Mittwoch, 03. Juni 2020, 17:30

The Origins and Organization of Small-Scale States in the Iron Age Levant: Musing from Tell Tayinat- Kunulua

J.P. Dessel (University of Tennessee Knoxville, History Department)

The process of small-scale state formation in the Iron Age of the northern Levant has come into sharper focus with the re-excavation of the site of Tell Tayinat, Turkey. Tell Tayinat, ancient Kunulua, is the capital city of  Luwian kingdom of Patina / Unqi, and is the most dominant city in the southern ‘Amuq Plain. The excavations by the Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP)  have uncovered  rich levels from the Iron Age I–III (12th–6th centuries BCE) with intriguing evidence for a diverse ethnic population. That Tayinat has a relatively complete  Iron Age II-III sequence makes it an ideal site to investigate the process of small-scale state formation. This paper will study the origins and most importantly the organization of this city, focusing specifically on the issue of how small-scale states develop social distinctive identities and ideologies to create political cohesion and durability.

J.P. Dessel is the Steinfeld Professor of  Near Eastern Archaeology in the Department of History and the Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has 40 years of field experience in Israel, Egypt, Turkey, the Republic of Georgia,  and North America. He is currently a field director at sites of  Tell Tayinat,  Turkey and Tell Abel Beit Ma’acah, Israel, and is the President of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.