Tepe Gawra

A New Site

Originally Published in 1931

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IN the spring of 1927, Dr. E. A. Speiser, who was engaged in making an extensive archaeological reconnaissance of Northern Mesopotamia, closed his season’s work with a fortnight’s excavating at an untouched mound, Tepe Gawra, not far from Mosul, in the territory of Ancient Assyria. Despite the brevity of this investigation, the finds at Tepe Gawra were singularly interesting and important, indicating that it was first occupied at an extremely early date when the inhabitants were apparently related in culture to those who occupied, centuries before Christ, early levels of Susa, in what is now western Persia, and that it continued to be occupied by divers people until it was abandoned about the beginning of the second millennium. It is rather exceptional to find a site in Mesopotamia so entirely limited to the prehistoric period.

The publication of the results of Dr. Speiser’s preliminary investigations have since then indicated the importance of further work at Tepe Gawra. By good fortune it has been possible this year to make the necessary arrangements, since Dr. Speiser, who is at present directing the Museum’s expedition at Tell Billah, was able to dispatch a part of his staff to Tepe Gawra. With funds provided jointly by Dropsie College and the Museum, several months of extended work at Tepe Gawra are assured under Dr. Speiser’s supervision.

In a cable dispatch just received it is announced that the first few weeks of work have been fruitful, and that a number of unbroken. pottery vessels of very early types have been uncovered. It is scarcely necessary to point out how rare it is to find complete pieces of these very early epochs in Mesopotamian history.

It is expected that Dr. Speiser’s written report, now on its way, will give a fuller report of the progress of this new undertaking which his cable indicates is of singular importance. Meanwhile, as related elsewhere, the work of his expedition at Tell Billah proceeds with equally valuable contributions to our knowledge of the early history of this region.

Cite This Article

"Tepe Gawra." Museum Bulletin II, no. 5 (March, 1931): 141-142. Accessed May 21, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/bulletin/689/

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