Preliminary Observations on the Sere Şippe Mound in the Upper Tigris Valley (Dargeçit/Mardin/Turkey)Ergül Kodaş
The Sere Şippe mound is an archaeological site located in the Temelli neighborhood of Dargeçit district in Turkey’s Mardin Province. The site was discovered in 2019 during a survey conducted by the archaeology team working at Boncuklu Tarla, another site situated around 1,500 m to the northwest and researched within the scope of the Ilısu Dam Project. The surface materials collected at the Sere Şippe mound include sherds, chipped stones, ground stones, bone tools, and ornaments. These finds suggest Sere Şippe mound to have been inhabited during the Early Neolithic Era and Pottery Neolithic Early Neolithic Era Pre-Proto Hassuna and Proto Hassuna pottery traditions are represented by several sherds, hinting at this mound having been occupied at the beginning of the Pottery Neolithic. In addition, the presence of microlithic tools and grooved stone objects implies that the settlement had seen human activities during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. Halaf sherds and Paleolithic tools are among the finds that have been collected around the natural flint stone layers near the site.
Yukarı Dicle Vadisi’nde Bulunan Sere Şippe Höyük üzerine ilk Gözlemler (Dargeçit/Mardin/Türkiye)Ergül Kodaş
2019 yılında tespit edilen Sere Şippe Höyük Mardin İli Dargeçit ilçesi Temelli Mahallesi sınırları içerisinde bulunmaktadır. Dicle Nehir yatağının yaklaşık 1500 m kuzeybatısında bulunan yerleşim yerinde, Ilısu Barajı ve HES Projesi kapsamında kazılar yapmakta olan Boncuklu Tarla kazı ekibi tarafından 2019 yılında yapılan yüzey araştırmasında çanak çömlek, yontmataş, sürtme taş, kemik alet ve parçaları ile süs eşyaları toplanarak koruma altına alınmıştır. Sere Şippe Höyük yerleşim yerinde toplanan yontmataş aletler, çanak-çömlek parçaları ve diğer buluntular yerleşimin hem Çanak-Çömleksiz Neolitik Dönem’de hem de Çanak-Çömlekli Neolitik Dönem’in başlarında iskan gördüğünü düşündürmektedir. Bilhassa bulunan çanak-çömlek parçaları Proto Hassuna çanak-çömlek geleneğine aittir ve höyüğün Çanak-Çömlekli Neolitik Dönem’in başlarında iskan gördüğüne işaret etmektedir. Ayrıca mikrolit aletlerin ve oluklu taş objelerin varlığı höyüğün Çanak-Çömleksiz Neolitik Dönem’de de iskan görmüş olabileceğini de düşündürmektedir. Höyükte toplanan parçalar arasında Halaf Dönemi çanak-çömlek parçaları ve yerleşim yerinin yakınlarında bulunan çakmaktaşı yatakları üzerinde Paleolitik Çağ’a ait aletler de bulunmaktadır.
The Sere Şippe mound is located in the Temelli quarter of Dargeçit District in Turkey’s Mardin Province. The settlement is around 570 m above sea level and situated between two separate stream beds to the west of the Tigris River. These streams converge approximately 650 m east of the settlement and merge into the Tigris River. A mountain range reaches a height of 1200 m in the north and east. Today, several hilly areas are found between narrow valleys that are opened up by seasonal stream beds between the Tigris River and the mountain range. The Sere Şippe mound is situated atop one of these flat hilly areas.
The settlement was reported by the workers from the Boncuklu Tarla excavation, whose research had been carried out within the scope of the Ilısu Dam and HES project. The Boncuklu Tarla excavation team conducted a short-term survey in 2019 to establish the dimensions and chronology of the Sere Şippe mound. They were granted permission by Mehmet Deniz, the director of the Mardin Museum, due to the increasing concerns stemming from the rise of the dam water level. The survey team found sherds, chipped stones, ground stone and bone tools, and ornaments dating to the Neolithic period. Several Lower Palaeolithic chipped stone tools were also found around the natural flint stone layers near the settlement.The chipped stone tools, sherds, and other finds collected at the Sere Şippe mound suggest that the settlement had been inhabited during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic and beginning of the Pottery Neolithic Eras. The Pre-Proto and Proto Hassuna sherds indicate the mound to have been occupied at the beginning of the Pottery Neolithic. In addition, the presence of microlithic tools and grooved stone objects demonstrate that the Sere Şippe mound may have been inhabited during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. The sherds collected at the Sere Şippe mound have characteristics similar to those found at the Yarim Tepe I, Tell Sotto, Umm Dabaghiyah, Tell Hazna II, Tell Seker el-Ahmar, Sumaki Höyük, Salat Camii Yanı, Tell Kashkahok II, and Kendale Hecale excavations.This situation suggests that the Sere Şippe mound contains Late Pre-Potter Neolithic (PPNB) and Early Pottery Neolithic layers, as were found at the Sumaki mound and Tell Seker Ahmar settlements. However, a painted pottery fragment from the Sere Şippe mound exhibits similar characteristics to the Early Halaf examples. The presence of sherds from the early and late phases of the Pottery Neolithic allows us to conclude that Sere Şippe mound had been inhabited for a long period. Sere Şippe mound’s chipped stone assemblages consist of Pre-Pottery Neolithic and Pottery Neolithic tools. Obsidian blades dominate the chipped stone assemblage. Although large obsidian blades are more common, microlithic tools are particularly important.
The preliminary studies on the Sere Şippe mound surface assemblage reveal the site to be able to be dated back to the Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic and Pottery Neolithic Eras, especially the early phases of the latter. The relative dating of the Sere Şippe mound suggests a chronological continuity between the two settlements rather than overlap. However, during the excavations and surveys carried out in the same region, some settlements such as Kavı̇le Saruhan and Kulahke Benabahlu Pottery were found to contain Neolithic finds. Field surveys on the Harabe, Kavi̇le Saruhan, and Kulahke Benabahlu settlements revealed Proto-Hassuna sherds, while Hassuna-Samarra and Halaf sherds are among the finds from the Havuz Mevkii excavations. In conclusion, the Sere Şippe mound is a site located on the west bank of the Tigris River and right next to the Ilısu Dam and has been under threat from agricultural activities and erosional effects caused by the new climatic and geographical conditions created by the dam. Therefore, we believe that the settlement should be investigated in more detail in the near future.