General introduction and the excavation aim
At least two ceramic kilns of the Khabur period were found in locus k13 of A15 in the last days of this excavation season. Generally the accumulation contained some kiln waster and burnt bricks, but it was not localized to a particular section of the locus. A single course of vertically laid brick was found in the western half and these bricks were bounded on the east by an arc of vitrified soil. No ash was present so we concluded that this may have been part of a kiln, but there was no way to test the hypothesis. The material was photographed and the excavation continued. Again, we saw pieces of burned and vitrified soil, but they were scattered and unorganized. Sixty centimeters further down we again encountered evidence of a kiln. Also, we saw some evidence of pit kilns in the south baulk of k13 and the north baulk of k3. However, the excavation season came to an end before these could be explored in more detail. When the ceramic specialist came to Tell Mozan and inspected the locus, she realized that the main parts of two kilns were preserved. She recommended that we excavate them immediately and this was accomplished from August 18 to 21.
As it turned out, the layer of bricks first discovered lay directly above the northernmost kiln, but it is impossible to tell if the two were related.
Around the kiln area, a good amount of kiln waste and burnt fragile bricks had been observed. In this site, Tell Mozan, pale green to white cream pottery sherds are mainly found. These types are thought to be items from domestic production. To understand the past domestic industries and techniques, careful survey on these two kilns was conducted.
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Excavation procedures and a brief abstract
At the beginning of the excavation, we confirmed the exact locations of the kilns from the ground surface. One was located on south part of the area; one half of the upper part of the kiln still remained in a baulk (south kiln). A part of green slag-like hard layer was observed in the section. It seemed to be an interior surface of the kiln.
Another kiln (north kiln) was located on the western edge of the area. It was about 2m northwest of the south kiln. A circle of green glassy slag was identified. It measured over 2m in diameter. Orange coloured burnt soil surrounded this kiln about 10-20cm from the circle. At first glance, the north part of this circle seemed to be cut by another accumulation.
Next, we excavated half in order to examine their accumulations and sections. The main part of the south kiln had already been partly excavated with the baulk. We kept excavating the other half which was the northern part of the kiln. As for north kiln, it seemed to have a half circle, we made a ¼ cut in a N-S direction and dug the east part. 5-7 layers of green hard material were observed on the rim part (N-kiln ¼ top plan). After 30-40cm digging, the interruption by another accumulation finished, therefore, we decided to expand another ¼ west to examine the kiln’s section.
From the lower part of south kiln, a lot of ceramic slag and what appeared to be goat dung were found with four small Khabur globular bowls. Below this level, white soft ash and black soft ash appeared with another three similar bowls. Below the ash layer, a white plaster surface was excavated. It was not flat as would be typical for a floor; however it was determined that was the bottom of this south kiln.
From the above results, the importance of the excavation of these kilns was clear. Thus, we expanded by digging the south bulk to reveal whole shape of the kiln.
From this excavation of the baulk, we did not find any evidence of the upper structure of the kiln. Few burnt bricks and vitrified materials were identified. From the upper portion of the kiln chamber, a lump of raw red clay (i224), a calcite crystal (A15q708.4) and a fragment of a grinding stone (A15q708.3) were found. From the ash deposit of the bottom of the kiln, one Khabur globular bowl was excavated along with some other sherds.
Although one south part of the kiln rim was missing, the shape of the kiln was identified as oval.
The north kiln was relatively better preserved than the south kiln. The accumulations were quite clearly observed. There were some burnt fragile brick fragments; however, they were not enough to be identified with any particular portion of the kiln structure (such as shebak).
Under the brickfall accumulation, alternating black/white/black ash layers were identified. From the white ash layer, Khabur globular bowls were found. They were extremely similar to the bowls from the south kiln. In addition, from the deepest black ash layer, two different parts of a plaque decorated with the figure of a woman in high relief and a crucible were excavated.
