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Session 8: Produce, Consume, Repeat. History and Archaeology of Ancient Near Eastern Economies

The diverse economic context of the Near East, from the prehistoric to the medieval period, has greatly influenced the creation of economic models for the definition of pre-modern societies. From such basic activities as agriculture and husbandry to large-scale trade, the character of past economies has been the center of a continuous debate between modernists and formalists on the one side and primitivists and substantivists on the other. More current research has sought to move from that position by integrating the large amount of archaeological and textual data collected in the past decade on the topic. This has fueled the proliferation of quantitative analyses which enable the scientific community to widen and redefine past ideas of ancient economy.

This session will cover all aspects of pre-modern economies of the Near East, with a particular focus on processes of production/consumption and management. Papers integrating historical and archaeological datasets and centered on the dynamics of market economy and performance, demographic pressures, and land exploitation and tenure are particularly welcome.