| 4 May 2010
Farming sites in Syria date to the 10th millennium BCE
Assistant Director of the Syrian Department of Archaeology and Museums, Thaer Yerte, said excavations at the site of Tel al-Abar, Syria revealed information about the communities that settled on the banks of the Euphrates dating back to the 10th millennium BCE. Excavators have uncovered two different areas that include three communal buildings and dozens of circular houses built from limestone and paved with pebbles from the river. The structures contained various flint tools such as blades, knives, sickles, arrow tips and hatchets, tools used for leatherwork and crafting straw mats, stone mills and pestles, pottery fragments and animal bones and horns.
Dr. Yerte pointed out that the first communal building in the site contains a circular hole in the ground 15 metros deep with a diameter of 12 meters. A clay terrace inside the building contains limestone blocks decorated with engravings of animals, geometrical shapes and the sun. The floor is made of clay tiles painted with lime, while the ceiling is supported by wooden pillars. The second communal building is circular with a diameter of 7 metros, consisting of five chambers with a square stone support pillar in its center. It contained flint and stone tools, stone pottery, a flint figurine representing a mother goddess, a clay figurine representing a half-human half-animal creature, and ox horns.
Yerte believes that the findings indicate that the two communal buildings had a social and ritualistic role. He also said that site plays an important role in answering questions regarding the emergence of farming in ancient times, as it clearly shows the characteristics of an organized village with a multitude of structures serving various purposes where people practiced farming, hunting and the manufacture of flint and stone tools.
Source: Global Arab Network (20 April 2010)
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