Survey of Assyrian Monuments

Location: Diyarbakır Province

Years: 1984, 1986-1988

Project Director: H. F. Russell

Participants: Robert Payton, Tuğrul Çakar

Government Representatives: Ahmet Kazim Tosun (1984), M. Akif Yücel (1986), Remzi Yağcı (1987)

In 1984, a project was initiated that aimed at documenting some of Turkey’s significant Assyrian monuments.  In its first season, a team travelled to Diyarbakir Province for two weeks in July.  At the Tigris Tunnel there, they took moulds and photographs of all inscriptions and reliefs, creating paper squeezes and hand-written notes for any particularly unclear passages.  The relief at Eğil was inaccessible in terms of actually obtaining squeezes, and so they took photographs with a telephoto lens that captured enough detail to be helpful in producing drawings.  Upon returning to Ankara, the latex moulds were used to create plaster casts.

Work on this project continued in October and November 1986.  This time, the team focused on reliefs at Karabor in Hatay Province and at Uzunoğlantepe in Adana Province.  Information about these sites had previously been published by Aytuğ Taşyürek.  At Karabor, they took photos and latex moulds of the four relief panels there (depicting male deities and divine symbols), though they were found in poor condition due to erosion, and some of the details could not be made out clearly.  At Uzunoğlantepe, they worked on a single panel (depicting a royal figure) which had also been quite eroded.  While the first is difficult to date, this panel appears to be of late Assyrian date.

In the 1987 season, only one monument was studied: a relief of Shalmaneser III, located at Kenk Gorge near the Sarilar village in Gaziantep.  This, too, had been originally published by Aytuğ Taşyürek.  A 19 line inscription on the relief was mostly legible, and a Latin inscription of Caesar Vespasianus was also discovered some 30m away.  All features were photographed, and a rubber latex mould was taken of the inscription.

In 1988, work on this project was limited to a two-week study season in Ankara during October.  Plaster casts, drawings, and texts were prepared of the monuments studied at Karabor and Kenk Gorge.


1985: ‘The Year’s Work’ Anatolian Studies 35: 11

1987: ‘The Year’s Work’ Anatolian Studies 37: 13

1988: ‘The Year’s Work’ Anatolian Studies 38: 18

1989: ‘The Year’s Work’ Anatolian Studies 39: 14

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Archaeology and Related Disciplines

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