Tell Tayinat

Tell Ta'yinat is a low-lying ancient tell on the east bank at the bend of the ancient Orontes river, in the Hatay province of southeastern Turkey about 25 kilometers south east of Antakya (ancient Antioch). It is located along the southwestern edge of the Amuq valley. The site lies some 800 meters from Tell Atchana, the site of the ancient city of Alalakh. It is a possible site of the city of Calneh mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Official Front view of Suppi(Photo Credit Jennifer Jackson)
King Suppiluliuma
Iron Age Temple (photo credit Stephen Batiuk)
Iron Age Temple
King Suppiluliuma in Hatay Archaeology Museum
Tell Ta'yinat
Tayinat Flyover (Photo credit Murat Akar)
Tell Tayinat
Tell Tayinat is located in Turkey
Tell Tayinat
Shown within Turkey
LocationHatay Province, Turkey
Coordinates36°14′51″N 36°22′35″E / 36.24750°N 36.37639°ECoordinates: 36°14′51″N 36°22′35″E / 36.24750°N 36.37639°E
Site notes
ConditionIn ruins


The site was a major urban centre in two separate phases, during the Early Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.

The red-black burnished ware (Karaz ware) is recovered in large quantities from the Early Bronze Age (EBA) II and IIIa levels. It is among the most commonly used pottery on the site.[1] This type of pottery diminishes through the end of the last phase of EBA.[2] This pottery is believed to be influenced by the Kura-Araxes culture, arriving into this area around 3000 BCE.[3]

During the Early Iron Age, this is thought likely to be the site of ancient Kinalua, the capital of one of the Neo-Hittite/Aramean city-kingdoms of Walistin (Aramaic) or Palistin (neo-Hittite). [4] Among the culturally diverse Syro-Hittite states in the north Syrian river-plain the rulers of Kinalua continued to bear royal Hittite names in the 8th century BCE. At the first Assyrian conquest in the 870s BCE, the victors carried away from Kinalua silver and gold, 100 talents of tin, essential for making bronze, and 100 talents of iron, 1000 oxen and 10,000 sheep, linen robes and decorated couches and beds of boxwood, as well as "10 female singers, the king's brother's daughter with a rich dowry, a large female monkey and ducks".[5] At a later campaign the Assyrians forced its king Tutammu to submit.


Archaeological excavations were conducted at the site by the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute from 1935 to 1938, led by Robert Braidwood.[6][7] One of the key finds made at the site was a temple reminiscent in plan to the descriptions of King Solomon's Temple in the Old Testament. Several large palaces in the style known as Bit-hilani were also excavated. In 1999, the Oriental Institute returned to the site to conduct a survey and to examine the original excavations. [8]

A lecture by James Osborne, on "The Syro-Anatolian City States: A Neglected Iron Age Culture" addresses aspects of the site.[9]

New excavations at the site were begun by a team from the University of Toronto in 2004, after a survey in 2003. [10] [11] Continued excavations in the summer of 2005 exposed more of the Iron Age temple as well as part of one of the early Iron Age II bit-hilanis. A significant amount of earlier Iron Age I material was also uncovered as well as small amounts of Early Bronze Age material. [12] Excavations have continued now for a total of 13 seasons, through 2016. [13] [14] [15] [16] Findings have included a significant Iron Age temple, a number of 1st millennium BC cuneiform tablets, and initial structures from the earlier Bronze Age settlement. [17]

In August 2012, a team from the University of Toronto announced they had uncovered the head and torso of a human figure, intact to just above its waist. The remains of the figure stand approximately 1.5 meters in height, suggesting a total height of 3.5 to 4 meters. The figure is bearded with eyes made of black and white stone. The figure's hair has been styled in an elaborate series of curls arranged in rows. The arms of the figure extend forward from the elbow. Each arm has two arm bracelets adorned with lion heads. The figure’s left hand holds a shaft of wheat and its right hand holds a spear. The figure's chest is adorned with a crescent-shaped pectoral. A lengthy carved, raised relief inscription in Hieroglyphic Luwian runs across the figure's back. The inscription records the accomplishments and campaigns of King Suppiluliuma. He is likely the same king who as part of a Syrian-Hittite coalition in 858 BC fought against the Neo-Assyrian invasion of Shalmaneser III.

