HOME / Table of Contents = Civilizations - Cultures - Areas - Regions - Prehistory
Other Archaeological Sites / The Neolithic of the Levant (500 Page Book Online)

Pre-Historic Chagar Bazar (Tell Shagher) in Northeast Syria

Chagar Bazar -- 43 kilometres north-northeast of Hassake on the road to Amuda -- may have been first settled in Neolithic 3 but the evidence is inconclusive. Mallowan sounded the earliest deposits in a deep trench at the northwest end of the site. He found that the lowest level -- level 15 -- rested on the virgin soil. No buildings could be discerned in this level but two pits, presumably dug down from a higher level, contained Samarran pottery. Within level 1-5 there were sherds of both painted Halaf and grey or black burnished ware. The burnished sherds were found together in a cache which suggests that they had been deposited separately from the Halaf pottery and so may have come from an earlier settlement, perhaps Neolithic 3 in date. More substantial remains of such a settlement may lie beneath the centre of the site which was not tested in a deep sounding.

Some of the burnished pottery from level 15 had been decorated with incised designs in a similar manner to vessels from Ras Shamra V B and V A although one sherd had rows of incised cross-hatched triangles reminiscent of vessels from Sakcagozu. Another sherd had been pattern burnished. The affinities of this material are mostly with sites in the North Syrian group but the sherds would not be out of place in a Halaf context so we cannot be sure that there was a Neolithic 3 settlement at Chagar Bazar.

The site of Chagar Bazar is 12 hectares at maximum -- which is small in the context of northern Mesopotamia. It lies in the dry-farming region of the Upper Khabur River drainage basin with an unrestricted hinterland for agricultural and pastoral use and with easy access to the reseources of the Taurus Mountains in Turkey. The site has occupations from the 6th through the early 2nd millennium BC ...

Source and Bibliography: Excerpt 142 of The Neolithic of the Levant

SEE ALSO: Once There Was a Place: Settlement Archaeology at Chagar Bazar 1999-2002
by Augusta McMahon et al (2010)

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium