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Late Bronze Age Tell Atchana (Alalakh)

Stratigraphy, chronology, history

Amir Sumaka’i Fink


This study re-visits the Late Bronze Age stratigraphy, chronology and history of Tell Atchana (Alalakh) as recorded by Sir Leonard Woolley in the 1930s and 1940s. The author offers both a detailed analysis of the material culture of Late Bronze Age Alalakh and a political history of the region following the destruction of the Level IV palace. The author elucidates the way in which the plans of Tell Atchana that Woolley published are to be interpreted, and the implications of so doing. Next the author establishes the correct location, absolute and relative, of the Level I temples, followed by an analysis of the stratigraphy of the Levels IV–0 temples. Based on the finds in each of the later temples, new data affords a detailed study of the find-spot of the statue of Idrimi, now newly attributed to Level IVB, the first half of the fourteenth century BCE, probably not more than a few decades after the death of Idrimi, king of Alalakh. The same stratigraphic analysis scheme is projected on all the features and structures of Levels V–0, making the author’s approach to Late Bronze Age Alalakh significantly different than that found in previous literature, and significantly revises Woolley’s 1955 Final Report and later studies. Detailed new phase plans for Levels VA-IB accompany this study and the work concludes by presenting consequential material culture data that leads to a proposed absolute chronology of the relevant strata at Alalakh, accompanied by a discussion of the history of Alalakh in the Late BronzeAge.