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Journal Article

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Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research



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The emergence of political complexity in northern Mesopotamia ca. 2600 b.c. constituted an important cultural revolution which transformed how people within nascent states understood their communities. This study explores the relationship between inclusive and exclusive political strategies and free and limited access to a range of political and ritual spaces in cities and the countryside. First, it considers how the spatial organization of new cities constructed a particular type of political authority. Second, it reanalyzes several cultic monuments in light of the Ebla texts and Syrian ritual scenes and suggests that they formed pilgrimage networks that were interconnected with the economic and political systems of emerging states. Movement through newly created political landscapes was thus critical to the development of a cognitive schema that made sense of these polities.

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© 2011 American Schools of Oriental Research. All rights reserved. Republished here by permission of the American Schools of Oriental Research.



Date Posted: 17 July 2014

This document has been peer reviewed.