Problems Without Passports REL 495: Field Methods in Archaeology: Discovering Ancient Empire

Taught by: Dr. Lynn Swartz Dodd, Associate Professor of the Practice of Religion and Director of the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Undergraduate Major, School of Religion, USC

Problems Without Passports Course Website.

The Amuq Survey field director is USC faculty member Lynn Dodd. Each summer, research teams discover and document ancient sites in the Mediterranean costal region near the ancient city of Antioch (now Antakya). As of 2011, 396 sites had been discovered here. The last 27 were discovered by teams that included students who were participation through USC's Problems Without Passports course.

In June, 2011, our students climbed up a steep mountain and discovered an unknown 1000 year old fortress that once controlled the ancient approach to what became the Crusader principality of Antioch. Earlier that week, they were using ropes to enter a cave in the floor of this valley, and they found ancient habitation there too... from the highest heights to the deepest depths!

The Amuq Survey was started by pioneering archaeologist Robert Braidwood in the 1930s and restarted in the 1990s by Aslihan Yener in collaboration with Tony Wilkinson, who focused on landscape and environment issues with scholars such as Jesse Casana. This survey project offers an opportunity to understand the long and short term effects of human-environmental interactions through time.

Recent work related to this project includes Lynn Dodd's publication of Tell al-Judaidah, a major location of settlement from the Neolitic through Christian period, Marina Pucci's publication of the largest site in the Amuq Plain, Chatal Hoyuk, and the ongoing excavations and publication of the royal Iron Age site, Tell Tayinat, under the direction of Tim Harrison and his team from the Univ. of Toronto; as well as the excavation directed by Aslihan Yener of Koc University in Istanbul at Alalakh (tell Atchana), which was the palatial center of the Bronze Age rulers.

NOTE: Interested students should contact Prof. Dodd ( You will be put on a mailing list and receive additional information as soon as it is available.

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