Secrets of the Dark Mound: Jemdet Nasr 1926-1928

Overview

Excavations in the 1920s at Jemdet Nasr, 100 km south of Baghdad, exposed a large building with an intriguing assemblage of painted pots, stylized cylinder seals and a uniquely important collection of early cuneiform tablets, all dating to around 3,000 BC. The distinctiveness of this material assemblage meant that the site gave its name to the Jemdet Nasr period of early Mesopotamian history. The excavations were not fully published at the time and since the 1920s there has been considerable debate about the ...
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Softcover The distinctiveness of the material assemblage excavated in the 1920s meant that the site gave its name to the Jemdet Nasr period of early Mesopotamian history. ... Following two seasons of renewed excavations at Jemdet Nasr in the late 1980s, a programme of recording and analysis of the 1920s material has been underway, now resulting in this final publication of all non-textual objects excavated at Jemdet Nasr in the 1920s seasons, excluding some items now in the Iraq Museum, Baghdad. The bulk of this material has not been adequately published before, and its publication here will add notably to the body of evidence relevant to the study of early society at the time of the development of urban literate civilisation on the south Mesopotamian plains. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Excavations in the 1920s at Jemdet Nasr, 100 km south of Baghdad, exposed a large building with an intriguing assemblage of painted pots, stylized cylinder seals and a uniquely important collection of early cuneiform tablets, all dating to around 3,000 BC. The distinctiveness of this material assemblage meant that the site gave its name to the Jemdet Nasr period of early Mesopotamian history. The excavations were not fully published at the time and since the 1920s there has been considerable debate about the value and significance of the excavation results. Following two seasons of renewed excavations at Jemdet Nasr in the late 1980s, a program of recording and analysis of the 1920s material has been underway, now resulting in this final publication of all non-textual objects excavated at Jemdet Nasr in the 1920s seasons, excluding some items now in the Iraq Museum, Baghdad. The bulk of this material has not been adequately published before, and its publication here will add notably to the body of evidence relevant to the study of early society at the time of the development of urban literate civilization on the south Mesopotamian plains.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
This publication presents for the first time the analysis of all available material excavated in the 1920s at Jemdet Nasr, 100 kilometers south of Baghdad, with the exception of objects residing in the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. The objects include painted pots, cylinder seals, and a collection of early cuneiform tablets dating to approximately 3,000 B.C. The book contains 48 b&w plates and 62 figures comprising maps and drawings of the various objects or parts of objects, accompanied by descriptions (whether or not intact, color, condition, etc.). Edited by archaeologist Roger Matthews, who was assisted by the British School of Archaeology in Iraq. Distributed by the David Brown Book Company. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780856687358
  • Publisher: Aris and Phillips
  • Publication date: 7/1/2002
  • Series: Iraq Archaeological Reports Series , #6
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 8.32 (w) x 11.84 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
List of figures xi
List of plates xiii
1 To What Purpose Disturbing the Dust? Jemdet Nasr in the 1920s 1
1.1 A long, low mound named Jemdet Nasr: the site before excavation 1
1.2 Excavations at Jemdet Nasr in 1926 3
1.3 The sequence of discoveries in 1926 5
1.4 The 1928 season 5
1.5 The import and impact of Langdon and Watelin's work at Jemdet Nasr 6
2 The Mystery of Langdon's Large Building 8
2.1 The location and context of the site 8
2.2 The location and orientation of Langdon's lost building 8
2.3 The plan and construction of Langdon's large building 10
2.4 The contents of Langdon's large building 11
2.5 The function of Langdon's large building 12
2.6 Other trenches excavated in 1926 and 1928 13
2.7 Graves 14
3 The Most Dramatic of All Our Finds 15
3.1 The discovery and publication of the Jemdet Nasr tablets 15
3.2 The import of the tablets 15
3.3 The tablets from Jemdet Nasr and the development of writing 16
4 Seals and Seal Impressions 17
4.1 Introduction 17
4.2 Stamp seals 17
4.3 Cylinder seals 17
4.4 Clay sealing 18
4.5 Seal impressions on tablets 18
5 Poterie de ou? 20
5.1 Introduction 20
5.2 Jemdet Nasr pottery within its context 20
6 Small Finds of Metal, Stone, Clay and Bone 30
6.1 Introduction 30
6.2 Metalwork 30
6.3 Stone vessels 30
6.4 Stone implements 30
6.5 Baked clay objects 30
6.6 Beads, figurines and tokens of stone, bone and clay 31
6.7 General comments on small finds 32
7 Still a Dark Mound with Secrets 33
7.1 A brief history of the site's occupation 33
7.2 The nature of the settlement 34
7.3 The nature of the period 35
Bibliography 39
Appendix Objects from Jemdet Nasr in the Iraq Museum, Baghdad 44
Figures 46
Plates 169
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