diversity can constrain emerging urban landscapes and result in long-term, stable nonurban and/or rural settlement patterns. Rather than viewing these areas of low occupation density as "backwaters," I suggest that they reveal divergent settlement trajectories that were crucial components of regional settlement systems.
By Carrie Hritz
American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 117, No. 2 (April 2013), pp. 141–161
© 2013 Archaeological Institute of America