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Pre-Historic Samarran Culture (5500 - 4800 BC)

Samarra is an Islamic town of the second half of the first millennium AD on the Tigris River just north of Baghdad as well as the name of a pre-historic culture ...

The Samarran Culture dated back to 5500 - 4800 BC. The finding of the first significant irrigation at Samarra suggests that there was more investment in the land as far as farming for crops. The setting up of irrigation also showed that the city was a very permanent settlement and that the settlement prospered as a result of the advances that they made ...

Traces were found of pre-historic artifacts: fine painted pottery decorated in dark colored backgrounds with figures of animals - birds - people and complicated looking geometric designs. This type of pottery was first recognized at Samarra but at first was thought to be a southern variant of the Hassunan Culture; it is now associated mainly with the site of Tell Sawwan.

It now seems that the Samarran is partly contemporary with the Hassunan but started a bit later and continued somewhat longer with a more southerly focus. It is this Samarran colonization of the Mesopotamian lowlands which seems to be the origin of the later Ubaid Culture - which leads into Sumerian Civilization ...

Samarran Outline (Bruce Owen)

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium