Monday, February 10, 2020


The 4.5 hectares large site of Tilmen Höyük (coordinates 37°1’48.49”N, 36°42’16.48”E) lies in the Islahiye valley (Gaziantep, Turkey), which connects the lower Orontes valley to the southern piedmont of central Taurus mountain range. During the Bronze age, the region belonged to the Inner Syrian cultural context, and held a highly strategic significance, over the course of time, for the connections between Upper Mesopotamian and Levantine lowlands on the one hand and the Anatolian highlands on the other. Settled since the Late Chalcolithic period, the city attained its major flourishing during the Middle Bronze II (c. 18th-17th centuries BCE), when it is probably to be identified with ancient Zalbar/Zalwar. Key evidence suggests that the site hosted also an Old Babylonian trading station, which was part of a network running from the Middle Euphrates to Cilicia and parallel to that of Ashur. With its massively walled lower town and fortified acropolis and its ‘Cyclopean’ architecture of basalt blocks, Tilmen Höyük is one of the most monumental cities of the area in that period.

Repository The Tilmen Höyük Lower Town materials database (2004-2007, Pottery, Small finds, Samples)

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