We expanded to the north to dig the rest of the kiln. The north kiln was preserved in a similar fashion as the south kiln in that a portion of the kiln rim was missing. However, we had enough evidence to conclude that the north kiln also had an oval shape and was larger than the south kiln.
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Descriptions of kilns
|South kiln (A15a31)||North kiln (A15a30)|
|Plan||Oval (E-W)||Oval (E-W)|
1.97m (E-W), 1.20m (N-S)
1.05m (E-W), 0.55m (N-S)
1.80m (E-W), 1.60m (N-S)
1.05m (E-W), 0.65m (N-S)
0.80m (Flue? Window?)
|Floor||White plaster, 7-10cm thick||none|
|Structure||Single chamber||Single chamber|
|Flue/door||East part||West part|
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South kiln (A15a31) (see plan drawing, section and elevation)
The south kiln shows an oval pit like structure. On the east side, it has a stepped portion. From this area, a lot of ash was observed. Relatively, the soil of the east side is not fired as the west part. Beside the step, on the north side, one brick was observed as a wall. On the south side, 6 rows of brick were observed. They may have played a role as a window or a hole for firing materials. The east part of the interior wall was extremely well fired. Green glassy layers were observed. Along with the green layer, orange burnt soil was observed. Except for the bricks on the east part, there was no brick structure as an exterior structure. It means that the kiln was cut into a sloping terrain directly.
The bottom of the kiln was flattened carefully. On that bottom, a 7-10cm thick white plaster (f359) was applied. A layer of ash (f349) surrounded the plaster, which was not flat as a floor. On the plaster, some melted ceramic sherds were observed. A 20-40cm layer of grey-white ash filled in the kiln (f347). From layer, some burnt brick fragments and sherds were found. The ash particles were quite fine and piled softly, so, it was easily dug. Above this ash deposit, a lot of green kiln waste with animal dung shape materials was excavated (f345). Some fragments of animal bones were also found from this level. The kiln waste was hard and porous. In many cases the ceramic sherds were covered with this green waxy material. Some sherds were melt and attached together. The accumulation covering the kiln was occupied with a single accumulation which contained some fragments of burnt mudbricks, kiln waste and ceramic sherds (f56). This layer was very hard and white. It is possibly because of alkali of ash from the kiln. In the process of excavating the south baulk, we made a separate locus for the material in the upper part of the extant bowl(f350), because the north portion had been accidentally excavated as part of accumulation, f56, without realizing that a pit kiln, a31, was a part of that feature.
The west part of the interior kiln was well fired and showed deep green colour. It indicates that the wind should have entered from east side. This evidence fits very well with the fact that we found the kiln door on the eastern door. Although the green layers were overlapped at some points, basically they were of a single or double thick (2-3cm) layer. We can conclude from this that this kiln was not used many times.
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North kiln (see plan drawing, section and elevation)
This kiln also had a pit-like structure with a window. This north kiln shows similar oval shape as the south kiln, however, it measures deeper and wider form.
As a remarkable difference, this kiln has a window in west side as opposed to the south kiln. Therefore, the east side of the interior kiln was well fired and showed a deep green colour. On the north side of this window like structure, there were three rows of mud bricks. It is very similar to the structure of the south kiln. These bricks were possibly associated with this window structure.
The top of the kiln was formed by a single layer of mudbricks laid vertically, N-S; the surface of these bricks is patterned by strong lines made with fingers. Because it was very brittle layer and did not have any support structure beneath it, we could not conclude whether this layer was a brickfall from the upper missing part or upper construction itself. Around the top rim of this kiln, a tremendous amount of kiln waste was layered (see ¼ plan). At least 6 layers of this green waste were observed. Furthermore, the colour of the exterior soil of this kiln was changed to orange because of heat. From this we may conclude that this north kiln was used more frequently or for a longer period of time than the south kiln.
