Tell Tayinat - Ancient Kunulua


Tell Tayinat is near the northern bend of the Orontes River at the point where it turns west and runs along the southwestern edge of the Amuq Plain. The site is an upper mound (approximately 20 ha), with a sprawling lower mound (an additional 20 ha) now largely buried by the river's flood plain.


Archaeological and epigraphic (inscription) evidence gathered at Tayinat since in the 1930s has revealed a site that first rose to prominence as the principle settlement of the Amuq during the Early Bronze Age. It was probably known by the name Alalahu.

Abandoned from the Middle through Late Bronze Age, Tayinat came to replace Tell Atchana as the primary urban center beginning in the 12th century BCE. Archaeological and epigraphic evidence from Tayinat document the rise of a powerful regional kingdom associated with the "Land of Palistin", ruled by a line of kings with Hittite names, yet with strong Aegean cultural ties. Laterin the Iron Age II, it was transformed into Kunulua, the seat of a powerful regional state called Patina/ Unqi, with a mix of Aegean, Anatolian (or Luwian), and Bronze Age West Syrian cultural traditions.


CRANE Director Tim Harrison started the Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP) as part of the Amuq Valley Regional Project, which has documented the archaeology of the Amuq Plain since 1995.


The primary aim of the TAP is to assemble archaeological data from Tayinat about a succession of prominent, historically attested Bronze and Iron Age polities. This information can then be compared with existing data sets from comparable contexts at rural village sites in the region.


The ongoing work of the Tayinat Archaeological Project and the integration of its impressive dataset into the CRANE Project will further illuminate these fascinating developments at both local and regional scales.