Commerce and Colonization in the Ancient Near East

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 31, 2013 - Business & Economics - 414 pages
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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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Contents

Trade and colonialism in the near east page
1
primitivists versus modernists
7
Karl Polanyi and his view of ancient economy
17
theorisings and criticiques
41
The place of trade in ancient economies
79
PART II
115
Uruk and the first colonialism
157
reciprocity and shared ideologies
201
the metropolis
267
the colonies
307
Final thoughts
365
Abbreviations
371
Index
409
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Maria Eugenia Aubet is Professor of Archaeology at the Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. She is the Director of the archaeological excavations in Tyre, Lebanon, and has written several books including The Phoenicians in the West: Politics, Colonies, and Trade and The Phoenician Cemetery of Tyre-Al Bas.