Coming Together

Comparative Approaches to Population Aggregation and Early Urbanization

Edited by Attila Gyucha

Subjects: Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, History, Urban Studies
Series: SUNY series, The Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology Distinguished Monograph Series
Hardcover : 9781438472775, 402 pages, March 2019
Paperback : 9781438472768, 402 pages, January 2020

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Table of contents


1. Population Aggregation and Early Urbanization from a Comparative Perspective: An Introduction to the Volume
Attila Gyucha

2. Energized Crowding and the Generative Role of Settlement Aggregation and Urbanization
Michael E. Smith
Part I. Coming Together: Origins and Processes

3. ". . . the nearest run thing . . . " The Genesis and Collapse of a Bronze Age Polity in the Maros Valley of Southeastern Europe
John M. O'Shea and Amy Nicodemus

4. Coming Together in the Iron Age: Population Aggregation and Urban Dynamics in Temperate Europe
Manuel Fernandez-Gotz

5. Contextualizing Aggregation and Nucleation as Demographic Processes Leading to Cahokia's Emergence as an Incipient Urban Center
John E. Kelly

6. Why Athens? Population Aggregation in Attica in the Early Iron Age
Robin Osborne

7. Synoikismos: Formation and Form of Ancient Greek Cities
Bradley A. Ault

Part II. Pathways to Sustainability: Challenges and Resolutions

8. Trypillia Megasites: The First Cities in Europe?
Bisserka Gaydarska

9. Emergent Urbanism: Trade, Settlement, and Society at Seyitomer Hoyuk in Early Bronze Age Western Anatolia
Laura K. Harrison and A. Nejat Bilgen

10. If You Build It, Will They Come? Will They Stay? The Mycenaean Port Town of Kalamianos
Daniel J. Pullen
11. Architectural Visibility as an Integrating Mechanism in Roman Urbanism: Micro-Viewshed Analysis at Pompeii
Alan Kaiser

Part III. Transformative Effects: Social, Political, and Cultural Change

12. Cross-Scale Settlement Morphologies and Social Formations in the Neolithic of the Great Hungarian Plain
Pal Raczky

13. Aggregation and Dispersal: Rural Landscapes of the Northwestern Iberian Peninsula from the Iron Age to the Early Roman Empire
Ines Sastre and Brais Curras

14. Integration and Disintegration: The Role of Kiva Architecture in Community Formation during the Pueblo II and Pueblo III Periods in the U. S. Southwest
Susan C. Ryan

15. Settlement Aggregation and Geopolitical Realignment in the Northeastern Woodlands
Jennifer Birch


Archaeologists, anthropologists, and classicists discuss how urbanization first emerged in strikingly different sociopolitical contexts in North America, Europe, and the Near East.


The pursuit for universally applicable definitions of the terms "urban" and "city" has frequently distracted scholars from scrutinizing processes of how ancient nucleated settlements evolved and developed. Based on the premise that similar social dynamics to a great extent governed nucleation trajectories throughout human history, Coming Together focuses on both prehistoric aggregated and early urban settlements. Drawing from a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches, archaeologists, anthropologists, and classicists discuss how nucleation unfolded in strikingly different sociopolitical contexts in North America, Europe, and the Near East. The major themes of the volume are nucleation's origins, pathways to sustainability, and the transformative role of these sites in sociopolitical and cultural change.

Attila Gyucha is Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Field Museum of Natural History and the author of Prehistoric Village Social Dynamics: the Early Copper Age in the Körös Region.