This paper interprets ancient public space as a material correlate of civic communities, using the Late Bronze Age city of Ugarit as a case-study. Civic communities acted as significant political factor throughout the history of the ancient Near East, both as institutions (e.g., political assemblies) and as informal groups (the “town's crowd”). A growing body of evidence and innovative approaches shows that, particularly in the Upper Syrian Euphrates region of the Late Bronze Age (cf. above all Tell Bazi and Emar), these forms of social aggregation and political negotiation were influential and sometimes antagonistic alternatives to monarchical powers. In this paper, I approach the study of past communal political life by analyzing with an integrated, GIS-based methodology the planning and use of public squares at Ugarit. The contribution aims at highlighting the relevance of public space for understanding the balance of power in the cities of the Late Bronze Age and discussing the chances and limits of relating civic politics to specific features of the ancient urban design.

Urban squares in Late Bronze Age Ugarit: A street view on ancient Near Eastern governance

Gilibert, Alessandra
2021

Abstract

This paper interprets ancient public space as a material correlate of civic communities, using the Late Bronze Age city of Ugarit as a case-study. Civic communities acted as significant political factor throughout the history of the ancient Near East, both as institutions (e.g., political assemblies) and as informal groups (the “town's crowd”). A growing body of evidence and innovative approaches shows that, particularly in the Upper Syrian Euphrates region of the Late Bronze Age (cf. above all Tell Bazi and Emar), these forms of social aggregation and political negotiation were influential and sometimes antagonistic alternatives to monarchical powers. In this paper, I approach the study of past communal political life by analyzing with an integrated, GIS-based methodology the planning and use of public squares at Ugarit. The contribution aims at highlighting the relevance of public space for understanding the balance of power in the cities of the Late Bronze Age and discussing the chances and limits of relating civic politics to specific features of the ancient urban design.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Gilibert_JNES_Urban squares.pdf

embargo fino al 01/10/2021

Tipologia: Versione dell'editore
Licenza: Accesso gratuito (solo visione)
Dimensione 4.55 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.55 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in ARCA sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3721609
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact