Unit Book J1


Processed on 2023-12-09

Date Author Record
2009-07-31 lC The first 10 days of excavation have already added many new informations to the understanding of J01 area. At first in k127, f294 and f296 are the same and both belong to the second escarpment. Removing this feature it has been noticed that a big ancient cut f321 cuts both part of the early escarpment f309 and of the late Chalcolitic wall f288. This is probably due to a water damage of the early escarpment. In fact the escarpment f196 we uncovered this year has a surface really badly preserved, and we assume that a big amount of water was coming from the west along the revetment wall, that was protected from the water with the escarpment. So in ED III they cut all the damaged part and made a new big escarpment. Next days will be useful to confirm this idea, when we will be able to arrive at the base of the filling of the second escarpment. The excavation in k129, not planned at the beginning, shows again that Mitanni levels, i.e. accumulations and floors, just above probably layer of ED III like the stones f318 that we assume are part of the second or first escarpment that is rising up to the west, together with the level of the plaza. [Input: T731LC.j]
2009-08-06 lC During the second week of excavation we removed all the late layers of k129. As in the other previous J01 excavation we recovered that a sequence of at least three different probably Mitanni (because the pottery has not been analyzed yet) pavements abutting directly earlier surfaces. It is not clear yet if the surface below the last pavement f325 belongs to the early or late escarpment. We have also reached the bottom of the cut/erosion happened probably after the ED II and we don't have yet a clear idea of what above. Next week we will start to remove the material of early escarpment to see the face of the wall f288 and its eventual relationship with the other stone wall f259. This should help us to have a better understanding of what was this area in the Late Chalcolithic period and what happened later. [Input: T808LC.j]
2009-08-13 lC This third week of excavation has pushed us close to the goals of the beginning of the season. Walls f259 and f288 as proposed a couple of weeks ago are related, and in fact are bonded. So also wall f259 is clearly dating to Late Chalcolithic period. The two walls create a kind of L shaped structure, a8. We uncovered wall f288 removing the filling of esc1 that seems showing, for now, almost all LC sherds. This could be explained, as gB and fAB suggest, with a reuse of LC material belonging to a previous mound. The idea is that the LC mound was probably cut in the lower part of the slope and the material reused to make bricks or to create the escarpment. It could also be that the ED people just add a small layer of clay creating the surface of the early escarpment. Wall f259 presents damage to its northern corner and it is probably due to water coming from the West. Below f345 many stones are visible, and we think that all those could belong to the collapse of the two walls. The goals for the next week are to reach the bottom of the wall f288 to see its height and to uncover the western face of wall f259 to see its construction. [Input: T815LC.j]
2009-08-20 lC The last five days of excavation have added more information to our understanding of J1. The small probe sounding k131 shows a sequence of natural floors and natural accumulations sloping more or less sharply to the south. They seem have mixed Late Chalcolithic and Ninevite 5 pottery. The baqaya f353 and the pebble alignment f343 seems continuing to the north and likely they were used in an attempt to divert the water coming from west, or at least to protect the western face of wall f259. This wall seems to be constituted of just a row of stones. The sloping natural floors and accumulations found in k131, going to the north, in correspondence with the break in the wall f344, are cut by strong water erosion that excavated a sort of channel. In k127 we continued to expose more and more stones belonging to the collapse f336 that seems to be formed in slightly different periods of time. We stopped at the level of the floor f348, found to the east and we didn't remove the collapse because it seems interesting for now show it to the eventual visitors, and also because we didn't' have enough time. One of the most important results of the last days is the exposure, even if in a small sounding, of the base of the possible Late Chalcolithic wall f288, that next to the east section is preserved in just a course of stones. No foundation cut is visible in section and the accumulation f355 abutting its base seems dating to LC3. [Input: T915LC.j]
2009-09-01 lC After the official end of the excavation we resumed the work for few days. In k129 we finished to uncover the upper face of wall f288, so it is clearly visible from the kite pictures and we checked that the same wall f288 is not continuing to the west, beyond the corner with the north to south wall f259. This operation was required by the new discoveries in J5, where right at the base of the revetment wall was found a line of stone likely belonging to a wall possibly dating to Late Chalcolithic period. The wall was more or less in line with the J1 wall f259 so it was important to check an eventual relationship between them. The last three days we excavated on top of the ED III revetment wall f72 in order to make easier eventual conservation works. In fact we removed just a portion of two south projecting spurs, because right below the topsoil we exposed few badly preserved structures, likely showing a very late scattered occupation in the site. The pottery has not been analyzed yet, but the structures are probably dating to very end of Mittani or to Middle Assyrian period. [Input: T915LC.j]
2009-09-20 lC (Part 1) The excavation in J1 was directed this year to check the nature of the stones found last year at the very end of the season in the small sounding k128 and to investigate the earlier levels, probably belonging to the Late Chalcolithic period, below the ED III structures belonging to the terrace complex. The results are very interesting. First of all the structure f288 found in the sounding is clearly a wall running in an easterly direction. Moreover this EW wall is bonded to another wall, preserved even at a higher elevation and running north to south. Since last year we were assuming on the base of the stratigraphy that these two walls could be contemporary and in fact they are. So wall f288 and f259 form an L shaped structure that we are assuming, on the base of its nature and location it could have the same purpose of the later ED III terrace complex. Unfortunately the date for this structure is not sure yet. In the small sounding k130 we reached the base of wall f288 and we removed the accumulation f355 abutting its base with pure LC3 sherds. So far just few sherds were recovered and more extended excavation is required to have a sure date. But in general it seems plausible a same function for these structures assuming the existence of a Late Chalcolithic mound and a Late Chalcolithic plaza, involving an extraordinary continuity of meaning and use for this sacral area. The situation in the northern half of J1 is complex because of the later cuts and the strong erosion that damaged in antiquity the structure at the base of the revetment wall f72. So it is very difficult to reconstruct the depositional history of this area at the base of the temple terrace. [Input: T920LC.j]
2009-09-20 lC (Part 2) Another important result was the clear definition for the date of the escarpments. The first escarpment ^esc1 is dating to the ED III like the following ^esc2. The reconstruction of the escarpment after a short period of time is due, not to the rise of the plaza, but to the big erosion that damaged deeply the surface of ^esc1. So in order to protect the base of the wall a much higher escarpment was built using dumping bricky material, in which have been found many sealing impressions (i71, i72, i78, i79, i80). This massive erosion also created a break in the northern portion of wall f259 excavating a sort of channel f344. In k129 we checked the already recorded direct over position of Mittani pavement and accumulations on top of Ninevite 5 levels. In fact these natural Mittani accumulations abut the southern eroded surface of the ^esc1 and ^esc2 and the Mittani pebble and sherd pavement f325 is directly on top of sloping Ninevite 5 natural accumulations and floors. In k131 was excavated a small sounding to check the width of wall f259 and the stratigraphy to the west of it. These natural levels abutting the western face of wall f259 show a pottery mixed with LC and Ninevite 5 sherds. My explanation is that the wall, being a sort of retaining wall, was built against some material, but in a second moment the water erosion removed these levels and brought other mixed material forming these natural accumulations abutting the wall. [Input: T920LC.j]