Tell Beydar

Coordinates: 36°44′16″N 40°35′13″E / 36.73778°N 40.58694°E / 36.73778; 40.58694
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Tell Beydar
Tell Beydar is located in Syria
Tell Beydar
Shown within Syria
LocationAl-Hasakah Governorate, Syria
Coordinates36°44′16″N 40°35′13″E / 36.73778°N 40.58694°E / 36.73778; 40.58694
Founded2600 BC
Site notes
Excavation dates1992-2010
ArchaeologistsMarc Lebeau, Antoine Suleiman
ConditionIn ruins

Tell Beydar is a village and ancient site along the Khabur river in the modern Al-Hasakah Governorate, Syria about 30 kilometers north of the modern city of Hasake. It was the Ancient Near Eastern city of Nabada. It is connected by road to Al-Darbasiyah on the Turkish border in the north.


Nabada was first settled during the Early Dynastic Period circa 2600 BC. By around 2500 BC a medium-sized independent city-state had developed. At that point, it became a provincial capital under the kingdom centered at Nagar, now Tell Brak. After the Jezirah region was conquered by the Akkadians, Nabada became an outpost of that empire. The city was then abandoned until re-occupied for a time circa 1400 BC by the Hurrians (Mitanni) and again in the Neo-Assyrian and Hellenistic periods.[1]


Beydar 1

The central site of Tell Beydar covers about 22 hectares. It has a circular walled central mound (7 hectares) with a circular walled lower town (Beydar I). This is referred to as a Kranzhügel or "cup-and-saucer" tell in archaeology. In the early part of the 3rd millennium BC both sections were occupied but from the middle of the millennium on only the central mound was occupied. A much later 50 ha (120-acre) Hurrian/Neo-Assyrian site lies at the base of the tell (Beydar II). At the top of the tell there is a Hellenistic settlement. A kilometer to the south there is a small Late Chalcolithic tell (Beydar III). Tell Beydar was excavated for 17 seasons, beginning in 1992 and ending in 2010, by a joint Syrian and European team made up of the European Centre for Upper Mesopotamian Studies and the Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums of Syria.[2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] There were also several restoration seasons. The team leads are Marc Lebeau and Antoine Suleiman.[8][9][10][11][12] A number of other institutions, including the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago have also participated. Besides the architectural and pottery findings from the excavation, almost 250 early cuneiform tablets and fragments were recovered, dating from the Early Dynastic III period, roughly a generation before the fall of Ebla.[13] The tablets are agricultural records for the most part, but do establish some synchronisms with Tell Brak. The language used in the tablets is a variant of the Akkadian language and the personal names referred to were Semitic. [14] [15] Small finds include a number of bronze (both tin and arsenical) objects.[16] A number of clay sealings have also been recovered.[17] Finds from Tell Beydar are on display in the Deir ez-Zor Museum.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joachim Bretschneider, "Nabada: The Buried City", Scientific American, vol. 283, pp. 74–81, 2000
  2. ^ [1] Marc Lebeau and Antoine Suleiman, "Report on the Twelfth Season of Excavations at Tell Beydar", 2004
  3. ^ [2] Marc Lebeau and Antoine Suleiman, "Report on the 13th Season of Excavations and the 4th Season of Architectural Restoration at Tell Beydar", 2005
  4. ^ [3] Marc Lebeau and Antoine Suleiman, "Report on the 14th Season of Excavations and the 5th Season of Architectural Restoration at Tell Beydar", 2006
  5. ^ [4] Marc Lebeau and Antoine Suleiman, "Report on the 15th Season of Excavations and the 6th Season of Architectural Restoration at Tell Beydar", 2008
  6. ^ [5] Marc Lebeau and Antoine Suleiman, "Report on the 16th Season of Excavations at Tell Beydar ", 2009
  7. ^ [6] Marc Lebeau and Antoine Suleiman, "Report on the 17th Season of Excavations at Tell Beydar", 2010
  8. ^ M. Lebeau, A. Suleiman , "Tell Beydar, Three Seasons of Excavations (1992-1994). A Preliminary Report",David Brown, 1997, ISBN 2-503-50584-8
  9. ^ M. Lebeau and A. Suleiman, "Tell Beydar: The 1995-1999 Seasons of Excavations: a Preliminary Report", Brepols Publishers, 2003, ISBN 2-503-99117-3
  10. ^ Marc Lebeau, Antoine Suleiman, "Tell Beydar, the 2000-2002 Seasons of Excavations, the 2003-2004 Seasons of Architectural Restoration", Brepols Publishers, 2007, ISBN 2-503-51812-5
  11. ^ Lebeau, Marc and Suleiman, Antoine (eds.), "Tell Beydar, The 2004/2–2009 Seasons of Excavations, The 2004/2–2009 Seasons of Architectural Restoration. A Preliminary Report", Subartu 29, Turnhout: Brepols, 2011
  12. ^ Lebeau, Marc and Suleiman, Antoine (eds.), "Tell Beydar, The 2010 Season of Excavations and Architectural Restoration – A Preliminary Report", Subartu 34, Turnhout: Brepols, 2011
  13. ^ [7]Sallaberger, Walther, and Alexander Pruß, "Home and work in Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia:“ration lists” and “private houses” at Tell Beydar/Nabada" Labor in the ancient world,, pp. 69-136, 2015
  14. ^ [8] Marc Lebeau and Antoine Suleiman, "Nabada (Tell Beydar), an Early Bronze Age City in the Syrian Jezirah", 2006
  15. ^ [9] Marc Lebeau and Antoine Suleiman, "Tell Beydar / Nabada - An Early Bronze Age City in the Syrian Jezirah: 10 Years of Research (1992–2002)", 2008
  16. ^ De Ryck, I., A. Adriaens, and F. Adams, "Microanalytical metal technology study of ancient near eastern bronzes from Tell Beydar", Archaeometry 45.4, pp. 579-590, 2003
  17. ^ G. Jans, J. Bretschneider, "Seals and Sealings from Tell Beydar/Nabada (Seasons 1995 - 2001). A Progress Report", Beydar Monographs, vol. 1, (Subartu XXVII), Brepols, Turnhout, 2012 ISBN 978-2-503-53510-4
  18. ^ Bonatz, Dominik; Kühne, Hartmut; Mahmoud, As'ad (1998). "Rivers and steppes. Cultural heritage and environment of the Syrian Jezireh. Catalogue to the Museum of Deir ez-Zor". Damascus: Ministry of Culture. OCLC 638775287.

