Water, agriculture and food in the ancient Near Eastern societies: the development of nutrition in the Fertile Crescent, from Lower Mesopotamia to Southern Levant

Università degli Studi di Perugia
Perugia, Italy
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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The project aims to explore the relationship between water and landscape in the Near East from the 4th to the 1st millennium BC, with particular reference to the development of agriculture and food production. The project will be centered on three case-studies: the site of Tell Zurghul, ancient Nigin in southern Iraq, and the sites of Jebel al-Mutawwaq and Madaba in Jordan. Beyond to the availability of archaeological data and archaeozoological and archaeobotanical remains, the choice reflects the possibility of investigating different ecosystems where the presence of water deeply changes the morphology of the environment and interacts with the daily life of people. In fact, Mesopotamia is a region where the rivers Euphrates and Tigris define an environment with a constant presence of water; on the contrary in Jordan where agriculture depend mainly on rainfall the management of water from seasonal rivers creates other specific systems of settlements and exploitation of the resources.