The bottom of this kiln did not show any evidence of white plaster, however, brown soil was packed as hard as a floor. On the bottom, three layers of ash were observed (f355). These three layers were extremely soft. The top was black ash, then white ash and black. From this deepest black ash layer, a plaque decorated with the figurine of a woman in high relief (A15j1) and a crucible (A15q715.4) were found. The woman figurine was broken in two parts (body and legs) and also showed some missing parts on her back. It seems that the figurine was damaged during the firing because the broken parts were apparently clay connection parts. From a white ash layer (f354) above these three ash layers, at least four small Khabur painted bowls (i227, A15i227p1-3) were observed. This white ash layer contained a lot of kiln waste and some of them were in the shape of animal dung. As a general observation, the kiln waste from this layer had a whiter colour than the other kiln waste we excavated. It might have been caused by the high firing. This waste was easily crushed between fingers.
Above this layer, there was a black ash layer which contained a lot of calcareous particles. It did not include any important artifact. On the top of this layer, a layer which contained a lot of green kiln waste and white calcareous particles was observed (f353). From this layer, also a small head of figurine (i226) was excavated. Moreover, this layer contained various ceramic sherds (A15q713p1-4). Two of them (A15q713p3,4) may indicate the re-use of pre-Khabur period ceramics for this kiln. These may have been used as a sort of pottery stand in a kiln like mud bricks. They were heavily fired but unevenly.
Above this layer, a brown sandy layer was observed. Then, grey-brown packed soil covered this layer (f352). In this gray brown soil, there were many pieces of burnt bricks but they were quite powdery and not enough to reconstruct any upper structure. They seemed like a brickfall from above.
Brown soil with brick chunks was widely spread on top of this kiln (f56). It measured 10-50cm deep. Near the kiln window-like structure, some other Khabur globular bowls were observed (A15q707p1,3).
The center core of this kiln was filled with a white accumulation (f327). Containing burnt brick chunks. The soil itself was extremely hard. From here, an architectural model with a painted and nitched door was excavated (i212).
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Artifacts from each kiln
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Above the kiln, baulk area (f56): Pottery sherds (A15q705p1-2, 4), unfired pottery sherd (A15q705p3), melted sherd (A15q705p6)
A sherd of a painted Khabur large bowl (A15q705p1) possibly measures 25cm in rim diameter. It has a carination on the middle portion of the body. Its rim is painted in a radial pattern with red slip. This bowl is 7.3cm high and the body wall is 8mm thick. Body 7.5YR 8/2, paint 2.5YR5/6.
A sherd of a small painted Khabur globular bowl (A15q705p2) possibly measures 9.5cm as a diameter. It contains some calcareous particles. The rim is only 2mm thick and is slightly outturned. It has a slightly concaved disk base. Just beneath the rim, there is one painted line, and on the upper half of the body, there are three parallel painted lines. The body wall is 4.5mm thick. Body 5YR7/6, paint 2.5YR6/6.
A sherd of a painted Khabur globular bowl (A15q705p4) possibly measures 19.5 as a diameter. Its rim is round and sharply outturned. The whole rim has black paint. At least two parallel black lines remain on the upper half of the body. The body wall is 8mm thick. Body 5Y8/2, paint 2.5YR5/2.
A piece of unfired pottery (A15q705p3) was found during cleaning. It is a rim part and possibly measures 21cm as a diameter. This rim was made in a round simple shape. This is one of the good items which re-constructs the workshops of Khabur period. Several melted sherds were observed. All of them had a collapsed body and were therefore quite distorted. One of these kiln wasters (A15q705p6) shows small Khabur globular bowl shape which is the same as bowls from this kiln. It shows a green colour.
South rim of the kiln (f350): raw red clay (i224), calcite crystal (A15q708.3i1), a part of a grinding stone (A15q708.3i2)
The red clay (i224), was found in the shape of a clay lump. This red clay does not contain many inclusions and is very hard and heavy. It weighs 1.7kg. This clay is very similar to red clay which was found A7 in MZ12.
