Depositional data for unit J1

May 2011 - L. Crescioli


     The sequence recorded in J1, i.e. at the base of the Revetment Wall and the Temple Terrace is long and very different between the earlier and later phases. Approximately we can say that during the earlier phases (LC, Ninevite 5 and EDIII) are attested mainly features due to intentional approaches (construction of the Terrace complex), while during later phases (Mittani), the features are due to unintended accretional developments, because of the filling of the Plaza (natural and semi-natural accumulations).
      The first excavated levels are found in the small sounding k130 and are not easily understandable, but we can suppose some kind of mudbrick installation (f356). A large stone structure constituted of two bonded walls (f288 and f259), is possibly dating to Ninevite 5 or Late Chalcolithic, and it seems plausible as part of a very early Temple Terrace. Some deposits contemporary or slightly later to these walls have been found to the South of the excavation area. This is due to the large later intrusions (cuts) for the construction of the EDIII Temple terrace. Ninevite 5 sherds pavement and thin accumulations (f268, f280, f281, f283) were found in the southern part of J1, in k126, while to the West some natural sloping accumulations (f346, f351, f352) abut wall f259. During EDIII, as already mentioned J1, was interested by the major rebuilding of the Temple Terrace. In order to build the Revetment Wall and the escarpment f196 the earlier structures and deposits were in part removed by a large cut. The area at the base of the wall underwent a large water damage (f378), so a new and much larger escarpment (^esc2) was built in order to protect it, together with a nice pebble pavement. Also this escarpment was damaged by the water flowing (f379) in some period after the EDIII. The interesting point is that in J1 we didn't find evidences for the following millennium (Akkadian, Khabur). During Early Mittani many evidences of occupation are found. The first Mittani evidence is the use of the EDIII pebble pavement. After the area underwent a period of abandonment marked by soft natural brown accumulations (f235, f237), probably wind borne, followed by a new pebble and sherd pavement. During the Early Mittani period two "curtain" shallow walls were built as well (^curt1) and (^curt2), probably to protect the base of the Revetment wall both from the water flowing and from people approaching it. Since Middle Mittani the area at the base of the Revetment wall and the Plaza in general started to fill up gradually, probably because of a blockage (some buildings?) along the southern edge of the Plaza itself. So we find meters of natural or semi natural accumulations (^acc1 and ^acc2) constituted of washed material and windborne deposits. At the end of Mittani period the complex was completely covered by soft natural accumulations (^acc3), the Revetment Wall was no longer visible and the whole complex lost its function and was abandoned. For later periods just few scattered evidences of occupation (f372, f374 and f375) are recorded in J1 (k132), probably dating to the very final occupation of the site during Middle-Assyrian period.

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