farming , animal husbandry
pottery , metallurgy , wheel
circular ditches , henges , megaliths
The HALAF CULTURE is a prehistoric period which lasted between about
6100 BCE and 5100 BCE. The period is a continuous development out of
While the period is named after the site of
Tell Halaf in north Syria
, excavated by
Max von Oppenheim between 1911 and 1927, the earliest
Halaf period material was excavated by
John Garstang in 1908 at the
Sakce Gözü , then in
The Halaf period was succeeded by the Halaf-Ubaid Transitional period which comprised the late Halaf (c. 5400-5000 BC), and then by the Ubaid period .
* 1 Origin
* 2 Culture
* 2.1 Architecture * 2.2 Halaf pottery
* 3 Economy * 4 Halaf\'s end (Northern Ubaid) * 5 See also
* 6 References
* 6.1 Citations * 6.2 Bibliography
* 7 External links
Previously, the Syrian plains were not considered as the homeland of
Halaf culture, and the Halafians were seen either as hill people who
descended from the nearby mountains of southeastern Anatolia, or
herdsmen from northern Iraq. However, those views changed with the
recent archaeology conducted since 1986 by
Peter Akkermans , which
have produced new insights and perspectives about the rise of Halaf
culture. A formerly unknown transitional culture between the
Currently, eleven occupational layers have been unearthed in Sabi
Abyad. Levels from 11 to 7 are considered pre-Halaf; from 6 to 4,
transitional; and from 3 to 1, early Halaf. No hiatus in occupation is
observed except between levels 11 and 10. The new archaeology
A reconstruction of a Halaf temple, now the facade of the National Museum of Aleppo
Although no Halaf settlement has been extensively excavated some buildings have been excavated: the tholoi of Tell Arpachiyah , circular domed structures approached through long rectangular anterooms. Only a few of these structures were ever excavated. They were constructed of mud-brick sometimes on stone foundations and may have been for ritual use (one contained a large number of female figurines). Other circular buildings were probably just houses.
The best known, most characteristic pottery of Tell Halaf, called Halaf ware, produced by specialist potters, can be painted, sometimes using more than two colors (called polychrome) with geometric and animal motifs. Other types of Halaf pottery are known, including unpainted, cooking ware and ware with burnished surfaces. There are many theories about why the distinctive pottery style developed.
The theory is that the pottery came about due to regional copying and that it was exchanged as a prestige item between local elites is now disputed. The polychrome painted Halaf pottery has been proposed to be a "trade pottery"—pottery produced for export—however, the predominance of locally produced painted pottery in all areas of Halaf sites including potters settlement questions that theory.
Halaf pottery has been found in other parts of northern Mesopotamia,
such as at
Tel Halaf terracotta fertility figurine, 5000-4000 BC. Walters Museum
HALAF\'S END (NORTHERN UBAID)
* ^ A B Mario Liverani (2013). The Ancient Near East: History, Society and Economy. p. 48. * ^ Castro Gessner, G. 2011. "A Brief Overview of the Halaf Tradition" in Steadman, S and McMahon, G (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Ancient anatolia. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 780 * ^ Castro Gessner, G. 2011. "A Brief Overview of the Halaf Tradition" in Steadman, S and McMahon, G (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Ancient anatolia. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 781 * ^ Campbell, S. 2000. "The Burnt House at Arpachiyah: A Reexamination" Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research no. 318. pp. 1 * ^ A B Maria Grazia Masetti-Rouault; Olivier Rouault; M. Wafler (2000). La Djéziré et l\'Euphrate syriens de la protohistoire à la fin du second millénaire av. J.C, Tendances dans l\'interprétation historique des données nouvelles, (Subartu) - Chapter : Old and New Perspectives on the Origins of the Halaf Culture by Peter Akkermans. pp. 43–44. * ^ Peter M. M. G. Akkermans, Glenn M. Schwartz (2003). The Archaeology of Syria: From Complex Hunter-Gatherers to Early Urban Societies (c.16,000-300 BC). p. 101. * ^ Peter M. M. G. Akkermans, Glenn M. Schwartz (2003). The Archaeology of Syria: From Complex Hunter-Gatherers to Early Urban Societies (c.16,000-300 BC). p. 116. * ^ John L. Brooke (2014). Climate Change and the Course of Global History: A Rough Journey. p. 204. * ^ A B C Georges Roux (1992). Ancient Iraq. p. 101. * ^ A B Susan Pollock; Reinhard Bernbeck (2009). Archaeologies of the Middle East: Critical Perspectives. p. 190. * ^ A B Peter M. M. G. Akkermans, Glenn M. Schwartz (2003). The Archaeology of Syria: From Complex Hunter-Gatherers to Early Urban Societies (c.16,000-300 BC). p. 157. * ^ Robert J. Speakman; Hector Neff (2005). Laser Ablation ICP-MS in Archaeological Research. p. 128.
* Akkermans, Peter M. M. G.; Schwartz, Glenn M. (2003). The
Archaeology of Syria: From Complex Hunter-Gatherers to Early Urban
Societies (c.16,000-300 BC).
Cambridge University Press