Nemrik 9

  • Project name:

    Eski Mosul Dam Salvage Project

  • Site type:



    Iraq, modern-day autonomous Kurdistan Region
    Iraqi stretch of the Upper Tigris Valley
    Upper Mesopotamia, Assyria


    – Pre-Pottery Neolithic BC (c. 8000–6500 BC)
    – Late Bronze Age: Mitanni period (15th–14th century BC), Middle Assyrian period (13th century BC)
    – pre-Islamic (cemetery of unestablished chronology)

Most interesting finds:

– Complete plan of an Early Neolithic settlement with furnished houses preserved
– Prehistoric (Early Neolithic) settlement
– Late Bronze Age rural settlement
– Stone Neolithic sculptures (one of the oldest examples of figurative art)
– Mitanni buildings and pottery (including a unique jar with painted decoration of goats feeding in the overgrowth)

History of research:

Dates of PCMA research:


Type of research:

Salvage excavations

Project directors:

Stefan Karol Kozłowski


– Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw
– Directorate of Antiquities of the Republic of Iraq

Description of site and research results:

The Nemrik site 9 lies in the Dohuk Governate in northern Iraq, about 4 km to the southwest of Faidah. It is located on the left bank of the Tigris valley, on a high river terrace shaped like a peninsula due to wadis on three sides (1.5 km from the previous river bed). The Neolithic remains occupy the flat part of the site (about 2 ha), while the historical settlement is limited only to a low tell in the southern part of the site (about 0.3 ha).

About 20 stone figurines were found in the Neolithic settlement. They are interpreted as objects of domestic cult and are among the oldest testimonies of the beliefs of peoples inhabiting northern Mesopotamia. Most of them depict heads of animals, mainly birds, while two are anthropomorphic. One, preserved in fragments, is a female figurine, and the other, a 9 cm-high phallic representation with a carving of a male head with subtly emphasized eyebrow ridges and nose and big mouth with clearly marked engraved teeth. The double zigzag engraved across the cheeks and nose probably imitates a tattoo.

Project bibliography:

Cummings, L., Yost, C. & Sołtysiak, A. (2016). Plant microfossils in human dental calculus from Nemrik 9, a Pre-Pottery Neolithic site in Northern Iraq. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. https://doi:10.1007/s12520-016-0411-3

Sołtysiak, A., Wiercińska, A., & Kozłowski, S.K. (2015). Human remains from Nemrik, Iraq. An insight into living conditions and burial customs in a Pre-Pottery Neolithic village. Paleorient, 41(2), 101–114.

Reiche A. (2014). Late Bronze Age pottery from Nemrik (Northern Iraq). In M. Luciani., A. Hausleiter and C. Beuger, Recent Trends in the Study of Late Bronze Age Ceramics in Syro-Mesopotamia and Neighboring Regions. Proceedings of the workshop held in Berlin, 2–5 November 2006. (=Orient-Archäologie 32). Orient-Abteilung des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts.

Reiche, A. (2014). Tell Abu Hafur “East”, Tell Arbid (North-Eastern Syria) and Nemrik (Northern Iraq) as examples of small-scale rural settlements in Upper Mesopotamia in the Mittani period. In D. Bonatz (Ed.), The Archaeology of Political Spaces. The Upper Mesopotamian Piedmont in the Second Millennium BC (pp. 43–60). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter.

Szostek, K., Głąb, H., & Kaczanowski, K. (2006). An analysis of the content of macro- and microelements in the teeth of an Early Neolithic population from Nemrik (Iraq). Studies in Historical Anthropology, vol. 3: 2003, 19–29

Kozłowski, S. K. (2002). Nemrik. An Aceramic Village in Northern Iraq. Światowit Supplement Series. Warsaw: Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw.

Kozłowski, S. K., (2001). L’Acheuléen sur le Wadi Faidoune et à Nemrik. In C. Breniquet & C. Kepinski (Eds.) Études Mésopotamiens, Receuil de textes offert a Jean-Louis Huot, Editions Recherche sur les civilisations, Paris, 287–294.

