Studying archaeological evidence from sites covering over 200 kilometres of the banks of the Euphrates River, Lisa Cooper's excellent monograph explores the growth and development of human settlement in the Euphrates River Valley of Northern Syria during the Early and Middle Bronze Ages from circa 2700 to 1550 BC.
Cooper focuses on the nature and development of the urban politics that existed in the area during these periods and highlights two principal inter-related characteristics of the Euphrates Valley:
- the study of specific aspects of Euphrates culture, such as the nature of urban secular and religious architecture, mortuary remains, and subsistence pursuits, to underline the unique character of this region during the Early and Middle Bronze Ages
- the striking resilience of its cultural traditions over many centuries despite the political instability and environmental degradation.
Including studies on the tribal background of the populations, the economy, the unique geography of the Euphrates, the ethnic and social structure of its inhabitants, and the influences of states surrounding it, this is a unique and invaluable resource for all students of archaeology and ancient history.
Lisa Cooper is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where she teaches Near Eastern archaeology and history. Her research focuses primarily on ancient Syrian pottery, and the rise and fall of cities and states in northern Mesopotamia during the Bronze Age. Since 1998, she has been the Assistant Director of the Canadian archaeological expedition to Tell 'Acharneh in Western Syria.
'This constitutes an extremely useful and comprehensive synthesis of the Early Bronze Age material... which makes this general and well-informed account, to say nothing of the references themselves, of great value... the book is undoubtedly an invaluable, comprehensive, well-informed and very readable volume.... a must for anyone interested in third millenium ancient Syria.' - Joan Oates, Antiquity