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Studying ephemeral prehistoric tell sites in Upper Mesopotamia: The example of Tell Arbid Abyad (Syria)



Rok publikování 2016
Druh Konferenční abstrakty
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis Tell archaeologists determined to excavate new prehistoric sites are likely to run into places which lack an overlay of protective deposits of a younger age, because it is they who are the clearest signals of a prehistoric settlement-use which a surveyor may observe. It appears soon that the instantaneous accessibility of prehistoric tell layers comes with a cost: such sites have been disproportionally hit by consecutive disturbances, by erosion and – more recently – by large-scale interventions into the landscape. Excessively dissected features, a poor state of preservation and reduced architecture make these open-air sites ‘trouble-makers’ for the Prehistorian. Using an epithet that the late Tony Wilkinson (1990) has coined for surface-near, elusive walls such typical formations may be dubbed ‘ghost tells’. Four years of focused research at Tell Arbid Abyad (Late Neolithic) have shown that work at a ‘ghost tell’ is fruitful if (1) the digging/documentation techniques are kept highly adaptive, and (2) a tell paradigm different from the classical tell is followed throughout. Excavating Tell Arbid Abyad has also resulted in observations that back the idea that bipolar concepts of ‘permanently settled high tells’ and ‘small seasonal sub-tells’ will have to be amended, in order to accommodate some of the prehistoric tell sites of Upper Mesopotamia.
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