Jerablus Tahtani Project,


Director: Prof. Edgar Peltenburg,

Department of Archaeology,

University of Edinburgh






Report 1998

Report 1999

Report 2000


Publications etc.


Supported by:


the British Academy

the british museum

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Council for British Research in the Levant

National Museums of Scotland


the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

the European Union

University of Edinburgh

The British Council

Jenny S. Gordon Memorial Foundation


The Jerablus Tahtani Project, North Syria, is an interdisciplinary research programme designed to investigate four key themes:

  1. the precocious expansion of the Uruk civilisation in the 4th millennium BC,
  2. secondary state formation in Early Bronze Age Syria,
  3. environmental and political reasons for widespread urban recession in the late 3rd millennium BC in the Near East, and
  4. the early history of archaeologically inaccessible Carchemish.

Fieldwork from 1991 to 2000 focused on the excavation of a relatively small tell, Jerablus Tahtani, beside the ancient capital of Carchemish on the banks of the Euphrates River. The excavations were conducted as the British contribution to the Syrian governmentís International Tishreen Dam Rescue Programme. Expeditions from several countries were involved in this attempt to retrieve information from sites likely to be flooded in 1999-2000 by the creation of a 60km long reservoir.

Excavations have now terminated and work is in hand to publish end reports in two volumes sponsored by the Council for British Research in the Levant. The first will deal with funerary practices and will include details of one of the largest Early Bronze Age tombs from Syria. The second concerns an account of the fort erected about the middle of the 3rd millennium BC and other domestic remains from a five period sequence:

Site Period

General Period

Principal characteristics






large building and village





Iron Age




Early Bronze Age

fort, postern, extra-mural terrace and passage, intra-and extra-mural burials and a high status extra-mural tomb


Early Bronze Age

open? Village


Late Uruk

buildings, burial


Local Late Chalcolithic

domestic occupation




Preliminary reports and specialised studies are listed in Publications etc. With the assistance of the European Commission, an exhibition of discoveries is being prepared for the Aleppo National Museum.

As of December 2000, the tell of Jerablus Tahtani has not been affected by the dam waters. It stands near the northern limit of the reservoir and there are hopes that the site may be preserved for the future.

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Created by: Adam Jackson, 4/12/2000

Department of Archaeology

University of Edinburgh