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La vie rurale en Syrie centrale à la période proto-byzantine (IVe-VIIe siècle)

Abstract : During Late Antiquity, especially between the 5th and 6th centuries, Central Syria witnessed a strong expansion of sedentary settlement eastward, which coincided with a significant agricultural development of these new territories. Like other areas in the Mediterranean era and especially in the Near-East at the same period, a waning climatic optimum seems to have allowed Late antique population to settle down and farm nearly unbroken lands in marginal areas which barely experienced sedentary occupation since the Early Bronze age. Central Syria is made up of various landscapes with contrasted agricultural potential. Settlement and farming are affected by a significant climatic and edaphic aridity increasing eastward and southward. These conditions, which may locally improve thanks to ecological niches, enabled specific and often complementary substance strategies to develop. In a country whence cities are virtually absent, a handful of market towns and many villages seem to have been at the very root of the regional byzantine economy. Along with agglomerations, an increasing number of scattered habitats – namely farmsteads and monasteries – under heavy bioclimatic constraints would appear as independent and apparently prosperous economic players. Homogeneous geographical areas led to specific settlement patterns and different economic orientations. Food-producing agriculture remains the rule, but a local productive specialization may be noticed: mainly wheat production and incidentally plantations westward, olive-growing and maybe wine-growing as well in the north-west basaltic plateaus and presumably speculative livestock exploitation eastward and southward, in all likelihood mostly due to a settled population.
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Contributor : Marion Rivoal <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 12:49:07 PM
Last modification on : Monday, February 24, 2020 - 9:16:09 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 2:49:20 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-02484427, version 1


Marion Rivoal. La vie rurale en Syrie centrale à la période proto-byzantine (IVe-VIIe siècle). Archéologie et Préhistoire. Université Lumière Lyon 2, 2011. Français. ⟨tel-02484427⟩



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