GOZAN (Heb. גּוֹזָן; Akk. Guzana), an Aramaean city on the western shores of the Habor River, a tributary of the Euphrates. The site of Gozan, now Tell Halaf, was first excavated and explored by M. von Oppenheim (1911–19; 1929). Although Tell Halaf – from which is derived the name of the "Halaf Period," a period in the development of northeastern Mesopotamian polychrome pottery – is in itself a key site in the history of civilization, its chief historical importance lies in the fact that it was the site of Gozan, the capital city of the Aramaean kingdom of Bīt Baḫhiāni (see *Aram) which was established between the 11th and 10th centuries b.c.e. The remains of the administrative and cultic center of Gozan disclosed by the excavations at Tell Halaf are of great importance for the understanding of the development of the mixed Hittite-Hurrian-Mesopotamian peripheric architecture, art, religion, and changing way of life in the first millennium b.c.e. On one of the orthostats there is the first depiction of an Aramaean camel rider. Bīt Baḫiāni and Gozan are first mentioned in the annals of Adad Nirari ii, king of Assyria. It is recorded that inhis seventh campaign, around 894 b.c.e., he gained the submission of Abisalamu (Heb. Absalom) son of the House/Tribe Bahiāni. Although there is further evidence of this submission in the Assyrian annals, further archaeological evidence seems to indicate that there was a short independent period in the history of Bīt Baḫiāni and its capital Gozan. The central figure during this period was (according to this Aramean inscription) Kappara, son of Ḥadijānu (from a new dynasty). It was he who erected the monumental architecture of Gozan during the latter part of the second half of the ninth century b.c.e. which was a period of severe crisis in Assyria, especially between the end of the reign of Shalmaneser iii and that of Shamshi Adad v (between 827–810). This period of independence ended in 808 b.c.e. when according to the Eponym Canon (Cb-i) Gozan was reconquered by Sammuramat (classical Semiramis), the queen mother, and her son Adad-Nirāri iii. By 793 b.c.e. Gozan was already an organized Assyrian province. According to ii Kings 17:6 inhabitants of Israel and Samaria were deported to the area along the "Habor River of Gozan." Assyrian documents discovered in Gozan and in other administrative centers contain information on the life of the inhabitants and deportees. Among these documents is a letter from Ḫabbishu of Samaria to the king (Waterman, no. 6331) which deals with various local affairs, mentioning several Hebrew-sounding names, such as Ni-ri-ia-u (Heb. Neriah), the rab nikāsi, overseer of income (nekhasīm) and Pa-al-ti-ia-u (Heb. Paltiah), and also a woman, all "servants" to the local governor. Another document (Waterman no. 167) speaks of moving inhabitants from Gozan, perhaps to Dūr-Sharrukîn, the new capital of Sargon ii, king of Assyria, according to his policy of population mixing. The sender reports that some people mentioned in his list are missing, for example, Ḫūli the gardener with his family of five. Finally, a deed of slave sale discovered in Gozan (in afo, supplement 6, no. 111) contains many other Hebrew names, such as Da-ana-a (Heb. Dinah); Isīʿa (Heb. Hosea), Milkirāme (Heb. Malchiram), Yasimēl (Heb. Ishmael?); but one of the witnesses is Rīmanni-Ishtār, an Assyrian. The documents date from the late eighth and seventh centuries.
E. Forrer, Die Provinzeinteilung des assyrischen Reiches (1920), index; L. Waterman, The Royal Correspondence of the Assyrian Empire (1930); E. Unger, in: Reallexikon der Assyriologie (1938), 37; J. Friedrich et al., Die Inschriften von Tell Halaf (1940); M. von Oppenheim, Tell Halaf, 2 vols. (1943–50); O. Callaghan, Aram Naharaim (1948); B. Maisler, in: bies, 15 (1949/50), 83–85; A. Malamat, ibid., 99–102; idem, Ha-Aramim be-Aram Naharayim (1952), 47ff.; H. Frankfort, The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient (1954), 172ff., passim; D.D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records (1968), index.