The incorporation of urban communities into larger territorial polities can be studied by various material remains. Here, animal bones from the north lower city of Zincirli Höyük (ancient Samal), Turkey, are used to follow the settlement's shift from a semi-autonomous polity to a Neo-Assyrian province. The results indicate that the process of incorporation is marked by an increasingly specialized animal economy, with non-faunal evidence suggesting that specialization was complemented by an increase in wealth, even among non-elites. Thus, the economy of Samal was gradually incorporated into the larger economic networks of the empire, encouraged by provincial governance that allowed the generated wealth to percolate beyond the immediate governing elites.

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