Further reading[edit]

  • Peter M. M. G. Akkermans, Glenn M. Schwartz, "The Archaeology of Syria: From Complex Hunter-Gatherers to Early Urban Societies (c.16,000-300 BC)", Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-79666-0
  • Bonechi, Marco, "Leopards, cauldrons, and a beautiful stone. Notes on some early Syrian texts from Tell Beydar and Ebla", in Semitic and Assyrio- logical Studies Presented to Pelio Fronzaroli, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp. 75–96, 2003
  • [10]Broekmans, T., A. Adriaens, and E. Pantos, "Analytical investigations of cooking pottery from Tell Beydar (NE-Syria)", Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 226.1-2, pp. 92-97, 2004
  • Rova, Elena, "Seal impressions on pottery in the Khabur Region in the IIIrd millennium BC: some new evidence from Tell Beydar", Baghdader Mitteilungen 37, pp. 295-312, 2006
  • [11]De Ryck, Ivan, Emmanuel Pantos, and Annemie Adriaens, "Near Eastern ancient bronze objects from Tell Beydar (NE-Syria): Insights into their corrosion", Europhysics news 38.5, pp. 29-33, 2007
  • Pruß, Alexander, and Walther Sallaberger, "Tierhaltung in Nabada / Tell Beydar Und Die Bilderwelt Der Terrakotten Als Spiegel von Wirtschaft Und Umwelt", Archiv Für Orientforschung, vol. 50, pp. 293–307, 2003
  • F. Ismail, W. Sallaberger, P. Talon, K. Van Lerberghe, "Administrative Documents from Tell Beydar, Seasons 1993-1995", Brepols Publishers, 1997 ISBN 2-503-50539-2
  • L. Milano, W. Sallaberger, P. Talon, K. Van Lerberghe, "Third Millennium Cuneiform Texts from Tell Beydar, Seasons 1996-2002", Brepols Publishers, 2004, ISBN 2-503-51542-8
  • K. Van Lerberghe and G. Voet, "Tell Beydar: Environmental and Technical Studies", Brepols, 2001, ISBN 2-503-99121-1

External links[edit]