Institute of Archaeology
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Robert Homsher

Constructing Urbanism: Relating the Construction of the Middle Bronze Age City to the Process of Urbanization

My research provides a theoretical approach towards explaining the process of urbanization during the Middle Bronze Age of the southern Levant by investigating the process of constructing cities. This urban period bore the florescence of so-called ‘Canaanite’ material culture, with monumental architecture, fortifications and settlement expansion unparalleled by other periods of the Bronze Age, yet little has been done to explain the processes by which such urbanism occurred. By analysing patterns of mud-brick manufacture and use, and quantifying the cost of constructing urban architecture, I discuss major social mechanisms dealing with issues of labour organization, centralization and standardization in order to address the greater process that results in a dynamic system of urbanism. Three main case studies provide detailed analysis of mud-brick building practices in their architectural and site-specific contexts: Dan, Megiddo and Pella.

I supervise Area Q for the Megiddo Expedition and am the senior field supervisor for the Jezreel Valley Regional Project.

Recipient of the Sean W. Dever Memorial Prize 2012

Supervisors

 Educational background

  • BS, Biblical Text, Abilene Christian University, 2003
  • MA, Biblical Text, Abilene Christian University, 2005
  • MA, Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, University College London, 2009

"Mud-Bricks, Construction and the Process of Urbanization in the MB Levant", ASOR 2011 Annual Meeting, San Francisco

“The Jezreel Valley Regional Project 2011 Excavations at Tel Megiddo East”, with Adams, M., David, J., and Pincus, J., ASOR 2011 Annual Meeting, San Francisco

“Constructing Urbanism: The Construction of the Bronze Age City and the Process of Urbanization”, “The Tyranny of the Tell?” The Prehistoric Society Europa Day Student Workshop, Durham University, 13 May 2011

Adams, M. J., David, J. K., and Homsher, R., 2010. “Preliminary Web Report on the 2010 Excavation Season at Tel Megiddo (East) and 'Ain el-Qubbi”. http://www.jezreelvalleyregionalproject.com/season-by-season/2010-season

“Constructing Society: Urbanization and Site Formation in MBA Canaan”, Graduate Research Conference, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 9 November 200

  • Sampling bricks from the MB ‘Canaanite Gate’ of Tel Dan
  • Mud-bricks from an MB tower at Pella, Jordan

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