The Neolithic of the Levant (Excerpt 180)
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Chapter 6: Neolithic 4 Tell Ard Tlaili (Pages 433-435)

Pre-History and Archaeology Glossary

Excerpts and Definitions and Addendums:

Tell Ard Tlaili lies 11 kilometres northwest of Baalbek on the other side of the Beka'a near the foot of the Mountains of Lebanon (Kirkbride, 1969, 53). The site is a low mound on the plain in an area which at present has a high water table. The mound was slightly larger originally since its perimeter is now buried beneath 1 metre of soil. The occupation sequence was divided into a lower and upper phase. The buildings in both phases were rectilinear; their walls were of pise with, in the lower phase pebble footings and in the upper foundations of large stones. The floors of these buildings were made of trodden clay of white plaster while the walls of some structures were plastered also and even burnished (Kirkbride, no date). In the yards between these structures were hearths and areas made of plaster or clay .....

The finds (See NOTE 31 Below) consisted for the most part of chipped stone tools and pottery though there were also basalt bowls, hammers and many baked clay sling bullets. Among the flints were segmented finely-denticulated blades, some axes and borers. There was a variety of scrapers, including end and side-scrapers on flakes, steep scrapers and fan scrapers. Several obsidian blades were also found .....

The pottery comprised four principal groups. Painted sherds of Halaf type made up the first group (Kirkbride, 1969, Plate III). The patterns included rows of horizontal or vertical lines, sometimes with dots between, zig-zag and wavy lines and delicate mesh designs. In the upper phase jars with bow rims and vessels coloured with a red wash were used with the painted Halaf wares. The second pottery group consisted of burnished vessels with surface colours ranging from red and orange to brown and black. Some of these vessels were pattern burnished. The third group was somewhat coarser and decorated with varied incised patterns which included parallel lines, zig-zags, filled triangles and stab marks (ibid Plate IV). The fourth kind of pottery was a coarse ware with much straw and some grit badly fired at a relatively low temperature. The surface of the pots was usually buff or brown and smoothed by hand or with a straw .....

The affinities of the painted pottery are clearly with Halaf sites to the north. Indeed this is the most southerly site at which pottery painted in the Halaf style has been found. The burnished wares, while also common enough on Halaf sites, resemble pottery from Byblos Neolithique Moyen as does the incised group of sherds. The flints too show affinities with Byblos. This little farming village shares the material culture of the early Neolithic 4 South Syrian sites and their Halaf counterparts to the north .....

The carbon 14 determinations from Ard Tlaili which I have already discussed when considering Byblos are important since they are the only ones that we have for any Neolithic 4 site in the South Syrian group (ibid 55; Mellaart, 1975, 287). They suggest that the site was inhabited from about 5000 B.C. until 4700 or 4600 B.C. .....


(31) The excavated material was deposited in the National Museum in Beirut.
Some surface finds are in the Université Saint-Joseph .....


Early Byblos and the Bakaa (1969)
Diana Kirkbride Volume 45 (Pages 43-60)
Mélanges de l'Université Saint-Joseph of Beirut
Library of Congress # PJ 3001 B5

The Neolithic of the Near East (1975)
James Mellaart : LC # GN 776.33 N4 M44

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium