J5 use areas

Use areas in unit J5

June 2011 - James L. Walker
Synopsis
Discussion

Synopsis

Sacral Borders
^sb1 The combination of the EDIII revetment wall, ^wall2; its two escarpments, ^esc1 and ^esc2; and its glacis, f185. Its purpose was to clearly delimit the border between the sacral area (the BA temple and its mound) from the assembly areas and structures to the south and to the west. v227
^sb2 The combination of the Mittani revetment wall, ^wall3; and its apron, ^aprn1. Its purpose was to clearly delimit the border between the sacral area (the BA temple and its mound) from the assembly areas to the west during the westward retrenchment. v123

Sacral Areas
^sa1 The Mittani staircase, ^strc1; ^bin1; the floors to the west, f70 and f102; and its western border stones, ^brdr1. Its purpose was to provide a transitional area for sacral use - an interface between the lay participants and those who conducted the rituals. v123

Non-sacral Area
f288 A stone pavement to the south and west of the first escarpment, ^esc1. It is the earliest working surface excavated in this unit to date. There has not yet been enough of the feature excavated to determine its function. v212
^nsa1 This area consists of accumulations around a Late Mittani bin in which were found twelve basalt pestals. v22,v13
^nsa2 This area, just outside an early revetment wall, contained evidence of two non-sacred activities. The first were basalt pestals with imbedded bronze fragments. The second was a manufacturing center for clay slingballs. v153

Back to top

Discussion

  A. Sacred Spaces

     There were two ways used in J5 to define and delimit sacred spaces. First, throughout the time extending from before the Early Dynastic period to the end of the Mittani period the BA temple as the highest structure in the city was the focus of religious activity. It was funtionally separated from secular activities by its elevated position and by monumental walls which served as well-defined borders. Outside these walls, plazas of various sizes were connected to the temple complex by monumental staircases.

    1. Wall Borders

      a. The earliest wall border was built prior the the Early Dynastic period and consisted of a massive revetment wall, a baqaya glacis at the wall top, and and two protective escarpments at the wall base. Taken together, these elements physically and visually separate the temple from the rest of the city.
     b. Late in the Mittani period, the monumental revetment wall and its associated southern plaza and east entrance became covered with soil as the surrounding buildings deteriorated. The sacred space, which still included the BA temple and its mound was separated from ordinary activity space by a simpler revetment wall, apron and bin located on the western side of the original revetment wall. For example the rough-stone wall was free-standing and built atop the ruins of the pre-ED monumental structure.

    2. Western Sacred Space

      Not only was the border between sacred and secular space shifted during the late Mittani period expansion, but an entirely new sacred worship space was constructed. It consisted of a staircase, plaza and western border, built on a far less monumental scale than its EDIII predecessor to the south and east.

  B. Secular Spaces

     Two secular use areas have been excavated to date. The first were two accumulations containing twelve basalt pestles, and a pit containing several other larger stones. The second was an open area in and around the top step of a stone staircase. It contained manufactured objects associated with light industry.
Back to top