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Title: The halaf period in northern Mesopotamia
Author: Hijara, I. H.
ISNI:       0000 0000 6395 5155
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 1980
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The Halaf culture is one of the most important and involved problems in the prehistory of northern Mesopotamia. Although Halaf pottery has been discovered at many sites since 1935, only a few have produced a reliable sequence. The Halaf settlement at Arpachiyah, which is a 7.5 m thick deposit, provides us with most of what we know of the Halaf stratigraphic sequence, and therefore is a key site for comparative studies. Such an accumulation reflects a very lengthy occupation, and may represent the full duration of Halaf culture. It is the only site thus far to yield a wide range of stratified pottery of early Halaf period. For the reasons above, we chose Arpachiyah to re-excavate. The basis of this study is the results of our excavation, which was undertaken as an expansion of SirMax Mallowan's 1933 season at Arpachiyah and to check and to improve on the archaeological sequence that he published in 1935. The principal aims of this thesis are: 1. To examine the stratigraphy of the site in relation to the development of the shapes and the designs of Halaf pottery and other Halaf culture materials. We have classified the Halaf pottery and other objects from Arpachiyah in four periods according to their appearance in the stratigraphic sequence2. To discuss Halaf architecture at Arpachiyah and other Halaf sites, its character and origins, and to give some interpretation of the function of some of the buildings at Arpachiyah. 3. To examine the distribution of the Halaf asseinblage in Iraq. This is based on a field survey during which we recorded about 200 Halaf sites, and dated them according to our sequence from Arpachiyah. 4. By collecting radiocarbon samples during our excavation at Arpachiyah, to determine the absolute chronology of the Halaf period and to re-assess this period in the context of Mesopotamian chronology. Our conclusions were as follows: The excavation at Arpachiyah established the stratigraphy of the site, and distinguished four architectural phases. It showed the development of the site from a simple prehistoric village (phases one and two) to the religious centre during phases three and four. 2. Forty-eight pottery forms were distinguished from the Halaf pottery from the site and arranged in four periods (I - IV) according to their appearance in the sequence. 3. In the light of the stratified Halaf assemblage from Arpachiyah it makes possible to: study the Halaf surface collections from the Halafiansettlements in Iraq and arrange them in 7 regions, each with their own characteristic shapes and designs of the Halaf pottery. The Halafian development took place mainly in the area between Mosul and. South Sinjar, as well as the north-east Khabur valley. 4. The era of the Halaf period started with the end of the sixth millennium b.c. to the early second half of the fifth millennium b.c. in Iraq and to the end of the fifth millennium in north-west Syria
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History