Tayinat Archaeological Project
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Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC)

The Institute for Aegean Prehistory
(INSTAP)

The Brennan Foundation

 

Friends of Tayinat Announcement

 

Donations to the Tayinat Archaeological Project are greatly appreciated and can be made to the Friends of Tayinat Trust

 

For more information about the Tayinat Archaeological Project please contact:

tayinat@utoronto.ca

 

For Facebook users, go to: Tell Ta'yinat Archaeological Project / Tell Ta'yinat Arkeoloji Projesi TAP

 

 

The Bronze and Iron Ages marked the emergence and development of early state ordered civilizations in the ancient Near East. Research has documented the introduction of urban institutions, and the development of specialized craft industries and extensive inter regional trade networks. To examine these developments on a truly regional level, however, local cultural sequences must be well documented, and a precise chronological framework in place; criteria that are lacking for much of the ancient Near East. The Ta‛yinat Archaeological Project (TAP) seeks to address this problem for a pivotal area, by returning to the cultural sequence first defined during the pioneering work of the Braidwood led Chicago Expedition in the 1930s to the Amuq Plain in southeastern Turkey. This research initiative will result in a more thorough and refined cultural sequence, enhancing efforts to conduct broader regional analyses of developments during this period of dramatic social, economic and political change.

The Ta’yinat Archaeological Project’s primary aim is to assemble archaeological data from the central settlement at Tell Ta‛yinat 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, or 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.

Tell Ta’yinat forms a large low-lying mound located 45 kilometres east of Antakya (ancient Antioch) in Southeastern Turkey. The Chicago excavations uncovered the remains of several large palaces (called bit hilani), a temple (famously compared with Solomon's temple), and numerous beautifully carved stone reliefs and sculptures demonstrated that the site preserves a lengthy settlement history that spans the Early Bronze (ca 3000-2000 BCE) and Iron Age (ca. 1200-550 BCE) periods. In addition, the Expedition discovered numerous inscriptions (in Luwian/Neo Hittite, Neo-Assyrian and Aramaic), which helped to identify the site as ancient Kunulua, capital of the Neo Hittite/Aramaean Kingdom of Patina/Unqi.

TAP was initiated in part to bring to publication the results of these excavations, and to integrate them with the results of the renewed investigations. Given the extensive monumental architecture preserved on the site, conservation will also play a central role in this project.

2012 Excavation News

Sculpture of Suppiluliuma dating to the 9th century BCE, along with a winged bull semi-circular column base uncovered at Tell Tayiant. For news and media coverage see the Media page on this website. For links to more coverage visit the Tell Ta'yinat Archaeological Project on Facebook.

New 2012 publications now posted!

2011 Excavation News

Stone Lion dating to the 9th-8th century BCE (neo-Hittite Period) uncovered at Tell Tayiant.

for Turkish Media video coverage, see Haberler.com

Last Modified: 30 November 2011

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