Tell Afis is located at the southern edge of the Jazr plain in the Idlib region of northern Syria. The site, measuring 570m x 500m, consists of a very large lower city with an acropolis on its northern edge. After initial excavation in the 1970s, fieldwork resumed in 1986 under a mission jointly directed by Stefania Mazzoni and Serena Maria Cecchini. This volume concerns the excavation of area N, the eastern part of the acropolis. The first chapter describes these field investigations from 2001 until 2007. A detailed analysis of the occupation of the area during the Bronze Age follows. The Middle Bronze Age fortifications are discussed (Chapter II - phase XIf-a), followed by the Middle Bronze to Late Bronze Age transition (Chapter III - phase X) and Late Bronze Age occupation, including various architectural phases dating mainly to Late Bronze II (Chapter IV- phase IX-VIIb), the transition between Late Bronze and Iron Age I (Chapter IV - phase VIIa). Chapter V is entirely dedicated to the occupation sequence of the Iron Age I period of which six major phases with related sub-phases were identified (phases VI-I). Chapter VI compares the ceramic sequences between areas N and E, located in the western part of the acropolis. The final chapter (Chapter VII) places the excavation results in a historical context and re-analyses site B, located in the northern sector of the lower city. The volume concludes with an appendix giving a detailed analysis of the faunal remains of Area N by Barbara Wilkens, in addition to an itemized abstract in Arabic. Each chapter includes an examination of the stratigraphic and architectural data, and the objects found in each context. This is followed by a detailed section examining the pottery from each phase. Extensive illustrations (comprising phased plans, sections, photographs and ceramic tables, accompanied by additional tables and graphs) supplement the text.
Angelo Di Michele obtained a BA in Archaeology and Art History at the University of Bologna, and a PhD in the Archaeology and Art History of the Near East at the University of Turin. He has participated in several archaeological excavation and survey projects: Tell Afis and Arslantash in Syria; Aradetis Orgora in Georgia; Tulul al-Baqarat, BashTapa, Tello/Girsu and the Umma Survey Project in Iraq and Nisa Parthica in Turkmenistan. He currently works as both field archaeologist and pottery specialist in two projects, the Tello/Girsu Archaeological Project and the Umma Survey Project, both in southern Iraq. He is the author of numerous papers in archaeological peer-reviewed journals, as well as book reviews (OCNUS, Orizzonti, Egitto e Vicino Oriente, Mesopotamia) and conference proceedings (Broadening Horizons 3 2010 in Barcelona and 4 2011 in Turin, International Conference of Archaeology of the Ancient Near East 2006 in Madrid; 2008 in Rome and 2012 in Warsaw). In addition, he organized the international conference Broadening Horizons 4, held on 25th-28th October 2011 (along with G. Affanni, C. Baccarin, L. Cordera and K. Gavagnin). He also organized (in collaboration with S. M. Cecchini, F. Venturi and G. Affanni) the photographic exhibition on the excavation of Tell Afis and Syria (Tell Afis: 20 years of excavation), held in the University of Bologna from 15-22 November 2007. With Sara Pizzimenti and Steve Renette, he was a co-convener of the workshop “Ceramic Traditions and Cultural Territories: New research approaches in the study of the South Mesopotamia Pottery” held at the ICAANE, Bologna on April 7th, 2021.