Abstract: Sacred Symbols and Martyrs at Tell Tuneinir, Syria
Lecturer: Michael Fuller
Rescue archaeological excavations at Tell Tuneinir in northeastern Syria have uncovered ruins of a church, monastery, and nunnery belonging to an Aramaic speaking Christian community. Fourteen seasons of fieldwork at the site have yielded a wealth of material culture (pottery, coins, glass, decorated plaster, animal bones and human burials) that allow for a detailed reconstruction of some aspects of their beliefs and rituals. The most startling discovery was a group of martyr burials, with associated artifacts, within the mudbrick rooms that served as the monk's cells. Professor Fuller co-directs the rescue excavations at Tell Tuneinir and will explain their significance to professional archaeologists, volunteer archaeologists, and the surviving Christian communities in Syria.