Akkermans, Peter M. M. G.. Villages in the steppe: later Neolithic settlement and subsistence in the Balikh Valley, northern Syria

Table of Contents

Publication Information

1 Research Objectives And Strategy

1 Introduction And Aims

1.1 Archaeological Work In Syria

1.2 The Balikh Valley Prehistoric Project

1.3 Research Objectives: The Halaf Problem

1.4 Research Strategy

1.4.1 The Survey

1.4.2 The Excavations

2 Previous Prehistoric Investigations In The Balikh Valley

2 The Natural Setting

1 Introduction

2 The Formation Of The Balikh Valley

3 The Soilscapes Of The Balikh Valley

3.1 The Valley

3.2 The Plateau

4 Hydrology Of The Balikh Valley

5 Climatic Conditions In The Balikh Region

6 Climatic Conditions During The Early Holocene

7 The Modern Flora Of The Balikh Valley

8 Modern Landuse In The Balikh Valley

3 The Excavations In The Balikh Valley

1. Introduction

2 The Early Excavations: Aswad, Ibn Esh-shehab, Mefesh

3 Excavations At Tell Assouad

4 Excavations At Tell Damishliyya

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Stratigraphy And Architecture

4.3 The Pottery

4.4 The Lithic Industry

4.5 The Stone Vessels And Other Finds

4.6 Halaf Occupation At Damishliyya

5 Excavations At Tell Sabi Abyad

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Stratigraphy And Architecture

5.2.1 Excavations On The Top Of Sabi Abyad And On The Northeastern Mound

5.2.2 Excavations On The Southeastern Mound

5.3 The Pottery

5.4 The Lithic Industry

5.5 The Small Finds

6 Excavations At Khirbet Esh-shenef

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Stratigraphy And Architecture

6.3 The Pottery

6.4 Other Small Finds

4 Towards A Comparative Chronology Of Neolithic Settlement In The Balikh Valley

1 Introduction

2 The Chronological Framework

3 Absolute Chronology: Radiocarbon Dates

4 The Early Stages Of The Pottery Neolithic: Balikh Ii

4.1 Balikh Iia

4.2 Balikh Iib–c

5 The Developed Pottery Neolithic: Balikh Iii (the Halaf Period)

5.1 Sequence And Development

5.2 Balikh Iiia

5.3 Balikh Iiib

5.4 Balikh Iiic

5.5 Balikh Iiid

5 An Archaeological Survey Of The Balikh Valley: Neolithic Settlement In A Regional Perspective

1 The 1983 Balikh Survey: Introduction

2 Processes Of Tell Formation

3 Sedimentation And The Landscape

4 Neolithic Settlement In A Regional Perspective

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Description Of Neolithic Sites In The Balikh Valley