In August of 2017, it was reported that a majestic female statue was discovered at the site, within a monumental gate comles that would have provided access to the upper citadel of ancient Kunulua (later Tayinat), the capital of the Iron Age Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina (ca 1000-738 BC). Timothy Harrison raises the possibility that women played a more prominent role in the political and religious lives of these early Iron Age communities than the existing historical record might suggest. [18]

See also


  1. ^ Braidwood-Braidwood 1960:fig.398-399
  2. ^ Tell Tayinat - The Archaeological Settlements of Turkey - TAY Project
  3. ^ Stephen Batiuk, Mitchell Rothman, Early Transcaucasian Cultures and Their Neighbors. University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania: Expedition, 2007
  4. ^ Timothy P. Harrison, Neo-Hittites in the "Land of Palistin". Renewed Investigations at Tell Taʿyinat on the Plain of Antioch, Near Eastern Archaeology, vol. 72:4, pp. 174-189, 2009
  5. ^ A.K. Grayson, Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium BC, vol. I: 1991:217f, quoted in Robin Lane Fox, Travelling Heroes in the Epic Age of Homer, 2008:94.
  6. ^ [1] Robert J. Braidwood and Linda S. Braidwood, Excavations in the Plain of Antioch I: The Earlier Assemblages Phases A-J, Oriental Institute Publications 61, University of Chicago Press, 1960
  7. ^ [2] R. C. Haines, Excavations in the Plain of Antioch, Vol. II: The Structural Remains of the Later Phases: Chatal Hüyük, Tell Al-Judaidah, and Tell Tayinat, Oriental Institute Publication 95, University of Chicago Press, 1970, ISBN 0-226-62198-7
  8. ^ [3] Batiuk, S., Harrison, T E, and Pavlish, L., The Ta'yinat Survey, 1999-2002, in The Amuq Valley Regional Projects, Volume 1: Surveys in the Plain of Antioch and Orontes Delta, Turkey, 1995–2002, Oriental Institute Publications 131, pp. 171-192, Oriental Institute, 2005
  9. ^ "James Osborne - The Syro-Anatolian City States: A Neglected Iron Age Culture". YouTube. 16 November 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  10. ^ [4] Timothy Harrison, The Tayinat Geomagnetic Survey 2003, University of Toronto, 2003
  11. ^ [5] Timothy Harrison, Tayinat Archaeological Project 2004 Seasonal Report, University of Toronto, 2004
  12. ^ [6] Timothy Harrison, Tayinat Archaeological Project 2005 Seasonal Report, University of Toronto, 2005
  13. ^ [7] Timothy Harrison, Tayinat Archaeological Project 2006 Seasonal Report, University of Toronto, 2006
  14. ^ [8] Timothy Harrison, Tayinat Archaeological Project 2007 Seasonal Report, University of Toronto, 2007
  15. ^ [9] Timothy Harrison, Tayinat Archaeological Project 2008 Seasonal Report, University of Toronto, 2008
  16. ^ [10] Timothy Harrison, Tayinat Archaeological Project 2009 Seasonal Report, University of Toronto, 2009
  17. ^ [11] Jacob Lauinger, Some Preliminary Thoughts on the Tablet Collection in Building XVI from Tell Tayinat, The Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies Journal, Vol.6, pp. 5-14, 2011
  18. ^ [12] University of Toronto News

External links

Amik Valley

The Amik, Amuk, or Amuq Valley (Arabic: الأعماق‎ al-A’maq) is located in the southern part of Turkey, in the Hatay Province, close to the city of Antakya (Antioch on the Orontes). Along with Dabiq in north western Syria, it is believed to be one of the future sites of the battle of Armageddon according to Islamic eschatology.It is notable for a series of archaeological sites in the "plain of Antioch".

The primary sites of the series are Tell al-Judaidah, Çatalhöyük (Amuq) (not to be confused with Çatalhöyük in Anatolia), Tell Tayinat, Tell Kurdu, Alalakh, and Tell Dhahab. Tell Judaidah was surveyed by Robert Braidwood and excavated by C. MacEwan of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in the 1930s.


Ariassus or Ariassos (Ancient Greek: Άριασσός) was a town in Pisidia, Asia Minor built on a steep hillside about 50 kilometres inland from Attaleia (modern Antalya).


Caloe was a town in the Roman province of Asia. It is mentioned as Kaloe or Keloue in 3rd-century inscriptions, as Kalose in Hierocles's Synecdemos (660), and as Kalloe, Kaloe, and Kolone in Parthey's Notitiæ episcopatuum, in which it figures from the 6th to the 12fth or 13th century.


Cestrus was a city in the Roman province of Isauria, in Asia Minor. Its placing within Isauria is given by Hierocles, Georgius Cyprius, and Parthey's (Notitiae episcopatuum). While recognizing what the ancient sources said, Lequien supposed that the town, whose site has not been identified, took its name from the River Cestros and was thus in Pamphylia. Following Lequien's hypothesis, the 19th-century annual publication Gerarchia cattolica identified the town with "Ak-Sou", which Sophrone Pétridès called an odd mistake, since this is the name of the River Cestros, not of a city.


Cotenna was a city in the Roman province of Pamphylia I in Asia Minor. It corresponds to modern Gödene, near Konya, Turkey.


Cyaneae (Ancient Greek: Κυανέαι; also spelt Kyaneai or Cyanae) was a town of ancient Lycia, or perhaps three towns known collectively by the name, on what is now the southern coast of Turkey. William Martin Leake says that its remains were discovered west of Andriaca. The place, which is at the head of Port Tristomo, was determined by an inscription. Leake observes that in some copies of Pliny it is written Cyane; in Hierocles and the Notitiae Episcopatuum it is Cyaneae. To Spratt and Forbes, Cyaneae appeared to be a city ranking in importance with Phellus and Candyba, but in a better state of preservation. No longer a residential bishopric, Cyanae is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.


