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Home > Research > Publications > Annual Reports > 1996-97 Annual Report

The Tell Es-Sweyhat Expedition To Syria


Thomas A. Holland

The planned 1996/97 Oriental Institute archaeological field season at Tell es-Sweyhat, Syria reported upon in last year's Annual Report, was again not possible due to insufficient funding. Renewed efforts will be made during the upcoming academic year to encourage support for a final season during 1998 so that the important mid-third millennium wall painting can be completely excavated, a division of finds may be made with the Syrian Department of Antiquities so that material will be available for the reopening of the Oriental Institute Museum for both display and scholarly research, and various archaeological problems associated with the more recent excavations may be investigated and resolved in the field for inclusion in the final publication of the site.

The Sweyhat Early Bronze Age model figurine of a domesticated horse, discovered during the 1992 field season, continued to arouse interest as photographs were requested by photographic research companies for inclusion in forthcoming publications.

Apart from in-house research on the material remains from the excavations, Holland cooperated with Mr. Michael Mavros, a Ph.D. candidate supervised by Dr. Stuart Campbell at the University of Manchester, on his research applying the method of neutron activation analysis on a selection of the 1970s Sweyhat Pottery Type Series sherds at present housed in the British Museum, but available to the Oriental Institute Museum if and when shipping funds are found. The Neuron Activation Analysis project is closely related to the research at present being carried out by the University of Edinburgh at Jerablus-Tahtani on the upper Euphrates River in Syria near Carchemish on the Syria-Turkish border. The results of Mavros' study of the Sweyhat material as well as the Smithsonian Institution's metallurgical analyses of recently excavated tools, jewelry, and weapons are eagerly awaited for inclusion in the final report of the excavations.

Revised: February 7, 2007

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