Dig Sites

Aegean Islands
Iranian Plateau

View White Levy Foundation Digs - Northern Levant in a larger map


Levant - northern

Catal Hoyuk . Cyrrhus/Nebi Houri/Aleppo . Tel-Hazor . Tell el-Judaideh . Tell Ta'yinat . Ugarit . Zincirli


Catal Hoyuk (Marina Pucci, 2005)

Ever since the pioneering work of the Braidwood-led Chicago Expedition, the Amuq Sequence has been fundamental in cultural studies of southeastern Anatolia, the northern Levant and Syria. The Amuq Plain, situated at the juncture where the eastern Mediterranean seaboard merges with the Anatolian Highlands, holds a prominent place in Near Eastern archaeological research. It has been the scene of prominent excavations (e.g. Alalakh, Tell Ta'yinat and Çatal Höyük), and has provided one of the foundational cultural sequences for the region. The Amuq Plain strategically straddles one of the principal transit corridors that ran from the Syro-Mesopotamian interior west to the Mediterranean and north to Anatolia. As a result, it preserves some of the richest and most extensive archaeological remains in the entire Near East (the Braidwood survey recorded no less than 178 mounded settlement sites within the narrow confines of the Plain), and therefore represents an exceptional setting in which to investigate the historical development of ancient Near Eastern society, and in particular the rise of early civilizations.

Cyrrhus/Nebi Houri / Aleppo (Jeanine Abdul Massih, 2009)

Cyrrhus 1, Le Theatre de Cyrrhus. d'Apres les Archives d'Edmond Frezouls: View Publication

Situated at 70km north of Aleppo, Cyrrhus is localized on the Turkish border in an agriculture environment. Entirely preserved (ramparts, acropolis and main gates, etc.) this Seleucid foundation is reoccupied by the Roman and became an important military base in the wars against the Parthian. After, a period of abandon the site is reoccupied by the Byzantine and in the Islamic periods. The city is entirely abandoned by the end of the twelve century. A colossal documentation was assembled for the Roman Theater constituted of an important graphic documentation as hundred's of plans and details of the phases of excavation, architectural and decorative elements as well as restitutions and final plans and drawings. This documentation is accompanied by a draft of text on the history and the theater of Cyrrhus.

Tel-Hazor (Amnon Ben-Tor, 2009)

Hazor VI. THe 1990 - 2009 Excavations. The Iron Age.: View Publication

A wide scale archaeological investigation of Tel-Hazor in northern Israel (Grid Points: South-West 204300-1269500; North-East 202500-1268600), the most important biblical site in Israel, was carried out by the late Yigael Yadin of the Hebrew University during the 1950's and 60's. The results obtained by the excavations have a bearing on almost every aspect of Biblical Archaeology, be it history, chronology, ancient architecture, pottery typology, art history, cult, to name but a few. No wonder that the results and conclusions arrived at by Yadin's expedition aroused great interest in the scholarly world, resulting in a vast amount of publications, some accepting others rejecting them.

Tell el-Judaideh (Lynn Swartz Dodd, 2006)

The Tell al-Judaidah Publication Project: The Later Phases

The presence of non-local material culture such as Aegean pottery, numerous Egyptian scarabs and Anatolian and Mesopotamian seals is but one indication of an extensive network that connected Tell al-Judaidah to the larger world. To date, only the pre-2000 BC remains at Judaidah have been published (Braidwood 1960). The post-2000 BC stratigraphy, non-architectural artifacts, and the contextual associations remain unpublished except for several object studies. A comprehensive publication of Judaidah's post-2000 BC remains will contribute to the Oriental Institute's long-term research strategy that is aimed at investigating the growth of urban centers and rural settlements in this landscape during the last ten thousand years and at defining the nature of political control and the character of regional economic integration. Tell al-Judaidah provides an important chronological bridge between the collapse of the Late Bronze Age center Alalakh and the emergence of the Iron Age center at Tell Tayinat. The recently renewed excavations at Alalakh and Tell Tayinat make the resolution and publication of Tell al-Judaidah's post-2000 BC stratigraphic sequence a major desideratum.