Docimium, Docimia or Docimeium (Greek: Δοκίμια and Δοκίμειον) was an ancient city of Phrygia, Asia Minor where there were famous marble quarries.


Drizipara (or Druzipara, Drousipara. Drusipara) now Karıştıran (Büyükkarıştıran) in Lüleburgaz district was a city and a residential episcopal see in the Roman province of Europa in the civil diocese of Thrace. It is now a titular see of the Catholic Church.


Hisarlik (Turkish: Hisarlık, "Place of Fortresses"), often spelled Hissarlik, is the modern name for an ancient city in modern day located in what is now Turkey (historically Anatolia) near to the modern city of Çanakkale. The unoccupied archaeological site lies approximately 6.5 km from the Aegean Sea and about the same distance from the Dardanelles. The archaeological site of Hisarlik is known in archaeological circles as a tell. A tell is an artificial hill, built up over centuries and millennia of occupation from its original site on a bedrock knob.

It is believed by many scholars to be the site of ancient Troy, also known as Ilion.

List of ancient settlements in Turkey

Below is the list of ancient settlements in Turkey. There are innumerable ruins of ancient settlements spread all over the country. While some ruins date back to Neolithic times, most of them were settlements of Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Ionians, Urartians, and so on.


Lyrbe (spelled Lyrba in the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia; Ancient Greek: Λύρβη) was a city and episcopal see in the Roman province of Pamphylia Prima and is now a titular see.


Palistin (or Walistin), was an early Syro-Hittite kingdom located in what is now northwestern Syria and the southeastern Turkish province of Hatay. Its existence was confirmed by the discovery of several inscriptions mentioning Taita, king of Palistin.


Pattin (also known as Pattina, Patina and Unqi), was an ancient Luwian Syro-Hittite state at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. It was known to the Assyrians as Unqi.

It was located at the north-western coast of ancient Syria, associated with the modern-day Sanjak of Alexandretta. The capital of the state was Kinalua (Kunalua, Kalneh, or Kinaluwa), which has been tentatively associated with Tell Tayinat in modern-day Turkey.

The state was formed in the 9th century BC towards the end of the Dark Age period, and shared a north-western border with the Syro-Hittite state of Quwê. Khazazu (modern-day Azaz) was one of Pattin's dependencies which was invaded by Assyria around 870 BC. The frontier fortress of Aribua (associated with the modern-day region of Idlib) within the land of Lukhuti to the immediate south of Pattin was also ravaged.


Rhodiapolis (Ancient Greek: Ῥοδιάπολις), also known as Rhodia (Ῥοδία) and Rhodiopolis (Ῥοδιόπολις), was a city in ancient Lycia. Today it is located on a hill northwest of the modern town Kumluca in Antalya Province, Turkey.

Stratonicea (Lydia)

Stratonicea – (Greek: Στρατoνικεια, or Στρατονίκεια) also transliterated as Stratoniceia and Stratonikeia, earlier Indi, and later for a time Hadrianapolis – was an ancient city in the valley of the Caicus river, between Germe and Acrasus, in Lydia, Anatolia; its site is currently near the village of Siledik, in the district of Kırkağaç, Manisa Province, in the Aegean Region of Turkey.

Syro-Hittite states

The states that are called Neo-Hittite or, more recently, Syro-Hittite were Luwian-, Aramaic- and Phoenician-speaking political entities of the Iron Age in northern Syria and southern Anatolia that arose following the collapse of the Hittite Empire in around 1180 BC and lasted until roughly 700 BC. The term "Neo-Hittite" is sometimes reserved specifically for the Luwian-speaking principalities, like Milid and Carchemish. However, in a wider sense the broader cultural term "Syro-Hittite" is now applied to all the entities that arose in south-central Anatolia following the Hittite collapse, such as Tabal and Quwê, as well as those of northern and coastal Syria.

Tell Judaidah

Tell Judaidah (Tell al-Judaidah, Tell Judeideh) is an archaeological site in south-eastern Turkey, in the province of Hatay. It is one of the largest excavated ancient sites in the Amuq valley, in the plain of Antioch. Settlement at this site ranges from the Neolithic (6000 BC) through the Byzantine Period.


Tyana (Ancient Greek: Τύανα; Hittite Tuwanuwa) was an ancient city in the Anatolian region of Cappadocia, in modern Kemerhisar, Niğde Province, Central Anatolia, Turkey. It was the capital of a Luwian-speaking Neo-Hittite kingdom in the 1st millennium BC.

Üçayaklı ruins

The Üçayaklı ruins are in Mersin Province, Turkey.

Syro-Hittite states and cities
Luwian states
Aramaean states
Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


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