The development of stratified societies in Northern Mesopotamia during the 5th and 4th millenium BC. New data from The Italian excavations at Helawa, Erbil Plain.
Conférence de Lucas Peyronel, Professeur d'histoire de l'art et d'archéologie à l'Université de Milan.
- vendredi 22 novembre 2019 - 14h30 - salle de réunion Archéorient (H306) - 3e étage - MOM, 7 rue Raulin - Lyon 7e
The prehistory of Iraqi Kurdistan is currently being defined thanks to the great number of archaeological projects – including both large scale surveys and targeted excavations. In particular, in the Erbil Plain dozens of Late Chalcolithic sites have been identified across the region and mainly distributed along ancient watercourses, draining into the Upper Zab. Those sites are apparently small and medium-size settlements and generally displaying a long sequence of occupation spanning, at least, from the Ubaid to the Late Chalcolithic. Among these sites, Helawa, located in the south-western part of the plain, is one of the largest, reaching probably ten hectares during LC 2 (second half of the 5th and beginning of the 4th millennium BC). The excavations carried out at the site by the Italian Archaeological Expedition in the Erbil Plain (MAIPE) of the University of Milan since 2016 are shedding light on the societal transformations occurring during the Late Ubaid and Late Chalcolithic 1–3 (6th–4th millennium BC). A thick stratified sequence of well-preserved Ubaid and LC structures (some of which were burned down in a fire) with materials in situ have been brought to light on the slope of the mound. The last LC occupation ended in a destruction and the site was abandoned and re-settled only at the mid-2nd millennium. It has been investigated on the top of the main mound (Area B), where a large burnt building in which several sealings with stamp seal impressions and a rich inventory of pottery and objects have been retrieved. The tripartite plan of the building and the use of sealings suggest an administrative function revealing the social complexity and economic development of the communities in the Erbil plain.