Tell Halaf

Tell Halaf


Tell Halaf

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<!--this article has used the BCE/CE convention since its inception, 00:43, 28 May 2005.-->Tell Halaf () is an archaeological site in the Al Hasakah governorate of northeastern Syria, near the Turkish border, just opposite Ceylanpınar. It was the first find of a Neolithic culture, subsequently dubbed the Halaf culture, characterized by glazed pottery painted with geometric and animal designs. The site dates to the 6th millennium BCE and was later the location of the Aramaean city-state of Guzana or Gozan.

Discovery and excavation

The site is located near the city of Ra's al-'Ayn in the fertile valley of the Khabur River (Nahr al-Khabur), close to the modern border with Turkey. The name Tell Halaf is a local Aramaic placename}, tell meaning "hill", and Tell Halaf meaning "made of former city"; what its original inhabitants called their settlement is not known. It was discovered in 1899 by Baron Max von Oppenheim, a German diplomat, while he was surveying the area to build the Baghdad Railway. At the time, Syria was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. He returned to excavate the site from 1911 to 1913 and then again 1929, now under French stewardship following the creation of modern Syria. Oppenheim took many of the artifacts found to Berlin. In 2006, new Syro-German excavations have started under the direction of Lutz Martin (Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin), Abd al-Masih Bagdo (Directorate of Antiquities Hassake), Jörg Becker (University of...
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