The art work, inscriptions, and architectural plan leave no doubt that the building buried in Area 3 was a church belonging to a congregation of Syriac speaking Christians. Drawing by Professor David Hanlon of the fragments of a 6th century AD lintel found in fragments embedded in the derage (Syriac, "stairs") between the nave and haikal (Syriac, holy room). Half of this lintel was discovered during 1990 in Area 3, Square 13, locus 35. The second half was found during 1992 in Area 3, Square 13, Locus 33. Scale is 5 cm.
Cutaway plan prepared by Professor David Hanlon showing the final phase of the Area 3 church. The nave floor was subdivided into the female (pink) and male (blue) sectors. The narrow passageway (yellow) from the women's sector allowed access to the baptistery.
Fourteen seasons of fieldwork at the archaeological site of Tell Tueninr resulted in dozens of very significant discoveries by the team of archaeologists working under the flag of St. Louis Community College. The first significant discovery came during the summer of 1988 when excavation of a low mound (designated Area 3) proved to be a mud brick church with four distinct architectural phases. Many staff and students worked in Area 3. Professor David Hanlon (STLCC) and Robert McWhorter worked tirelessly in Area 3 and deserve the highest praise for their effort.
Links for more information about Tuneinir:
Area I with occupation from the Islamic Period, Byzantine Period, Roman Period, Hellenistic Period, Parthians, Neo-Assyrians, Middle Assyrians, Babylonians, and Ninevite 5 culture.
Area 2 is a residential quarter of the city situated on the summit of the mound.
Area 3 is a mud brick church used by Syriac Christians from the Late Roman Period into the Islamic Period.
Area 4 is a Medieval caravansarei that included a mesjed (Arabic, small mosque) and weli.
Area 5 is a Medieval hammam (bath) complex
Area 6 is a Medieval suq (Arabic, market)
Area 7 is a humble Caravansarei
Area 8 is a Medieval residential area
Area 9 is a monastery church build by Syriac speaking Christian at the site of a Roman watch tower guarding a Roman bridge over the Khabur River.
Area 10 is a monastery workshop associated with the monastery. Pottery workshop with kilns were discovered as well as a wine press. A broken marble reliquary box was found discarded in this area.
Area 11 is a group of monastic cells from the Medieval period that became a place of martyrdom for several men and women.
Area 51 is called Tell Ahwain (Arabic, ruins of the Brothers) is situated opposite of Tell Tuneinir of the West Bank of the Khabur River. The name of this small tell strongly suggests that it was owned/occupied by a monastic Christian community. That theory was confirmed by some finds and inscriptions. It may have been used as a Caravansarei in the later Medieval period.
Webpage updated 5 July 2020