Tell es-Sawwan

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Coordinates: 34°7′N 43°54′E / 34.117°N 43.900°E / 34.117; 43.900

Tell es Sawwan
Tell es Sawwan is located in Iraq
Tell es Sawwan
Tell es Sawwan
Location in Iraq
Coordinates: 34°7′00″N 43°54′00″E / 34.11667°N 43.90000°E / 34.11667; 43.90000

Tell es-Sawwan is an important Samarran period archaeological site in Saladin Province, Iraq. It is located 110 kilometres (68 mi) north of Baghdad, and south of Samarra.

The site is a primarily Ubaid, Hassuna, and Samarra culture occupation with some later Babylonian graves. It is considered the type site for the Samarran culture.

Tell es-Sawwan and its environment[edit]

Tell es-Sawwan is an oval mound 350 metres (1,150 ft) long by 150 metres (490 ft) wide with a maximum height of 3.5 metres (11 ft). The main mound was surrounded by a three-metre defensive ditch and a strong mudbrick wall. The village consisted of large houses and other buildings thought to be granaries.[1]

The inhabitants of Tell es-Sawwan were farmers who used irrigation from the Tigris to support their crops, as rainfall was unreliable. They used stone and flint tools similar to those of the Hassuna culture. Their prosperity, probably based on the dependability of irrigated crops, is evidenced by the presence of fine Samarran ware and beautiful, translucent marble vessels[1]

Underfloor graves of adults and children contained terracotta and alabaster statuettes of women and men, in various poses; some of these had the eyes and pointed heads typical of the Ubaid period.[1]

History of research[edit]

Female figurine from Tell es-Sawwan

The site was excavated by a team from the Iraqi Directorate General of Antiquites in seven seasons between 1964 and 1971. The second season was led by Khalid Ahmad Al-a'dami and the sixth and seventh season by Walid Yasin.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "085. Tell es-Sawwan (ancient name unknown)". US Department of Defense. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  2. ^ F. el-Wailly and B. Abu es-Soof, The Excavations at Tell es-Sawwan: First Preliminary Report (1964), Sumer , vol. 21, pp. 17-32, 1965
  3. ^ Khalid Ahmad Al-a'dami, Excavations at Tell es-Sawwan (Second Season), Sumer, vol. 24, pp. 57-95, 1968
  4. ^ Ghanim Wahida, Excavations at Tell es-Sawwan (Third Season) 1966, Sumer, vol. 23, pp. 167-178, 1967
  5. ^ Benham Abu Al-souf, Tell es-Sawwan: Excavation of the Fourth Season (Spring 1967), Sumer, vol. 24, pp. 3-15, 1968
  6. ^ Benham Abu Al-souf, Tell es-Sawwan: Fifth Seasons Excavations (Winter 1967, 1968), Sumer, vol. 27, pp. 3-7, 1971
  7. ^ Walid Yasin, Excavation at Tell es-Sawwan - the Sixth Season (1969), Sumer, vol. 26, pp. 3-20, 1970

Further reading[edit]

  • Abdul Qadir al-Tekriti, The Flint and Obsidian Implements of Tell es-Sawwan, Sumer, vol. 24, pp. 53–36, 1968
  • Keith Flannery and Jane C. Wheeler, Animal Bones From Tell as-Sawwan Level III (Samaran Period), Sumer, vol. 23, pp. 179–182, 1967
  • Donny George Youkana, Tell Es-Sawwan: The Architecture of the Sixth Millennium BC, NABU, 1997, ASIN B001AC6TMA ISBN 978-1-897750-05-6
  • H Helbaek, Early Hassunan vegetable food at Tell es-Sawwan near Samarra, Sumer, vol. 20, 1966
  • C. Breniquey, Rapport sur deux campagnes de fouilles à Tell es-Sawwan, 1988-1989, Mesopotamia, vol. 27, pp. 5–30, 1992
  • F. Strika, Clay human figurines with applied decoration from Tell Es-Sawwan, Mesopotamia, vol. 33, pp. 7–21, 1998
  • Joan Oates, The Baked Clay Figurines from Tell es-Sawwan, Iraq, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 146–153, 1966