Sunday, March 28, 2021

Ubaid Culture

The term “Ubaid” refers to both a time period and a material culture assemblage which originated in southern Mesopotamia and lasted for more than 1500 years.

The Ubaid period in Mesopotamia (ca. 5500-3800 B.C.E.) begins after the development of small-scale sedentary agricultural strategies in the Neolithic period and takes place prior to the early-state systems that define the Uruk period (ca. 4000-3100 BC).

Ubaid culture is characterized by:
– Farming villages (irrigation) and herders
– Appearance of temples
– Distinctive and delicate painted pottery (but more austere than Halafian)

Early Ubaid layers are at the bottom of many tell sites, on the natural ground surface
− these are apparently the first settled occupations in southern Mesopotamia
− there may have been mobile foragers or pastoralists earlier
− who may have themselves settled down and become the ‘Ubaid people
− or who may have been displaced by the ‘Ubaid people

Cereal agriculture is only possible with the help of canal irrigation from the Euphrates, Tigris and other major rivers.

Ubaid us notable for the simultaneous emergence of
*An irrigation-dependent farming system: Wheat, barley, flax, lentils, cattle, pigs, sheep/goat
*Economic differentiation
*Regional centralization
*Ritual elaboration

Ubaid did not have their own sources of building stone, precious stones, good wood, ores or metals, or many other materials, therefore they had to trade for them. And a good stone was so valuable that they made sickles out of clay.
Ubaid Culture

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