Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Kathleen Sterling


This thesis is about how material objects, specifically ceramics, are used to create and perpetuate political power of the ruling class. My research will demonstrate how bevel rim bowls were a form of structural violence in the Uruk/Protoliterate period Mesopotamia by forcing the people to create the very vessels they needed to obtain their rations. These vessels were widely used throughout the region, and as of yet their exact function is unknown. The Uruk period in Mesopotamia was a time of great change. Large urban centers were being formed and people were coming together in a new way to live in cities. A ceramic analysis of the bowls found in the region will help to determine their social and political importance.