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The excavation of two areas revealed stratified settlements of the Neolithic to the Middle Uruk periods, dating from the 7th to the 4th milennium BC. The most important discovery was a series of pottery workshops of the Ubaid and Post-Ubaid periods. The detailed analysis of the workshops demonstrated the increasing social and economic complexity in these periods, which eventually led to the emergence of urban society in North Syria.
The main economy of the Ubaid inhabtants was based on farming. Barley and two species of wheat (emmer and einkorn) were cultivated in the large flood plain as well as in the hilly hinterland. Stock breeding of sheep and goat also made up an important part of daily life. They were mainly killed for meat when young, but notably after the late Ubaid period some females were kept for secondary products, probably milk. A small number of pigs and cattle were also raised. These domesticated food resourses were occasionally supplemented by wild animals including gazelles, water birds and fish.
The tool kits of the Ubaid people consisted of a pottery with fine painted decoration, harvesting and processing tools of grain, wood working axes, spindle whorls, awls and spatulas, and stamp seals for goods control. these tools were mostly made of locally available raw materials. the use of exotic materials, like obsidian from Anatolia, was relatively rare.
Potter's workshops were discovered from many levels of the Ubaid period. One of the common features is that they overlapped traces of domestic activities in the same building complexes, such as ovens, infant burials and grain storage. this undifferentiated use of similar structures for different purposes may characterize the use of space in the Ubaid period, which is in clear contrast with that in later periods.
Pottery of the post-Ubaid period no longer included many painted vessels as in the Ubaid period, but most of them were simple plain wares. Firing was made with a higher temperature using the developed kilns. Pottery production tools also showed changes from the Ubaid period. Ring-shaped scrapers joined in the tool inventory, and stone palettes for pigment preparation, very common in the Ubaid period, virtually disappeared.
The charcoal samples derived from building materials consisted of taxa typically encountered in the gallery forest of the Euphrates. Poplar, willow and alder were used for roof beams while tamarisk was used to cover the spaces between the beams.
Originally posted by cloudyday
(1) I read a book by a geologist who believes that metallurgy was discovered when ores were used to decorate pottery and separated during firing. Is that the standard belief?
(2) What did people use pottery for primarily? It seems like a basket or a leather sack might be a cheaper and lighter container than a clay jar. Were they only used for storing liquids?
(3) How many pots would each person use in a year on average?
The site was burned down and this image shows some of the carbon left behind