Ziyaret Tepe: Exploring the Anatolian Frontier of the Assyrian Empire (Paperback)
Ziyaret Tepe, the ancient city of Tushan, was a provincial capital of the Assyrian Empire, in its day the greatest the world had ever seen. The excavations captured in this innovative book - the governor's palace, military barracks and mansions of the rich - chart the empire's history from its expansion in the early 9th century BC to its dramatic fall three centuries later, providing insights into the daily lives of both the commoners and Assyrian elites who inhabited this ancient frontier city.
Fieldwork over 18 seasons uncovered areas of both the lower town and the great mound of Ziyaret Tepe which looms 22 metres above it, a record of thousands of years of human occupation. Today in southeast Turkey, near the Syrian border, Tushan yielded exceptional finds, such as elaborate wall paintings, a hoard of luxury items burned in a cremation ritual 2,800 years ago, and a cuneiform tablet that hints at a previously unknown language.
The story of the project is told by the specialists who dedicated years of their lives to it. Geophysicists, ceramicists, readers of cuneiform, experts in weaving, board games and Neo-Assyrian politics joined archaeologists, zooarchaeologists, archaeobotanists and many others. But this is no dry field book of dusty digging. Both accessible and scholarly, it is a lively, copiously illustrated record of teamwork, a compelling demonstration of the collaboration - the science, artistry and imaginative reconstruction - that makes modern archaeology so absorbing.