Tell Ramad
Tell Ramad is a prehistoric, Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

A tell or tel, is a type of archaeological mound created by human occupation and abandonment of a geographical site over many centuries. A classic tell looks like a low, truncated cone with a flat top and sloping sides.-Archaeology:A tell is a hill created by different civilizations living and...

 at the foot of Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon is a mountain cluster in the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. Its summit straddles the border between Syria and Lebanon and, at 2,814 m above sea level, is the highest point in Syria. On the top there is “Hermon Hotel”, in the buffer zone between Syria and Israeli-occupied...

, about 20 kilometres (12.4 mi) southwest of Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 in Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. The tell was the site of a small village of 2 hectare, which was first settled in the late eighth millennium.

The tell was discovered by French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 customs officers, M. Compant and Lieutenant Potut. Laurisson Ward visited again in 1939 and collected material from the surface, now in the Peabody Museum
Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University is among the oldest, largest, and most prolific university natural history museums in the world. It was founded by the philanthropist George Peabody in 1866 at the behest of his nephew Othniel Charles Marsh, the early paleontologist...

. Tell Ramad lay somewhat forgotten until it was rediscovered by W.J. van Liere and Henri de Contenson
Henri de Contenson
right|250px|thumb|Henri de ContensonHenri de Contenson , is a French Archaeologist and was Research Director at CNRS, The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique , a research organization funded by France's Ministry of Research.A student of André Parrot, Raymond Lantier and André...

, the latter leading excavations in 8 seasons between 1963 and 1973.

Notable features from the earliest stage include a number of 3–4 metre diameter, lime-plaster floored, clay lined oval pits with ovens & clay bins that were suggested to have been used as houses. There was nothing to suggest a break in occupation between level I and II of the site. Burial customs appear to have been unchanged between the two periods. Burials were mostly done in communal graves, with little deposits of grave goods. Different flint tools were found at the site in both periods, including sickles and arrowheads.

Tell Ramad is notable as one of the few sites fundamental to our understanding of the origin of agriculture with finds including various types of domesticated wheat and barley. Emmer wheat is an important characteristic of Basin sites in this area, where it is thought to have been introduced. Wild plant foods include pistachios, almonds, figs and wild pears. The mammal fauna from level I at Tell Ramad shows that both sheep and goats were fully and simultaneously domesticated at the site, although the sheep-to-goat ratio is more than 3 to 1.

Further reading

  • de Contenson, H. Cauvin, M.-C. Courtois, L. Ducos, P. Dupeyron, M. van Zeist, W. - Ramad. Site Néolitique en Damascène (Syrie) aux VIIIe et VIIe Millénaires Avant l´Ère Chrétienne, Bibliothèque Archéologique et Histoire, Tome 157, Beirut, 2000.
  • van Zeist, W. Bakker-Heeres, J.A.H. - Archaeobotanical Studies in the Levant 1. Neolithic Sites in the Damascus Basin: Aswad, Ghoraifé, Ramad - Palaeohistoria, 24, 165-256, 1982.
  • Vogel, J.C. Waterbolk, H.T. - Groningen Radiocarbon Dates VII - Radiocarbon, 9, 107-155, 1967.
  • Ferembach, D. - Étude anthropologique des ossements humains néolithiques Tell Ramad (Syrie). Annales archéologiques de Syrie, 19, 49-70, 1969.
  • de Contenson, H. Troisiéme campagne á Tell ramad 1966: rapport préliminaire. Annales Archéologiques de Syria XVII (1–2), 17–24, 1967.
  • de Contenson, H. Découvertes récentes dans la domaine du Néolithique en Syrie, L'Anthropologie, 70, 388-391, 1966.
  • de Contenson, H. van Liere, W.J. Premiers pas vers une chronologie absolue à Tell Ramad, Annales Archéologiques Arabes Syriennes, 16, 175-176, 1966.
  • de Contenson, H. van Liere, W.J. Sondages à Tell Ramad en 1963: rapport préliminaire, Annales Archéologiques Arabes Syriennes, 14, 190, 1964.
  • de Contenson, H. van Liere, W.J. A Note on Five Early Neolithic Sites in Inland Syria 13, 175-209, 1963.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.