Kozłowski, S. K. (1999). The Nemrikian PPN Lithic Industry in Iraq and Syria. In E. Cziesla et al. (Eds.) Den Bogen Spannen… (=Festschrift für Bernhard Gramsch zum 65. Geburstag, Beiträge zur Ur-und Frühgeschichte Mitteleuropas, 20), 313–326.

1997 Kozłowski, S. K., Mazurowski, R. (Eds.). (1999). Nemrik 9, Pre-pottery Neolithic Site in Iraq, 4. – Ground and Pecked Stone Industry in the Pre-pottery Neolithic of Northern Iraq, Wydawnictwo UW, Warszawa.

Kozłowski, S. K. (1997). The Gods from Nemrik. Al-Rafidan, 18, 33–43

Kozłowski, S. K. (1995). Bogowie z Nemriku. In M. L. Bernhard (Ed.). Od Nilu do Eufratu: polska archeologia śródziemnomorska 1981–1994. Warsaw: PCMA, 112–118.

Kozłowski S. K. (Ed.). (1994). Nemrik 9, Pre-pottery Neolithic Site in Iraq, 3 – Animal Remains. Wydawnictwo UW, Warszawa.

Kozłowski, S. K. (Ed.). (1992). Nemrik 9, Pre-pottery Neolithic Site in Iraq, 2 – House 1/1A/1B, Wydawnictwo UW, Warszawa.

Kemipsty, A., & Kozłowski, S. K. (1992). Stone sculptures from the prepottery Neolithc site Nemrik 9 in Iraq. In S. Jakobielski, J. Karkowski (red.), 50 years of Polish Excavations in Egypt and the Near East, Acts of the Symposium at the Warsaw University 1986. Warsaw, 167–170.

Kozłowski, S. K. (1990). Nemrik 9. Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean, 2, 102–111.

Kozłowski, S. K. (Ed.). (1990). Nemrik 9: Pre-pottery Neolithic Site in Iraq. 1 – General Report – Seasons 1985–1986. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.

Kozłowski, S. K. & Kempisty, A. (1990). Architecture of the pre‐pottery Neolithic settlement in Nemrik, Iraq. World Archaeology, Vol. 21, Iss. 3

Kozłowski, S. K., Kempisty, A., Mazurowski R., Reiche, A. & Szymczak, K. (1990). Second report on the excavations of the Pre-pottery Neolithic site Nemrik 9 in 1986, Saddam’s Dam Salvage Project. Sumer, 46, 13–18.

Kozłowski, S. K., Borkowski, W., Kempisty, A., Mazurowski, R., Szymczak, K. & Reiche, A. (1990). Fourth report on the excavations of the Pre-pottery Neolithic site Nemrik 9. Sumer, 46, 26–29.

Kozłowski, S. K., Kempisty, A., Szymczak, K., Mazurowski R., Reiche, A. & Borkowski, W. (1990). A preliminary report on the third season /1987 of the Polish excavations at Nemrik 9, Saddam’s Dam Salvage Project. Sumer, 46, 19–24.

Kozłowski, S. K. (1990). Nemrik, Il “ricordo della locatià”, L’Umana Avventura, Jaca Books, Milano.

Kozlowski, S. K. (1989). Nemrik 9, a PPN Neolithic site in Northern Iraq. Paléorient, 15(1), 25–31.

Kozłowski, S. K. & Szymczak, K. (1989). Flint industry from house 1/1a/1b at the PPN site in Nemrik 9, Northern Iraq. Paléorient, Vol. 15, No. 1, 32–42.

Kozłowski, S. K. (1989). Nemrik 9, a PPN Neolithic site in Northern Iraq. Paléorient, Volume 15, Issue 15–1, 25–31.

Kozłowski, S. K. & Szymczak, K. (1987). Preneolithic site Nemrik 9. In Saddam’s Dam Salvage Project, State Organication of Antiquities, Bagdad, 8–12.

Kozłowski, S.K., Krogulska, M., Reiche, A., & Szymczak, K. (1986). Irak. In Kiss, Z. (Ed.) 50 lat polskich wykopalisk w Egipcie i na Bliskim Wschodzie, Warszawa: PCMA, 135–142.


Posted in: