Kukaniyeh (كوكانية) is a charming and moderately extensive Byzantine-era site in the southwestern corner of Jebel Barisha (جبل باريشا). It overlooks a small valley towards Jebel al-Aala (جبل الأعلى), to the west, and is on the eastern edge of a modern village of the same name. Of particular interest at the site are two principal tombs. One, with its pyramidal roof largely standing, is inscribed 384 AD and said by Archaeologist Howard Crosby Butler to be an example of his first type of “canopy tomb.” The second houses an open and beautifully carved sarcophagus. An inscription notes it is the tomb of Eusebius, a Christian, with the date of 369 AD.
Further up the hill you will find a two-story villa with attractive columns and fine carving. Archaeologist Ignacio Peña notes that the purpose of this building is not clear (religious or farmhouse), but opts to describe it as a monks’ hermitage (hence the tower). Fellow researcher George Tchalenko says it is a guardhouse. He notes that three churches were located in the village. They are located on the eastern edge (fifth century), to the west (sixth century), and on the southern edge (sixth century).
Getting There: Public transportation travels as close as the nearby town of Qurqaniya (قورقنيا), which has somewhat frequent microbus connections with Aleppo (حلب) and Idleb (إدلب). Kukaniyeh (كوكانية) is approximately four kilometers south of Qurqaniya (قورقنيا). It is a pleasant enough walk on foot, and traffic is frequent enough to hitch a ride. Alternatively, a private driver could be hired in Qurqaniya (قورقنيا).
Coordinates: 36°06’53.12″N / 36°36’24.74″E
Transliteration Variants: Kukaniya, Kukanaya, Kukanayeh, Koukaniyeh, Koukaniya, Koukanaya, Koukanayeh, Kokaniyeh, Kokaniya, Kokanaya, Kokanayeh
Rating: (4.5 / 10)