4.3 Location Of Settlement

4.4 Pairing Of Settlement

4.5 Settlement Size And Population Estimates: Introduction

4.6 Settlement Development, Settlement Size And Population Density: The Balikh Evidence

4.6.1 The Balikh I Period

4.6.2 The Balikh Iia Period

4.6.3 The Balikh Iib–c Period

4.6.4 The Balikh Iiia Period

4.6.5 The Balikh Iiib Period

4.6.6 The Balikh Iiic Period

4.6.7 The Balikh Iiid Period

4.7 Settlement And Population Change

4.8 Settlement Hierarchy

6 Subsistence Economy And Subsistence Strategies: The Economy Of A Halafian Community (part One)

1 Introduction

1.1 Introductory Remarks

1.2 Natural Resources, Settlement And Subsistence

1.3 Assouad, Damishliyya And Khirbet Esh-shenef

2 A Model Of Halafian Farming In The Balikh Valley

2.1 Man-and-plant Relationships

2.1.1 The Samples

2.1.2 The Cultivated Food Plants

2.1.3 Wild Plants And Gathering

2.1.4 The Role Of Cereals In Antiquity: Consumption And Yields

2.1.5 The Areas Of Cultivation

2.1.6 Labour Costs Of Cereal Cultivation

2.1.7 Production Capacity

2.1.8 Irrigation Agriculture

2.1.9 Storage And Storage Facilities

2.2 Man-and-animal Relationships

2.2.1 Domestic Animals At Sabi Abyad

2.2.2 The Importance Of Hunting

2.2.3 The Faunal Sample: Some Remarks

2.2.4 The Role Of Domestic Livestock

2.2.5 Milk And Wool

2.2.6 The Size Of Herds

2.2.7 Herding Requirements And Other Labour Costs

2.2.8 The Costs And Returns Of Caprine Husbandry

2.2.9 The Demand For Land

2.3 Subsistence Economy In A Wider Perspective

2.3.1 Introduction

2.3.2 Subsistence Economy And Subsistence Strategy: A Survey

2.3.3 Settlement And Subsistence: A Regional Perspective

7 Production And Exchange: The Economy Of A Halafian Community (part Two)

1 Introduction

2 Goods, Production And Source Areas

2.1 Food Products

2.2 Lithic Industry: Procurement And Production

2.3 Basalt And Other Stone

2.4 Bone And Miscellaneous Clay Objects

2.5 Pottery

3 Production And Exchange

3.1 Location Of Production

3.2 Pottery Production And Specialisation

3.3 Pottery Production And Extent Of Exchange

3.4 The Context Of Exchange

8 Aspects Of Halaf Social Organisation: A First Assessment

1 Tribes And Chiefdoms

2 The Cultural Setting

3 Ritual Behaviour And Halaf Mortuary Practices

3.1 Architecture And Associated Features

3.2 Figurines

3.3 The Burial Record

4 Style And Information: The Role Of Painted Ceramics

5 Conclusion

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: Villages in the steppe: later Neolithic settlement and subsistence in the Balikh Valley, northern Syria

Published By: Ann Arbor, Mich.: International Monographs in Prehistory, 1993. xv, 351 p.: ill.

By line: by Peter M.M.G. Akkermans

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Halafian (M086)

Subjects: Settlement patterns (361); Cultural participation (184); Exchange and transfers (430); Identification (101); Chronologies and culture sequences (911);

Abstract: Akkermans describes his survey and excavation work in the Balikh river valley. The sites described date from the Balikh I (Pre-Pottery Neolithic circa 7500 BC) to the Balikh V (late Chalcolithic period 3500-3000 BC). Several of the sites have occupations which date to the Halaf period (Sabi Abyad, Damishliyya, and Khirbet esh-Shenef). Akkermans dates the Halaf period from around 5200 BC to around 4500 BC (or 7200 BP to 6500 BP) mostly because he follows the convention of using uncorrected radiocarbon dates. In examining the Halaf period Akkermans was able to excavate several sites (or tells) and surface collect artifacts from dozens of other Neollithic sites within the valley. This allows Akkermans to discuss the settlement system, the subsistence economy and strategies, production, exchange (mostly of ceramics), and social organization in the valley and compare these findings to Halafian sites elsewhere in Turkey, Syria, and Iran. Akkermans emphasizes the excavation data from Sabi Abyad more than the other sites as this site produced better data from the Halafian period.

Document Number: 1

Document ID: m086-001

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Originally published: Amsterdam : Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculteit der Ruimtelijke Wetenschappen, 1990. Originally presented as the author's thesis (doctoral)--Amsterdam, 1990.

Field Date: survey 1983; fieldwork 1984-1986 and 1988

Evaluation: Archaeologist - 4,5

Analyst: Sarah Berry; 2006

Coverage Date: Halaf period; 7200 BP-6500 BP uncalibrated (5200 BC-4500 BC uncalibrated)

Coverage Place: Balikh valley, northern Syria

LCSH: Halaf culture--Balikh River Valley (Turkey and Syria)/Subsistence economy--Balikh River Valley (Turkey and Syria)/Commerce, Prehistoric--Balikh River Valley (Turkey and Syria)/Land settlement patterns, Prehistoric--Balikh River Valley (Turkey and Syria)/Social archaeology--Balikh River Valley (Turkey and Syria)/Balikh River Valley (Turkey and Syria)--Antiquities/Syria--Antiquities


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