As the first comprehensive study of fortification systems and defensive strategies in the Levant during the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1900 to 1500 B.C.E.), Walled up to Heaven is an indispensable contribution to the study of this period and of early warfare in the ancient Near East. Although archaeologists and ancient historians alike have discussed a variety of theories regarding the origin and cultural significance of the construction of earthen ramparts during the Middle Bronze Age, only this work addresses these questions in detail. In a tour de force, Burke traces the diachronic evolution and geographic distribution of the architectural features and settlement strategies connected with the emergence of Middle Bronze Age defenses in the Levant. By synthesizing historical and archaeological data from Mesopotamia and Egypt as well as the Levant, he reveals the interconnectedness of the Near Eastern world during the first half of the second millennium to an extent not recently considered. The result is a detailed employment of cognitive, social, and dirt archaeology to reconstruct the political, social, military, and cultural implications of the construction of monumental defenses and the development of defensive networks during the period of Amorite hegemony in the Levant.
Aaron Burke is Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of California at Los Angeles. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2004.
Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant - SAHL 4