Sites & cities that bear the name of Mureybet


Today in : Syrian Arab Republic
First trace of activity : ca. 10,200 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 8,000 B.C.E
Recorded names : muribit, مريبط‎

Description : Mureybet (Arabic: مريبط‎, romanized: muribit, lit. 'covered') is a tell, or ancient settlement mound, located on the west bank of the Euphrates in Raqqa Governorate, northern Syria. The site was excavated between 1964 and 1974 and has since disappeared under the rising waters of Lake Assad. Mureybet was occupied between 10,200 and 8,000 BC and is the eponymous type site for the Mureybetian culture, a subdivision of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA). In its early stages, Mureybet was a small village occupied by hunter-gatherers. Hunting was important and crops were first gathered and later cultivated, but they remained wild. During its final stages, domesticated animals were also present at the site. The excavations have revealed four occupation phases I–IV, ranging from the Natufian up to the Middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) and dating to 10,200–8,000 BC, based on AMS radiocarbon dates. Phase IA (10,200–9,700 BC) represents the Natufian occupation of Mureybet. It is characterized by hearths and cooking pits, but no dwelling structures have been identified. Among the crops that were harvested, and possibly even locally cultivated, were barley and rye. Very few sickle blades and querns were found. The inhabitants of Mureybet hunted gazelle and equids and fishing was also important. They had dogs, evidence for which is indirect at Mureybet but bones of which have been identified at nearby and contemporary Tell Abu Hureyra. Phases IB, IIA and IIB (9,700–9,300 BC) make up the Khiamian, a poorly understood and sometimes disputed sub-phase straddling the transition from the Natufian to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA). Mureybet is the only site where Khiamian deposits are associated with architectural remains. The oldest of these remains date to phase IB and consist of a round semi-subterranean structure with a diameter of 6 metres (20 ft). In the subsequent phases, slightly smaller round houses built at ground level also appeared, at least some of which were used simultaneously. The walls were built from compacted earth, sometimes reinforced with stones. Hearths and cooking pits were located outside the buildings. Harvested crops included barley, rye and Polygonum. Sickle blades and grinding stones are more common and show more use-wear, indicating that cereals became a more important component in the diet. The fauna at Mureybet changed significantly during phase IIB. Gazelle makes up 70% of the assemblage and small animals decrease in importance, although fish remained important. Toward the end of the Khiamian, equid hunting gained importance at the expense of gazelle.

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