Frame 1: The Origins of the Urban Mind -3200 BCE

(Aims 1 and 2)

Participants: Prof. Paul Sinclair, Prof. Frands Herschend, Dr Michael Lindblom, Dr. Julia Mattes

Study Field: At the end of the last glaciation the Younger Dryas, c.10500 to 9600 BCE represents a period of rapid climatic change. The generally colder and dryer climate may be linked to the adoption of agriculture in the Natufian culture of the Levant. With a new economy and a sedentary way of life new tool and technologies, more durable settlements appear for the first time. At Jericho, the population lived in round mud brick houses surrounded by a stone wall and used domesticated emmer wheat, barley and pulses already at around 8300 BCE. Less than a millennium later the new economy had spread to places like Çatal Hüyük in Anatolia and Jarmo in northern Irak and by around 6000 BCE the first evidence appears in the Thessalian plain of Greece and the Fayum depression of Egypt. Populations living close together favoured new social networks, economic specialisation and differentiation, as well as long distance exchange. New mind sets and ways to organise communities appear apparently for the first time in human history.

Activities: Literature search from published sources. Networking with Stanford University and study visit to the excavations at the crucially important site of Çatal Hüyük in central Turkey. Networking with the Mappae Mundi programme.

Deliverables: Chapter in the Urban Mind on origins of the concept.