Tall Bazi, is an ancient Near East archaeological site in Raqqa Governorate of Syria in the same general area as Mari and Ebla. It is located on the Euphrates river in upper Syria, about 60 kilometers south of Turkey near the abandoned town of Tall Banat. Tall Bazi has been proposed as the location of Armanum, known from texts of the Akkadian period, during the reign of Naram-Sin of Akkad.[1][2] It was occupied into the Mitanni period at which time it was destroyed. In the late Roman Empire a large building was constructed at the top of the main mound.

Tall Bazi
Tall Bazi is located in Syria
Tall Bazi
Shown within Syria
LocationRaqqa Governorate, Syria
Coordinates36°25′38.3″N 38°16′35.4″E / 36.427306°N 38.276500°E / 36.427306; 38.276500
Foundedc. 2400 BC
Abandoned1200  BC
PeriodsBronze Age
CulturesMitanni, Early Dynastic
Site notes
Excavation dates1993-2010
Public accessYes

Archaeology Edit

The main mound rises 60 meters above the plain with the lower town portion being only 7 meters high. It was excavated by German archaeologists in 1993–1997, in 1999, in 2001–2005, and then in 2007–2009. At this point local conditions became too difficult to continue work. The excavations were under the auspices of the German Research Foundation and later the Institute of Near Eastern Archaeology.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Due to the Tishrin Dam construction the lower town is now under water. The main mound is still above water. The adjacent third millennium BC archaeological complex at Tall Banat was also flooded.[11]

It is part of the "Tell Banat Settlement complex" during the third and second millennia BCE, which refers to Tell Banat, Tell Banat North, Tell Kabir and Jebel, or Tall Bazi.[12] Tell Banat North (22 meters high and 100 meters in diameter) was excavated from 1988 to 1999 by McClellan and Porter.[13][14]

History Edit

Early Bronze Edit

An Early Bronze palace was found beneath the Middle Bronze temple. The earlier occupation of the Citadel dates back to the Late Early Dynastic period and Akkadian period. Numerous clay sling shots were found especially around a fortified wall gate.

The region was part of Banat Period IV (c. 2700/2600-2450 BC) during which time there is no clear evidence for Tall Bazi. In Banat Period III (c. 2450-2300 BC), Banat itself reached its maximum extent. At this time, building activity was found throughout the Banat complex, including Tell Kabir and Tall Bazi. Banat Period II (c. 2300-2100 BC) was a phase of abandonment of which occupation seem to continue on Tall Bazi. In Banat Period I (c. 2100-2000 BC), a new settlement appeared at Tell Kabir.

Middle Bronze Edit

The Northern Town was occupied beginning in the Middle Bronze Age and was destroyed at the same time as the Western Town. A geomagnetic prospection followed by excavation at four locations showed that the original portion was a grown settlement with later construction matching the planned houses of the Western Town.[15]

The main mound has been dubbed the "Citadel". It contained a large (37.6 meter long by 15.8 meter wide) temple built in the Middle Bronze Age (on top of an Early Bronze Age palace) still in use when it was destroyed at the same time as the lower town in the Late Bronze Age.

Late Bronze Edit

In the remains of the temple were found evidence of significant production and ritual consumption of beer as well as two cuneiform tablets of the Mitanni period sealed by ruler Saushtatar, one by Artatama I, and an Old Babylonian cylinder seal.[16] When the settlement was destroyed the temple was looted and equipment smashed, then burned like the lower town. More post destruction looting then occurred.

The lower area is divided into a Western Town and Northern Town. The Western Town (1 hectare) is a single period area of the Late Bronze Age which lasted up to a century before it was violently destroyed. It contain about 100 houses with a central market area and planned 6 meter wide main roads with spurs into residential areas. Houses were built to a standard design with little variation.[17] Destruction appears to have come quickly as most material was still in place. Each house had its own oven for baking and vats for the production of beer.[18] No human remains were found.[19][20] Due to the sketchy nature of radiocarbon dating for this period dates radiocarbon samples have reported dates ranging from 1400 BC down to 1200 BC for the destruction layer. A Mitanni period cylinder seal was found.[21][22]

