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Natural and cultural aspects of the development of the Marl landscape east of Lake Qatina during the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Philip, G. (2007) 'Natural and cultural aspects of the development of the Marl landscape east of Lake Qatina during the Bronze and Iron Ages.', in Urban and natural landscapes of an ancient Syrian capital : settlement and environment at Tell Mishrifeh/Qatna and in central-western Syria. Udine: Forum Editrice, pp. 233-242. Studi archeologici su Qatna. (1).


This joint Syrian-British multidisciplinary, multi-period archaeological survey project, studies an area of marl landscape east of Lake Qatina. Geomorphological work has shown that the marls are overlain by outcrops of cemented fluvial gravels of Pleistocene date, which fill former channels of the al-Asi river, and which are closely associated with activity of Palaeolthic date. Preliminary analysis of cores from Lake Qatina indicates that while the northern end of lake provides evidence for consistently lacustrine conditions for the last 4000 years at least, the southern end revealed evidence of regular periods of drying-out. The region has been heavily exploited for agriculture over a long period, as a result of which the archaeological record has suffered considerable attrition. Prehistoric settlement is concentrated along the al-Asi, with evidence for a significant expansion to the east during later third millennium BC. A number of small tells are located along a series of seasonal wadi courses some kilometres east of the river. These show intermittent occupation from EBA III/IV through to the Hellenistic period. The tell sites appear to go out of use during the Hellenistic period, during which there is an expansion of dispersed, off-tell settlement, a pattern which continues through the Roman and later periods. In contrast both north Mesopotamia and the southern Levant reveal a major phase of settlement dispersal during the Iron Age. Recent work on the Mari texts suggests that Tell Nebi Mend/Qadesh may be identified with the site of qa-di-sa-a. Not far from Qadesh, and close to Lake Qatina was a fortress called Dur-Ishkhi-Addu, the identification of which remains uncertain at present, although Tell Qatina is a possibility.

Item Type:Book chapter
Additional Information:Proceedings of the International Conference held in Udine 9-11 December 2004.
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Record Created:14 Oct 2008
Last Modified:19 Jul 2010 16:36

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