Thursday, March 3, 2022

New from the Oriental Institute: Tell Abada An Ubaid Village in Central Mesopotamia

Sabah Abboud Jasim

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In the winter of 1978‭, ‬an extensive‭ ‬archaeological‭ ‬campaign was launched in the Hamrin Basin area in the east-central part of Iraq to salvage many archaeological sites before their flooding‭, ‬due to the construction of a large dam‭. ‬This volume documents the excavations carried out in two of the sites—Tell Abada and Tell Rashid—dating back to the Ubaid period in the fifth millennium‭ ‬BC. ‬The first site‭ (‬Tell Abada‭) ‬is of particular importance‭; ‬it is an almost complete village with three occupational levels unearthed‭. ‬Several residential houses and buildings with distinctive architectural features are exposed‭. ‬Industrial workshops dedicated to the manufacture of pottery vessels are present‭. ‬Of express interest was the first-time discovery of pottery-making equipment‭, ‬notably the potter’s wheel‭. ‬An equally exciting discovery is the presence of many fire installations dedicated to pottery vessels’‭ ‬burning‭. ‬The pottery products are enormous‭, ‬varied‭, ‬and richly decorated‭, ‬reflecting aesthetic features and agility‭. ‬The presence of the pottery in a very well stratified sequence enhances our understanding of Ubaid pottery‭, ‬clarifies its chronological classifications‭, ‬and establishes cultural links with other Ubaid sites in the region‭.‬

Among other remarkable discoveries are many infant burial urns‭, ‬granaries‭, ‬water ducts‭, ‬and proto-tablets‭. ‬The varied aspects of‭ ‬the cultural material revealed throughout the excavations provides significant insight into daily life‭, ‬settlement patterns‭, ‬craft specialization‭, ‬religious practices‭, ‬and socioeconomic status‭, ‬and sheds new light on the Ubaid period in general in Mesopotamia‭.‬

Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
List Figures
List of Tables
1. Geographical and Environmental Setting
2. Tell Abada: New Light on the Ubaid Period  
3. The Pottery of Tell Abada
4. The Ubaid Sites in the Hamrin Region
5. Settlement Patterns: Subsitence and Site Distribution
6. Community Patterns: Inter- and Intra-Site Analysis
7. Concluding Remarks
Appendix 1. Distribution of Artifacts
Appendix 2. Distribution of Pottery
Appendix 3. The Animal Bones from Tell Abada
Appendix 4. Tell Abada: Preliminary Lithic Analysis

  • Oriental Institute Publications 147
  • Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2021
  • ISBN (hardcover) 978-1-61491-068-8
  • ISBN (eBook) 978-1-61491-069-5
  • Pp. 588 (xlii + 546)
  • 527 figures; 43 tables
  • Hardcover, 9 x 11.75 in
  • $149.95 (hardcover)

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