English » Field Projects » Tell Nader Project

Tell Nader lies at the fringes of Erbil (36.173148°, 44.075490°), approximately 6,3 km E-NE of the citadel and ca. 2,8 km SE of the Majidi Mall. The diameter of this Tell is ca. 100 m. and its height ca. 5 m.  It was discovered first by Mr. Nader Muhammad (General Directorate of Antiquities of Kurdistan), and was named accordingly after him. Prior to its discovery a part of it was unfortunately destroyed during construction works of the three adjacent city roads.

 In an attempt to build a house, a bulldozer destroyed the NE part of the Tell and also removed part of the surface layer in its northern end. The unauthorized excavation was brought to a halt by the Directorate of Antiquities and this Tell was declared an archaeological site. Despite this fact, the site still remains under threat because of the very intensive building activity in the area. Thus, conducting a rescue excavation was imperative. In May 2010 Mr. Nader Muhammad and Dr. Konstantinos Kopanias conducted a preparatory inspection on the site.

In August 2010 a jar burial was discovered during digging of a trench for a water pipe in the west end of the site and it was then excavated by the Directorate of Antiquities of Erbil. The jar could be studied only in the photographs that Mr. Nader Muhammad kindly gave us, and it still remains buried in situ. The jar is dated probably to the Middle- rather than to the Neo-Assyrian period, according to Dr. Claudia Beuger. Part of the skeleton was recovered and stored in the Erbil Civilization Museum, where it was studied by Dr. Sherry Fox.

Time constraints during this first campaign did not allow us to conduct an intensive survey on site. But,  prior to the excavation, we surveyed the area, collected characteristic surface pottery and lithics, and noted their coordinates on the topographic plan. Moreover we collected all surface finds from the 24 grid squares, which have been chosen as the starting point of the excavation. From the surface of this 20x30 m area we collected a total of 2.956 pottery sherds with a total weight of 50 kg and 660 lithics, with a total weight of 8 kg. The surface finds indicate that Tell Nader was in use from the 7th/6th millennium (Hassuna period) down to the late 2nd/early 1st mil. B.C. (Middle/Neo-Assyrian period). The main periods of site occupation, judging from the quantity of finds, seem to have been the Ubaid (mid 6th-5th mil.) and the Middle-Assyrian (2nd half of the 2nd mil. B.C.).