Assyrian Landscape Planning in the Core of the Empire (ca. 900-600 BC)

Author(s): Jason Ur

Year: 2016


A variety of evidence has been used to suggest that the Assyrian kings and their planners made dramatic changes to the landscape of the imperial core, and these changes were deliberate. This evidence mostly consists, however, of anecdotal observations and uncritical readings of propagandistic royal inscriptions. The hypothesized planned Assyrian landscape also conflicts with the results of systematic archaeological research on preceding Bronze Age landscapes, which were largely self-organized. This presentation analyzes two seasons of survey and landscape research by the Erbil Plain Archaeological Survey in the core of the empire, in what is today the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Initial results of settlement patterns and hydraulic engineering suggests that in the shift from the small kingdoms of the Bronze Age to the massive Assyrian empire of the Iron Age, the ability of central planners to impose their will on the landscape had grown, and that the imperial core was heavily designed.

Cite this Record

Assyrian Landscape Planning in the Core of the Empire (ca. 900-600 BC). Jason Ur. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404155)


Assyria Landscape Survey

Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;