Institute of Archaeology


Hanna Sosnowska

Hanna Sosnowska

The Socio-Economic Implications of Lithic Technologies in the Late Prehistory of Iraqi Kurdistan

Hanna Sosnowska

Email: h.sosnowska.11@ucl.ac.uk
Section: Archaeological Sciences



The Socio-Economic Implications of Lithic Technologies in the Late Prehistory of Iraqi Kurdistan

The period on which my thesis focuses spans from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (10,000 BC) to the Late Chalcolithic (c. 4000 BC) and is marked by the development and establishment of subsistence modes based on agriculture and herding, sedentary mode of life, leading to the subsequent emergence of villages and, in further perspective, the first urban centres, accompanied by the intensification in the production and flow of goods, growing social complexity, specialisation and important transformations in social organisation.

The relationship between the processes mentioned above and one of the most indispensable technologies at the time - stone tool technology - still remains unclear, particularly outside of the Levant. My thesis investigates changes in stone tool assemblages and technologies employed by prehistoric people in south-western Asia in relation to social and techno-economic developments taking place over five millennia and attempts to assess the nature of the relationship between them. I seek to test the hypothesis that greater social and economic complexity was accompanied by a simplification of stone tool assemblages while, in the same time, highly-skilled specialised production intensified in the course of those six millennia, and I attempt to identify the possible causes.

Departing from the idea of technology as a socially contextualised act and adopting the chaîne opératoire concept I look at lithic assemblages from three sites from Iraqi Kurdistan; Jarmo (Pre-pottery Neolithic B and early Pottery Neolithic), Tepe Marani (Late Halaf), Gurga Chiya (Chalcolithic and Late Chalcolithic - Ubaid and Uruk) as case studies. Due to the limited archaeological record available for the region under study a wider area is considered encompassing that of upper/northern Mesopotamia, comprising the Jezira Plain (NE Syria and NW Iraq), lying between the Mesopotamian Plain and the Euphrates depression of Eastern Syria as well as adjacent areas of Iran.




  • BA , Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Poland, 2008
  • MA, Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Poland, 2010

    Wengrow, D., Carter, R., Brereton, G., Shepperson, M., Hamarashi, S.J., Saber, S.A., Bevan, A., Fuller, D., Himmelman, H., Sosnowska, H. and Gonzalez Carretero, L., 2016. Gurga Chiya And Tepe Marani: New Excavations In The Shahrizor Plain, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq 78, pp.253-284.

    Conference papers


    Jarmo Revisted: New Light on Lithics, 2016

    The Socio-Economic Implications of Lithic Technologies in the Late Prehistory of Iraqi Kurdistan, 2017
    Link to the poster: http://www.grad.ucl.ac.uk/comp/2016-2017/poster/slash-wi9.html