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City Dwellers and Backcountry Folk: Ritual Interactions between Mobile Peoples and Urban Centers in Late Bronze Age Syria

Johnson, Dylan R. 2022. City Dwellers and Backcountry Folk: Ritual Interactions between Mobile Peoples and Urban Centers in Late Bronze Age Syria. Leonard-Fleckman, Mahri, Monroe, Lauren A. S., Stahl, Michael J. and Johnson, Dylan R., eds. “A Community of Peoples” Studies on Society and Politics in the Bible and Ancient Near East in Honor of Daniel E. Fleming, Vol. 69. Harvard Semitic Studies, vol. 69. Leiden/Boston: Brill, pp. 139-158. (10.1163/9789004511538_010)
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Abstract

This article explores how sedentary and mobile peoples in Late Bronze Age Syria laid claim to shared social identities. The first section outlines how social identity was a matter of perspective, contrasting Middle Assyrian annalistic descriptions of hostile aḫlamû-Arameans with the rather amicable depiction of mobile peoples in the cuneiform archives of the Middle Euphrates (Emar and Ekalte). The second section examines how populations separated by time and space maintained a shared social identity through ritual. In addition to an identity defined by the town, three Emar rituals—the rites of Zarātu (Emar 446) and two forms of the zukru ritual (Emar 373+/Emar 375+)—evoked an older identity tied to the regional landscape. These rituals were a way for the inhabitants of Emar to identify with mobile groups who still occupied the Middle Euphrates, to lay claim to a common historical descent and a shared social identity embedded in the physical landscape and the worship of the deities who occupied it.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
Publisher: Brill
ISBN: 978-90-04-51152-1
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 October 2022
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2022 13:15
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/153572

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