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City Streets: Reflections on Urban Society in the Cuneiform Sources of the Second and First Millennium bce

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses mental models and discourses on urban spaces in written sources, which reflect the social meanings that are generated by people's interactions and practices in the urban space and through the mapping of social and cultural values onto urban space. It aims at providing an overview of how streets and their public functions are represented in cuneiform texts from the second and first millennium BCE. The multiple public, political, economic, administrative activities which took place at the Greek agora and the Roman forum seem to have been distributed to a number of places within the Mesopotamian city. The description of the topography of Nippur in the text is in accordance with our scant archaeological knowledge of the topography of this city, but also with the Map of Nippur, which is on a cuneiform tablet from about 1300 BCE.

Keywords: cuneiform texts; Greek agora; Mesopotamian city; Millennium BCE; Nippur; Roman forum



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