Petra M Creamer
Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationEmory U.
Grant numberGr. 10388
Approve DateOctober 11, 2022
Project TitleCreamer, Petra (Emory U.) "Rural Landscapes of Iron Age Imperial Mesopotamia"
Archaeological projects focusing on empires of the premodern world have investigated the function of the ruling elite, the mechanisms of power, the development of institutionalized inequality. This project explores these questions through the nature of rural settlements in the Assyrian Empire of the Iron Age Near East. Archaeological surveys in northern Mesopotamia have identified a sudden expansion of settlement into the interfluvial countryside during the early Iron Age, as Assyrian power reached its zenith. The character of these new small, often single-period settlements is debated, with some arguing that this was a centrally-planned enterprise meant to provide residences for deportees to resettle in the heart of the empire after the destruction of their original settlements, and to then compel those deportees to provide sustenance for the large capital cities of the empire. This project involves targeted excavations of one such small-scale, single period Assyrian site located in the interfluvial countryside on the Erbil Plain, Iraqi Kurdistan. Previous geophysical investigations have revealed several structures related to storage and domestic architecture, which will be investigated with an eye towards understanding the occupants of these villages, the processes of their creation, and the relationship between bottom-up and top-down agricultural production in imperial contexts.