The Upper Balikh

The Balikh river runs from north to south, in between the middle Euphrates to the west and the Khabur to the east, running roughly parallel with both of them. (The Euphrates occupies the incised valley at the left margin of the image: the various tributaries of the Khabur are evident on the right-hand edge.)  In Turkey, the Balikh occupies the fertile plain between Urfa and Harran, below which the plain narrows as the river enters Syria, where it flows through more open but drier terrain, within which occupation is more closely confined to areas immediately adjoining the river. The well-watered northern parts of the Balikh valley form a stepping-stone in the east-west corridor of the northern Fertile Crescent, between the other two rivers, as well as a north-south axis in its own right.


The density of large tells in the Harran plain (Harran is the prominent tell-topped hill in the lower-middle of the image) is evident in this SRTM terrain-model, equivalent to c. 1:200,000.


The same area with draped Landsat 7 imagery.

The area immediately to the west of Harran (this site is indicated by the thin black square in the middle of the right margin of each image), viewed at maximum resolution (equivalent to c. 1:50,000); left in a simple terrain model; right with draped topographic map (1:100,000).


A larger area of the Plain, shown with draped topographic map. The railway follows the frontier with Syria, which is the roughly horizontal double line at the base of the map.

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How to cite this page: Andrew Sherratt (2006), 'Tellspotting: The Upper Balikh', ArchAtlas, Version 4.1,, Accessed: 18 June 2018