Tell Ta'yinat (Heather E. Snow, 2006)

The University of Chicago's Excavations at Tell Ta'yinat, Amuq Plain, Southeastern Turkey

The Amuq Plain forms a nexus of intercultural contact that linked Syro-Mesopotamia, the Anatolian highlands, and the Mediterranean littoral. It is a testament to the strategic importance of this narrowly confined area that an initial survey identified over 178 settlement mounds (Braidwood 1937), and the excavations of various multi-period sites (Chatal Hoyuk, Tell Ta'yinat, Tell al-Judaidah, and Tell Atchana [Woolley 1955]) are further proof that the Amuq Plain was implicated in the cultural developments of these wider territories. Since the pioneering work of the Chicago Syro-Hittite Expedition in the 1930s, the resultant cultural sequence—known as the Amuq sequence—has been fundamental to studying the cultural developments of this region (Braidwood and Braidwood 1960).

Ugarit (Vassos Karageorghis, 1998)

Mycenaean Pottery from Ras Shamra

Four hundred ninety-six vases and fragments of vases made in or in imitation of the Mycenaean style found at Ras Shamra and Minet el-Beida by Claude F. Schaeffer are presently stored in the vitrines and basement of the Louvre. Most of these sherds (421) have never been published. The Louvre's collection almost doubles the number of published Mycenaean and Mycenaeanizing sherds found at these two sites. It also increases by almost one-quarter the number of known Aegean sherds discovered on sites and settlements on the Syro-Palestinian coast (Leonard [1994] catalogues just under 2200 Mycenaean and Late Minoan III vases). With the addition of the pieces in the Louvre, the material from Ugarit comprises close to half of the Mycenaean pottery recorded from the Syro-Palestinian littoral. That proportion continues to increase as publication of material recovered in the course of recent campaigns at Ras Shamra directed by M. Yon augments the known corpus.

Ugarit (Caroline Sauvage, 2008)

More than three hundred objects and fragments of objects found at Ras Shamra and Minet el-Beida by C.F.A. Scheaffer during the first years of his excavations are stored in the showcases and reserves of the Musée d'Archéologie Nationale (MAN) of Saint Germain en Laye. Some of this material was published by Schaeffer in his first excavation reports, but the majority of the ceramic, stone and metal objects from the collection were never published. Moreover, even when the material was published in excavation reports in the journal Syria, several drawings of the ceramics are inaccurate and need to be re-published. This material is coming from two precise areas of the 1929 — 1931 excavations: the harbor town of Minet el-Beida and the Acropolis area in Ugarit. These two material groups need further study to improve our knowledge of these zones. Indeed, except for preliminary reports in Syria and in Ugaritica, these early excavated areas were never fully published. The study and publication of this collection will complete the intensive effort of the Ras Shamra-Ugarit team members to improve our knowledge of former excavations . The planned work will not only publish the collection catalog itself, but will also try to relate the finds from the MAN collection with the unpublished excavation notebooks of Schaeffer.

Zincirli (Marina Pucci, 2009)

The analysis of the pottery and the publication of an exhaustive small finds catalogue of the materials from the German excavations at Zincirli are the main aim of the project presented here. The site of Zincirli, located in Turkey, in the modern province of Gaziantep, was excavated by a German expedition under the directorship of C. Humann and F. von Luschan between 1888 and 1902. The German archaeologists extensively brought to light the first Syro-Hittite capital, and its architecture became a point of reference and continuous element of comparison for the north-Syrian town centres of the Iron Age. Inscriptions, carved orthostats, statues and small finds were divided between the Vorderasiatische Museum in Berlin and the Imperial Archaeological Museum, now Archaeological Museums in Istanbul.


The Shelby White and Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications
Harvard University, The Semitic Museum. 6 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
Telephone: (617) 495-9317 | Fax: (617) 496-8904 | Email: whitelev@fas.harvard.edu