Commerce and Colonization in the Ancient Near East
In this analysis of the first colonialisms in history, the eastern roots of the Phoenician colonial system in the first millennium BC are traced and the metropolis of Tyre is established as the final link in a long chain of colonial experiences in the ancient Near East. The author reviews some of the theories and debates about trade and the colonial phenomenon, scrutinises the colonial situations that arose in the East in a context of long-distance interregional trade, and analyses the examples - Egypt, Byblos, Uruk, and Assur - where a metropolis with a mercantile tradition intervenes and acts as intermediary in different interregional exchange circuits. The success of a colonial metropolis is measured by its capacity to integrate dependent and complementary economies in circumstances where there is a strong demand for raw materials by the great powers. In that context, the profits obtained in the colonies thanks to price differentials between one region and another bring us back to the unending debate about the place of the economy in the ancient world and the pertinence of using features from modern economy - such as market, capital, private initiative, laws of supply and demand, and money - to explain the economies of the past.
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Trade and colonialism in the near east page
primitivists versus modernists
Karl Polanyi and his view of ancient economy
theorisings and criticiques
The place of trade in ancient economies
Uruk and the ﬁrst colonialism
administration Akkadian Algaze amongst analysed Anatolia ancient East Aratta archaeological archives Assur Assyrian Assyrian merchants Assyrian trade Baalat Babylon Bronze Age Byblos capital caravans central centralised centre Chalcolithic circuits city-states civilisation colonial commercial commodities contacts copper cultural deﬁne Dercksen Dilmun documents dominated Dynasty Ebla economy Egypt Egyptian elites Enmerkar eponyms exchange existence ﬁg ﬁgure ﬁnds ﬁrm ﬁrst ﬂuctuation gold Hathor identiﬁed Imdilum important Inanna inﬂuence institutions inter-regional Kanesh king lapis lazuli Larsen learum long-distance trade Mediterranean mercantile merchandise Mesopotamia metal millennium BC minas modern Naqada ofAssur ofﬁce ofﬁcial ofthe Old-Assyrian organisation palace period periphery pharaohs Phoenician Polanyi political pottery production proﬁts Pusu-ken reciprocity redistributive reﬂected region relations Renfrew route royal seals shekel signiﬁcant silver Sippar social societies specialised structure Sumer Sumerian Susa Syria tablets tam/earum temple Tepe Yahya texts third millennium tombs Ugarit Uruk Uruk period Veenhof world system Zaccagnini