In Asia Minor and Mesopotamia by 10,000 BC, people had abandoned
cave dwelling, some in favour of living in the earliest permanent
settlements amid other hunter-gatherer populations.
However, while some locations such as Gobekli Tepe in Asia Minor
were being abandoned by 8000 BC, those in Mesopotamia continued to
Mesopotamian prehistoric civilisation
People were utilising and storing a wide range of natural
resources in favoured areas of what is now northern Iraq.
Between 8000 to 7000 BC, the first evidence of domesticated
grains (wheat and barley) and animals (sheep, goat, pig, and cattle)
could be found at Jarmo, and baked clay female figures were being
made at Mureybit.
By the end of this period, plastered
semi-subterranean houses anticipated the development of mud brick,
sun-dried clay as the main building material throughout later
Mesopotamian history, and the earliest pottery was made and used for
the preparing, serving, and storing of food.
The grinding and working of fine stone vessels and statuettes,
particularly the styles named after the sites of Samarra and Halaf,
was well established by 6000 BC.
Clay impressions of carved stamp seals were being made at Sabi
Abyad in north-eastern Syria.
These seals, originally applied to a
variety of containers to signify ownership, or responsibility for
property, are thought to indicate some measure of early
administrative control. There is also evidence for the exchange of
goods over thousands of miles.
Agricultural settlements of the Halaf period, at around 5500 BC,
extended all across north Mesopotamia. Many resemblances between
them indicate a shared culture and social organisation.
Their most distinctive feature, a painted pottery of outstanding
quality, was manufactured at many different centres.