Hassunan Culture

Hassunan Culture


a Neolithic and Aeneolithic archaeological culture (seventh and sixth millennia B.C.) that flourished in northern Mesopotamia. It was named after Tell Hassuna, near Mosul, in Iraq. The best studied remain is the settlement of Yarim-Tepe I, excavated by a Soviet expedition between 1969 and 1975.

The settlements of the tribes of the Hassunan culture measured 1 to 2 hectares in area. The closely spaced rectangular mud-brick dwellings, with many rooms (three to ten and even more), were sometimes grouped around a court. Various outbuildings were found, including buildings for drying and storing grain. Potter’s kilns were also found. The discovery of grain (wheat and barley), stone hoes, querns, pestles, scythes, and other objects attest to the existence of primitive land cultivation. Judging from the finds of animal bones, the bearers of the Hassunan culture raised cows, hogs, and goats. The discovery of copper beads and pendants, a lead bracelet, and fragments of copper ore at the settlements indicate the existence of metallurgy. The Hassunan culture is characterized by a variety of vessels, decorated with molded ornamentation, incised herringbone patterns, and painted geometric designs, as well as by clay female figurines and stone seals. Numerous burials, with inhumations chiefly of children, were also unearthed.


Merpert, N. Ia., and R. M. Munchaev. “Rannezemledel’cheskie poseleniia Severnoi Mesopotamia” Sovetskaia Arkheologiia, 1971, no. 3.
Lloyd, S., and F. Safar. “Tell Hassuna.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 1945, vol. 4, no. 4.