20. 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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Bethany Walker is Research Professor of Mamluk Studies at the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg of the University of Bonn in Germany. An archaeologist and historian, her research has been published in numerous American, European, and Middle Eastern journals in both fields. With over twenty years field experience in the eastern Mediterranean, she directs two long-term archaeological projects in Jordan (the Tall Hisban excavations and the Northern Jordan Project), and is affiliated with numerous others in the region. Her recent monographs include Jordan in the Late Middle Ages: Transformation of the Mamluk Frontier and her edited Reflections of Empire: Archaeological and Ethnographic Studies on the Pottery of the Ottoman Levant. Walker's research in recent years has focused on rural societies, the dynamics of state-village relations, medieval Islamic environmental and agricultural history, local resource management, and ceramic analysis (primarily transitional and coarse wares).

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. 20. 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. Jan 2021. ISBN 9781781799123. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=38457. Date accessed: 15 Nov 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38457. Jan 2021

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