Tell Maghzaliyah

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Tell Maghzaliyah is a prehistoric aceramic Mesolithic and Neolithic site located approximately 7.5 km northwest of Yarim Tepe. Its remains predate, and are also contemporaneous to, those of the Hassuna and Jarmo cultures, dating at least to 7000 BCE. The site is situated near the Abra River, a tributary of the Habur River, which eventually drains into the Euphrates River. The site was excavated in the 1970s and 1980s by Soviet archeologists, most notably N.O. Bader. Its discovery was recorded in the spring of 1977.

The site is approximately 4500 square meters in area, and the depth of deposit is approximately 8 meters. The original village housed approximately 150 people. It was more suited to hunting and gathering, than to long-standing agriculture. Archeological evidence includes flint flakes and debitage, along with evidence of semi-permanent settlement, including houses and utilitarian structures. Permanent settlement remains indicate pisé walls and stone foundations. The clay used for construction was apparently imported from other locations, as the primary natural stratigraphy is limestone loam. The excavators estimated a total of 15 building levels at the site, each with an average thickness of 50–60 cm. The assemblage suggests a tightly packed settlement, occupied continuously over its existence.


  • Yoffee, Norman & Clarke, Jeffrey; Early Stages in the Evolution of Mesopotamian Civilization; 1993; The University of Arizona Press
  • "Tell Maghzaliyah: an early Neolithic site in northern Iraq"; Soviet Archeology; 1979:117-32

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