- The Society for Near Eastern Studies in Japan
- オリエント (ISSN:00305219)
- vol.42, no.1, pp.121-138, 1999
The Uruk Period is considered to be the period in which a large scale trading network expanded to the north, mainly along the Euphrates river, nearly covering the entire area of Western Asia. This period corresponds to the Late Chalcolithic Period in Anatolia. The main cities in this period were generally located in places where communication could be conducted by water.<br>As far as the trading network is concerned, the contact between Mespotamian alluvial plains and the mountainous regions such as Zagros and Taurus foot hill has been emphasised. Apparently, northern Syria, northern Mesopotamia and southwestern Iran had close relationships with the Uruk culture. On the other hand, Anatolia is considered as a local region indirectly influenced by Uruk culture. Such influence came from main cities in the middle Euphrates basin (Habuba Kabira).<br>However, from a different point of view, it is possible to construct an entirely new theory for Anatolian culture in this period. Evidence supporting such a theory was found at Arslantepe, which is located near the city of Malatya in the upper Euphrates basin, eastern Anatolia. Its altitude is high enough to bring to snow and severely cold winter to this region. In spite of that, the Uruk merchants expanded their trading network as far as the mountainous regions to acquire the rich mineral resources of Anatolia.<br>Furthermore, according to new archaeological materials, Arslantepe, in which Uruk and Transcaucasian materiais were found together, suggests a close relation between the Transcaucasian region, Black Sea region, eastern Anatolia and Mesopotamia. The Transcaucasian region has richer mineral resources than Anatolia, as well as developed metal industries. Arslantepe played a role as the transport center between its northern neighboring region like Transcaucasus and southern Mesopotamia. This is based on a new trading network system which had not been proposed until now.