Monday, December 11, 2006

Oriental Institute archaeologists follow up turn-of-the-century dig in city of Zincirli
Oriental Institute archaeologists are renewing exploration of a large, heavily fortified, ancient urban site in southeastern Turkey, which has not been excavated since a German team explored it more than a century ago.

Under the leadership of David Schloen, Associate Professor in the Oriental Institute, the Chicago archaeologists hope to uncover materials that will help scholars understand the transitions in the region that took place during the Bronze and Iron ages, during the collapse of the Hittite Empire and during the rise and fall of Assyrian power.

Located near a critical pass of the Amanus Mountain range, the city, known today as Zincirli, was once called Sam’al. The city was occupied before and during the Hittite Empire (ca. 1400-1200 B.C.) and was later taken over by an expanding Assyrian Empire. Eventually, the city was destroyed and abandoned in about 650 B.C.