Skip to main content

Neubauer Expedition to Zincirli

"The Neubauer Expedition to Zincirli is an archaeological project of the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute. With the generous financial support of the Neubauer Family Foundation, this expedition is conducting a long-term, large-scale exploration of an important Iron Age city in southeastern Turkey, in the province of Gaziantep near the border with Syria.At the site of Zincirli Höyük (latitude 37° 6' North, longitude 36° 40' East) are buried the extensive ruins of the ancient walled city of Sam’al, nestled in a fertile valley surrounded by heavily forested mountains, not far from the Mediterranean Sea. Three thousand years ago, at the time of the biblical kings of Israel, this 40-hectare (100-acre) city was the capital of a small Aramean kingdom. It boasted a monumental palace, massive outer walls, and ornate city gates adorned with sculpted stone reliefs.The Neubauer Expedition began work at Zincirli in 2006. Three excavation seasons have now been completed, in the summers of 2006, 2007, and 2008. An academic staff of thirty to forty archaeologists and archaeology students dig at Zincirli each summer with the help of fifty hired workers recruited from villages in the vicinity. Many more annual field seasons are planned in order to excavate large areas of the ancient city and thus gain new insights into the culture, society, and economy of the kingdom of Sam’al—and, by extension, many other similar Iron Age kingdoms of the ancient Levant. A number of significant finds have already been unearthed. For example, in July 2008, an inscribed pictorial stele commemorating a royal official, “Kuttamuwa, servant of (King) Panamuwa,” was found by the Neubauer Expedition in a newly opened excavation area in the lower town of Iron Age Sam’al. This important discovery, which reveals new aspects of ancient religious belief and practice, was reported in the New York Times and in Archaeology magazine.The expedition is led by David Schloen, the project director, who is Associate Professor of Syro-Palestinian Archaeology in the Oriental Institute and Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago; and by associate director Amir Sumaka’i Fink, a Ph.D. candidate at Tel Aviv University who previously earned an M.A. in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Chicago"

Format:  Website
Date:  2009