Experimentations in Social Complexity:the Halaf Period and evidence from Domuztepe

Author(s): Hannah Lau

Year: 2017


The Late Neolithic Halaf period (c. 6100-5200 cal. BCE) is one of critical importance for understanding the emergence of social complexity in the Ancient Near East. During this period, people in Northern Mesopotamia were beginning to experiment with altering the scale at which their social, economic, and political networks were structured. By examining gradual shifts in the scale of cooperation within groups, we can identify changes in social interaction and organization. I demonstrate this using evidence of Halaf peoples’ agropastoral production systems and of large-scale feasts at the Halaf site from the site of Domuztepe (ca. 6000-5450 cal. BCE) in southern Turkey. Evidence of cooperation and emergent inequality at Domuztepe correlates with evidence from the broader Halaf region of cooperation and coordination in raw material procurement, craft production, and accounting practices. Together these data indicate that at Domuztepe, and perhaps at other population centers during the Halaf period, people began to experiment with new forms of social integration and organization.

Cite this Record

Experimentations in Social Complexity:the Halaf Period and evidence from Domuztepe. Hannah Lau. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430058)

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Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17477