One calcite crystal (A15q708.4) was found in the baulk part. It measures 3x3x5cm. This kind of calcite crystal, calcium carbonate, is always observed from cooking pots as crashed particles. Although this crystal might not be associated with any pottery production, we kept it as a reference.
A 1/4 piece of a grind stone (A15q708.3) was also found near this level. This is made from typical black basalt stone. One surface is quite flat. This is also kept as a reference.
Middle of the kiln, heated brick chunks and kiln wastes (f345): 3 small painted Khabur globular bowls (i213, i214), one of them was deformed during firing (i215), several overfired sherds (A15q698p1-2)
One small painted Khabur whole bowl (i213) measures 9.9cm in rim diameter. This is the biggest bowls among three. Its rim is outturned slightly. Just beneath the rim, there is a one painted line; and on the upper half of the body, there are three more parallel painted lines. It has a concave disk base and measures 4.1cm in diameter, is 9.0cm high, 4.0mm thick body wall. Body 5Y7/2, paint 5Y3/1.
The same shape Khabur whole bowl (i214) measures 7.7cm in rim diameter. It leans slightly. Its rim is outturned. Just beneath the rim, there is a one painted line and on upper half body, there are three more parallel painted lines. Its bottom is a concaved disk base and measures 3.0cm in diameter. It is 7.0cm high and 4.0mm thick body wall. Body 5Y7/2, paint 5Y3/1.
Deformed small whole Khabur globular bowl (i215) possibly measures 9cm as a diameter. Its rim is outturned. Its disk shaped bottom is slightly concaved and 3.2cm in diameter. The bowl is 7.0cm high and 4.0mm thick body wall. Overfiring in the kiln may have caused this distortion. Just beneath the rim, there is one painted line; on upper half body, there are three more parallel painted lines. Body colour shows apparently green, 5Y7/2. Paint 5Y3/2.
Overfired sherds (A15q698p1-2) All of them were collapsed and distorted. One of them (A15q698p2) shows in a small Khabur globular bowl shape as which is the same bowls from this kiln. It is green colour and possibly overfired causing this colour and distortion.
Bottom part of the kiln, with white ash deposit plus kiln waste (f347): 1 small painted Khabur globular bowl (i219), a sherd of painted bowl (A15q702p1), a sherd of painted jar (A15q702p2), ceramic slag (A15q702.1), a wheel-like clay item (i220)
One small painted Khabur whole bowl (i219) measures 7.7cm in rim diameter. Its rim is outturned slightly. Just beneath the rim, there is a one painted line and on upper half of the body, there are three parallel painted lines. It has concaved disk base and measures 3.2cm in diameter. The bowl is 7.3cm high and 3.5-4.0mm thick body wall. Body 10YR7/3, paint 10YRY2/2.
A sherd of a painted bowl (A15q702p1) measures 9.5cm in rim diameter. Its wide rim is slightly outturned. On the rim, there are at least 4 paint lines which go radial direction. The body has a carination on the middle. The body wall is 5mm thick. Body 10YR7/3, paint 10YR4/1.
A sherd of a painted jar (A15q702p2) measures 9.0cm in rim diameter. Its wide rim is outturned. The rim and neck part have red paint. The body wall is 4.5mm thick. Body 7.5YR7/4, paint 10R5/8.
A lot of vitrified materials as ceramic slag (A15q702.1) were excavated with white ash, fragments of animal bones and kiln wasters. The vitrified materials show glassy and waxy green-black. Often the material attaches with ceramic sherds. Many of them show small round pebble-like shape. They seem to be associated with animal dung (sheep or goat). They are hard and sometimes black and green. It is possible that their elements were replaced with waste in the kiln. Therefore, the round form is preserved well like fossil. Moreover, there were some fragments of animal bones with these round materials. It shows that animal dung and bones were used as firing materials (fuel) for baking pottery. A bone fragment was preserved clearly and attached on a kiln waster (A15q696.4f327). It shows that the fragment was not baked in high temperature even it was covered with vitrified material. Thus, we concluded that potters should have put firing materials such as bones and dung continuously into the kiln, during firing. Detailed chemical reactions of this phenomenon have to be examined in near future.
