"The present study was designed to shed some light on the nature of prehistoric human occupation in the Balikh valley of northern Syria, and in a more general way on that of Syria and adjacent regions as a whole. The choice of the Balikh area for investigation was arbitrary, as this study was originally started as a sideline of the University of Amsterdam's archaeological project at Tell Hamman et-Turkman on the Balikh."
Akkermans 1993 p.2
1. When does Halaf appear in this region? Is Halaf a foreign or an indigenous development here?
2. Are there an indications as to the development of a 'local Halaf'? How does Halaf in the Balikh valley relate to Halaf in other regions?
3. Which variables underlie the location and role of settlement? Are there any 'central places', fulfilling some kind of regional service function?
4. Are there any indications of long-term, permanent occupation, or in contrast, of short-term and perhaps seasonal occupation? Are there any clues as to the size of the population per settlement and for the Balikh valley as a whole during Halaf times?
5. Which subsistence economy and subsistence strategies underlie Halaf society ? Which variables of ecological nature underlie the choice of settlement location? Which ecological variables define the socio-economic function of a settlement?