20: Late Uruk expansion outside Iran, 3400-3100 BCE (Enmerkar & the lord of Aratta, part 2)

The Drumbeat Forever After

19-04-2022 • 51 mins

Guest: Kelten

First: the lord of Aratta devises a series of challenges to demonstrate his superiority over our hero Enmerkar, the august king of Unug, who casually invents written language two-thirds of the way through the story. Can he outsmart his nemesis in the mountains? Or, at the very least, ignore his specifications and send him something else entirely?

Then, we continue our survey of the Uruk expansion: the Persian Gulf, the Habuba Kabira metropolitan area, and Hassek Höyük.

Then, we finish with Arslantepe, a native Anatolian site in close contact with the Uruk exchange network. What can this site tell us about endogenous social complexity outside the influence of southern Mesopotamian city-states?

Then: the Uruk colonial network collapses! Was it climate change? Environmental degradation? The declining rate of profit? Foreign invasion? Internal political instability? All of the above? Let's find out!

Finally, we finish up the story of Enmerkar and the lord of Aratta. Inanna blesses the two kingdoms and, as you should've guessed by now, the gods invent new types of manual labor for humans to perform for them.

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Works cited