A wheel-like clay item (i220) measures 3.3x3.7cm and 2.2cm thickness. This item seems to be a wheel, however, it has no axle hole. 10YR7/4.
As other items, 2 sherds of cooking pots were found with white ash, ceramic slag and animal dung like materials.
Ash layer (f349) in the vicinity of the bottom floor of the kiln, white plaster surface (f359): 4 small painted Khabur globular bowls (i221-223, 225), 2 pottery sherds (A15q709p1-2)
One small painted Khabur whole bowl (i221) measures 7.8cm in rim diameter. Its rim is outturned sharply. Just beneath the rim, there is a one painted line; and on the upper half of the body, there are three more parallel painted lines. It has a concave disk base and measures 3.0cm in diameter, is 7.3cm high, 3.0-3.5mm thick body wall. Body 5YR8/4, paint 10R5/6.
A half of small painted Khabur globular bowl (i222) measures 8.5cm in rim diameter. Its rim is outturned. Just beneath the rim, there is a one painted line; and on the upper half of the body, there are three more parallel painted lines. It has a concave disk base and measures 3.2cm in diameter, is 6.7cm high, 3.5-4.0mm thick body wall. Body 2.5Y8/2, paint 7.5Y4/4.
One small painted Khabur whole bowl (i223) measures 8.2cm in rim diameter. Its rim is outturned. Just beneath the rim, there is a one painted line; and on the upper half of the body, there are three more parallel painted lines. It has a concave disk base and measures 3.4cm in diameter, is 6.85cm high, 3-4.0mm thick body wall. It was jointed with a sherd, A15q702pf347. Body 5Y7/4, paint 10Y4/6.
A half of small painted Khabur globular bowl (i225) measures 9.5cm in rim diameter. This is the biggest bowls among four. Its rim is outturned sharply. Just beneath the rim, there is a one painted line; and on the upper half of the body, there are three more parallel painted lines. It has a concave disk base and measures 3.6cm in diameter, is 8.6cm high, 3-4.5mm thick body wall. It has a crack near bottom caused by overfiring. Body 10YR7/3, paint 10YR4/3.
A sherd of a bowl (A15q709p1) measures 10.5cm in rim diameter. Its rim is simple. The body wall is 3mm thick. Body 7.5YR8/4.
A sherd of a large painted jar (A15q709p2) measures 19cm in rim diameter. Its round rim is slightly outturned. Top of the rim is painted. The body wall is 5mm thick. Body 7.5YR7/4, paint 10R4/1.
As other items, two rim sherds of Khabur large jars and sherds of cooking pot were detected. In addition, many bottom sherds, which seemed to split open during firing, were found from this layer.
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Top part of the kiln, hard soil (f327): Portion of painted door model (i212)
This piece is the central portion of a model of a rectangular building façade. The façade is modeled in three rectangular sections placed one inside the other which resemble nitches in the typical nitched doorways and facades of temple architecture. While it is not carefully painted, the exterior and the interior portions of the door nitching are highlighted by the addition of straight but somewhat irregular lines in black paint. One dot of this paint has been placed directly over the center of the door. On the left hand side the exterior most line is thick, extending around the edge of the model and upward, beyond the exterior line of the frame. This upper portion is not preserved sufficiently to determine whether or not it is the continuation of the door or a part of some upper architectural element. The model is three dimensional in that part of the left side is preserved and it too has two nitches both with traces of paint placed in vertical straight lines but on this side also with a horizontal line joining them. Since the horizontal line is thick but not well preserved it may also have been part of a decorative design. In all likelihood the right side is also modeled in this fashion as the small trace of the edge is rounded and painted.
