Related Chronologies

Appendix I

The following information is based on Mark (1997).

Date BC / Egypt

Mesopotamia

Palestine

 

 

5300

UBAID

 

 

5200

 

 

5100

 

 

5000

 

 

4900

 

 

4800

 

 

4700

 

 

4600

 

 

4500

GHASSULIAN

 

4400

 

4300

 

4200

 

4100

 

4000

GAWRA

(north)

URUK

(south)

 

3900

 

3800

 

3700

 

3600

 

3500

 

3400

 

 

3300

 

 

3200

 

 

3100

JAMDAT NASR

 

 

3000

 

 

2900

 

 

 

2800

 

 

 

2700

 

 

 

2600

 

 

 

MESOPOTAMIA

UBAID CHARACTERISTICS (5300-4000BC)

  • North and South Mesopotamia
  • Earlier Ubaid
    • Hunting and Fishing
    • Round mud-covered huts
    • Rectangular simple temples
  • Later Ubaid
    • Rectangular mud-brick huts
    • Farming the basis of the economy
    • Tripartite temples with niched facades
  • Rare finds of metal
  • Tools of obsidian, flint and chirt
  • Scarcity of stone in the south meant that some sickles and axes were made of hard baked clay
  • North Ubaid contacts attested to by pottery with over 50 sites around the Persian Gulf (probably used seasonally by hunter-gatherers)

 

GAWRA CHARACTERISTICS (4000-3100BC)

  • Northern Mesopotamia
  • Tepe Gawra was the type site
  • Imports, probably from Antatolia, Iran and Armenia include
    • Lapis Lazuli
    • Ivory
    • Turquoise
    • Jadeite
    • Carnelian
    • Haematite
    • Obsidian
    • Quartz
    • Diorite
    • Gold
    • Cast copper
  • Burials
  • Temples
    • Tripartite
    • Niched facades

 

URUK CHARACTERISTICS (4000-3100BC)

  • Southern Mesopotamia
  • Increased growth, complexity and centralization
  • Increased size of temples
    • Tripartite and niched
      • Later phase niches filled with 1000s of painted mosaic cones
  • Increased craft specialisation
    • Carved stone vessels
    • Stelae
    • Luxury goods made of metal
  • Development of writing
  • Increased trade
    • With Northern Mesopotamia
    • With Iran
  • Poor in natural resources
  • Establishment of outposts in the Late Uruk (Uruk IV) in north Syria
    • Habuba Kabra
    • Jebel Aruda
  • Mesopotamian influences outside Mesopotamia
    • Aslantepe
    • Tepecik
    • Hassek Huyuk

JAMDAT NASR CHARACTERISTICS (3900-2900BC)

  • Contacts
    • Abandonment of northern Syrian colonies
    • Increased contact with Iran
    • Increased contact with Persian Gulf, particularly Dilmun
    • Pottery as far south as Oman

 

PALESTINE

GHASSULIAN CHARACTERISTICS (4500-3300BC)

The Ghassulian economy is agricultural with small villages and mixed farming with little or no supplementation of the diet by hunting.  The cultivation of olives assumes increasing importance. New areas were colonized at higher elevations that were suitable for growing olive trees.  Low elevations continued to be exploited, as demonstrated by the Jordan Valley occupations. Spouted vessels are one of the characteristic artefacts, which occur elsewhere including Egypt, and may have been used to store and move oil.

  • Extensive trade
    • Haematite and Turquoise from Sinai
    • Basalt from the Golan Heights
    • Obsidian from Anatolia
    • Shells from the Red Sea and the Nile
    • Elephant Tusks from North Africa and/or Northern Syria
  • Egyptian Contacts
    • Merimde Beni Salama
      • Pear-shaped and spheroid maceheads
      • Ladles
      • Footed containers
    • Mostagedda
      • Pierced lug handled vessels
      • Ladles like those at Merimde

 

BEERSHEBAN CHARACTERISTICS

The Beersheba Chalcolithic is represented by a number of small settlements were founded on the edges of the Beersheba Valley. Unlike those of the Ghassulian, the dwellings at Beersheba were carved out underground. The earliest such subterranean dwellings were large single rooms dug into the sides of hills, with inclined entrances. Later dwellings were dug as a series of smaller, oval-shaped rooms. These were entered via vertical shafts.  They are similar to those found at Maadi.  Beersheba is particularly notable for its advanced copper industry. The site of Tell Abu Matar produced an impressive catalogue of copper items made from relatively unalloyed copper, originating from ores of high mineral content. Items were smelted in specially constructed clay furnaces and further refined in small pottery crucibles.

 

EBA1

The Beersheba was followed by the Early Bronze I (EBAI). Kenyon and others have suggested that this change occurred abruptly and was due to immigrants moving in from neighboring regions at the close of the Chalcolithic. They cite the change in settlement patterns, in addition to new forms of pottery and burial practices in the Early Bronze I.  Yadin takes this one step further and suggests that Egypt conquered the south Levant at the end of the Chalcolithic and then occupied it in the Early Bronze I to maintain their control over the region.  However, these opinions ignore the clear continuity between the two periods and many modern scholars now attribute the changes to internal processes.  Increased connections are clear towards the end of between the EBAI and the Maadi-Buto/Naqada II period with Egyptian influence showing clearly in a number of Palestinian locations, and the possible establishment of trading of Mesopotamian items via Northern Syrian and Palestine (Mark 1997).