Halafian Culture Flourishes in Northern Mesopotamia (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: Halafian culture, transitional between farming villages and early cities, developed increasing social and technological complexity, including sophisticated ceramics, perhaps draft animal power, burial ceremonialism, and mud-brick architecture, with defensive works.
Summary of Event
Early twentieth century archaeological work recognized the high-quality ceramics associated with the Halafian period. Between 1911 and 1929, Max von Oppenheim worked at Tell Halaf on the Syrian-Turkish border, roughly 205 miles (330 kilometers) northeast of Aleppo, Syria. Large quantities of pottery were recovered, and several occupations of the site were exposed. The earliest settlement was a sixth millennium b.c.e. community, which provided the name for the broad cultural distribution that stretches across northern Mesopotamia. In the 1930’s, Max Mallowan’s excavations at Arpachiyah, a small agricultural village about 3.5 miles (6 kilometers) east of Nineveh (near Mosul, Iraq), contributed to the chronological positioning of the Halafian culture in the Mesopotamian sequence, in addition to describing the ceramic trends. Since the period of Mallowan’s work, important fieldwork has been accomplished by Iraqi, British, Russian, and American archaeologists. Although considerable substantive information has been recovered on the cultural and technological aspects of the Halafian period, problems persist regarding...
(The entire section is 1464 words.)
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