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Herrmann, Virginia Rimmer

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

DR. VIRGINIA R. HERRMANN, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, was awarded a grant in April 2013 to aid research on 'Urban Plan and Sociopolitical Change at Iron Age Sam'al (Zincirli Höyuk, Turkey)'. In the ninth century BC, the ruler of the small kingdom of Sam'al (modern Zincirli, Turkey) built a new capital and adorned its gates with striking relief scenes. A century later, Sam'al came under the control of the Assyrian empire of Mesopotamia. This project compares the urban organization of Sam'al's period of independence with that of its imperial period, through targeted excavations in different parts of the site. Under Assyrian imperial domination, 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. Additional evidence suggests that large parts of the city were originally left unoccupied, either used for temporary gatherings and encampments or because they were uninhabitable until better drained. The 2013 season has confirmed and enhanced these results through additional excavation and ceramic, faunal, soil, and radiocarbon analyses. Through the case-study of Sam'al, this project explores the effect of major changes in political organization, such as the incorporation of a city-state into a transregional empire, on the plan of ancient cities.