digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















The Neolithic
Fertile crescent
Levantine corridor
Heavy Neolithic
Shepherd Neolithic
Trihedral Neolithic
Qaraoun culture
Tahunian culture
Yarmukian Culture
Halaf culture
Halaf-Ubaid Transitional period
Ubaid culture
Pre-Pottery (A, B)
Tell Aswad
Boian culture
Cernavodă culture
Coțofeni culture
Cucuteni-Trypillian culture
Dudeşti culture
Gorneşti culture
Gumelniţa–Karanovo culture
Hamangia culture
Linear Pottery culture
Malta Temples
Petreşti culture
Sesklo culture
Tisza culture
Tiszapolgár culture
Usatovo culture
Varna culture
Vinča culture
Vučedol culture
Neolithic Transylvania
Neolithic Southeastern Europe
Peiligang culture
Pengtoushan culture
Beixin culture
Cishan culture
Dadiwan culture
Houli culture
Xinglongwa culture
Xinle culture
Zhaobaogou culture
Hemudu culture
Daxi culture
Majiabang culture
Yangshao culture
Hongshan culture
Dawenkou culture
Liangzhu culture
Majiayao culture
Qujialing culture
Longshan culture
Baodun culture
Shijiahe culture
Erlitou culture
South Asia

farming, animal husbandry
pottery, metallurgy, wheel
circular ditches, henges, megaliths
Neolithic religion

Pottery jar from Late Ubaid Period
Cultural influences on Ubaid culture: Samarran Farmers from the North, trans-Arabian bifacial indigenous hunter-gatherers, and circum Arabian nomadic pastoral complex

The Ubaid period (ca. 6500 to 3800 BC)[1] is a prehistoric period of Mesopotamia. The name derives from Tell al-`Ubaid where the earliest large excavation of Ubaid period material was conducted initially by Henry Hall and later by Leonard Woolley.[2]

In South Mesopotamia the period is the earliest known period on the alluvium although it is likely earlier periods exist obscured under the alluvium.[3] In the south it has a very long duration between about 6500 and 3800 BC when it is replaced by the Uruk period [4]

In North Mesopotamia the period runs only between about 5300 and 4300 BC.[4] It is preceded by the Halaf period and the Halaf-Ubaid Transitional period and succeeded by the Late Chalcolithic period.


The Ubaid period is divided into three principal phases:

  • Ubaid 1, sometimes called Eridu[5] (5300–4700 BC), a phase limited to the extreme south of Iraq, on what was then the shores of the Persian Gulf. This phase, showing clear connection to the Samarra culture to the north, saw the establishment of the first permanent settlement south of the 5 inch rainfall isohyet. These people pioneered the growing of grains in the extreme conditions of aridity, thanks to the high water tables of Southern Iraq.[6]
  • Ubaid 2 — [5] (4800–4500 BC), after the type site of the same name, saw the development of extensive canal networks from major settlements. Irrigation agriculture, which seem to have developed first at Choga Mami (4700–4600 BC) and rapidly spread elsewhere, form the first required collective effort and centralised coordination of labour in Mesopotamia.[7]
  • Ubaid 3/4, sometimes called Ubaid I and Ubaid II[8] — In the period from 4500–4000 BC saw a period of intense and rapid urbanisation with the Ubaid culture spread into northern Mesopotamia replacing (after a hiatus) the Halaf culture. Ubaid artifacts spread also all along the Arabian littoral, showing the growth of a trading system that stretched from the Mediterranean coast through to Oman.[9][10]

The archaeological record shows that Arabian Bifacial/Ubaid period came to an abrupt end in eastern Arabia and the Oman peninsula at 3800 BC, just after the phase of lake lowering and onset of dune reactivation.[11] At this time, increased aridity led to an end in semi-desert nomadism, and there is no evidence of human presence in the area for approximately 1000 years, the so-called "Dark Millennium".[12] This might be due to the 5.9 kiloyear event at the end of the Older Peron.


Ubaid culture is characterized by large village settlements, characterized by multi-roomed rectangular mud-brick houses and the appearance of the first temples of public architecture in Mesopotamia, with a growth of a two tier settlement hierarchy of centralized large sites of more than 10 hectares surrounded by smaller village sites of less than 1 hectare. Domestic equipment included a distinctive fine quality buff or greenish colored pottery decorated with geometric designs in brown or black paint; tools such as sickles were often made of hard fired clay in the south. But in the north, stone and sometimes metal were used.

During the Ubaid Period [5000 B.C.– 4000 B.C.], the movement towards urbanization began. "Agriculture and animal husbandry [domestication] were widely practiced in sedentary communities". There were also tribes that practiced domesticating animals as far north as Turkey, and as far south as the Zagros Mountains.[13]


The Ubaid period as a whole, based upon the analysis of grave goods, was one of increasingly polarised social stratification and decreasing egalitarianism. Bogucki describes this as a phase of "Trans-egalitarian" competitive households, in which some fall behind as a result of downward social mobility. Morton Fried and Elman Service have hypothesised that Ubaid culture saw the rise of an elite class of hereditary chieftains, perhaps heads of kin groups linked in some way to the administration of the temple shrines and their granaries, responsible for mediating intra-group conflict and maintaining social order. It would seem that various collective methods, perhaps instances of what Thorkild Jacobsen called primitive democracy, in which disputes were previously resolved through a council of one's peers, were no longer sufficient for the needs of the local community.

