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Neolithic Tell Aswad (Balikh River Valley)

Selected Excerpts on Tell Aswad

The Neolithic of the Levant (1978)
(1) Neolithic 1: Pages 127-130 (2) Neolithic 2: Pages 180-183

Tell Aswad (“Black hill”) Su-uk-su or Shuksa is a large prehistoric Neolithic tell (mound) about 5 hectares in size. It lies on a tributary of the Balikh River about 22 kilometres south of Tell Abyad and 48 kilometres (30 mi) from Damascus in the Syrian Jazirah.

The site is roughly oval in shape with two high points at either end. It was discovered by Mallowan who excavated on the higher summit in 1938. He found traces of Halaf Culture occupation but surmised that much of the mound consisted of Neolithic remains ...

Tell Aswad (Damascene) by Henri de CONTENSON et al in Paléorient Volume 5 (1979) Pages 153-176

Abstract: Tell Aswad, in the Damascus basin, was settled by a community of farmers and hunters from the early VIIIth millennium (circa 7800 BC) to the mid VIIth millennium.

Lithic industries seem both located on typological and geographical grounds in a transitional position between those from Palestine and the Middle Euphrates. Basal Aswad I shows both in its flaking techniques (naviform cores and crested blades) and in its sickle types features in common with Mureybat III, which shall only reach Palestine during PPNB, thus confirming the mainly Syrian origin of the latter. Notched arrowhead types (with deep basal notches) and their survival later on the Euphrates however already show evidence of some westward links. These increase notably in 7th Millennium Aswad II with typological types (Jericho and Amuq points) which shall only reach the Euphrates much later or not at all.

Vegetable remains from Tell Aswad point to plant cultivation from the beginning of the site onwards. Triticum dicoccum, Lens culinaris and Pisum sativum are among the earliest crop plants. It is not certain in the early stages of habitation whether barley was grown intentionally. Titicum durum, Triticum monococcum and Hordeum nudum did not arrive at Aswald until after 7300 B.C. The possibility of the exploitation of surface water for agricultural purposes is discussed

SEE ALSO: Tell Aswad (Wikpedia)

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