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Excavations in Northern Syria

Nature volume 142, pages 698699 (15 October 1938) | Download Citation



MR. M. E. L. MALLOW AN'S expedition to the Habur region of Northern Syria in the spring of 1938, from which came the finds to which reference is made above, excavated four areas, which in conjunction yielded evidence covering a period extending from 3100 B.C. down to 1500 B.C. The remains latest in date were Hurrian houses of mud-brick in three successive levels, ranging in date from 1800 B.C. to 1500 B.C. These yielded a quantity of pottery of white design on black. Some private houses, Meso-potamian in plan, were contemporary with the third dynasty of Ur ; but the most important evidence was obtained from the Sargonid level with its Akkadian palace, and the ziggurat, or tower, of Jemdet Nasr date, of which the remains were found beneath the Palace. The Palace, of which a complete ground plan was recovered, is a huge building, 90 metres by 90 metres, ranged about a great courtyard. It was built, as is shown by an inscription, by Naram Sin, son of Sargon, about 2500 B.C. It was destroyed by fire approximately at the end of the Sargonid period and rebuilt under the third dynasty of Ur. Below the soutn-west corner of the Palace were the ruins of a great tower, which was built about 3100 B.C. Its dimensions were about 60 metres by 60 metres, and its walls, still stand about 10 metres high. It rests on a clay platform, and was found to be packed with votive offerings, among which were about 40,000 beads in a variety of material, though mostly of faience. There were also a large number of amulets, which are beautiful specimens of animal carving and not all paralleled at Ur and Uruk. A collection of alabaster idols consisted of about 200 complete figures, with some thousands of fragments.

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