“A great step forward in the scholarship of frontiers and boundaries that bridges the gaps between disciplines. This useful volume will be critical reading for those interested in the history of the ancient Near East, in the imminent and emergent identities and relationships at the edges of larger polities, and in the geographical and political affordances of the regions that fall at the margins.”
—Megan Cifarelli, Manhattanville College
"This thought-provoking volume invites the reader to look at often well-known areas from within the marginal societies. This approach reveals the more independent identity of the people living in these margins."
Power and Identity at the Margins of the Ancient Near East rethinks the dichotomy between antiquated terms such as “core” and “periphery,” explores lived realities in the margins of central authority, and centers those margins as places of resistance and power in their own right.
The borderlands of hegemonic entities within the Near East and Egypt pressed against each other, creating cities and societies with influence from several competing polities. The peoples, cities, and cultures that resulted present a unique lens by which to examine how states controlled and influenced the lives, political systems, and social hierarchies of these subjects (and vice versa). This volume addresses the distinct traditions and experiences of areas beyond the core; terminology used when discussing empire, core, periphery, borderlands, and frontiers; conceptualization of space; practices and consequences of warfare, captive-taking, and slavery; identity- and secondary state–formation; economy and society; ritual; diplomacy; and the negotiation of claims to power.
It is imperative that historians and social scientists understand the ways in which these cultures developed, spread, and interacted with others along frontier edges. Using an intersectional approach across disciplines, Power and Identity at the Margins of the Ancient Near East brings together professionals from archaeology, religious studies, history, sociology, and anthropology to make new contributions to the study of the frontier.
Contributors: Alexander Ahrens, Peter Dubovský, Avraham Faust, Daniel E. Fleming, Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, Alvise Matessi, Ellen Morris, Valeria Turriziani, Eric M. Trinka