Tell el Fakhariya

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Coordinates: 36°50′24″N 40°4′7″E / 36.84000°N 40.06861°E / 36.84000; 40.06861 Tell el Fakhariya or Tell el Fecheriyeh (among other variants) is an ancient site in the Khabur River basin in the Al Hasakah Governorate of northern Syria. It is securely identified as the site of Sikkan, attested since c. 2000 BC.[1] Sikkan was part of the Aramaean kingdom of Bit Bahiani in the early 1st millennium BC. In the area several mounds, called tells, can be found in close proximity: Tell el Fakhariya, Ra's al-'Ayn, and Tell Halaf, site of the Aramean and Neo-Assyrian city of Guzana. During the excavation the Tell el Fakhariya Bilingual Inscription was discovered at the site.

In the early 20th century Tell el Fakhariya was suggested as the site of Washukanni, the capital of Mitanni, but recently Edward Lipiński has refuted this theory.[1]

Tell el Fakhariya
Tell el Fakhariya is located in Syria
Tell el Fakhariya
Tell el Fakhariya
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 36°50′24″N 40°04′07″E / 36.84000°N 40.06861°E / 36.84000; 40.06861

History[edit]

The site of Tell el Fakhariya was occupied as early as the Akkadian period. The limited excavations so far conducted have shown substantial developments in the Middle Assyrian, Mitanni and Neo-Assyrian periods.

Proposed association with Washukanni[edit]

The Neo-Assyrian city Sikan at nearby Ra's al-'Ayn was identified by Dietrich Opitz as the capital of Mitanni, Washukanni.[2] The name Sikan was then believed to be an Assyrianized version of its Hurrian, or Indo-Aryan original, becoming (Wa-)Sikan(-ni). This etymology is challenged by Edward Lipiński, who points out Sikan is a Semitic name (meaning stele) already attested for the site circa 2000 BC.[3][1] No epigraphic, glyphic or other archaeological evidence supporting this identification has yet emerged from excavations at this or other sites.[citation needed] The identification thus rests on a purely etymologic basis.[citation needed]

Archaeology[edit]

Tell el Fakhariya

The site is around 90 hectares in area, 12 of which are a high mound. Tell Fakhariyah came to the attention of Max von Oppenheim in the early 1900s. In 1929, during his excavations at Tell Halaf, he dispatched Felix Langenegger and Hans Lehmann to the site to do a field survey, resulting in the production of a contour map. .[4] In 1940, a team from the Oriental Institute of Chicago and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, led by Calvin W. McEwan, and which included Harold D. Hill, worked for a short period there, conducted several soundings, developed a contour map of the site, and collected various pottery and epigraphic objects. [5] The later included 12 tablets and some fragments. The areas explored were mainly Middle Assyrian and Neo-Assyrian. In 1955, Anton Moortgat conducted two soundings at Tell Fakhariyah, dated to the Mitanni empire period. [6] [7] A brief excavation occurred in 2001 by the University of Halle-Wittenberg and the Syrian Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums. [8] After a survey in 2005, a team from the Free University of Berlin and SAHI - Slovak archeological and historical institute and the Syrian Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums resumed work at Tell Fakhariyah for a month in 2006. Excavations continued in 2007 for a period of 8 weeks. [9] [10] [11] In the 2009 season, 11 Middle Assyrian cuneiform tablets were recovered from a layer early in the post-Mitanni period of the site. In 2010, 40 texts and text fragments were found in the same context. Preliminary translation shows them to be administrative in nature. Eponyms link some to the reigns of Shalmaneser I and Tukulti-Ninurta I.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lipiński, Edward (2000). The Aramaeans: Their Ancient History, Culture, Religion. Peeters Publishers. p. 120. ISBN 978-90-429-0859-8. 
  2. ^ D. Opitz, Die Lage von Wassuganni, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und verwandte Gebiete, vol. 37, 1927
  3. ^ Edward Lipinski, Studies in Aramaic Inscriptions and Onomastics, Peeters Publishers, 1994, ISBN 90-6831-610-9
  4. ^ Max Freiherr von Oppenheim, Der Tell Halaf, Eine neue Kultur im ältesten Mesopotamien, F. A. Brockhaus, 1931
  5. ^ [1] C. W. McEwan, L. S. Braidwood, H. Frankfort, H. G. Güterbock, R. C. Haines, H. J. Kantor, and C. H. Kraeling, Soundings at Tell Fakhariyah, Oriental Institute Publication 79, 1957
  6. ^ A. Moortgat, Vorläufiger Bericht über eine Grabung auf dem Tell Fecherije 1955, AAS, vol. 6, pp. 39-50, 1956
  7. ^ A. Moortgat, Archäologische Forschungen der Max Freiherr von Oppenheim-Stiftung im nördlichen Mesopotamien 1956, AAS, vol. 7, pp. 17-30, 1957
  8. ^ A. Pruss and Abd al-Masih Bagdo, Tell Fecheriye. Bericht über die erste Kampagne der deutsch-syrischen Ausgrabungen 2001, MDOG, vol. 134, pp. 311-329, 2002
  9. ^ D. Bonatz and P. Bartl, Preliminary Report of the excavations at Tell Fekheriye in 2006 and 2007, in: Chronique Archéologique en Syrie, pp. 175-185, 2007
  10. ^ D. Bonatz, Tell Fecheriye 2006 - Neue Ausgrabungen an altbekannter Stätte, in: Alter Orient aktuell, vol. 8, pp. 4-8, 2008
  11. ^ D.Bonatz et al., Bericht über die erste und zweite Grabungskampagne in Tell Fekheriye 2006 und 2007, MDOG, vol. 140, pp. 89-135,2008

References[edit]

  • A. Dobel, F. Asaro, H. V. Michel, Neutron Activation Analysis and the Location of Washshukanni, Orientalia, vol. 46, pp. 375–382, 1977
  • R. Zadok Remarks on the Inscription of hdyscy from Tall Fakhariya, Tel Aviv, vol. 9, pp. 117–129, 1982
  • T. Muraoka, The Tell-Fekherye Bilingual Inscription and Early Aramaic, Abr-Naharain, vol. 22, pp. 79–117, 1983–84
  • B. Müller-Neuhof, Anthropomorphic Statuettes from Tell Fakhariyah: Arguments for Their Possible PPNB Origin, Neo-Lithics 1, pp. 37 – 43, 2007

External links[edit]