Modern times Edit

As a result of the Syrian Civil War the top of the mound was turned into a military emplacement with much of the remains, including the temple, being destroyed by bulldozer activity. Archaeological finds still being held at the site were robbed away by ISIS.[23][24][25]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ [1] Adelheid Otto, "Archeological Perspectives On The Localization Of Naram-Sin's Armanum", Journal of Cuneiform Studies vol. 58, pp. 1-26, 2006
  2. ^ Nashat Alkhafaji and Gianni Marchesi, "Naram-Sin’s War against Armanum and Ebla in a Newly-Discovered Inscription from Tulul al-Baqarat", Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 79, no. 1, pp. 1-20, 2020
  3. ^ B. Einwag and A. Otto, "Tall Bazi", in: Jahresbericht 1993 des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, AA, vol. 4, pp. 662–663, 1994
  4. ^ B. Einwag and A. Otto, "Tall Bazi", in: Jahresbericht 1994 des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, AA, vol. 4, pp. 868–872, 1995
  5. ^ B. Einwag and A. Otto, "Tall Bazi", in: Jahresbericht 1995 des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, AA, vol. 4, pp. 641–643, 1996
  6. ^ A. Otto and B. Einwag, "Tall Bazi - eine Metropole des 2. Jahrtausends v.Chr." im syrischen Euphrattal, Antike Welt 27, pp. 459–71, 1996
  7. ^ B. Einwag and A. Otto, Die Ausgrabungen in Tall Bazi, in: Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (Hrsg.), 25 Jahre archäologische Forschung in Syrien 1980-2005, Damascus 2005, pp. 130–135, 2006
  8. ^ [2] W. Sallaberger and B. Einwag, and A. Otto, "Schenkungen von Mittani-Königen an die Einwohner von Basīru. Die zwei Urkunden aus Tall Bazi am Mittleren Euphrat.", Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archäologie, vol. 96, no. 1, pp. 69-104, January 2006 DOI:10.1515/ZA.2006.003
  9. ^ B. Einwag and A. Otto, "Excavations at Tall Bazi 2008", Chronique Archéologique en Syrie IV, pp. 171–174, 2010
  10. ^ Porter, Anne, "The Third Millennium Settlement Complex at Tell Banat: Tell Kabir", DamM 8, pp. 125–63, pl. 20, 1995
  11. ^ A. Porter, "The dynamics of death: Ancestors, pastoralism, and the origins of a third-millennium city in Syria.", Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 325(1), pp. 1–36, 2002
  12. ^ Anne Porter, "The Tell Banat Settlement Complex during the Third and Second Millennia BCE", in From Pottery to Chronology: The Middle Euphrates Region in Late Bronze Age Syria Proceedings of the International Workshop in Mainz (Germany), May 5-7, 2012, edited by A. Otto. Münchener, pp. 195–224, 2018
  13. ^ McClellan, T., "Tell Banat North: the White Monument", in M. Lebeau (ed.) About Subartu: studies devoted to Upper Mesopotamia, volume 2, pp. 243–71, Turnhout: Brepols, 1998
  14. ^ Porter, Anne, et al, "“Their corpses will reach the base of heaven”: a third-millennium BC war memorial in northern Mesopotamia?", Antiquity 95.382, pp. 900-918, 2021
  15. ^ B. Einwag and A. Otto, "Tall Bazi 2000 und 2001 – Die Untersuchungen auf der Zitadelle und in der Nordstadt", DaM 15, pp. 105–130, 2006
  16. ^ [3]Torrecilla, Eduardo, and Yoram Cohen. “A MITTANI LETTER ORDER FROM AZU (HAD 8) AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CHRONOLOGY AND HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EUPHRATES REGION IN THE LATE BRONZE AGE.” Revue d’Assyriologie et d’archéologie Orientale, vol. 112, 2018, pp. 149–58
  17. ^ Adelheid Otto, "The Organization of Residential Space in the Mittani Kingdom as a Mirror of Different Models of Governance", in: Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum, Nicole Brisch and Jesper Eidem (Eds.), Constituent, Confederate, and Conquered Space in Upper Mesopotamia. The Emergence of the Mitanni State, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, pp. 33–60, 2014
  18. ^ [4] A. Otto, "Defining and transgressing the boundaries between ritual commensality and daily commensal practices: the case of late bronze age Tall Bazi.", eTopoi - Journal for Ancient Studies, Special Volume 2, pp. 179–195, 2012
  19. ^ B. Einwag and A. Otto, "Tall Bazi 1998 und 1999 - Die letzten Untersuchungen in der Weststadt", DaM 13, pp. 65–88, 2001
  20. ^ A. Otto, "Alltag und Gesellschaft zur Spätbronzezeit: Eine Fallstudie aus Tall Bazi (Syrien)", Subartu 19, Turnhout 2006
  21. ^ A. Otto, "The Late Bronze Age Pottery of the Weststadt of Tall Bazi (North Syria)", in: M. Luciani, A. Hausleitner (Eds.), Recent Trends in the Study of Late Bronze Age Ceramics in Syro-Mesopotamia and Neighbouring Regions. Proceedings of the International Workshop in Berlin, 2 – 5 November 2006, OrA 32, Rahden/Westf., pp. 85-117, 2014
  22. ^ [5] B. Einwag and A. Otto, "The Late Bronze Age at Tall Bazi: The Evidence of the Pottery and the Challenges of Radiocarbon Dating", in: From Pottery to Chronology: The Middle Euphrates Region in Late Bronze Age Syria. Proceedings of a Workshop in Mainz (Germany), May 5–7, 2012. MAAO 1, Gladbeck, pp. 149–176, 2018
  23. ^ [6] B. Einwag and Adelheid Otto 2019. The inventory of the temple at Tall Bazi, in Evans, J.M. & Roßberger, E. (ed.) Ancient Near Eastern temple inventories in the third and second millennia BCE: integrating archaeological, textual, and visual sources. Proceedings of a conference held at the LMU Centre for Advanced Studies, November 14–15, 2016: 159–74
  24. ^ Berthold Einwag and Adelheid Otto, Die Torlöwen an Tempel 1 von Tall Bazi und ihre Stellung in der Reihe steinerner Löwenorthostaten, in: Heather Baker, Kai Kaniuth und Adelheid Otto (ed.), Stories of long ago. Festschrift für Michael D. Roaf, AOAT 397, Münster, pp. 91–115, 2012
  25. ^ [7] C. Coppini, "Tell Bazi: the Middle and Late Bronze Age pottery from the Citadel’s Nordhang.", In From pottery to chronology: The Middle Euphrates region in Late Bronze Age Syria. Proceedings of the international workshop in Mainz (Germany), pp. 177-193, (2012, May)

