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1997-98 ANNUAL REPORT

Thomas A. Holland

The articles concerning the more recent excavations at Tell es-Sweyhat in Syria, which were submitted by Thomas A. Holland during the last academic year of activities for "Aleppo and the Silk Road," a special issue of Les Annales Archéologiques Arabes Syriennes, and for the Analytical Repertory of Pre-Classical Upper Mesopotamia Sites are still in press and in the editorial stage of publication.

During this year, research continued on the large body of material that will be incorporated into the forthcoming text volume of the Tell es-Sweyhat Excavation Report. The line drawings of plans, sections, and photographs of excavations, small finds, and the pottery for the 340 plates of the companion volume also were completed. The main focus of the research centered upon the Bronze Age external parallels, within and beyond the borders of Syria, for the numerous objects (e.g., figurines, metals, etc.) and the extensive corpus of nearly 5,000 diagnostic pottery forms. But apart from the Bronze Age, the site has yielded fairly extensive material remains belonging to the Hellenistic and Roman periods, which has demanded a great deal of further research due to the paucity of published finds of these periods from northern Syria. At present, we can date the Hellenistic finds from the rubbish pits in Area IIA, on top of the central mound of the site, to the earlier part of the Hellenistic period in Syria, ca. 300-280 BC. The extensive late Roman occupation of the site, primarily on the south slope of the Bronze Age central mound, had some sporadic occupation during the first century ad into the early second century ad with its floruit for about twenty-five years from AD 350 to 375.

Research is still in progress on the Late Roman period at Sweyhat, both for the excavation report and in preparation for a forthcoming lecture entitled "The Greco-Roman Finds at Tell Sweyhat," which will be given in Hama, Syria at the international colloquium entitled "La Syrie Moyenne de la Mer à la Steppe" sponsored by the Syrian Ministry of Culture, the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums, and l'Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines et le Fonds National Belge de la Recherche Scientifique.

Revised: July 30, 2007

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