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

Carrie Hritz
American Journal of Archaeology
Vol. 117, No. 2 (April 2013), pp. 141-161
DOI: 10.3764/aja.117.2.0141
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3764/aja.117.2.0141
Page Count: 21
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Urbanocentric Models and "Rural Messiness": A Case Study in the Balikh River Valley, Syria
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Abstract

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 Using published and unpublished survey data from the Balikh River valley and integrating remotely sensed data sets, such as satellite imagery, I demonstrate that subregional environmental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

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