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).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Early examples of niche and buttress architecture at Tepe Gawra and Telul eth-Thalathat are the subject of Uwe Sieversten's contribution.
Although it is clear that developments not only took place in the lowlands, the evidence from sites such as Degirmentepe, Tepe Gawra, Tell Brak, Habuba Kebira, and Arslantepe in upper Mesopotamia, which provide additional and contrasting evidence to that from the south, is ignored or barely mentioned.
The earliest level, 7, is probably contemporary with Tepe Gawra levels XVI-XVIII (first half of the fifth millennium).