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Tepe Gawra

Flat toggle pin found in Level VI, square 7K Tepe Gawra 
Inv: 31-52-182 [1374]

The mound of Tepe Gawra is located on an open plain in the northeastern part of the Assyrian Plains, the piedmont zone of northern Iraq. It sits 30 km northeast of the Tigris river cross at the modern city of Mosul (Iraq), along a tributary of the Khosr river which descends from the Zagros mountains, through the foothills of northern Kurdistan, and onto the fertile plain east of Mosul, Gawra’s position on the plain due south of the one natural pass through the Jebel Maqlub places the site along one of the most frequently used 19th century A.D. (and undoubtedly earlier) routes of communication, pastoral nomad migration, and trade to highland Iran, Turkey, and beyond (British Admiralty 1916).

Archaeologically, Gawra is located 30 km northeast of the 5th millennium B.C. to 1st century A.D trade entrepot, political capital and communication center of Kuyunjik/Nineveh (Mallowan 1933). Between Gawra and Nineveh, near modern Tell Kaif, are a number of sites with late prehistoric (i.e., Uruk or Gawran) and early historic Nineveh V surface remains (Abu al Soof 1968). On the other hand, Gawra appears quite isolated in its gateway location to the passage through the Jebel Maqlub. Among the sites mentioned by Abu al Soof, Arpachiyah has been partially excavated (Hijara 1980). A few kilometers northeast of Gawra are the walls of the Neo-Assyrian capital of Khorsabad (Parrot 1944), and half a kilometer south of there lies Tell Shenshi (Algaze 1989). Southeast of Gawra is the 3rd to 1st millennium site of Tell Billa (the animal and grain processing site of Shibaniba, for Neo-Assyrian Nineveh: see Finkelstein 1953), the bronzes of which are also included in the Mesopotamian Metals Project.

The presentation here of Gawra’s copper-based artifacts follow the Level designations assigned in Rothman 2002b.