Tayinat Lower Town Project (TLTP), Turkey

James Osborne is director of the Tayinat Lower Town Project (TLTP), an exploration of the large lower settlement of the archaeological site of Tell Tayinat in Turkey’s Hatay province. This portion of the site – which in the Iron Age was named Kunulua, capital of the kingdom of Patina – is where the city’s non-elite sector was located. The TLTP focuses especially on two long-term research initiatives. The first concerns issues of craft production and specialization: Iron Age cities like Tell Tayinat are thought to be the source of the famous luxury objects made in metals bronze, ivory, and stone that have been found across the entire ancient Near East. His second major research question surrounds the region-wide Iron Age diaspora sparked by the Neo-Assyrian Empire’s policy of forced migration, deportation, and resettlement of conquered regions. Historical inscriptions attest that Kunulua was deported and then repopulated with deportees from southeastern Iraq, offering a rare opportunity to study the material consequences of population movement and culture contact.