Mediterranean Urbanization 800-600 BC

Mediterranean Urbanization 800-600 BC

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Urban life as we know it in the Mediterranean began in the early Iron Age: settlements of great size and internal diversity appear in the archaeological record. This collection of essays offers for the first time a systematic discussion of the beginnings of urbanization across the Mediterranean, from Cyprus through Greece and Italy to France and Spain. Leading scholars in the field look critically at what is meant by urbanization, and analyse the social processes that lead to the development of social complexity and the growth of towns. The introduction to the volume focuses on the history of the archaeology of urbanization and argues that proper understanding of the phenomenon demands loose and flexible criteria for what is termed a 'town'. The following eight chapters examine the development of individual settlements and patterns of urban settlement in Cyprus, Greece, Etruria, Latium, southern Italy, Sardinia, southern France and Spain. These chapters not only provide a general review of current knowledge of urban settlements of this period, but also raise significant issues of urbanization and the economy, urbanization and political organization, and of the degree of regionalism and diversity to be found within individual towns. The three analytical chapters which conclude this collection look more broadly at the town as a cultural phenomenon that has to be related to wider cultural trends, as an economic phenomenon that has to be related to changes in the Mediterranean economy and as a dynamic phenomenon, not merely a point on the map. Wide ranging in its geographical coverage, this volume will be essential reading for scholars and students of archaeology, settlement studies, the archaic period and geographers interested in the history of urban forms.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 160 x 236.2 x 25.4mm | 725.76g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 3 tables, 17 maps, 49 figures
  • 0197263259
  • 9780197263259

Review quote

...a timely and important contribution Tim Williams, Journal of Hellenic Studies this volume provides a stimulating discussion of a range of different urbanisation processes, and presents a remarkably coherent set of papers which should go some considerable way to re-establishing the study of urbanisation as an important topic for our understanding of the ancient Mediterranean. Kathryn Lomas

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Table of contents

1. Urban Sprawl: What is Urbanization and Why does it Matter? ; 2. The Early Iron Age Urban Forms of Cyprus ; 3. Forms and Processes: Some Thoughts on the Meaning of Urbanization in Early Archaiac Greece ; 4. Urbanization in Etruria ; 5. The Begininngs of Urnaization in Rome ; 6. Early Urbanization Between 800 and 600 BC in the Pontine Region (South Lazion), the Salento Isthmus (Apulia), and the Sibaritide (northern Calabria) ; 7. Urban Foundations? Colonial Settlement and Urbanization in the Western Mediterranean ; 8. Urbanization and Spatial Organization in Southern France and North-Eastern Spain during the Iron Age ; 9. Mainake: the Legend and the New Archaeological Evidence ; 10. The Culture of Urbanization in the Mediterranean C. 800 - 600 BC ; 11. Village to City: Staples and Luxuries? Exchange Networks and Urbanization ; 12. Statics and Dynamics: Ancient Mediterranean Urbanism

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