Scott J. Rufolo
(Johns Hopkins University)
Fellow in the Context of the International Research Fellowship Program IRF 2012
May – October 2012
Zooarchaeological Contributions to Understanding Patterns of Social Evolution in Northern Mesopotamia from the Ubaid to the Early Bronze Age
Coinciding with the Dahlem Humanities Center’s research focus on complex society in antiquity, my work explores the relationship between animal husbandry, pastoralism, and urbanism in ancient Syria. I am preparing a comparative study of the animal bone remains from five sites located in the Khabur River basin comprising small rural communities as well as a large urban center. Spanning the period of 5000-3000 BC, a diachronic analysis of the zooarchaeological data will chart developments in the subsistence economy (pastoral strategies, hunting practices, and the management of animal-derived resources) that reflect the more general social mechanisms that drove the process of increasing social complexity and eventual emergence of cities in this region of northern Mesopotamia.