Depositional data for unit J2

November 2010 - C. Chaves Yates

Fill, dumping, collapse


     The overall sequence of events in J2 in the area in front of the apron can be understood as a long continuous use of the monumental access that is eventually eventually abandoned and eroded and finally covered by brickfall. After the brickfall the area is reoccupied and has areas of intensive use, including ashy areas until the area is finally covered by accumulations and is subject to sporadic scattered use.
     The excavated sequence of J2 begins down in k100 with the earliest excavated levels, a series of sherd and pebble pavements ( ^pv1) associated with the lower staircase (^stair1). These early floors are covered by a sequence of pebble pavements ( ^pv2) that come up to the bottom of the second staircase (^stair2). The sherds in these floors are extremely small (less than 5cm) indicating a heavy use of the area, probably as a street, with access to the staircase. These floors are associated with the last use of the lower staircase after which time the monumental access was constructed. It is composed of the revetment wall that encircles the temple mound, second staircase which covered the first, a large flanking stepped structure called the apron, and a eastern flanking wall that closed off the edge of the staircase. This monumental structure was designed to provide access from the Plaza immediately to the south up to the Temple on top of the terrace. There is a small break (about 40cm) from the top of the pebble floors across to the lowest excavated features in k110, caused by cut of the German trench which was previously excavated. The lowest floor in k110 is after the construction of the monumental access.
     The earliest feature excavated in k110, south of the apron is f381, the mud layer. This layer has many footprints and impressions in it, indicating that it was wet and well-used before it was covered by the layer of ash and reddish chunks (f379) which, with f377, formed the subfloor of the salmon-colored floor f359. The multiple floors in front of the lowest visible step of the apron indicated a heavy use of the area. There are indications of erosion in front of the apron (f376) and then a long sequence of natural depositions including f367, f357, f365, f364 and f363 building up, covering the lowest step of the apron. After the natural accumulations there are several different use periods, with pebble floors (could also be natural accumulations) and finally f355, a sherd floor that probably extends across the gap of k100 into J6. At this point about 2 of the lowest steps of the apron would be covered, but obviously the monumental access continued in use.
      The buildup, probably natural, continued for an indeterminate amount of time. The floors were then eroded by water coming down from the east in J6 which may have removed some floors and has cut all the J2 floors to the east. This water may have caused the large brickfall which is then associated with some small Mitanni curtain walls and some use areas but there the staircase is presumably no longer used as the main access to the temple due to the large build up of collapse, namely brickfall.
     The brickfall was exposed for some time, as the upper layers are very abraded with only small brick crumbles (see J7 brickfall). After the brickfall had abraded the area was reused. There are ashy layers and use areas associated with the large flat stone, f154. Eventually the revetment wall was totally covered and subject to only scattered reuse.
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