The animal remains of Tell Sweyhat, Syria


  • H. Buitenhuis


(p. 132)

In the later part of the sixties and the beginning of the seventies a number of excavations took place along the Middle Euphrates in Northern Syria. The area was destined to be flooded by the completion of the Tabqa Dam and the consequent formation of Lake Al-Assad. An international rescue operation under the auspices of UNESCO made the excavation of a number of threatened sites possible.

In the years 1973-1975 Dr. T.A. Holland, a member of the British School of Archeology, excavated the settlement mound of Sweyhat (Holland, 1976; 1977). Tell Sweyhat is located c. 3 km from the east bank of the Euphrates River in the Jezireh (map coordinates 36° 17' N - 38° 15' E). It is situated in the centre of a basin surrounded by the high cliffs of the Syrian plateau on the high terrace of the river valley. The tell measures c. 300 x 250 m and is enclosed by an artificial earth work of approximately rectangular shape encompassing an area of 700 x 600 m. Excavations were undertaken in 11 areas of the tell and earth works. All faunal remains originate from these systematic excavations.