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Tell Tayinat

Tell Tayinat (Tell Tainat) is located about 25km to the city of Antakya. The site is about 800 meters to the site of Tell AÁana. After the demise of the Hittite Empire and abandonement of nearby Tell AÁana, Tell Tayinat became an important site in the Iron Age. The name of the city was Kunulua and it was the capital city of the Neo-Hittite kingdom Palistin/Walistin also known as Patina or Unqi in Assyrian sources. The city came under Assyrian attack in mid-9th century BCE. Around 738 BCE it permanently became Assyrian territory. Several of its rulers bore Hittite imperial names like Labarna and äuppiluliuma (Lubarna and äapalulme in Assyrian sources). Initial excavations at the site was carried out between 1935 and 1938 by the Oriental Institute of University of Chicago under Robert Braidwood. Renewed excavations are ongoing since 2004 by a team from University of Toronto led by Timothy Harrison. Several statues, orthostats, and ornamated columnbases dating from 10th and 8th centuries BCE as well as later Assyrian periods have been unearthed. Some of the earlier finds are displayed in Oriental Institute of Chicago. Many others are in Antakya Museum.

Inscribed fragments of a colossol statue of a seated figure were found near the East Gate in 1936. It was probably similar to the one that was found at the King's Gate of KarkamżĢ. Among the few readable words of the inscription (TELL TAYINAT 1) that was written over the statue is the name Halparuntiya. Paleographically the inscription has been dated to 10th century BCE. Thus, he is assumed to be a predecessor of his namesake Halparuntiya (Qalparunda) mentioned in Assyrian sources in 857 and 853 BCE. The place name Walistin mentioned in the fragments also appears in Meharde and Sheizar inscriptions and as Palistin in Aleppo inscriptions. Several other fragments that were found in different areas of the site has been put together to form parts of a rectangular block with a 5-line hieroglyphic Luwian inscription (TELL TAYINAT 2). Paleographically the inscription dates to 8th century BCE.

Important monumental finds of the recent excavations include in 2011 a large portal lion, in 2012 a collossal statue of a local king identified as Suppiluliuma with an inscription on its back (TELL TAYINAT 4) and a columnbase decorated with reliefs of sphinxes, in 2017 an equally large statue of a female, perhaps a queen. There are many more fragmental sculpture and inscription pieces from the Neo-Hittite period.


Click on the pictures for larger images.

During excavations in 1935-38
Excavation area - R. C. Haines, 1971 Building II, Megaron - R. C. Haines, 1971 Lion columnbase - R. C. Haines, 1971 Building I - R. C. Haines, 1971 Building I - R. C. Haines, 1971 Building I - R. C. Haines, 1971
Fragments of a Monumental Statue and TELL TAYINAT 1 inscription
I. Gelb, 1939 Fragments of colossal statue, Oriental Institute, Chicago - T. Bilgin, 2010 T. Bilgin, 2010 T. Bilgin, 2010 Fragment 1 - I. Gelb, 1939 T. Bilgin, 2010 Fragment 2 - J. D. Hawkins, 2000 Fragments - T. Bilgin, 2019 Fragments - J. D. Hawkins, 2000
Fragments of TELL TAYINAT 2 inscription
Composite image- T. Bilgin, 2010 T. Bilgin, 2010 T. Bilgin, 2010 T. Bilgin, 2010 T. Bilgin, 2010
TELL TAYINAT 3 inscription
I. Gelb, 1939 I. Gelb, 1939
Statue of Suppiluliuma and TELL TAYINAT 4 Inscription
Tayinat Archeological Project, 2012 C. SŁer, 2015 C. SŁer, 2015 C. SŁer, 2015 C. SŁer, 2015 C. SŁer, 2015 C. SŁer, 2015
Other sculptured and inscribed items
Statue base fragment - Tayinat Archeological Project Portal lion - C. SŁer, 2015 Column base - C. SŁer, 2015 Double lion column base - B. Bilgin, 2006 Statue of a female - Tayinat Archeological Project Statue of a female - Tayinat Archeological Project Statue of a female - Tayinat Archeological Project Orthostat - E. Anżl, 2010 Female sphinx - T. Bilgin, 2019 Oriental Institute, Chicago - T. Bilgin, 2010 Column base, Antakya Museum - B. Bilgin, 2006 Column base, Antakya Museum - B. Bilgin, 2006 Column base, Oriental Institute, Chicago - T. Bilgin, 2010 Tayinat Archaeological Project Tayinat Archaeological Project



Literature:
Haines, R. C. Excavations in the Plain of Antioch, Vol. II (OIP 95), Chicago, 1971.
Hawkins, J. D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Vol 1, Berlin, 2000: 361Ė78 and Plts. 189Ė98.
Orthmann, W. Untersuchungen zur spšthethitischen Kunst, Bonn, 1971.
Tayinat Archaeological Project: reports and publications

Image sources:
Bora Bilgin, 2006.
Tayfun Bilgin, 2010, 2019.
Ertuūrul Anżl, 2010.
CŁneyt SŁer, 2015.
Richard Haines, 1971.
Ignace J. Gelb, Hittite Hieroglyphic Monuments (OIP 45), Chicago, 1939.
Oriental Institute of Chicago.
J. David Hawkins, 2000.
Tayinat Archaeological Project.