Further reading Edit

  • T. L. McClellan, "Banat." In: H. Weiss (ed.), Archaeology in Syria, AJA, vol. 95, pp. 700–70, 1991
  • B. Einwag and A. Otto, Tall Bazi, in: H. Weiss, Archaeology in Syria, AJA, vol. 101, pp. 108–111, 1997
  • [8]Otto, Adelheid and Berthold Einwag, "Three ritual vessels from the Mittani-period temple at Tell Bazi", Stories told around the fountain. Papers offered to Piotr Bieliński on the occasion of his 70th birthday, pp. 503-518, 2019
  • Otto, Adelheid, "Archaeological Evidence for Collective Governance along the Upper Syrian Euphrates during the Late and Middle Bronze Age", Organization, Representation, and Symbols of Power in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 54th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale at Würzburg 20–25 Jul, edited by Gernot Wilhelm, University Park, USA: Penn State University Press, pp. 87-100, 2012
  • Adelheid Otto, "Ritual Drinking in Syria: New Insights from the Decorated Terracotta Basin from Tall Bazi and the Funerary Talisman from Ebla: Pearls of the Past. Studies on Near Eastern Art and Archaeology in Honour of Frances Pinnock, hrsg. v. D'Andrea, Marta (marru 8).". IJBF Online: Internationale Jahresbibliographie der Festschriften. Berlin, Boston: K. G. Saur, 2009
  • M. Zarnkow and A. Otto and B. Einwag, "Interdisciplinary Investigations into the Brewing Technology of the Ancient Near East and the Potential of the Cold Mashing Process", in: W. Schiefenhövel and H. Macbeth (Hrsg.), Liquid bread: beer and brewing in cross-cultural perspective, New York – Oxford, pp. 47–54, 2011
  • B. Einwag, "Fortified Citadels in the Early Bronze Age? New Evidence from Tall Bazi (Syria)", in: J. Cordoba (Hrsg.), Proceedings of the Fifth International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Madrid 2006, Madrid, pp. 741–53, 2008
  • Szeląg, D., "Tell Bazi in der Mittleren Bronzezeit: Die Untersuchungen am Nordhang", MDOG, 144, pp. 133–160, 2012
  • Wilhelm, S., "Ancestral bones: Early Bronze Age human skeletal remains from Tell Banat, Syria", Baghdader Mitteilungen 37, pp. 359–80, 2006

External links Edit