Ubaid culture originated in the south, but still has clear connections to earlier cultures in the region of middle Iraq. The appearance of the Ubaid folk has sometimes been linked to the so-called Sumerian problem, related to the origins of Sumerian civilisation. Whatever the ethnic origins of this group, this culture saw for the first time a clear tripartite social division between intensive subsistence peasant farmers, with crops and animals coming from the north, tent-dwelling nomadic pastoralists dependent upon their herds, and hunter-fisher folk of the Arabian littoral, living in reed huts.

Stein and Özbal describe the Near East oikumene that resulted from Ubaid expansion, contrasting it to the colonial expansionism of the later Uruk period. "A contextual analysis comparing different regions shows that the Ubaid expansion took place largely through the peaceful spread of an ideology, leading to the formation of numerous new indigenous identities that appropriated and transformed superficial elements of Ubaid material culture into locally distinct expressions".[14]

The earliest evidence for sailing has been found in Kuwait indicating that sailing was known by the Ubaid 3 period.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carter, Robert A. and Philip, Graham Beyond the Ubaid: Transformation and Integration in the Late Prehistoric Societies of the Middle East (Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization, Number 63) The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (2010) ISBN 978-1-885923-66-0 p.2, at http://oi.uchicago.edu/research/pubs/catalog/saoc/saoc63.html; "Radiometric data suggest that the whole Southern Mesopotamian Ubaid period, including Ubaid 0 and 5, is of immense duration, spanning nearly three millenia from about 6500 to 3800 B.C".
  2. ^ Hall, Henry R. and Woolley, C. Leonard. 1927. Al-'Ubaid. Ur Excavations 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ Adams, Robert MCC. and Wright, Henry T. 1989. 'Concluding Remarks' in Henrickson, Elizabeth and Thuesen, Ingolf (eds.) Upon This Foundation - The ’Ubaid Reconsidered. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. pp. 451-456.
  4. ^ a b Carter, Robert A. and Philip, Graham. 2010. 'Deconstructing the Ubaid' in Carter, Robert A. and Philip, Graham (eds.) Beyond the Ubaid: Transformation and Integration in the Late Prehistoric Societies of the Middle East. Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. p. 2.
  5. ^ a b Kurt, Amélie Ancient near East V1 (Routledge History of the Ancient World) Routledge (31 Dec 1996) ISBN 978-0-415-01353-6 p.22
  6. ^ Roux, Georges "Ancient Iraq" (Penguin, Harmondsworth)
  7. ^ Wittfogel, Karl (1981) "Oriental Despotism: Comparative Study of Total Power" (Vintage Books)
  8. ^ Issar, A; Mattanyah Zohar Climate change: environment and civilization in the Middle East Springer; 2nd edition (20 Jul 2004) ISBN 978-3-540-21086-3 p.87
  9. ^ Bibby, Geoffrey (2013), "Looking for Dilmun" (Stacey International)
  10. ^ Crawford, Harriet E.W.(1998), "Dilmun and its Gulf Neighbours" (Cambridge University Press)
  11. ^ Parker, Adrian G.; et al. (2006). "A record of Holocene climate change from lake geochemical analyses in southeastern Arabia". Quaternary Research 66 (3): 465–476. doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2006.07.001. [dead link]
  12. ^ Uerpmann, M. (2002). "The Dark Millennium—Remarks on the final Stone Age in the Emirates and Oman". In Potts, D.; al-Naboodah, H.; Hellyer, P. Archaeology of the United Arab Emirates. Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Archaeology of the U.A.E. London: Trident Press. pp. 74–81. ISBN 1-900724-88-X. 
  13. ^ Pollock, Susan (1999). Ancient Mesopotamia: The Eden that Never Was. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-57334-3. 
  14. ^ Stein, Gil J.; Rana Özbal (2006). "A Tale of Two Oikumenai: Variation in the Expansionary Dynamics of Ubaid and Uruk Mesopotamia". In Elizabeth C. Stone. Settlement and Society: Ecology, urbanism, trade and technology in Mesopotamia and Beyond (Robert McC. Adams Festschrift). Santa Fe: SAR Press. pp. 356–370. 
  15. ^ Carter, Robert (2006). "Boat remains and maritime trade in the Persian Gulf during the sixth and fifth millennia BC". Antiquity 80 (307). 


