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The Archaeological Site of Kenan Tepe

Kenan Tepe is a multi-period archaeological site located on the north bank of the Tigris River 18 kilometers west of the Tigris-Batman confluence and 12 kilometers east of the modern town of Bismil in Diyarbakır Province, southeastern Turkey. Archaeological research conducted between 2000 and 2011 indicates that Kenan Tepe was occupied during five broad time periods. The earliest remains unearthed at Kenan Tepe belong to the Ubaid period. These remains are concentrated on the eastern slopes of Kenan Tepe’s main mound (Area D). Carbon samples taken from outside three Ubaid structures in trenches D5, D8 and E2 yielded 2-sigma calibrated dates ranging around 4650 BCE, while seriation analysis suggests that Ubaid occupation terminates in the Terminal Ubaid period at approximately 4300 BCE (Parker and Kennedy 2010). Remains dating to the Late Chalcolithic period have been discovered in abundance in the easternmost area of Kenan Tepe’s lower town (Area F) and in several soundings near the high mound (Parker et al. 2003; 2006). Carbon-14 analyses from Late Chalcolithic contexts have yielded dates in the late LC 3 or early LC 4 period (between ca. 3600 and 3500 BCE) and the LC 5 period (ca. 3100 BCE [Creekmore 2007; Parker et al. 2006]). Four more carbon dates from fortification/retaining walls on the high mound show that occupation continued through the Late Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age transition (ca. 3000 BCE [Parker et al. 2006; Parker and Dodd 2005]). An analysis of the ceramics from various areas at Kenan Tepe combined with two carbon dates confirms that occupation at the site probably continued at least through the first half of the Early Bronze Age. Middle Bronze Age remains have been recovered on the eastern, western and northern slopes of the high mound (Areas A, B, C). Carbon-14 analysis places these remains around 1800 BCE (Parker et al. 2003; Parker and Dodd 2003). Kenan Tepe was again occupied in the Early Iron Age as evidenced by the presence of Early Iron Age Corrugated Wares dating between ca. 1050 and 900 B.C. (Parker et al. 2004. Also see Parker 2003).

Suggested Citation

Bradley Parker, Peter Cobb. "Kenan Tepe from Turkey". (2012) In Kenan Tepe. Bradley Parker, Peter Cobb (Eds.) . Released: 2012-03-28. Open Context. <> ARK (Archive):

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Kenan Tepe

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