Project Amorites and Aramaeans at Sam'al: Comparing Middle Bronze and Iron Age Urbanism and Economy at Zincirli, Turkey

Basic data

Title:
Amorites and Aramaeans at Sam'al: Comparing Middle Bronze and Iron Age Urbanism and Economy at Zincirli, Turkey
Duration:
01/04/2020 to 31/10/2021
Abstract / short description:
The site of Zincirli, Turkey, ancient Sam’al, has long been fundamental for our knowledge of urban planning and monumental architecture in the Iron Age Near East. Recent work by the University of Tübingen expedition at this site has improved our understanding of the urbanization process and social landscape of Iron Age Sam’al (ca. 900-600 BC). It has also revealed that Zincirli’s earliest monumental structure, “Hilani I,” is almost 1000 years older than previously believed. This monumental architecture, together with evidence for the storage of goods, administrative practices, and long-distance connections, shows the site was an important center in the Middle Bronze Age (MBA) (ca. 2000-1600 BC) as well. These discoveries raise new questions about the origins of Iron Age urbanism, including the well-known bit hilani palace, and about the role of this area in long-distance trade between Anatolia and Syria in the MBA. They also present new opportunities to investigate questions of long-term continuity and change in urban culture and economy between the MBA Amorite polity and the Iron Age Aramaean kingdom.
The aims of this project are to deepen our understanding of the MBA and Iron Age IIA occupations at Zincirli through integrated analyses and targeted excavations on the citadel mound and to broaden our view of both periods by comparing evidence for spatial organization, architecture, agropastoral economy and palaeoecology. Further investigation of the Iron Age IIA stratum on the mound can clarify the nature of the site’s first resettlement after a long hiatus, how Bronze Age architectural traditions influenced the Iron Age builders, and how the evidence from archaeobotanical, faunal, and stable isotope analysis corresponds to the traditional narrative of conquest by Aramaean mobile pastoralists. Continued excavation and analyses of the MBA destruction level, including organic residue analysis and micromorphology, can tell us about the role of Zincirli in the political and economic networks of this period of nascent internationalism. The identification of continuities and changes between the MBA and Iron Age settlements will highlight key dynamics in the political economy of each period.
Keywords:
archaeology
Archäologie
Ancient Near East
Alter Orient
Turkey
Türkei
archaeometry
Archäometrie
archeobotany
Archäobotanik
geoarchaeology
Geoarchäologie
archeozoology
Archäozoologie
settlement archeology
Siedlungsarchäologie
bronze age
Bronzezeit
Iron Age
Eisenzeit
paleoecology
Paläoökologie

Involved staff

Managers

Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (IANES)
Department of Ancient Studies and Art History, Faculty of Humanities

Contact persons

Department of Geoscience
Faculty of Science
Institute of Archaeological Sciences Research Areas (UFG)
Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science
Institute of Prehistory and Medieval Archaeology (UFG)
Department of Ancient Studies and Art History, Faculty of Humanities

Other staff

Institute of Archaeological Sciences Research Areas (UFG)
Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science
Institute of Archaeological Sciences Research Areas (UFG)
Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science

Local organizational units

Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (IANES)
Department of Ancient Studies and Art History
Faculty of Humanities

Funders

Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
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