The fourth season of excavations at Alalakh (Tell Atchana) took place from July 15-September 15, 2007 and was directed by K. Aslihan Yener, with Senior Field Supervisor, Murat Akar. The site is located twenty kilometers east of Antakya (classical Antioch) in the Amuq valley region of southern Turkey. The excavations were conducted under the auspices and sponsorship of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey and the Mustafa Kemal University in Antakya.
Fig 1: Squares 22.214.171.124. The Hittite Fortress.
Fig 2: Clay bulla from the Hittite Fortress
2. Square 32.57 was situated in the courtyard of the Level IV Palace and was excavated during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. So far, Phases 1, 2a, 2b, 2c and 3 have been identified yielding several subphases of the Late Bronze Age. Radiocarbon dates for Phase 2a obtained from two olive seeds yielded calibrated dates of 1518-1411 BC. The general architectural plan for Phase 2 in all subphases has revealed a main NW-SE wall cross-cutting the square, a main room with a well-preserved and sealed floor in the east, a small room in the northern extension, and a partially roofed or outdoor area in the west with subsidiary rooms, workshop or refuse areas. In 2007 the excavations furthered work in Phases 2b, 2c, and 3.
Fig 3: Square 32.57. The level IV palace courtyard.
3. Square 33.32. A new sounding was placed in the courtyard (Room 9) of the previously excavated Level VII Palace in order to derive a stratigraphic sequence. After half a century of abandonment the accumulated debris was cleaned out in the square. A badly burnt floor full of ash and charcoal was uncovered with evidence of intense heat possibly generated by the extensive use of wood in the architecture. One tablet was found in situ on this burnt surface with its burnt envelope facing up. Only one side of the tablet was legible, the other side (perhaps its envelope) was fused and vitrified beyond recognition. Other tablet-like fragments set within vitrified envelopes were found, but none with legible inscriptions.
Fig 4: Square 33.32. The level VII Palace Courtyard.
Fig 5: Tablet from Level VII courtyard.
Square 45.44. The main objectives in this area were to understand the stratigraphy of the mound along the eastern slope, to search for a possible fortification wall running along the side of the slope, and to investigate a continuation of the necropolis located during the nearby 2003 excavations. A total of 4 phases of occupation, numbered from the higher elevations down, were excavated within the square, all entirely within the western sideof the square; a possible intact surface was found on the eastern side only during the last week of excavations.
Fig 6: Square 45.44. Fig 7: Burials
Fig 8:The Southern Fortress
Fig 9: Bull leaping scene on Mycenean Krater.
Tayfur Sökmen Dig House Compound
Several restoration projects focused on the construction of buildings in the dig house complex. The first was the completion of a laboratory building. On September 4, 2006 a new building, generously funded by the Dean family, was officially opened for use. Housing a Conservation Laboratory and rooms dedicated to other technical studies, the building answered the demand for specialist studies on site.
K. Aslihan Yener (Director), Dominique Collon, Robert Ritner, Robert Koehl, Mara Horowitz, Vedat Toprak, Nurettin Kaymakci, Murat Akar, Bike Yazicioglu, Ekin Demirci, Ozgecan Yarma, Ferhat Can, Meltem Cakmak, Burhan Can, Nurettin Bataray, Pinar Ertepinar Kaymakci, Brenda Craddock, Stephanie Selover, Buket Aladag, Derya Silibolatlaz, Canan Cakirlar, Remi Berthon, Pinar Durgun, Erkan Konyar, Cosku Kocabiyik, Onur Akseven, Dogan Askar, Gokcen Kunter, Kaan Ozdemir, Ibrahim Yilmaz, Yasmine El-Gabani, Brian Kunckle, Luca Tepedino, Michelle Ruggenbucke, Polly Westlake, Riza Gurler, Armagan Tan, Isil Celik, Tugba Soydan, Hatice Pamir, Tulin Tümay, Anthony Dean, and Lawrie Dean. We were ably served by Yusuf Altin and Murat Kirbas as the Ministry Representatives.