2016 Grant Recipient
The Citadel of Dur-Katlimmu in Middle and Neo-Assyrian Times
Hartmut Walter Kühne was educated as a Near Eastern Archaeologist by Anton Moortgat, Kurt Bittel, and Rolf Hachmann. He began his career as field archaeologist in Central Anantolia (Boghazköy) and then moved to Lebanon (Kamid e-Loz). A crucial turn towards broad interdisciplinary horizons and methodical approaches was evoked while employed in the “Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients” (TAVO) under the direction of Wolfgang Röllig that also initiated an engagement in the Habur region of Syria. Conceived as a joint venture between the Universities of Berlin, Tübingen, and the Museum of Deir ez-Zor, he developed the excavation of Tell Sheikh Hamad to an interdisciplinary project reconstructing the palaeo-environmental setting of the Assyrian city of Dur-Katlimmu and the Aramaean and Parthian-Roman city of Magdalu/Magdala in a long term project covering 35 years (1978-2013). Beyond archaeology he loves to be with his family and takes an interest in literature, theater, visual arts, and music. Recently Dr. Kühne became engaged in the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of Syria.
Tell Skeikh Hamad, on the left bank of the Habur in Syria, has been identified with the Assyrian city of Dur-Katlimmu, on account of the Middle Assyrian (13th cent. BC) archive excavated in “Building P” on the western slope of the citadel (Tell) during the initial seasons of 1978 through 1984. The stratigraphy and the 668 registered cuneiform texts allow the reconstruction of the event history of the region and of the biography of the building that is considered to have been an annex of the Middle Assyrian Palace. Founded by king Adad-nirari I at the beginning of the 13th cent. BC., the city probably served him and his successors Shalmaneser I. and Tukulti Ninurta I. as the strategic take off point for the conquest of the Mittani Empire, thus becoming the second important city of the Middle Assyrian State/Empire by furnishing the seat of a Great Vizier titled “King of Hanigalbat” and constituting the administrative center of the western part of the Empire. The grant will support the finish of the final report on “Die Zitadelle von Dur-Katlimmu in mittel-und neuassyrischer Zeit” to be published as Vol. 12 of the series “Berichte der Ausgrabung Tell Sheikh Hamad / Dur-Katlimmu (BATSH)”.