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1993-94 Annual Report

Thomas A. Holland

Thomas A. Holland continued his work, as an Oriental Institute Research Associate, on the study of the archaeological material excavated at Tell es-Sweyhat in Syria for final publication. This included the sending of a representative collection of metal object fragments from the site to the Smithsonian Analytical Laboratory for analyses, the results of which are awaited with great anticipation as new information may be forthcoming on the sources of the raw materials as well as providing evidence for the Early Bronze Age trade routes in the upper Euphrates River valley.

The Early Bronze Age modeled clay figurine representing a domesticated horse (stallion), which was excavated at Sweyhat during the 1992 season, continued to spur interest in both the academic and popular presses during the year, thus bringing welcome publicity for the Oriental Institute's field research program abroad. This continuing interest involved giving telephone interviews and providing text and photographic views of the horse for the following publications: Biblical Archaeology Review 19:4 (July/August 1993): 16; POA (The Official Publication of the Pony of the Americas Club), vol. 39:4 (April 1994): 86; The Chicago Maroon 105:28 (January 7, 1994): 6; The University of Chicago 1992-93 Annual Report, pp. 22-23; and the Encyclopaedia Britannica Annual Year Book for 1993.

One of the three articles written last year, which was concerned with the archaeological finds from Sweyhat, was published in the American Journal of Archaeology 98:1 (1994): 139-42 in the section "Archaeology in Syria," edited by H. Weiss. A more detailed account of the wall painting fragments, which were excavated during both the 1991 and 1992 seasons, appears (above) in this year's Annual Report.

Toward the end of April, Holland was the host for Dr. Sultan Muhesen, Professor of Prehistoric Studies at the University of Damascus and the newly appointed Director of Antiquities and Museums of the Syrian Arab Republic, during his five-day visit to the Oriental Institute. Dr. Muhesen is an international scholar who is well known for his research and studies of prehistoric Syria and the Levant in general; he presented a lecture on his archaeological field work for faculty, staff, and students of the Oriental Institute and also gave a brief presentation at the weekly social hour, sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, on the archaeology of Syria, which was followed by an informal discussion. We benefited greatly from Dr. Muhesen's visit and were especially honored that he chose to include Chicago in his itinerary both to discuss his projects and to visit with his friends.

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