Jemdet Nasr

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Jemdet Nasr


(Jamdat Nasr), the remains of an Aeneolithic agricultural settlement of the end of the fourth millennium B.C., located 25 km northeast of Babylon, Iraq. The British archaeologist E. Mackay investigated the site from 1925 to 1927. It consists of three mounds, the middle of which contains the cultural level. Because of this level, the name Jemdet Nasr has been given to one of the historical periods of predynastic Sumer (it is preceded by the periods of the Obaidian [Ubaid] and Warkan [Uruk] cultures). Discoveries included multiroom dwellings and the ruins of a palace or temple in which clay tablets with pictographic symbols were found. Characteristic of Jemdet Nasr are the monochrome and polychrome clay vessels with geometric curvilinear and other decoration, as well as stone vessels. The implements discovered included clay sickles, stone hoes, and knives made of obsidian. Copper articles were also found as well as seals with carved human and animal figures and the distinctive cylinder seals (the so-called Jemdet Nasr style of seals).


Childe, V. G. Drevneishii Vostok v svete novykh raskopok. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from English.)
Mackay, E. “Report on Excavations at Jemdet Nasr.” In the book Memoirs of Field Museum of Natural History, vol. 1, no. 3. London-Chicago, 1931.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The seal is in the Jemdat Nasr style, from Mesopotamia (Iraq), and was imported from Mesopotamia, according to a leading expert in Arabian archaeology, Professor Dan Potts of Australia's University of Sydney.
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