Until recently, efforts to understand the social dynamics of early Near Eastern empires traditionally focused on cuneiform texts, which disproportionately represent the elite. This article presents newly collected zooarchaeological data from the Neo-Assyrian provincial capital of Tušḫan (Ziyaret Tepe) to demonstrate how social dynamics and status differences can be identified within urban settlements, and it highlights differences in the availability and access to animal resources between two socially distinct areas. The integration of this data with the study of ancient empires allows for a more complete understanding of the relationship between social dynamics and provisioning strategies in early Near Eastern empires.

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