Prehistoric Investigation Near Mandali, IRAQ

In the spring of I966 a survey of archaeological sites was begun in the qadha of Mandali, Diyala Liwa, east of Baghdad, and between Mandali and Badra, Kut Liwa, along the foothills bordering the Iranian frontier (Fig. i). The survey was undertaken initially with financial support from the American Philosophical Society and continued in I967 with the assistance of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.' It is hoped that ultimately all archaeological sites in the area will be surveyed systematically, but the primary reason for the selection of this particular region was the possibility that it might provide clues towards the solution of a number of prehistoric problems.

Three essentially geographic considerations led to this choice. The first was the fact that Mandali lies roughly equidistant from Tell es-Sawwan, the southernmost Hassuna-Samarra site,2 and Ras al 'Amiya, the northern known limit of the southern pottery type known as Hajji Muhammad or Al 'Ubaid Z.3 Thus it was hoped that information concerning the relationships, chronological and typological, between these two distinctive prehistoric groups might be found. The second factor was the actual physical situation of the area which, although consisting for the most part of alluvial plain, lies at a significantly higher elevation than the more central portion of the river basins. The plain slopes gradually downwards from the foothills so that Mandali itself has an elevation of 137 m. in contrast with 34 m. at Baghdad. There was, therefore, the possibility that here early prehistoric mounds might be visible above the level of the plain as in Assyria, not as in Sumer buried beneath the silt that has seriously hampered archaeological investigation.

Prehistoric Investigations near Mandali, Iraq
Author(s): Joan Oates
Source: Iraq, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Spring, 1968), pp. 1-20
Published by: British Institute for the Study of Iraq