Cultural Landscape along the Syro-Turkish Middle Euphrates River Valley from the 5th to the 3rd Millennium BC
The general aim of my PhD research project is to investigate archaeological landscapes from the 5th to the 3rd Millennium BC along the Middle Euphrates Valley both north and south of the modern Syro-Turkish border. The main research questions to be addressed include:
- How did the process of early urbanisation develop along the Middle Euphrates Valley?
- How did sedentary and mobile communities interact with each other?
- How did trade and communication networks flourish?
- How did human communities respond to environmental stresses? Did this result in social differentiation?
Mainly through the analysis of site locations, concentrations, sizes, types, and hierarchies the degree of nucleation or dispersal of settlements is inferred. The dynamics of settlement development are investigated by integrating original survey data, remote sensing information, and results of other archaeological investigations.
For a long period of time, archaeological research primarily concentrated on the areas immediately adjoining the Euphrates River and did not investigate higher lands to the east and west. First in 2001, a Turkish investigation conducted research along the eastern side of the river valley and on the westernmost fringes of the Suruç plain in Turkey. In March 2009, I studied the results of this survey with the specific aim to better define the chronological attributions of the collected pottery. This research supports an intensive investigation of settlement and landscape patterns for the area distant from the river valley in the western Syrian section of the Euphrates River Valley with particular attention paid to the overall record of settlements and to the landscape between the sites.
During the 2009 and 2010 summer field season, the “Land of Carchemish” Project (LCP) discovered and documented some 41 new sites were discovered and documented. This newly acquired data has combined with already known information in a GIS platform. Analyses have been conducted on the spatial patterns and nucleation of settlements.
The GS platforms and the exchange of ideas with other PhD students have deeply influenced my work, as I am now integrating more geoarchaeological investigations and climate data into my research. In particular, an augering season is planned for next campaign in Syria to investigate the nature of the extended activity area of the Uruk period and early third millennium settlements around the site of Jerablus Tahtani.
Member of the Land of Carchemish (Syria) Project: this research, directed by Prof. T.J. Wilkinson
(Durham University, UK), aims to reconstruct the Euphrates Valley landscape and the longterm
settlement trends of this region.
Member of the expedition at site of Arslantepe – Malatya (Turkey), where investigations are
conducted under the supervision of Prof. Marcella Frangipane (University of Rome “La Sapienza”,
2003 - 2005
Responsible for site documentation and assistant to pottery recording, I took part in the
Malatya Plain geoarchaeological survey conducted by Prof. Gian Maria Di Nocera (University of
Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy).
2002 - 2005
Collaboration, as square supervisor, on projects conducted by the Orient Abteilung of the
Deutsches Archaeologisches Institut at Goebekli Tepe (Turkey), Tall Hujayrat al-Ghuzlan (Jordan)
and Tayma (Saudi Arabia).
Participation in various excavation and survey projects carried out by English, German and Italian institutions in the Middle East as well as in Italy and Peru.
Peltenburg, E., Wilkinson, T.J., Ricci, A., Lawrence, D., McCarthy, A., Wilkinson, E., Newson, P., Perini S.: The Land of Carchemish (Syria) Project: The Sajur Triangle, in Proceedings of the 7th ICAANE conference London.
Ricci, A.: 2.4 - modern land use; 3.3 - site documentation and catalogue; 9.2 -The Chalcolithic occupation (together with D’Anna, M.B.). In: Di Nocera, G.M. (Ed.): Settlement dynamics along the Malatya Plain. The Results of the Archaeological Survey Project in the Malatya Plain 2003-2005. Roma.
D’Anna, M. B., Laurito, R., Ricci, A. (): Walking on the Malatya Plain (Turkey): Preliminary remarks on Chalcolithic pottery and occupation. 2003-2005 Archaeological Survey Project. In: Córdoba J.M., Molist M., Pérez M.C., Rubio J., Martínez S. (Ed.): Proceedings of the 5th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East – Madrid, April 3-8 2006, Madrid: 567-573.
Goldhausen M. and Ricci A., 2005, Political Centralization in the Syrian Jezira of the III
Millennium: A Case Study in Settlement Hierarchy, in: Altorientalische Forschungen 2005/1: 132-