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Coordinates: 36 ° 2 ′ 36 ″  N , 38 ° 7 ′ 43 ″  E

Relief Map: Syria

Mureybet ( Arabic تل المريبط, DMG Tall al-Muraibiṭ ) was a prehistoric tell on the western bank of the Euphrates in the governorate of ar-Raqqa in northern Syria . The hill, which was examined between 1964 and 1974 as part of several emergency excavations , has now been flooded by the Assad reservoir . The excavations made it possible to settle Mureybet between around 10,200 and 8,000 BC. BC, whereby Mureybet was named for a more widespread archaeological culture of the PPNA . The scientific importance of Mureybet is based on the fact that the transition from mobile hunter-gatherer groups (of the ( Epi- ) Paleolithic ) to rural societies (of the Neolithic , Pre-Ceramic Neolithic B , PPNB) can be traced in this site.


Mureybet was discovered by Maurits N. van Loon in 1964 as part of a survey by the University of Chicago Oriental Institute , which carried out a small probe that year and more extensive excavations the following year. From 1971 the French Jacques Cauvin took over the excavations with the support of the Center national de la recherche scientifique . These were now in the larger context of emergency excavations at as many sites as possible that were endangered by the construction of the Tabqa dam . In 1976 Mureybet finally sank in the Assad reservoir. Nevertheless, since then a number of scientists have dealt with the material unearthed in the emergency excavations, which is now mainly kept in the Aleppo National Museum and the Institut de Préhistoire Orientale in Jalès-Berrias .

Settlement history

Four phases of settlement could be differentiated in Mureybet, which range from Natufia to the middle PPNB and can in part be subdivided again:

  • Phase Ia roughly corresponds to the period from 10,200 to 9,700 BC. BC and, like the nearby Abu Hureyra , can be assigned to the Natufien. Archaeological findings are limited to hearths and cooking pits . The people lived mainly on wild gazelles and wild horses as well as the wild forms of barley and rye . Isolated finds of sickle blades and millstones show the first signs of Neolithization .
  • The phases Ib - IIb correspond to the period 9700-9300 v. And are attributed to the Khiamien . Archaeological findings from Mureybet are of particular importance here, as there are no comparable architectural findings from other Khiamien sites so far. In phase Ib there was a recessed round building with a diameter of around six meters. In the following phases more small houses were added.
  • The Phase III corresponds to the period bis 9300 of 8600 v. Chr. , Is the Mureybetien on. During this phase, the shape of the houses diversified and the first rectangular, multi-room buildings were built alongside the already existing round buildings. While rammed earth was used as building material in the previous phases , the buildings in this phase were constructed from small stones. There were also larger, sunk-in structures that can be compared with the contemporary buildings from Jerf el Ahmar . For the first time, cultivation interventions can be demonstrated for various grain and animal species .
  • The Phase IV corresponds to the period bis 8600 of 8000 v. Chr. And already the PPNB . While only a few finds existed from phase IVa, phase IVb shows clearly Neolithic features: buildings made of clay and the use of domesticated animals and grains.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Maurits N. van Loon: The Oriental Institute excavations at Mureybit, Syria: preliminary report on the 1965 campaign. Part I: architecture and general finds , in: Journal of Near Eastern Studies 27/4 , 1968, pp. 265–282.
  2. Jacques Cauvin: Les fouilles de Mureybet (1971-1974) et leur signification pour les origines de la sedentarisation au Proche-Orient , in: The Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research 44 , 1977, pp. 19-48.
  3. A. Bounni: Campaign and exhibition from the Euphrates in Syria , in: The Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research 44 , 1977, pp 1-7.