On the broken reverse the piece is very rough with a granulated texture. The interior portion of the door façade is roughly smoothed with a stick. The pieced is probably built up in sections (slab technique) and it is broken between two of these sections.
One seal impression from A6 A6q348.1 f105) shows in its iconography a small portion of a monumental doorway. This doorway is not nitched all the way across the façade but may be partially nitched near the doorjamb. The seal is slightly earlier than the door model. It measures 7.2x4.5x1.8cm. 2.5Y8/2, paint 2.5Y2/0. (MKB)
Accumulation on the kiln window like structure (f348): 2 sherds of two small painted Khabur globular bowls (A15q707p1,3), a sherd of a jar (A15q707p2)
The sherd of a small painted Khabur globular bowl (A15q707p1) measures 8.0cm in rim diameter. The rim is slightly outturned. Just beneath the rim, there is one painted line, and on the upper half body there are three parallel painted lines. The body wall is 2mm thick. Body 2.5Y7/2, paint 2.5Y5/4.
As similar sherd as above, another piece of a small painted Khabur globular bowl was found from this layer (A15q707p3).
The sherd of a jar (A15q707p2) measures 22cm in rim diameter. The rim is rounded outturned and folded. Its exterior surface is well-polished like cooking pots. The body wall is 6.5mm thick.
Under the brickfall accumulation (f353): The sherd of a strainer (A15q713p1), a sherd of a small jar(A15q713p2), two coarse and rough sherds (re-used sherds) (A15q713p3,4), a kiln waste with animal dung like materials(A15q713p5), clay woman’s head (i226)
The sherd of a strainer(A15q713p1) measures 11.5cm in rim diameter. This strainer is 3.7cm high and mm thick. Body 5YR6/6.
The sherd of a small jar(A15q713p2) measures 4cm in rim diameter. Its rim is simple and wide. The body wall is 2.5mm. The rim part has black paint. Body 10YR8/1, paint 5YR3/1.
Two sherds of two coarse vessels (A15q713p3,4) were also found from this layer. The sherds are hardly fired and fragile. These sherds could possibly be re-used as pottery stands (?) from an ealier period.
A kiln waste was observed with animal dung like material attached to it (A15q713p5).
The head of a female figurine (i226) measures 2.5x2.0x3.6cm. Its clay is fired very well. The texture and inclusions are similar to pottery. On the head part, three fine clay ropes are attached representing of hair. Its anterior hair, two eyes and mouth are coloured with black paint. Body 10YR7/3, paint 10YR4/2.
White ash in the lower part of the kiln (f354): one small painted Khabur globular bowl (i227), and three sherds of the same shape bowls (A15i227p1-3)
One small painted Khabur whole bowl (i227) measures 8.4cm in rim diameter. Its rim is simple. Just beneath the rim, there is a one painted line; and on the upper half of the body, there are three more parallel painted lines. It has a slight concave disk base and measures 3.5cm in diameter, is 6.7cm high, 3.5mm thick body wall. Body 10YR7/2, paint 10YR3/2.
A sherd of a small painted Khabur globular bowl (A15i227p1) measures 7.0cm in rim diameter. Its rim is slightly outturned. Just beneath the rim, there is a one painted line; and on the upper half of the body there are three more parallel painted lines. Its disk base is missing. The body wall is 3.5mm thick. Body 10YR7/3, paint 10YR3/2.
A sherd of a small painted Khabur globular bowl (A15i227p2) measures 9.0cm in rim diameter. Its rim is simple. This bowl’s mouth leans towards inside. Just beneath the rim, there is a one painted line; and on the upper half of the body there is one parallel painted line. It is 2.0mm thick body wall. Body 10YR7/3, paint 7.510R4/3.
In addition to the above pieces, there is one small sherd of similar bowl.
