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The Babylonian Cities: Investigating Urban Morphology Using Texts and Archaeology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines new approaches to investigating the fabric of the Babylonian cities, based on archaeological and written sources. It focuses on the physical composition of the non-monumental sectors of the city, emphasising the agency of the local inhabitants in shaping their immediate environment and examining the processes by which houses and neighbourhoods were transformed over time. As Michael Smith notes, "urban morphology" is an approach which has been primarily concerned with the detailed description and analysis of historical town plans. The chapter explores methods of investigating the morphology of Babylonian urban residential districts, drawing on approaches used in other disciplines that seem to be particularly suitable for handling the kinds of data at our disposal, both textual and archaeological. It has focused especially on the use of the written sources in the study of urban micromorphology.

Keywords: Babylonian cities; Michael Smith; urban micromorphology; urban morphology



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