The Tell Madaba Archaeological Project
Led by Professor Timothy Harrison and Dr. Debra Foran, the Tell Madaba Archaeological Project (TMAP) is a multidisciplinary research project investigating the early development of urbanism and urban institutions in the ancient Near East. It is part of an ongoing international research effort to create a regional database that will permit comprehensive analysis of the adaptive strategies and social institutions developed by human communities in the semi-arid Highlands of central Jordan, a geographical area distinguished by its climatic variability and environmental diversity.
The Tayinat Archaeological Project
Led by Professor Timothy Harrison, The Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP) is a long-term multidisciplinary project investigating the historical development of urban institutions and the rise of early state-ordered societies in the ancient Near East. Tell Ta‘yinat is a large archaeological mound located on the Amuq Plain in southeastern Turkey. It was the scene of large-scale excavations in the 1930s, which uncovered several large palaces (called bit hilani), a temple (famously compared with Solomon’s temple), and numerous beautifully carved stone reliefs, sculptures, and stelae inscribed with Luwian (Neo-Hittite) hieroglyphic inscriptions, and helped to identify the site as ancient Kunulua, capital of the Neo-Hittite/Aramaean Kingdom of Patina/Unqi. The primary aim of the renewed investigations is to assemble archaeological data from the presumed urban center of a succession of prominent, historically-attested Bronze and Iron Age polities for comparison with existing data sets from comparable contexts (e.g. domestic/residential, administrative/public) at rural village sites in the region. This explicitly regional approach, still relatively rare in Near Eastern Archaeology, is designed to facilitate multiple levels of analysis, and to produce the multivariate data needed to engage in more systematic investigations of the complex social, economic and political institutions developed by the first urban communities to emerge in this part of the world.
The Deir Mar Musa Project
Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi (the monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian has stood at the eastern fringes of the Anti-Lebanon mountains since at least the sixth century. Thought to have been built on the remnants of a Roman watchtower, today it resembles a storybook castle perched on the edge of a steep precipice overlooking the Syrian desert. Led by Dr. Robert Mason, the project's involvement with the monastery comprises an archaeological survey of the valley and region, with excavation at selected sites, including some of the caves occupied by the monks in the medieval period. An important aspect of the work of this project is the dissemination of, and interpretation of, information gathered about the long history of the Wadi Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi to the non-academic community. In particular, it is proposed to take seriously the obligations to the local and national communities in Syria and the Middle East at this important pilgrimage sites by constructing a museum. At Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi it will be necessary to create a building specially constructed for the purpose.
Click here for Dr. Mason's weblog of the Canadian archaeological project at Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, Syria. Click here to go to the Deir Mas Musa website