Abstract: Tell Raqa'i: Village Archaeology in Early Urban Mesopotamia
Excavations conducted at Tell Raqa'i in the Khabur valley of upper Mesopotamia (modern northeast Syria) have revealed a near-complete village dating to ca. 2900-2500 BC, the period when urban civilization began to emerge. While archaeologists tend to focus on the big cities and their wealthy inhabitants, work at Raqa'i allows us to see how "the other half" lived, which can be surprisingly sophisticated. This talk will discuss the evolution of the Raqa'i village through the centuries, the life its people led, and the role that this and other villages played in the development of Mesopotamian urban civilization.