Tell el-'Oueili

Tell el-'Oueili
Tell el-'Oueili is located in Iraq
Tell el-'Oueili
Shown within Iraq
RegionDhi Qar Governorate
Coordinates31°14′35″N 45°53′06″E / 31.243°N 45.885°E / 31.243; 45.885Coordinates: 31°14′35″N 45°53′06″E / 31.243°N 45.885°E / 31.243; 45.885
Length200 metres (660 ft)
Height5 metres (16 ft)
Founded6500-5400 BCE
Abandonedbefore 3000 BCE
Site notes
Excavation dates1976, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989
ArchaeologistsA. Parrot. J.-L. Huot

Tell el-'Oueili (also Awayli) is a tell, or ancient settlement mound, located in Dhi Qar Governorate, southern Iraq. The site was excavated between 1976 and 1989 by French archaeologists under the direction of Jean-Louis Huot. The excavations have revealed occupation layers predating those of Eridu, making Tell el-'Oueili the earliest known human settlement in southern Mesopotamia.

History of research

The site was first noted and surveyed by French scholar André Parrot, who at the time was working at nearby Larsa.[1] Two small excavation seasons took place in 1976 and 1978, and regular excavations commenced in 1981.[2][3] Four more seasons took place in every uneven year until 1989.[4][5] All excavations were directed by French archaeologist Jean-Louis Huot.[6]

Tell el-'Oueili and its environment

The site measures 200 metres (660 ft) in diameter and is approximately 5 metres (16 ft) high.[1] It is located ca. 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) southeast of Larsa in Dhi Qar Governorate, southern Iraq. The environment of 'Oueili is characterized by temperatures that can reach more than 50 °C in summer and less than 250 mm of annual rainfall, making the area unsuitable for rainfed agriculture.[7]

Occupation history

Tell el-'Oueili was occupied during the Ubaid period.[8] The excavations have revealed occupation layers dating from Ubaid 0 (6500-5400 BCE) to Ubaid 4. The phase Ubaid 0 was first discovered at this site and was hence provisionally termed 'Oueili-phase.[3] A surface survey showed that the site was occupied into the Uruk Period.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b Huot, J.-L. (1980), "Tell el'Oueili (Iraq): les Premiers Résultats", Paléorient (in French), 6 (1): 207–211, doi:10.3406/paleo.1980.4270
  2. ^ Huot, J.-L. et al., "Tell el-'Oueilli: The works of 1978 and 1981.", Sumer, vol. 39, no. 1-2, pp. 18-67, 1983
  3. ^ a b Huot, J.-L. (1985), "Tell el'Oueili. Principaux Résultats de la Quatrième Campagne (1983)", Paléorient (in French), 11 (1): 119–123, doi:10.3406/paleo.1985.4367
  4. ^ Forest, J.D.. "Tell el-'Oueili preliminary report on the 4th season (1983): Stratigraphy and architecture'.", Sumer, vol. 44, no. 1–2, pp. 55–66, 1985-1986
  5. ^ Breniquet, Catherine, "Tell el-'Oueili 1983: The Small Finds", Sumer, vol. 44, pp. 109-11, 1985-1986
  6. ^ Vallet, R.; Huot, J.-L. (1990), "Les Habitations à salles hypostyles d'époque Obeid 0 de Tell El'Oueili", Paléorient (in French), 16 (1): 125–130, doi:10.3406/paleo.1990.4527
  7. ^ Huot, J.-L. (1985a), "Travaux en basse Mésopotamie. Les fouilles françaises à Larsa et 'Oueili", Comptes-rendus des Séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (in French), 129 (2): 300–318, doi:10.3406/crai.1985.14270
  8. ^ Lebeau, M., "A First Report on pre-Eridu Pottery from Tell El Oueili", Sumer, vol. 44, pp. 88-108, 1985
  9. ^ J. L. Huot, "Tell el Oueili : surface exploration", Sumer, vol. 27, no. 1-2, pp. 45-58, 1971
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