Ryszard F. Mazurowski, Youssef Kanjou (eds), Tell Qaramel 1999–2007. Protoneolithic and Early Pre-pottery Neolithic Settlement in Northern Syria / Un village protonéolithique et préceramique en Syrie du Nord (=PCMA Excavation Series 2), Warsaw: PCMA, 2012
Languages: English and French
The Proto-Neolithic and Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic site of Tell Qaramel in northwestern Syria is investigated by a joint Polish-Syrian team organized by the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw and the Direction General for Antiquities and Museums in Damascus. The excavations have been directed on the Polish side by Prof. Ryszard F. Mazurowski and on the Syrian side by Dr. Youssef Kanjou.
The discoveries at Tell Qaramel have proved to be of utmost significance for understanding processes which led to the transformation of an Epipaleolithic society of hunters and gatherers into one of farmers and animal breeders, creating a cultural model for the Neolithic, first in the Near East and then in the Old World in general.
The most outstanding expression of the level of cultural development in the Qaramelian community are buildings interpreted as assembly places and shrines. Five of these took on the form of round towers built of stone and earth. The architecture is accompanied by more than 480 carvings in the round and in relief, depicting anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and geometric motifs. Finds include also evidence of developed tool production and an elaborate system of social organization. For studies of early Neolithization, Qaramel is most certainly one of three most important Near Eastern sites today, next to Jericho in the southern Levant and Göbekli Tepe in the Taurus Mountains.
The volume presents a preliminary interpretation of the results of nine seasons of archaeological excavations and has been produced in both English and French in an effort to reach a wider public. Up-to-date results will be presented in a future volume in this publishing series.