Samarra culture

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Samarra culture
c. 5700 BC – c. 4900 BC
Geographic distributions of the partially overlapping Halaf, Hassuna, and Samarra cultures
Capital Not specified
Government Not specified
 -  Established c. 5700 BC 
 -  Disestablished  c. 4900 BC
Today part of  Iraq
Female statuette, Samarra, 6000 BCE

The Samarra culture is a Chalcolithic archaeological culture in northern Mesopotamia that is roughly dated to 5500–4800 BCE. It partially overlaps with Hassuna and early Ubaid. Samarran material culture was first recognized during excavations by German Archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld at the site of Samarra. Other sites where Samarran material has been found include Tell Shemshara, Tell es-Sawwan and Yarim Tepe.[1]

At Tell es-Sawwan, evidence of irrigation—including flax—establishes the presence of a prosperous settled culture with a highly organized social structure. The culture is primarily known for its finely made pottery decorated against dark-fired backgrounds with stylized figures of animals and birds and geometric designs. This widely exported type of pottery, one of the first widespread, relatively uniform pottery styles in the Ancient Near East, was first recognized at Samarra. The Samarran Culture was the precursor to the Mesopotamian culture of the Ubaid period.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Blackham, Mark (1996). "Further Investigations as to the Relationship of Samarran and Ubaid Ceramic Assemblages". Iraq 58: 1–15. JSTOR 4200416.