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Chapter 5: Neolithic 3 Janudiyeh in Syria (Pages 306-307)

Pre-History and Archaeology Glossary

Excerpts and Definitions and Addendums:

The site of Janudiyeh is situated on the heights above the west bank of the Orontes north of Jisr Shaghur. Both flint tools and potsherds have been collected from the surface and it is possible to ascertain from these when the site was occupied. Many of the flints were Amuq arrowheads of both types 1 and 2 while there were also retouched blades and a sickle blade and flake scrapers, among them several discoids (de Contenson, 1969c, 68ff).

The sherds all belonged to vessels of simple shapes such as hemispherical bowls and jars with hole-mouths or collared necks (de Contenson, 1969c, 70). Almost all were dark in colour with a burnished surface while a few had incised decoration.

The flints and the pottery are similar to the material found at Ras Shamra in Phase V B so the site was occupied quite early in Neolithic 3. The site itself is unusual as it is at an elevation of about 500 metres in what was then forested hilly country. There is cultivable land nearby so Janudiyeh could have been either an agricultural or a pastoral settlement.

The extreme northwest corner of the Levant is today the Turkish province of the Hatay. The Amanus Mountains on the west seperate most of the region from the Mediterranean. Behind them to the east lies the Amuq Plain and here the Orontes after flowing north through Syria turns southwest to meet the sea. Several roads pass from the plain through low hills to the east up to the Syrian plateau so that geographically the region is more an extension of Syria than a part of Turkey although there is also an easy route to the north up the valley of the Karasu. The fertile plain is dotted with ancient settlements and several of these have been shown in excavations to have been occupied as early as Neolithic 3. The remains of the Neolithic settlements are always found to be well below the present level of the plain because an enormous amount of alluvium has accumulated since the lower course of the Orontes was blocked in the earth quakes that destroyed ancient Antioch. It is known that the region has been inhabited since the lower Palaeolithic from discoveries made in the hills around the Amuq Plain (Hours et al, 1973, 242) but sites dating from Neolithic 1 and 2 have not yet been found there. Any settlement sites of this date founded on the plain itself would have subsequently been buried.

Much of our information about the sequence of Neolithic occupation on the Amuq Plain comes from the excavations of the Oriental Institute of Chicago University at Tell Judaidah and Tell Dhahab, both of which lie in the southeastern corner of the the Amuq Plain near Rehanli. The Neolithic deposits at Tell Judaidah, designated level XIV, were divided on the typology of the pottery into two phases, A and B, both of which fall in Neolithic 3. The only Neolithic occupation at Tell Dhahab was a short-lived settlement of phase A (Braidwood, Braidwood, 1960, 46).

Braidwood, R.J., Braidwood, L.S., 1960       Excavations in the Plain of Antioch I
University of Chicago Oriental Institute Publications 61

de Contenson, H., 1969c       Contribution a L'étude du Neolithique en Syrie
Melang. Univ. St-Joseph, 45, 61-81

Hours, F., S.J., Copeland, L., Aurenche, O., 1973       Les industries
paleolithiques du proche-orient, essai de correlation
Anthropologie, Paris, 77, 229-280, 437-496

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