Heartland of Cities: Surveys of Ancient Settlement and Land Use on the Central Floodplain of the Euphrates Robert McC. Adams

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In this groundbreaking work, Robert McC. Adams presents the results of archaeological surveys conducted in southern Iraq between 1968 and 1975. Heartland of Cities is at once a detailed description of primary data collected in the field, an innovative exercise in data analysis, and a brilliant work of synthesis. Adams combines archaeological and written evidence to track the evolution of watercourses and settlement systems on the Mesopotamian plain over the longue durée and, in the process, develops a distinctive vision for the role of environment, geography, and human agency in Mesopotamian history. This fascinating account of the emergence and development of the world’s first cities draws attention, in particular, to shifting settlement patterns, to the evolution of natural and man-made watercourses, and to trends in the distribution of population across the Mesopotamian plain over a period of more than six thousand years.

  • Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981
  • Pp. xx + 162; 53 figures, 26 illustrations, 22 tables, 1 map
  • Out of Print