2017 Grant Recipient
Tell Qarqur Publication Project
(PROJECT FUNDING GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY THE GETTY FOUNDATION)
Located in the lower Orontes River Valley of western Syria, Tell Qarqur is a 30-meter tall, 12-hectare mound which was the focus of an American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR)-sponsored excavation project from 1983-2010. While the site is best known for its probable association with the Iron Age city of Qarqar, investigations at Tell Qarqur have found an extraordinarily long occupational history, with a nearly continuous record of settlement from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (c.8000 BC) through the Mamluk period (c.1450 AD). Excavations have produced particularly robust exposures of Early Bronze IV through Middle Bronze I, the Late Bronze Age through late Iron Age, and the Hellenistic, Late Roman, and Crusader periods. Moreover, research at the site employed meticulous excavation strategies and intensive sampling protocols, producing nuanced stratigraphic, material culture, and environmental sequences. Finds from the site are thus of great value for regional chronologies, while environmental and subsistence evidence provided by faunal and botanical remains is virtually unparalleled in the Near East in its length and scope. The onset of civil war in Syria brought the excavation project at Tell Qarqur to an abrupt end, resulting in the loss of many artifact collections as well as severe military damage to the site itself. This project will seek to synthesize the diverse history of excavations at Tell Qarqur, bringing together research by numerous scholars and assembling the results in a final publication that will include both a synthetic edited volume and an online, open-access database of finds.
The project is led by Prof. Jesse Casana (Dartmouth College), who co-directed archaeological excavations at Tell Qarqur from 2005-2010. Prof. Casana will coordinate the publication process, working with former director Rudolph Dornemann and numerous period and topical specialists to produce a series of integrated chapters in a final report. He will also oversee the compilation of excavation data, including drawings, photographs, detailed excavation notes, as well as radiocarbon, faunal, and botanical analyses.