Carchemish after a century

The ancient site of Carchemish was identified by George Smith in 1876, and later excavated by the British Museum beginning in 1911. The various directors included Hogarth, Thompson, Wooley, and Lawrence. Many remains of Assyrian and Neo-Hittite periods were uncovered.

Surveys of the vicinity around Carchemish revealed tombs, pottery and weapons from the Middle Bronze Age. The photo shows one such collection displayed in the British Museum.

Pottery found near Carchemish between 1911-1914. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Pottery found near Carchemish between 1911-1914. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The sign that accompanies this display of pottery says,

During the course of the British Museum’s excavations at Carchemish in north Syria between 1911 and 1914, the field directors, Leonard Wooley and T. E. Lawrence, made regular visits to various sites in the vicinity. One such site was Amarneh and it was from here that Wooley acquired large numbers of objects which had been looted from the associated ancient cemetery. The majority of the finds, consisting of pottery vessels and metal weapons, date to the third and early second millennnium BC. Although it is impossible to reconstruct the early tomb groups, it is clear from Lawrence’s notes and sketches that they were large, collective chambers, lined and roofed over with stone slabs, each tomb containing several individuals and hundreds of pots.

The border between Syria and Turkey is now immediately south of Carchemish. The tell is now in Turkey.

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