Elite and imperial architecture is usually associated with public buildings, as these structures are the more accurately designed reflection of empires' intentions to forge identities and craft narratives through the creation and use of public spaces. In the Middle East, the urban built environment of the Iron Age is characterized by a lack of stereotypical public spaces, creating a challenge for historians and archaeologists who study architecture to determine the sociocultural impact of public buildings on communities. Thus, materiality and morphology become two important architectural features to assess architectural ontology and to understand the complex community relationship with architecture. This contribution focuses on investigating public space in the Syro-Anatolian urban centers as a concrete example of community engagement with public architecture to forge and maintain identities.

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