Tepe Gawra

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Tepe Gawra

(tĕ`pĕ gourä`) [Kurdish,=great mound], locality in N Iraq, 15 mi (24 km) NE of Mosul. In 1927 the archaeologist Ephraim Speiser discovered it to be the site of ancient settlements. In all, 24 levels and sublevels were unearthed; they date from the 5th millennium B.C. to the 2d millennium B.C. The levels are numbered from top to bottom. The upper levels were not very distinctive; they show a type of civilization less advanced than that found in the lower levels. In the lower levels the chronological sequence of the Halafian (c.5000 B.C.), Al Ubaid (c.4100–3500 B.C.), and Jemdet Nasr (3500–3000 B.C.) periods is well represented (see MesopotamiaMesopotamia
[Gr.,=between rivers], ancient region of Asia, the territory about the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, included in modern Iraq. The region extends from the Persian Gulf north to the mountains of Armenia and from the Zagros and Kurdish mountains on the east to the Syrian
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). The number of architectural remains from these early periods at Tepe Gawra makes it one of the most important sites of N Mesopotamia. The three monumental temple remains on an acropolis of the 13th level represent the finest architecture at the site.


See E. A. Speiser et al., Excavations at Tepe Gawra (2 vol., 1935–50).

Tepe Gawra


a multilayered settlement of the fifth to second millennia B.C., situated 25 km east of Mosul, Iraq. Tepe Gawra was excavated by an American archaeological expedition in 1927 and from 1931 to 1938. The bottom layer (layer XX) contains articles of the Halaf culture of the fifth millennium B.C, and layers XIX-XII are a local variant of the Ubaid culture. Layers XI-VIII represent the Gawra culture, characterized by painted pottery, developed metallurgy, and rich tombs of stone slabs. Layers VIII-VII, which date from the end of the fourth millennium B.C. and the beginning of the third, contain predominantly wheel-made pottery, as well as cylinder seals. Tepe Gawra was inhabited until the middle of the second millennium B.C.; the upper layers (III-I) evidently contain remains of the Hurrian culture.


Childe, V. G. Drevneishii Vostok v svete novykh raskopok. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from English.)
Speiser, E. A. Excavations at Tepe Gawra, vol. 1. Philadelphia, 1935.
Tobler, A. J. Excavations at Tepe Gawra, vol. 2. Philadelphia, 1950.
References in periodicals archive ?
We show that these northern developments, while particularly well attested at Brak, are indicated also by evidence from across northern Mesopotamia, for example at sites like Hamoukar, Tepe Gawra and Qalinj Agha, and at Arslantepe in south-eastern Turkey (Gibson et al.
Of particular interest was the fact that the pottery included both early versions of MNU (LC3) types while other forms were closer to the ENU (LC2) repertoire well-known from Tepe Gawra (Tobler 1950) and TW Levels 20-22 and earlier at Tell Brak.
Early examples of niche and buttress architecture at Tepe Gawra and Telul eth-Thalathat are the subject of Uwe Sieversten's contribution.
Tepe Gawra was the first Mesopotamian site to have been selected for excavation owing to recognition of the painted sherds on its surface as 'prehistoric'.
Nonetheless, despite the early date of excavation, the stratigraphic difficulties encountered and the lack of certain types of data now automatically recorded, the extensive architectural and artefactual evidence from Tepe Gawra continues to remain fundamental to our understanding of the growth of complex societies in northern Mesopotamia.
The earliest level, 7, is probably contemporary with Tepe Gawra levels XVI-XVIII (first half of the fifth millennium).
Neutron Activation Analysis of Halaf and Ubaid pottery from Tell Arpachiyah and Tepe Gawra.
inter alia, Abu Salabikh: Moon 1987: 43; the Nuzi 'goose neck potstand': Starr 1937: plate 95B; Tepe Gawra Level IV: Speiser 1935: plate 29b; and the massive single-strap example from Habuba Kabira Sud: Strommenger 1970: figure 24).