Vanishing Landscape of Syria: ground and space mapping of a diverse world
A research project of the Department of Archaeology.
The project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, seeks to understand the long-term development of settlement in west Syria, an area which remains poorly understood in comparison to Israel and Jordan to the south, and Mesopotamia to the east.
Lowland landscapes are characterised by mudbrick architecture and mounded tell sites formed by repeated rebuilding. While these typify Bronze and Iron Age activity, lowland settlements from the Prehistoric, Roman and Islamic periods rarely formed tells, and are thus poorly documented. However, their form has now been identified using imagery confirmed by ground observation. Our knowledge of the rocky ‘upland’, landscapes is dominated by stone architecture, virtually all of Graeco-Roman date. As the form taken by remains of other periods has only recently become clear, it has been impossible to produce an integrated account of the long-term development of settlement across the two landscape types.
1. To bring the results of the project Settlement and Landscape Development in the Homs Region, Syria (SHR) to publication http://www.dur.ac.uk/archaeology/research/projects/?mode=project&id=277.
2. To assess the extent to which the patterns detected through that survey are representative of the region as a whole, by systematic investigation of satellite imagery for 2500 km² of terrain adjacent to the survey area, informed by ground observation evidence from the survey.
3. To address the current incompatibility between data from ‘upland’ and ‘lowland’ landscapes
Journal papers: academic
- Philip, G, Bradbury, J & Jabbur, F (2011). The Archaeology of the Homs Basalt, Syria: the main site types. Studia Orontica 9: 38-55.
- Philip, G & Bradbury, J (2010). Pre-classical activity in the basalt landscape of the Homs region, Syria: the implications for the development of “sub-optimal” zones in the Levant during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age. Levant 42(2): 136-169.
- Newson, P. Abdulkarim, M. McPhillips, S., Mills, P., Reynolds, P. & Philip, G. (2009). Landscape study of Dar es-Salaam and the basalt region north west of Homs, Syria. Berytus 51-52: 1-35.