The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut néerlandais du Proche-Orient

Rania Plain: Gird Bardastee

Gird Bardastee (view from south, April 2013).

Gird Bardastee ("Mound of flints") is a small site located on the Rania Plain ca. 200 m west of the hills of Tell Shemshara, and across the Wadi Boskin. Iraqi excavations in 1959 (directed by Abd al-Qadir al-Tikriti) exposed levels of Ninevite 5 date, but remain unpublished. In spring 2013 the NINO Archaeological Project on the Rania Plain conducted a first season of excavation at Gird Bardastee. A 2 m wide and 50 m long step trench on the east slope and a smaller operation on the west side showed that the site was exclusively occupied during the Early Ninevite 5 period (EJ 1, ca. 3000-2900 B.C.). Two building levels (III-II) could be defined, both cut to foundations, and since covered by a thick deposit of hard clayey soil (Level I). The oldest level features stone foundations of walled structures divided by pebbled streets or passages. The ceramics retrieved describe a homogenous horizon of the Early Ninevite 5 tradition, with a preponderance of painted ware, mostly bowls and beakers. Gird Bardastee is the eastern-most site of this period identified so far.