The earliest excavated levels at Ziyaret Tepe date back to the beginning of the Early Bronze Age, roughly 3000 BC. It’s possible that even earlier remains are buried at the bottom of the citadel mound, but it would be very difficult to get to them.
Most of our digging this year will concentrate on the Late Assyrian period, c. 882 -611 BC at our site. Here is a simple timeline from our website that shows the chronology of the Assyrians.
During this time, the city was called Tushhan and it served as a regional center of the Assyrian Empire. The imperial center was located in what is now modern day Iraq. The Assyrians, at the height of their political and military power, controlled a vast area from Egypt to Iran. Ziyaret Tepe, at the northern edges of the empire, served as a military strongpoint guarding the great Assyrian cities, such as Nineveh, to the south from invasion.
After the Assyrians abandoned the city in 611 BC, there were only sporadic occupations on the citadel mound. During the 13th and 14th centuries AD, there was a small farming village on the high mound. We expect to find some of the remains from this medieval occupation at the beginning of the season.