Tayinat in the Late Third Millennium: Recent Investigations of the Tayinat Archaeological Project, 2008-2010

Peeters Online Journals


The Third millennium BCE witnessed the emergence of urbanism and the development of state-ordered society in Syro-Anatolia. Despite the considerable effort that has been expended documenting this rise of socio-cultural complexity, however, local cultural sequences and precise chronological frameworks are still lacking for much of the region. The Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP), conceived within the framework of the Amuq Valley Regional Project (AVRP), seeks to address this problem for a pivotal area, refining the cultural sequence first established during the pioneering work of the Syro-Hittite Expedition in the 1930s on the Plain of Antioch (or Amuq Plain) in southeastern Turkey. This long-term research initiative will result in a cultural sequence capable of facilitating more focused multi-scalar regional analyses of the developments that occurred during this formative era. This report presents the preliminary results of the ongoing TAP investigations of the late third millennium levels at Tell Tayinat. They indicate that Tayinat was an important site, if not the central settlement, in the Amuq Plain during the latter part of the Early Bronze Age (or EB IV more specifically; ca. 2500-2000 BCE), and provide support for the possibility that Tayinat was the center of an early historical polity, as inferred by contemporary historical sources.


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