  • Martin, Harriet P. (1982). "The Early Dynastic Cemetery at al-'Ubaid, a Re-Evaluation". Iraq 44 (2): 145–185. doi:10.2307/4200161. JSTOR 4200161. 
  • Moore, A. M. T. (2002). "Pottery Kiln Sites at al 'Ubaid and Eridu". Iraq 64: 69–77. doi:10.2307/4200519. JSTOR 4200519. 
  • Bogucki, Peter (1990). The Origins of Human Society. Malden, MA: Blackwell. ISBN 1-57718-112-3. 
  • Charvát, Petr (2002). Mesopotamia Before History. London, New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-25104-4.
  • Mellaart, James (1975). The Neolithic of the Near East. New York: Scribner. ISBN 0-684-14483-2. 
  • Nissen, Hans J. (1990). The Early History of the Ancient Near East, 9000–2000 B.C. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-58658-8. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubaid_period — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
2188 videos foundNext > 

Exploring the Roots of Mesopotamian Civilization: Excavations at Tell Zeidan, Syria

Exploring the Roots of Mesopotamian Civilization: Excavations at Tell Zeidan, Syria Gil Stein, Oriental Institute The Ubaid period (6th-5th millennia BC) saw...

Sumerian Origin of Humans - edited (1)

Sumer (Akkadian: Šumeru; Sumerian: KI-EN-GIR, "Land of the Lords of Brightness", or "land of the Sumerian tongue" possibly Biblical Shinar), located in south...

Ancient Secret History and Civilizations Discussed

The cradle of civilization is a term referring to locations identified as the sites of the emergence of civilization. In Western European and Middle Eastern ...

Faces of Ancient Middle East Part 14 (Sumerians)

In spite of the importance of this region, genetic studies on the Sumerians are limited and generally restricted to analysis of classical markers due to Iraq...

Ancient Sumeria

My new Public Figure profile is up on Facebook ~ Please add it to your LIKES~ Thank You! http://lnk.ms/78Vgy Sumer "Land of the Lords of Brightness" located ...

Sumerian Origins of Humans - (3)

Sumer (Akkadian: Šumeru; Sumerian: KI-EN-GIR, "Land of the Lords of Brightness", or "land of the Sumerian tongue" possibly Biblical Shinar), located in south...


THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES WE ARE DEPENDENT ON MANY WHEELS, FROM PRE-BIRTH TO THE GRAVE. Most authorities regard the wheel as one of the oldest and most important ...

ubaid song qatar

கட்டார் செனய்யா37 வீதியில் எடுக்கப்பட்ட நவரச நாயகன், நடிகர் புயல் உபைத் கைஸ் அவர்களின் குருந்திரைப் பட பாடல்.இயக்குனர்கள்:அக்ரம்,ஷாமில்,ஷிப்லி.

zra Janan Ghware by Ubaid khan

pashtu new singer Ubaid Khan nice and new song watch and enjoy.

Reptilian Ubaid Messaging

Rev. Patricia A. Sunday sundayministries.com Subliminal Messaging: I found a connection to the man the Lord showed me is the anti-Christ. Nostradamus says th...

2188 videos foundNext > 

6 news items

Philadelphia Center City Weekly Press

Philadelphia Center City Weekly Press
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 22:26:15 -0700

Skeletons from this time in the ancient Near East, known as the Ubaid period (roughly 5500–4000 BCE) are extremely rare; complete skeletons from this period are even rarer. Woolley's team excavated 48 graves in an early, Ubaid-era flood plain, nearly ...

Tech Times

Tech Times
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 21:27:00 -0700

Woolley and his team found around 48 graves in Ur. Their excavation efforts found skeletal remains from the Ubaid period. The burial practices used by the people of that era and the type of soil did not permit proper preservation, which made the ...

International Business Times AU

International Business Times AU
Sun, 10 Aug 2014 23:33:45 -0700

These graves were 48 in number dating back to the Ubaid period around 5500 B.C to 4000 B.C. Even during 1929 it was rare to find such remains dating back to this period, only a single skeleton was recovered from the site. Woolley coated the bones and ...

BBC History Magazine

BBC History Magazine
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 02:29:04 -0700

An archaeology museum in Philadelphia has rediscovered a human skeleton from the Ubaid period (5500–4000 BC) in its own storage rooms. The AP reports that staff stumbled upon the skeleton, which was originally excavated from southern Iraq in around ...
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 15:17:04 -0700

Complete human skeletons from that era — known as the Ubaid period, from 5500-4000 B.C. — are rare, partly because the region's burial practices and type of land didn't lead to good preservation, Monge said. The skeleton was cut into deep silt ...
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 22:01:29 -0700

這位人類祖先來自西元前5500到4000年的「歐貝德時期」(Ubaid Period),由於當時的宗教埋葬方式與土地類型,考古學家很少挖掘到代表該時期完整的人類骨骸。 孟赫表示,希望進一步分析骨骼,包括斷層掃描,以揭開這名男性當時飲食、生活壓力、疾病與祖籍的神祕 ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Ubaid period

You can talk about Ubaid period with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!