About the Region


The CRANE Project focuses on the Orontes Watershed, located in southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria.


The Orontes River originates in Lebanon and flows north through northwestern Syria and into the Amuq valley or “Plain of Antioch” in the Hatay Province of Turkey. Here, it is joined by the Karasu and Afrin tributaries.  The river then bends to the southwest, eventually emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. The river system is some 500 km in length and drains a total area of around 24,000 km.


The valleys and plains of the Orontes Watershed have long been vital communication routes and their fertility made them attractive locations for settlement. Over a century of archaeological survey and excavation in this region shows continuous habitation dating back at least to the Paleolithic.