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

Jemdet Nasr Period

Site between Baghdad and Babylon in southern Iraq which has given its name both to a painted ware characterized by red and black designs on a buff background and to the period when this pottery was in use. This period falls between the Uruk Period and the Early Dynastic Period and is usually dated to the late 4th millennium BC. The period is characterized by increasing populations, the development of more extensive irrigation systems, towns dominated by temples and the increased use of writing and cylinder seals; increasing trade and more specialization of craft practice are also features of this period. In all these ways the Jemdet Nasr phase represents the direct predecessor of the full Sumerian civilization of the Early Dynastic Period.

The urban revolution or the building of the first cities took place in 3100 - 2900 BC in the transition from prehistory to history. The change in human settlement pattern from isolated settlements to larger village communities continued. The dry climate at the end of the 4th millennium now allowed habitation of the great plains in the extreme south of Mesopotamia, the area later called Sumer. Inadequate rainfall stimulated the continuing development of irrigation works. The production of bronze, an alloy of copper and other metals, mainly tin, allowed the manufacturing of new weapons for which protection was sought by the construction of fortifications around the villages and walls around cities (AHSFC).

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium