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R. T. H. Dornemann

[‛Amq; Plain of Antioch]

Area in Turkey covered by a rich agricultural plain, watered by the Orontes, Afrin and Kara Su rivers, in a strategic location for routes connecting Syria with Turkey, the coast and Mediterranean maritime trade. In the 1930s a series of ruin mounds of varying date were investigated by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, IL, under the direction of R. J. Braidwood, and a chronological sequence for the region was established, extending back to c. 6200 bc (Amuk A, Neolithic). This Amuk sequence is still the basis for the prehistoric chronologies of north Syria and south-east Anatolia. Most of the finds are in the Hatay Museum in Antakya and in the Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago. A further series of sites, of which Atchana, Tell was the most important, was investigated by a team under C. L. Woolley. Finds from these excavations are mostly in the Hatay Museum, Antakya, the British Museum, London, and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford....



M. J. Mellink

Town in the district of Antalya, south-west Turkey. Elmalı is set in a fertile plain c. 1100 m above sea-level, which is dotted with ancient sites that belonged to Lycia or the Milyad in Classical times. Roads from Lycian coastal sites lead through mountains and river valleys to Elmalı, from where connections upland to Pisidia and Burdur are easy. Excavations of a site of the 3rd millennium bc and of two painted tombs of c. 500 bc were carried out by M. Mellink from 1963 onwards on behalf of Bryn Mawr College, PA. Finds are in the Archaeological Museum in Antalya; the wall paintings remain in situ. In 1986–7 two tumuli excavated by a team from Antalya Museum produced Phrygian and other grave goods of c. 700 to c. 600 bc.

At Karataş-Semayük, excavations revealed a fortified mansion of the early 3rd millennium bc and a village of megaron-shaped houses in which the extensive use of timber is noticeable. In the burial grounds individual and family burials were contained in large jars. Early art is evident in metalwork (e.g. a silver pendant in double-axe shape and a silver pin with boar’s head finial), in designs on terracotta stamp seals and in incised and applied animal figures on pottery. Red polished pottery is decorated with white painted ornament....



Jonathan N. Tubb

[Bibl. Shomeron; Gk. Sebaste; Arab. Sebastiyah]

Ancient capital of the northern kingdom of Israel from the time of Omri (reg 882–871 bc) until the final conquest of the kingdom by the Assyrian king Sargon II in 721 bc. It has been identified with the modern Arab village of Sebastiyah, which lies c. 10 km north-west of Nablus and 40 km west of the River Jordan. The site is situated on a hilltop about 90 m above a large and extremely fertile agricultural plain; more importantly, it stands at the crossroads of two ancient major routes, one passing west to east from the coastal plain, through Shechem to the Jordan Valley, and the other leading north from Judah to Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley. According to biblical tradition (1 Kings 16:24), the hill on which the capital was to be established was purchased by Omri from Shemer (hence the name Shomeron) for two talents of silver. During the reign of Herod the Great (...



Nina Jidejian

[Arab. Saida]

City on the coast of Lebanon, 40 km south of Beirut. Sidon has been a rich source of stone anthropoid sarcophagi and elaborately sculptured marble sarcophagi manufactured between the 6th and 4th centuries bc. The anthropoid sarcophagi were inspired by the Egyptian mummy case but the features and hair of the deceased were sculpted in the Greek style. They appear to be a Phoenician invention. Sidon was first recorded in the royal Egyptian archives at Amarna, (Tell) el-. Homer and Strabo praise the skill of its artisans and it occurs frequently in the Old and New Testaments. The city came under Assyrian and Babylonian domination (900–550 bc) and was incorporated in the Fifth Persian satrapy between c. 550 bc and 330 bc. Sidon welcomed Alexander the Great and was rapidly Hellenized. At his death the city became a possession of the Ptolemies and the Seleucid kings; it came under Roman rule in ...