Sites & cities that bear the name of Tell Aswad

Tell Aswad

Today in : Syrian Arab Republic
First trace of activity : ca. 8,700 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 7,500 B.C.E
Recorded names : Shuksa, Su-uk-su, تل أسود

Description : Tell Aswad (Arabic: تل أسود‎, "Black hill"), Su-uk-su or Shuksa, is a large prehistoric, neolithic tell, about 5 hectares (540,000 sq ft) in size, located around 48 kilometres (30 mi) from Damascus in Syria, on a tributary of the Barada River at the eastern end of the village of Jdeidet el Khass. Tell Aswad was discovered in 1967 by Henri de Contenson who led excavations in 1971–1972. The Aswadian culture found by de Contenson was far too advanced for its calibrated dating than anything else found in the region, and the only example ever found of this culture. Further technical investigation of the lithic series by Frédéric Abbès revealed inconsistencies so it was recently decided to re-excavate in six seasons by the French Permanent Archaeological Mission El Kowm-Mureybet under the co-direction of Danielle Stordeur and Bassam Jamous between 2001–2006. Investigations into the materials found are ongoing at the National Museum of Damascus. The most recent fieldwork at Tell Aswad has led to a reevaluation of its dating, with the Aswadian or Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) period (9500–8700 cal BC) now considered to be absent. Instead, radiocarbon dating of the new excavations, and of seeds from the 1970s excavations, documents occupation in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) period, split into three parts; PPNB Ancien (Early PPNB) from 8700 to 8200 cal BC and the PPNB Moyen (Middle PPNB) from 8200 to 7500 BC. The PPNB Récent (Late PPNB) has been equated with Dunand's "Néolithique ancien de Byblos".

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