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October 27 2012

The Assyrian city of Tushhan: a race against time


The ancient mound at Ziyaret Tepe in Diyarbakir province of southeastern Turkey, comprises two distinct areas: a high citadel and an extensive lower town. Since 1997 an international team of archaeologists have been excavating a site that was occupied nearly continuously for 2400 years from the Early Bronze Age (c. 3000 BCE).

Over most of this time Ziyaret Tepe was a modest village situated on the fertile Tigris floodplain. However, Professor Timothy Matney of the University of Akron, (the project director) in collaboration with Professor McGinnis of the University of Cambridge discovered that during the Middle Iron Age (c. 882 610BCE) Ziyaret Tepe acted as an important urban centre situated on the northern periphery of the Assyrian Empire and was known as the city of Tushhan.

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