Tell (archeology)

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In archeology , the Arabic word tell (or Tel , Arabic تل, DMG Tall  'hill', meaning: settlement hill) an elevation that arose through repeated settlement, such as the citadel of Aleppo in Syria or the citadel of Erbil in the autonomous region of Kurdistan .

Aleppo Citadel

Name and occurrence

In Hebrew it is called tells tel ( תל), in Turkish Höyük or Hüyük , in Persian Tepe or Tappa , in Greek Magoula (also called Toumba in northern Greek Macedonia ), Romanian Magura and in Bulgarian Mogila (actually burial mound). Kom is the name in Egypt and North Sudan . The prehistoric residential mound, also known as the tell settlement in southeastern Europe, is called Byhøj (literally city ​​mound ) in Denmark .

Tells are created in areas where adobe or rammed earth ( Pisé ) are the preferred building material, where there is little rainfall and where settlements are built in one place over a longer period of time. They can be found in the entire Middle East , also in Europe, in Greece, Bulgaria, Romania (Neolithic settlement of Pietrele , with Tell Măgura Gorgana) and in parts of Hungary (as in Jászberény ) and Serbia, but do not reach the same height as for example here in Iraq . One of the largest known tells is located in the city of Erbil (Arbela) in Kurdistan ( Citadel of Erbil ).

In Europe, tells were formed mainly during the Neolithic and Eneolithic . In the Hungarian lowlands, tells were only made between 5500 and 4500 BC. For the following Eeolithic Tiszapolgár culture , scattered flat settlements were typical.

In contrast to Tell, which has grown into an artificial hill over time due to the settled settlement rubble , the Arabic word qalʿa , corresponding to Turkish kale , describes a settlement built on a natural hill.



The following locations and excavation sites are designated with Tell or Tepe:
(alphabetic after main name)


The following locations and excavation sites are designated with Tepe:
(alphabetic after main name)


Tell in the sense of mountain also generally refers to elevations.


  • Thomas Link: The end of the Neolithic tell settlements, a cultural-historical phenomenon of the 5th millennium BC In the Carpathian Basin. Habelt, Bonn 2006, ISBN 3-7749-3416-9 .

Web links

Commons : Tell  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Edit Batho Horti u. a .: Life in the land of the Jászen. Guide to the permanent exhibition of the Jász Museum; on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Jász Museum. Foundation for the Jász Museum, Jászberény 1999, ISBN 963-03-6864-1 .