SEALS AND SEALING IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE STATE: A FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS OF SEALS IN SECOND MILLENNIUM BC SYRIA.
KeywordsCylinder seals -- Syria.
Syria -- Antiquities.
Seals (Numismatics) -- Syria.
Syria -- History -- To 333 B.C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractCylinder seal impressions occur in many contexts in the ancient Near East. This disssertation focuses specifically on the function of sealing in the manipulation of state resources (land, labor, and goods) in second millennium B.C. Syria. The sources of information utilized in this study include textual references to sealing practices, sealed documents, bullae, and the seals themselves. The archives of Mari, Alalah, and Ugarit are particularly important as they provide textual and archaeological information on seals and sealing within the physical and institutional context of the palace, the center of state administration. Chapter 1 surveys the previous research on seals and sealing and briefly outlines Syrian geography and political history in the second millennium B.C. Chapter 2 examines the physical qualities of the seals--materials, methods of production, distribution and style. Chapter 3 addresses the problem of the physical and institutional context of seal use. A functional division between legal and administrative texts is reflected in the use of seals on them. On both types of documents, however, the use of a seal acknowledges the obligation of the sealer. The nature of that obligation varies with the contents of the text itself. Chapter 4 evaluates the use of seals on legal texts in palace archives. Most of these sealed documents record land grants. The historical trend in second millennium Syria is to an increasing involvement of heads-of-state in granting state land. Other sealed legal documents were kept in palace archives because the participants were in some way associated with the palace. Chapter 5 details the administrative use of seals at Mari. Receipts and expenditures are the most common sealed documents. The use of seals on these texts signals the acceptance by the sealer of responsibility for the goods or actions described therein. The conclusions (Chapter 6) summarize the differences in sealing practices in Mari, Alalah and Ugarit in light of the different historical circumstances and political needs of each state.
Degree ProgramOriental Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Reincarnation, marriage, and memory: Negotiating sectarian identity among the Druze of SyriaBasso, Ellen B.; Bennett, Marjorie Anne, 1963- (The University of Arizona., 1999)This dissertation is based on twenty-one months of ethnographic fieldwork in Damascus and Suwyada, Syria. Research focused on the Druze religious sect. The central focus is on a religious minority's strategies for preserving their sense of separateness and uniqueness while at the same time claiming pan-Arab and patriotic Syrian affiliations. Three broad topics are used to discuss this: reincarnation, marriage, and memory. Because the primary focus is on a religious minority, one of the major concerns has been to elucidate notions of relational identity from a Druze point of view. This dissertation is an argument against any kind of facilely labeled Druze identity, and is an extended discussion of various facets of Druze experience, on what it means to be a member of a religious minority in the contemporary Middle Eastern state of Syria in the mid-1990s. Identity might be best understood as affiliations and affinities, multiply interacting levels of meaning, and a question of frequently adjusting focus and perspective. Reincarnation is not usually associated with Islam, and the Druze belief in reincarnation is one thing that sets this sect apart from the Sunni majority in Syria, even stigmatizes them. This dissertation also explores the nature of the everyday lived experience of Druze reincarnation, and how it is a point of cohesion for the community as a whole, but at the cost of some emotional splintering of individuals selves and families. Reincarnation has concrete social effects on both families and communities. It brings together members of unrelated families who otherwise would never have cause to know one another. Reincarnation also functions doctrinally to support the sect's prohibition against outmarriage. Outmarriage was perceived to be occurring with increasing frequency among the Druze in the 1990s, and was a hot topic of conversation. This dissertation explores the nature of ideologies being reproduced, as well as challenged and altered, through the debate ongoing in the community regarding marriage and outmarriage. Both reincarnation and outmarriage are topics that raise the issue of the Druze's relationship to non-Druze, and relational identity, since they both deal with ideologies of boundary maintenance, and "purity" of sect membership.
THE EARLY OCCUPATION AT TELL ABU HUREYRA IN THE CONTEXT OF THE LATE EPIPALEOLITHIC OF THE LEVANT (NEAR EAST, CHIPPED STONE, NORTH SYRIA).OLSZEWSKI, DEBORAH IRENE.; Jelinek, Arthur J.; Moore, Andrew; Fish, Paul; Thompson, Raymond H. (The University of Arizona., 1984)An understanding of the interrelationships between Levantine late Epipaleolithic chipped stone assemblages is essential for an understanding of the cultural developments responsible for early plant and animal domestication. The analysis of the differences and similarities in technological and typological attributes of chipped stone assemblages, in conjunction with site locale, material remains other than chipped stone, and reconstructions of prehistoric environmental and climatic conditions, leads to an increased awareness of the kinds of activities practiced by prehistoric groups in different areas of the Levant at that time. Until recently, a majority of the research on the Levantine late Epipaleolithic was confined to the Palestinian area, and to the Natufian complex that characterizes that region of the Levant. The analyses presented here are concerned with the description and interpretation of a late Epipaleolithic chipped stone assemblage from the northern Levant at Tell Abu Hureyra on the Euphrates River, and the ways in which this assemblage compares and contrasts with those from the Natufian area. This research provides new and important information about prehistoric activities in an area outside of the traditional Natufian core region of Palestine. A complete typological description of the Tell Abu Hureyra chipped stone assemblage is presented. This information is used to compare these materials with the assemblages from other north Syrian sites (Tell Mureybat, Dibsi Faraj East, Nahr el-Homr, el-Kowm, and Aarida 7). Using general tool classes, such as scrapers, burins, and notch/denticulates, the north Syrian assemblages are then compared, by means of distance coefficients, cluster analysis, and principal components analysis, with Natufian assemblages. The lunate, a geometric microlith, is examined in particular. The chronological value of lunate attributes established by certain authors is assessed for lunates from Natufian assemblages and from the Tell Abu Hureyra assemblage. The information derived from these analyses is assessed in conjunction with environmental data, and specific site character (such as open terrace or cave/shelter) to construct a general interpretation of the significance of the variability in the late Epipaleolithic assemblages of the Levant.