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Las aldeas de Ugarit. Según los archivos del Bronce Reciente (s. XIV-XII a.n.e.)

"The PhD dissertation focuses on the study of ugaritic villages. Due to the absence of archaeological sources, one is forced to rely on texts recovered in the city of Ugarit, wich contain more or less explicit references to the villages in the kingdom. These are about 300 texts, written either in Ugaritic or Akkadian, distributed along 30 archives. The chronology followed by the study, from the 14th to the 12th century b.C., is a result of the fact that practically all the texts found in Ugarit date from that period.The PhD dissertation is divided into four great areas, particularly relevant to the knowledge of the material reality of the villages, and capable of being studied with the data we have; these areas are: demography, subsistence, funcitional specialization and institutions and modes of government. A chapter is devoted to each of these areas.Data has been studied introducing new categories of analysis: the use of demographic and quantitative criteria to the study of textual material; this has provided our attempt at reconstructing the image of ugaritic villages with more historical insight.The main results gathered from the use od such analysis methods have been the folowing: - The identification of a very characteristic pattern of settlement, with a remarcable concentration of large settlements in the South-Eastern half of the Latakkia region, particularly arround the main city and the fertile plain of Gabla; as well as small settlements in the mountainous regions at the periphery of the kingdom.- Completing this image, the analysis of the personal obligations attested showed that the large population centres were preciselly in the plain of Gabla and arround the main city. So the pattern towards the concentration of population in more fertile and better watered areas, instead of the less favoured regions, a process characterizing the syriocanaanite area during the Late Bronze age, is confirmed in Ugarit.- Finally, the study of the various forms of functional specialization confirmed the substantial regional differentiation between the villages in the South coastal area and those in the mountains. Very significatively, the proliferation of large metal workshops has been attested almost exclusively in the settlements arround Ugarit, workshops related to the palace, hierarchically organized and exclusively devoted to that task. These settlements, moreover, took part in the international commercial flows, as the unearthing of ceramics from Cyprus in Tell Tweini and of various documents where reference was made to the arrival of ships from Cyprus to villages harbours attest. Finally, the geographic ordering of the naming of members of ugaritic aristocracy such as maryannu, was limited to that very area.The concluding chapter is reserved to the discussion of the theoretical models put forward until today to interpret the data we have mentioned. The detailed study of the materials related to villages has lead us to defend the essence of the bipartite model, confirmed not only by the traditional study of texts overtaken by Liverani and Heltzer, a study not satisfactorilly contested by current criticism, but also by the quantitative and geographical analysis we have applied in our work."

Author(s):  Vidal Palomino, Jordi
Format:  Book
Publisher:  Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Publication City:  Barcelona
Date:  2004