17. Reconstructing Homeland at a Time of Globalizing Change: Peasant Migration in Late Medieval Syria

Levantine Entanglements - Local Dynamics of Globalization in a Contested Region - Terje Stordalen

Bethany J. Walker [+-]
University of Bonn
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Prof. Dr. Bethany J. Walker (PhD 1998, University of Toronto, Islamic art and archaeology) – Co-Director of the Khirbet Beit Mazmīl excavations and Co-PI of the Medieval Jerusalem Hinterland Project. Research Professor of Mamluk Studies and Director of the Research Unit of Islamic Archaeology at the University of Bonn (Germany). Author of Jordan in the Late Middle Ages: Transformation of the Mamluk Frontier (Chicago, 2011), editor of Reflections of Empire: Archaeological and Ethnographic Studies on the Pottery of the Ottoman Levant (Boston, 2009), and author of 65 scholarly articles. Founding editor of the Journal of Islamic Archaeology (Equinox) and Co-editor of Equinox’s Monographs in Islamic Archaeology.

Description

The lives of peasants across the Mediterranean were transformed by the greater interconnectedness of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, which drove changes in land tenure and use, facilitated market agriculture, and encouraged rural migration. This chapter scrutinizes this phenomenon as it played out in Greater Syria at the end of the medieval era, making use of a closely integrated “reading” of the archaeological record and the contemporary textual record (namely Mamluk and Ottoman-era Arabic documents related to land use and daily life in village communities). This is in an effort to disentangle imperial interventions from local decision-making in regards to planting and water use and distribution (presented here as social canons in natural resource management). In this way it adopts a Bourdieu-esque approach to understanding how concepts of “homeland” developed over time and to documenting the changing contours of local “identity-making” on a small scale.

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Citation

Walker, Bethany. 17. Reconstructing Homeland at a Time of Globalizing Change: Peasant Migration in Late Medieval Syria. Levantine Entanglements - Local Dynamics of Globalization in a Contested Region. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Sep 2021. ISBN 9781781799123. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=38457. Date accessed: 25 May 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38457. Sep 2021

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