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Herrmann, Virginia Rimmer

Grant Type
Post-Ph.D. Research Grant
Insitutional Affiliation
Chicago, U. of
Completed Grant
Approve Date
Project Title
Herrmann, Dr. Virginia Rimmer, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Urban Plan and Sociopolitical Change at Iron Age Sam'al (Zincirli Höyük, Turkey)'

DR. VIRGINIA R. HERRMANN, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Urban Plan and Sociopolitical Change at Iron Age Sam'al (Zincirli Höyük), Turkey.' In the 9th century BC, the ruler of the small kingdom of Sam'al (modern Zincirli, Turkey) built a new capital city with a circular plan and adorned its gates with striking relief scenes. Soon after in the mid-8th century BC, Sam'al came under the control of the Assyrian empire of Mesopotamia. This project compares Sam'al's urban organization in its period of independence with that of its period of imperial domination, through targeted excavations in different parts of the site. Previous investigations had already established that in the Assyrian imperial period, the city's residential area was divided between the mansions of the elite and the smaller, less formal houses of commoners. The current work has found that this socioeconomic segregation was not original to the city's plan, but was introduced at the onset of strong Assyrian influence. Furthermore there is surprising evidence that for some time after the city was founded, it was only sparsely occupied, probably enclosing mainly fields and gardens. Through the case study of Sam'al, this project explores the effect of major changes in political organization, such as that experienced by a city-state incorporated into a transregional empire, on the plan of ancient cities.