Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



Rauh, N.K., R. F. Townsend, M. C. Hoff, M. Dillon, M. W. Doyle, C. A. Ward, R. M. Rothaus, H. Caner, U. Akkemik, L. Wandsnider, F. S. Ozaner, C. D. Dore

2009 Life in the Truck Lane: Urban Development in Western Rough Cilicia. Jahreshefte des Österreichischen Archäologischen Institutes in Wien 78: 253-312.


Copyright © 2009 by Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften Wien

All figures © by the authors.


What combination of forces precipitated urban development in the ancient Mediterranean world? Are the remnants of such forces identifiable in the archaeological record? Since the Mediterranean basin presented itself as an ethnically diverse region where goods and services were transported largely by water, to what degree was urban development at the local level stimulated by the expansion of overseas empires? More specifically, does a ›world system‹ theoretical construct adequately address the phenomenon of urban development in the ancient Mediterranean world? This construct has gained significant popularity with those attempting to explain the pace and scale of development in the pre-classical world and is commonly applied to prehistoric, Near Eastern, and Bronze Age cultures of the region. However, it is rarely applied in Roman contexts where the quantity of archaeological and historical evidence to test the construct arguably is most plentiful . Moreover, existing discussion tends to focus on the formulation of a world system construct from the perspective of the core, defining the entity of the core itself, the possibility that core locations shifted over time, or that multiple competing core entities existed simultaneously. Recent observers have pointed increasingly to the lack of attention paid to diverging tendencies at the peripheral level in these developments . The desire to interpret developments macroregionally tends in particular to diminish the importance of economic behavior on the periphery, not to mention the complexity entailed in the merger of native and offshore systems. Some argue that participation by the periphery was often negotiated by local elites, and that such negotiations create internal conflicts and resolutions that often brought about social, political, and economic transformations. Understanding the nature of core/periphery relations, therefore, requires an awareness of the social and political structures of the individual societies in question. When viewed in microcosm, the likelihood for nuance, complexity, and variation in cultural development at the local level offers potentially significant insight to a world system construct. Regional survey in Rough Cilicia strives to address these issues.