Book Series Papers on Archaeology from The Leiden Museum of Antiquities, vol. 11

Excavations at Late Neolithic Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria

The 1994-1999 field seasons

Peter Akkermans, Olivier Nieuwenhuyse, Harmen Huigens, Merel Brüning (eds)

  • Pages: 272 p.
  • Size:220 x 280 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2014

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-53111-3
  • Paperback
  • Available


Excavations at Late Neolithic Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria: The 1994–1999 Field Seasons by Peter Akkermans and his team, is far from a typical site report. (…) the synthesis and details overall should appeal to a wide variety of readers. I hope that the materials excavated are safe and that this is just the beginning of such publications from the group, as there are still more ‘Operations’ to report on. (Stanley Klassen, in The Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies Journal, 9-10, 2017, p. 79)


Tell Sabi Abyad is a major Late Neolithic settlement mound in Northern Syria, belonging to the seventh and early sixth millennium bc. This book presents the results of large-scale fieldwork conducted at the site between 1994 and 1999, under the auspices of the Netherlands National Museum of Antiquities and Leiden University. For six successive field campaigns, the relatively low and gently sloping southeastern part of Tell Sabi Abyad – termed Operation I – was the focus of broad horizontal excavation and a diverse, interdis- ciplinary series of investigations, aimed at the explora- tion of the sequence of local Late Neolithic (or Pottery Neolithic) villages dating from around 6200-5850 BC.

Because of the large-scale investigation at Tell Sabi Abyad, we are much better informed on the local de- velopment of culture and society in the Late Neolithic – an era which received little scholarly attention, if not sheer neglect, for a very long time but which has rapidly gained recognition in the past two decades.

This monograph takes the reader through an account of the excavation and an analysis of the material re- mains from the 1994 to 1999 field campaigns at Tell Sabi Abyad. The book provides reports on the stratigraphy, architecture, material culture, plant remains, human skeletal remains, and other finds from the various phases of Neolithic settlement at the site.