Uruk clay sling balls used in destroying Hamoukar in 3500 BC
University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute collection
The latest novel I’m writing emerges from the research I’ve shared in this blog over the past four years. The novel is set in western Asia, specifically the Asian Steppes and Mesopotamia in 3800 BC.
As we’ve discussed, the Ubaid material culture came to an abrupt end shortly after the onset of the 5.9 Kya Event. Lately, I’ve become convinced the Ubaid were not exterminated nor did they emigrate elsewhere. Rather, they did what they had done so well over their 2,700 year history: adapt to changing weather patterns, expand rather than abandon irrigated farming to make up for lessened productivity, and continue to reengineer urban organization, thus morphing into the Uruk culture. Then they went on the warpath.
Two years ago, I presented recent excavations at Tell Brak and Hamoukar (in Syria) which strongly indicate the aggressive spread of Uruk hegemony in 3800-3500 BC. This predatory bent probably lasted until their culture’s demise in the “flood that swept over” described in the Sumerian Kings List. The successors of the Ubaid-Uruk culture destroyed by this huge flood are called the Sumerians. Just so we don’t overlook the implications: this Sumerian cultural strand lasted 4,500 years from 6500 until 2000 BC, ending with the fall of the Ur III dynasty—which resulted from the massive 4.2 Kya Event.
Writing the new novel results from connecting the dots.
Thanks for visiting,
R. E. J. Burke