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Eridu Phase (Tell Abu Shahrain)

The Oriental Institute of Chicago

View of Early Excavations at Eridu The most southerly and possibly also the earliest city-state of Sumer in southern Mesopotamia. A sounding excavated underneath a ziggurat of the late 3rd millennium BC revealed a sequence of 18 religious buildings. The earliest building was a simple mud-brick shrine resting on virgin sand. By the time of its tenth rebuilding it had acquired the standard form of the Sumerian temple with tripartite plan consisting of a long central room flanked by symmetrically grouped side chambers and was built on a substantial platform. The earliest phase of occupation - named the Eridu Phase - is dated to circa 5000 BC; this is followed by the Hajji Muhammed Phase: both of these precede the fully developed Ubaid Cultural Period. They are often regarded as early or proto-Ubaid.

The settlement at Eridu can also be regarded as proto-urban from the beginning; it grew into a substantial city by the Early Dynastic Period; and two royal palaces of this period have been excavated. Outside the temple precinct a large cemetery of the late Ubaid Period was found; this contained perhaps 1000 graves of which circa 200 were excavated. Grave goods include painted pottery vessels, terracotta figurines and baked clay tools such as sickles and shaft-hole axes ... (AHSFC)

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium