ANE TODAY – 202009 – Max von Oppenheim and His Tell Halaf –

Among his most sensational finds were several monumental stone sculptures and relief slabs dating from the early first millennium BCE. They originated from the period when Tell Halaf was the site of Guzana, the capital of a Late Hittite-Aramaean kingdom. The first settlers arrived at Tell Halaf in the Late Neolithic (8000 years ago). When the Assyrians invaded the region in the 9th century BCE they turned Guzana into a provincial capital. The Bible describes how the inhabitants of Samaria were deported to the upper reaches of the Khabur following the conquest of the city by Sargon II (721–705 BCE). The place retained its importance even in the Neo-Babylonian period following the fall of the Assyrian Empire. New excavations by Syrian and German archaeologists in 2006–2010 unearthed proof that Guzana had been a place of some standing even in the Achaemenid Period (6th–4th century BCE) and then the Hellenistic Period. It was abandoned permanently only in the 2nd century BCE.
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