Excavations of a late Bronze-Age urban centre including a fortified citadel and extensive lower city (14th - 12th century BC)
Tall Bazi is situated in Northern Syria, about 60 km south of the border to Turkey. It lies on the eastern bank of the river Euphrates in the region of the new Tishreen lake, dammed in 1999. The citadel, positioned on a 60m high promontory of the foothills along the edge of the Euphrates, now looks out over the lake. The excavated part of the lower city, situated on a lower river-terrace, has already been covered by water.
The ancient name of Tall Bazi is not known. It is evident, however, that from the 15th to the 14th centuries BC, the settlement was part of the mittani empire, made up from citadel and lower city. In the mid - 14th century it appears to have passed over into Hittite rule. The site came to a sudden end in the early 12th century. This led to an excellent preservation of both structural and small finds, and was probably due to enemy action. The site remained unoccupied for a long time, until the outstanding position of the citadel was realized again in the Roman period and a fortified compound established.
Tall Bazi offers the unique possibility for the exemplary study of two complimenting elements of a Late Bronze Age urban centre and their interaction. This includes the study of both the administrative and cult centre, presumed to have been located in the citadel as well as the economic and residential quarters of the lower city.
Until 1999, excavations centred on the western lower city ("Weststadt"), which saw large-scale clearing of the ancient remains. In the course of this work, a planned extension of the settlement, established in the 13th century BC was discovered. It was of a purely urban nature and consisted of about 50 houses used both as living space and for the production of artefacts. An open square in the centre of the residential areas formed the economic centre of this western part of the city. Preliminary results from work on the citadel indicate buildings of a palatial nature as well as cult centres, all of which were protected by elaborate defensive works.
The project is being carried out in cooperation with the TU Munich.
Dr. Adelheid Otto und Dr. Berthold Einwag
Institut für Vorderasiatische Archäologie der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität
Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, D-80539 München
Tel: +49/89-2180-5499, Fax: +49/89-2180-5658
E-Mail: email@example.com und firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interim reports on work carried out at the site so far have been published in the Journal Damaszener Mitteilungen Vol. 8, 1995, 96-124, Vol. 9, 1996, 15-45 and Vol. 13, 2002, 65-88.