Pathways to Power: Comparative Perspectives on the Emergence of Political Authority and Hierarchy in the Ancient Near East
Sponsored by The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
Friday, November 4, 2011 to Saturday, November 5, 2011

Location:
The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
United States

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago invites all to
attend the conference Pathways to Power: Comparative Perspectives
on the Emergence of Political Authority and Hierarchy in the Ancient
Near East, to be held November 4-5, 2011, in Breasted Hall at the
Oriental Institute.The conference is co-organized by Gil Stein, Abbas
Alizadeh, and Yorke Rowan.

Twenty leading international researchers gather to compare the
development of incipient complex societies across the Near East during
the sixth and fifth millennia B.C. in Egypt, the southern Levant,
Syria, Anatolia, the southern Caucasus, Mesopotamia, and Iran. Diverging
from their Neolithic village predecessors, a series of incipient complex
societies developed in parallel across the ancient Near East and laid
the foundations for the first urbanized states. We can only hope to
understand the emergence of incipient complex societies in the Near East
by examining this process in a comparative framework. The goal is to
gain a synthetic, comparative understanding of the different pathways by
which leadership, economic stratification, and political structures
developed and formed the foundations for the later emergence of the
first state societies.

Friday, November 4, 2011
Session 1. Iran & "Greater Mesopotamia" (1)
Chair: McGuire Gibson
9:00 Gil Stein, welcome and introduction
9:30 Abbas Alizadeh, The Convergence of Oppositional and
Complementary  Subsistence Strategies in Prehistoric Southwest
Iran,
10:00 Joan Oates, Early Settlement in Sumer and Central
Mesopotamia

11:00 Peter Akkermans, Emergent Complexities? Community
Organization in Sixth-Millennium Upper Mesopotamia
11:30 Hasan Fazeli and Roger Matthews, From Subsistence
to Prestige Consumption: Settlement, Subsistence, Trade, and
Mortuary Practices During the Transitional Chalcolithic Period
on the West-Central Plateau of Iran
12:00 Questions and discussion moderated by session chair

Session 2. Iran & "Greater Mesopotamia" (2)
Chair: Jonathan Haas
1:30 Gil Stein, Slippery Characters: Looking for Leaders in Ubaid
Greater Mesopotamia
2:00 Salam al-Kuntar, Clemens Reichel, and Khaled Jayyab,
Craft Specialization and Urban Growth in Northern Mesopotamia:
Late Chalcolithic 1-3 at Hamoukar, Northeast Syria

3:30 Mitchell Rothman, Perspectives on Developments in the Piedmont
of Northeast Iraq and Southeast Anatolian Hill Country in the Fifth
Millennium B.C.
4:00 Barbara Helwing, Clusters of Complexity: Sixth-Fifth
Millennium B.C. Communities in Iran and South Caucasia
4:30 Questions and discussion moderated by session chair

Saturday, November 5, 2011
Session 3. Caucasus, Anatolia & the Levant
Chair: David Schloen
9:00 Catherine Marro, The Emergence of Social Complexity in the
Highlands (Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus): Comparing the
Socioeconomic Systems of the Late Chalcolithic and Kuro-Araxes
Worlds
9:30 Rana Ã-zbal, Social Complexity in Central versus Southeast
Anatolia in the Sixth-Fifth Millennia B.C.

10:30 Marcella Frangipane, Different Socioeconomic Structures and
Developmental Processes of Early Hierarchies in Anatolia and
Mesopotamia
11:00 Yorke Rowan, Leadership in the Southern Levantine
Chalcolithic: Ritual Density and the Mode of Production
11.30 Questions and discussion moderated by session chair

Session 4. Egypt
Chair: Kathleen Morrison
1:00 Christiana Köhler, The Development of Social Complexity in
Early Egypt: Settlements, Technology, and Craft Specialization
1:30 Stan Hendrickx, The Iconography of Social Complexity and
Differentiation in Predynastic Egypt
2:00 Questions and discussion moderated by session chair

Session 5. Moderated roundtable discussion -- Comparative
Processes & Trends
3:00 Roundtable discussion moderated by Gary Feinman

Session 6. Discussants' Comments & Syntheses
3:30 Guillermo Algaze - Charles Stanish - Barbara Mills -
Gil Stein,
closing remarks

Contact Information
773-702-5967

Location

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