Keywords : Prehistoric times


Aspects of Human Adaptation to Life in Mesopotamia in the Light of Pottery Scenes and Pictographic Writing

Sarood Talib Mohammed Taher

Athar Alrafedain, 2022, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 93-136
DOI: 10.33899/athar.2022.174210

One of the most important turning points that resulted in the achievements of man and human civilization in history, is first, the great climate change that occurred when the last glacial retreat began about 18,000 years ago, with the Middle Stone Age approximately. Secondly, the stage of man’s transition from gathering food to producing food, which is one of the most important steps that man has taken on his way to stability in the lifestyle thousands of years ago, and because of its importance, researchers called it the Neolithic Revolution.
After the great change in the climate in the Near East region, human's confrontation with their new environment and trying to adapt to it constituted one of the most important challenges that man had to face, to ensure survival. And then this challenge led to the most important human discoveries, which are attempts to domesticate and agriculture: they began with attempts to grow grain, then succeeded little by little and became stable agriculture and led to the emergence of agricultural settlements, and this is mainly the content of adaptation. Because of the importance of that stage of human life in which writing was still non-existent and unknown, it was addressed by researchers from several aspects, and in light of archaeological evidence in terms of architectural styles, the development of stone tools, and pottery products (in terms of the accuracy of industry and techniques used), as well as Important studies were conducted on plant and animal remains, and other studies on the human lifestyle in the period following the discovery of agriculture.
Despite the aforementioned studies on the archaeological remains, which revealed the many facades of life in Mesopotamia during that stage, the visual picture of the manifestations of adaptation to life and the extent of human harmony with natural phenomena in light of stability in that period, remains an important part to complement what His image is research and studies. Fortunately, the images and scenes painted on pottery from the late Neolithic and Metallic Age serve us, which by studying and analyzing them we aim to see the reflection of the reality of man's interaction and adaptation with his natural environment. Thus, our models come from pottery scenes from the region of Mesopotamia (Iraq and Syria) in the time frame that starts from the period of Hassuna, Samarra, Halaf and Ubaid, and finally some models from the era of Warka and Jemda-Nasr, and these are the models that carry the elements that serve the objectives of the research. One of the objectives of the research is also to track the developments that occurred in these inscriptions, which later became elements of the first and oldest models of writing in history, cuneiform writing, from its pictorial stage, and this confirms more that the elements and symbols of writing are rooted in pottery inscriptions from preceding eras. We use some scenes on pottery models from present-day Iran and Turkey for the purpose of comparison.