The Ubaidian inheritance
DOI link for The Ubaidian inheritance
The Ubaidian inheritance book
Samarran culture, like Halaf and Ubaidian but in contrast to Hassuna, is not best seen at the site after which the culture was named, the historically well-known and continuously inhabited city of Samarra on the Tigris. Although work at Samarra had been undertaken by German excavators prior to the First World War, and indeed the mounds of Tell esSawwan 11km downstream noted (Herzfeld 1930:5), when operations commenced at Tell es-Sawwan in February 1964, Samarran culture was still ‘represented by little more than pottery and graves’, in the words of the Iraq Director of Archaeological Exploration, Benham Abu al-Soof (1968:3). Their perspicacity in seeking to reveal ‘a Samarran village community in all its material details, including its architecture’ (el-Wailly and Abu es-Soof 1965:17) was rewarded at
The site known as Tell es-Sawwan [‘Mound of the Flints’]… situated on the eastern bank of the Tigris some 11km downstream of Samarra [lat. 34°80′ N, long. 43°55 ′E], where it stands on a cliff commanding an extensive view of the river. The site has a maximum height of 3.5m above the level of the plain behind, and is roughly oval in shape, measuring approximately 230m north-south by 110m east-west; it is composed of three mounds… A, B and C, of which the highest (B) is partly separated from A and C, to its north and south respectively, by two seasonal watercourses.