Tell al-Judaidah, Tell Judeideh

Tell Judaidah (Tell al-Judaidah, Tell Judeideh) is an archaeological site in south-eastern Turkey, in the province of Hatay. It is one of the largest excavated ancient sites in the Amuq valley, in the plain of Antioch. Settlement at this site ranges from the Neolithic (6000 BC) through the Byzantine Period.

The first excavations at Tell Judaidah began in the 1930s, conducted by the American archaeologist James Breasted of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Excavations were continued by Robert Braidwood, and revealed the existence of human settlements in the Amuk valley in the Neolithic period as early as 6,000 BC. Rich discoveries of pottery helped to establish the sequence of successive ceramic shapes in the areas of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Archaeological discoveries at Tell Judaidah included crucibles with tin rich copper encrustations, indicating a very early use of advanced metallurgical techniques around 4500 BC, including the use of metal alloys.

Excavations in 1995 revealed the remains of a thick (1.5 m) wall of mud bricks on stone foundations, dating to the fourth millennium BC.

Very early bronze statuettes were discovered here dating to the period of 3400-2750 BC. These are known as ‘Amuq G figurines’. ‘Wheel-made Plain Simple Ware’ was also discovered dating to the same Amuq G period.

Excavations at Tell Judaidah

Tell Judaidah is one of the largest ancient sites in the Amuq. Standing over 30 meters high, there was settlement at the site ranging from the Neolithic (6000 BC) through the Byzantine Period. The long occupational sequence at Tell Judaidah is what originally attracted Robert Braidwood and the Oriental Institute team to the site in the 1930s. Their excavations at the site were crucial in establishing the cultural sequence of the Amuq. Tell Judaidah is also well known as the findspot of a cache of poly-metallic figurines from the late Chalcolithic (4500 BC). The figurines are the oldest known tin bronzes in the world.

In 1995, the Amuq Survey team returned to Tell Judaidah in order to inspect recent bulldozer cuts along the northern and northeastern skirts of the mound. In some areas, substantial mud brick architecture had been exposed. The sections were cleaned and drawn, and a brief sounding was dug as well. For results of the 1995 season, see the recent and forthcoming publications.

Tell Dhahab

Tell Dhahab is located in near proximity to Tell Judaidah and is associated with it. It was excavated in 1938 in conjunction with the original Chicago expedition to Tell Judaidah. In recent decades, the site sustained serious damage. Scott Branting visited and evaluated the site in 1995 and 1998 seasons. Distinct stratigraphic phases were observed starting with Amuq Phase A. The following pottery styles were found,

  • Dark Faced Burnished Ware
  • Washed Impressed Ware
  • Plain Simple Ware
  • Reserved Slip Ware
  • Red Black Burnished Ware appeared in Amuq Phase H.