Early Village Societies research group seminar series


Posted on: 1 December 2017 by Doug Baird in 2017 posts


Early Village Society Seminar

The first seminar of the Early Village Societies research group for this academic year recently took place, where two of our PhD students presented on the first stages of their research.

It has been 6 years since most archaeological fieldwork in Syria has come to a pause. Nonetheless, research continues on the vast amounts of data gained from this archaeologically rich part of the world. Two University of Liverpool PhD students, Patrick Biedermann and Jo-Hannah Plug, are currently working on important, and until recently largely uninvestigated datasets from two extensively excavated sites in northern Syria. Their research is not only similar in this regard, but also in that they both aim to gain insights into the ideological worlds of people at very crucial moments in time. Whereas Patrick Biedermann’s research focuses on the development of religious structures at Third Millennium BC Tell Chuera, Jo-Hannah Plug focuses on change and continuity within the mortuary record of late 7th, early 6th millennium BC Tell Sabi Abyad.

Hannah Plug

Hannah Plug: Uncovering a community: the mortuary record of Late Neolithic Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria.

Patrick Biedermann

Patrick Biedermann: From Clay- to Stone- Architecture. Urbanism, monumentality and political change based on Area A (Steinbau I) at Tell Chuera, Syria.

In his presentation From Clay- to Stone- Architecture. Urbanism, monumentality and political change based on Area A (Steinbau I) at Tell Chuera, Syria Patrick Biedermann presented the first results of the extensive but unpublished excavations of the temenos area of Tell Chuera – the largest of the so-called Kranzhügel-sites and one of the key sites in 3rd millennium Northern Mesopotamia. Besides a large palatial complex, residential- and production areas, also a large temenos characterises the topography of the site. The research aims to gain more information about the site itself, about the development of religious structures and institutions, and about urbanisation processes during the 3rd Millennium in Northern Mesopotamia.

Early Village Society Seminar poster

Jo-Hannah Plug presented her dataset and research questions in Uncovering a community: the mortuary record of Late Neolithic Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria. Tell Sabi Abyad has proven to be a key site within the investigation of the Late Neolithic, giving evidence for major innovations in subsistence, culture and society. Jo-Hannah Plug’s research aims to explore these processes using a promising strand of evidence – the mortuary record. By integrating the data relating to funerary customs, heath, and diet within one interpretative framework, she aims to achieve a better understanding of the impact of wider cultural change on the local community of this prehistoric site.

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