Article

Urbanocentric Models and "Rural Messiness": A Case Study in the Balikh River Valley, Syria

117.2
Ancient cultural landscape of Tell Bi'a reconstructed from remote sensing data.
Ancient cultural landscape of Tell Bi'a reconstructed from remote sensing data.

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 Using published and unpublished survey data from the Balikh River valley and integrating remotely sensed data sets, such as satellite imagery, I demonstrate that subregional environmental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.

Urbanocentric Models and “Rural Messiness”: A Case Study in the Balikh River Valley, Syria
By Carrie Hritz
American Journal of Archaeology Volume 117 Number 2  (April 2013), pp. 141–161
DOI: 10.3764/aja.117.2.0141
© 2013 Archaeological Institute of America