Tell Bazmusian

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Tell Bazmusian
Hurrian incense container.JPG
Tell Bazmusian is located in Iraq
Tell Bazmusian
Shown within Iraq
Tell Bazmusian is located in Near East
Tell Bazmusian
Tell Bazmusian (Near East)
LocationSulaymaniyah Governorate, Iraq
Coordinates36°9′41.8″N 44°55′27.5″E / 36.161611°N 44.924306°E / 36.161611; 44.924306Coordinates: 36°9′41.8″N 44°55′27.5″E / 36.161611°N 44.924306°E / 36.161611; 44.924306
Circumference1,500 metre
Height23 metre
PeriodsSamarra culture, Uruk period, Middle Assyrian Empire, Abbasid Caliphate, Halaf culture
Site notes
Excavation dates1956–1958
Hurrian incense container from Tell Bazmusian, Sulaymaniyah Museum

Tell Bazmusian is an archaeological site on the right bank of the Little Zab in the Ranya Plain (Sulaymaniyah Governorate, Iraq). The site was excavated between 1956 and 1958 by Iraqi archaeologists as part of a salvage operation to document cultural remains that would be flooded by Lake Dukan, the reservoir created by the Dukan Dam which was being built at that time. Apart from Tell Bazmusian, four other sites were excavated during this operation: ed-Dem, Kamarian, Qarashina and Tell Shemshara. Bazmusian is a tell, or settlement mound, with a circumference of 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) and a height of 23 metres (75 ft). Together with Tell Shemshara, it is one of the largest archaeological sites in the Ranya Plain. When the excavations started, the southeast flank of the mound was occupied by a village that was only established at the beginning of the 20th century. The site is now submerged under Lake Dukan.[1]

The excavations have revealed 16 occupation layers, ranging from the Samarra culture (sixth millennium BCE) up to the ninth century CE. The finds of level I consisted of a fragmented pebble foundations, ninth-century CE pottery and mudbricks. Level II also contained Islamic material. Level III, to be dated to the late second millennium BCE, contained a single-room temple with thick mudbrick walls. Pottery dated to the mid- to late-second millennium BCE. In a pit outside of this temple, several clay tablet fragments were found. Although they were too damaged to be read, based on stylistic details they could be dated to the Middle Assyrian period. An earlier version of this temple was uncovered in level IV. In level V, plastered mudbrick walls were found. Levels VI–XVI contained material dating to the third millennium BCE, the Uruk period and of the Samarra and Halaf cultures but this has not yet been published.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b Al-Soof, Behnam Abu (1970). "Mounds in the Rania Plain and excavations at Tell Bazmusian (1956)". Sumer. 26: 65–104. ISSN 0081-9271.
  2. ^ Læssøe, Jørgen (1959). "The Bazmusian tablets". Sumer. 15: 15–18. ISSN 0081-9271.