2016 Grant Recipient
Tell Kazel (Syria). Settlement development and material culture during the Late Bronze and Iron Ages. Excavations in Area II (1985-2008)
Barbara Chiti is an archaeologist specializing in the ancient Near East. She carried out her academic education at the Università di Pisa (Italy) and then at the Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne (France). Her main research interests include the architecture and urbanization processes in Syria during the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), the emergence and development of complex societies, as well as the Late Bronze - Iron Age transition (13th-11th centuries BC) in the Northern Levant. Since 2007, Barbara Chiti has been participating in various research programs led by international Institutions, such as the Archaeological Museum of the American University of Beirut (Lebanon), the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France) and the Institut français du Proche-Orient (http://www.ifporient.org/node/1221) in Beirut (Lebanon). Besides, she has taken part in many field projects in the Near Eastern region, including Tell Afis, Tell Kazel, Tell al-Rawda, Tell Hariri in Syria, Tyre and Ej-Jaouze in Lebanon and Uşakli Höyük in Turkey, as well as having worked on a few prehistoric sites in Italy. Part of Barbara Chiti’s research has been published in proceedings, monographs and peer-reviewed journals. Some of them are available on the following web-page: https://u-paris1.academia.edu/BarbaraChiti.
This grant will aid in the publication of “Tell Kazel (Syria). Settlement development and material culture during the Late Bronze and Iron Ages. Excavations in Area II (1985-2008)”. Archaeological investigations at Tell Kazel (southern coast of Syria) were carried out by the American University of Beirut for more than 25 years, under the directorship of Dr. Leila Badre, Director of the AUB Archaeological Museum. Excavations have brought to light a long occupational sequence spreading from the Middle Bronze to the Hellenistic ages, including two main phases dated to the Late Bronze II (14th-13th century BC) – when the settlement is to be identified with the ancient city of Sumur/Simyra, capital of the kingdom of Amurru – and to Iron Age II-III (9th-8th century BC). Tell Kazel is a key site for the investigation of the economic, political and socio-cultural transformations occurring in the Northern Levant during the Late Bronze and Iron ages. In fact, contrary to most urban sites of the region, the settlement was not abandoned, even if it has been forcibly destroyed at the turn of 13th-12th century BC. The best preserved evidence attesting continuity in occupation comes from the Eastern residential quarter (Area II) of Tell Kazel, where an uninterrupted sequence comprising 5 main architectural levels dating from 13th to 9th century BC has been documented. Apart from some data available in excavation reports, an overall study on this sector has yet to be published. This project therefore aims to analyze, review, interpret and publish the whole documentation coming from this area, including stratigraphy, settlement layout, architecture and materials. This work will provide new insights on the events that affected the development of Tell Kazel and the surrounding region during a crucial period in Levantine history, as of yet poorly known.