Black ash in the bottom part of the kiln (f355): a sherd of a jar (A15q715p1), a crucible for bronze (A15q715.4), a plaque decorated with the figure of a nude woman in high relief (A15j1)
A sherd of a jar (A15q715p1) measures 13cm in rim diameter. Its rim is outturned. The body wall is 7mm and includes some mica, chaff temper and a little amount of calcareous particles. Since this accumulation was filled with extremely fine soft black ash, most of sherds show a dark gray colour. 2.5Y4/2.
A crucible (A15q715.4) was also found in the bottom of the kiln. It has very sandy clay not like other pottery. It weighs 140g, so is quite heavy. If it was used as a crucible for melting bronze, containing a lot of sand particles is very understandable. It measures 10x6x3cm. A mold for bronze production was also excavated from upper part of this area (A15q657.1/i209 (f56)). It is possible that this pottery workshop produced various tools and items for the other workshops.
A plaque decorated with the figure of a woman in high relief (A15j1) is a unique object. First, the body part was founding the black ash (i228) and then the legs part was found during sieving (A15q715.5). This plaque is also heavy. The body weighs 237g and the legs portion 24g. A nude woman stands in the front of the portion a U-shaped backing. It may possibly present a hammer shape. This lady has hair or a hat on her head. The two breasts are held by her hands. Her arms are missing. The lower half of her body is painted.
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Throughout observation on the artifacts from both kilns, it is clear that the small globular Khabur bowls have an important key.
From the north kiln, we excavated 6 bowls (1 in whole) and from the south kiln, we excavated 9 (5 in whole). Roughly speaking, we can divide these bowls to two groups, north kiln and south kiln. Among one group, there are various size and colour variations. However, these simple pit-like chamber may have had a limitation to control fire. I think that colour variation is an accidental factor; such as pottery location inside the kiln, etc. As for size variety, it should be an intentional factor. We can observe two ambitious groups; large bowl (10cm in rim diameter, 8cm high) and small bowl (8cm in rim diameter, 6cm high).
As an important difference between two kilns, the bowls from the north kiln have simple rims and ones from the south kiln have sharp outturned rims. This may be associated with individual technical diversity (difference of craftmen) or time differences. These two groups will be interesting assemblages for typological analysis. If the vessels from one group were made by one craftman, it is also significant opportunity to define a range of individual characteristics.
As for the white floor in the south kiln, we concluded that it worked as a separation from soil. Soil in this area contains a lot of calcium component which produces waxy slag-like material by heat. To avoid getting it onto pottery, craftmen may have put this layer on the bottom. Regards a reason why the north kiln does not have any plaster floor, we have not made a reasonable consensus.
From the artifacts, it is no doubt that the potters baked various items and various shapes of pottery in the kilns. Even they made tools for metal workshops and non-practical use items such as figures, too. I imagine that they piled lots of vessels in the kiln. It may be the last firing when they baked the small Khabur bowls. As our hypothesis, if they put vessels and firing materials together in the kiln and continuously added firing materials, it may have been difficult to control firing temperatures. The amount of kiln wasters and misfiring ceramics will be good evidences. Also such small bowls may have been easily fallen to the deep bottom which filled with ash. It may have been difficult to collect them after firing.
Regarding the structure of the kilns, it is not easy to reconstruct a clear image because we missed the upper part. Although it is clear that potters at Khabur period constructed quite simple kilns and managed them very well. For instance, Neolithic potters or modern potters in this area used double-chamber kilns very commonly. That kind of kilns do not necessary to rebuilt so often. On the other hand, this single pit-like kiln had to rebuild (or moved) in short time because the green waxy materials might have caused troubles for making fine products. In Tell Mozan, there are several examples of ceramic kilns. At A7 area, a similar kiln (a20) of Khabur period was excavated. It measured 120cm in rim diameter, 80cm in bottom diameter and 140cm deep. The kiln had a flue structure on the north side, however, it was also quite simple single chamber structure. From the excavation of this season, at least 5 pottery kilns were excavated. There were condensed pottery kilns in the same area in short period. Therefore, this may prove above hypothesis which the potters had to rebuild (or moved) in short time.
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