Yarim Tepe

Yarim Tepe


six mounds near the city of Tell-’Afar in the northwestern part of Iraq. Yarim Tepe I and II were investigated by a Soviet expedition beginning in 1969.

Yarim Tepe I is an early farming settlement of the Hassunan culture (sixth millennium B.C.). The cultural level (6.5 m) consists of 13 structural horizons, which yielded courtyards and small streets with rectangular mud-brick buildings, public granaries, and burials of children in vessels. Among the articles found were saddle querns, stone pestles and sickles, various vessels, and female statuettes. The discovery of copper ore, copper beads, and a lead bracelet are evidence of the oldest metallurgy in Mesopotamia, while the finds of cattle bones attest to the beginning of cattle raising.

Yarim Tepe II is a settlement of the Halafian culture (fifth millennium B.C.). The cultural level (7 m) consists of ten structural horizons, which yielded round mud-brick dwellings, cultic buildings, granaries, and potter’s kilns. Stone farming implements and the bones of both domestic and wild animals were found. The pottery included figured vessels in the shape of elephants and women. Pendant seals, including a very old copper seal, were also found, as well as cremations and burials of skulls. (SeeHASSUNAN CULTURE and HALAFIAN CULTURE.)


Merpert, N. Ia., and R. M. Munchaev. “Rannezemledel’cheskie poseleniia severnoi Mesopotamia” Sovetskaia arkheologiia, 1971, no. 3.