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Journal Article

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Annales Archéologiques Arabes Syriennes



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Northern Mesopotamia’s low grain yield costs and high land transport costs were fundamental forces behind early state growth in the fifth-fourth millennia BC (Weiss1983, 1986, 1997). That development, as well as the southern Mesopotamian Uruk colonization in northern Mesopotamia, was terminated by the 5.2 ka BP abrupt climate change that persisted for two centuries (Weiss 2001). In its wake, northern Mesopotamia underwent the Ninevite 5 experience: four hundred years of reduced settlement size,limited political consolidation, and abridged contact with southern Mesopotamia (Weiss and Rova eds. 2002).

In the Leilan IIId period, ca. 2600-2400 BC, at the end of the Ninevite 5 period, Leilan suddenly grew from village to city size, 90 hectares, and its politico-economic organization was transformed into a state apparatus (Weiss 1990). The reasons for this secondary state development are still unclear, but seems to have occurred synchronously across northern Mesopotamia and induced, briefly, the emulation of southern Mesopotamian administrative iconography (Weiss 1990).


Weiss, H., deLillis, F., deMoulins, D., Eidem, J., Guilderson, T., Kasten, U., Larsen, T., Mori, L., Ristvet, L., Rova, E., & Wetterstrom, W. (2002-2003). Revising the contours of history at Tell Leilan. Annales Archéologiques Arabes Syriennes, 45-46, 59-74.



Date Posted: 17 July 2014