Unit Book J1


Processed on 2023-12-09

Date Author Record
2005-07-31 cvp For reasons explained elsewhere, the original strategy prepared for this season here (the use of backhoe) is cancelled, so we are going to dig it by hand. As there are no more people with experience, I am appointed to be in charge for the unit, even if I have just 1 season of experience with the recording system. That is why gB and fAB are going to be always at hand to help and counsel. The rest of my field team would be vS, jS and pC. The trenches are not going to follow the old direction, it is going to be changed in order to match with the general grid of the J area. To have a complete seriation of the pottery from top to bottom, we are going to open a small locus, more or less 1.5 x 4 m, where the pottery is going to be more carefully recorded by mKB and studied for publication. As the soil here seems to be very hard and compact, we are going to dig it using artificial layers 5-10 cm deep, even if the system would change if we find clear real layers. [Input: P731CVP.j]
2005-08-02 cvp As we open the new squares with the new orientation, the space remaining on two of the new loci would be not rectangular but trapezoidal. Then a big part of their surface would coincide with part of the space of the old squares excavated in 2003. Also, as we change the orientation and the aim of the excavation in this area, we are also giving new numbers to the loci, not following the series given in 2003. So the trapezoidal "squares" touching k9 and k10 would be k22 and k23. Even if the opening of those two were clear, we were yet unsure about how to proceed with the opening of the rest. With the presence of gB, mKB and fAB we discuss the different alternatives: the strategy discussed yesterday, in which the main aim would be the opening of a window for the Terrace Wall, or today's expressed by fAB, opening a line of squares following the E-W direction until joining the westernmost J3 locus. That would give us a quite complete view of most of the upper face of the Terrace Wall, creating also a long section that would reflect the sterile nature of the plaza sediment. It also would be a spectacular kite view. On the other hand the first alternative, opening the squares south of k23, and trying to reach the floor level, would be better in account of the chronology and preparing the argument for the use of the backhoe. Finally, the decision reached was a mixture of both: opening the squares east and south of k23, even if not in its 5x5 m but cutting it diagonally and doing the resulting deep sections with a certain slope in order to improve its stability. So the third square was opened south of k23, having then the number k13. [Input: P802CVP.j]
2005-08-03 cVP Even if we don't find anything it would be important to keep the photographic record almost daily so that the fact that there is nothing would be carefully recorded for the "arguments for the backhoe". [Input: P802CVP.j]
2005-08-03 cVP During the morning we discuss with gB the best way to situate the proposed deep trench with the stepped and sloping sections. We pointed out different possiblilities, but it is still to be decided. [Input: P802CVP.j]
2005-08-04 cvp As today we are not working in the field, jE and vS designed a strategy and drew an sketch, J01sk17, offering one possible way to follow the excavation of our unit. The plan is discussed with the rest of the team and gB and fAB, and later offered to the rest of the members of the excavation at the weekly general meeting taking place in the evening at the site. The general layout seems to be correct, but we have still a doubt about what is the part of the wall that is going to be most exposed, because if we do the digging as we have planned, the deeper and most exposed part would be precisely the so called "buttress" or collapse, and not the nicest part already shown. That is why gB would prefer to "move" all the apparel a bit to the E. The problem with that movement is that then it would be necessary to open another square. The final decision wiil be reached tomorrow. [Input: P802CVP.j]
2005-08-05 cVP At the beginning of the day gB decided to carry on with the digging of the "window" as planned, i.e. the stepped sections designed by jE and vS. So, we are going to proceed as follows (see also sketches 18 and 19): As the Column in k106 is going to be the lowest excavated area, 9 m deep from the present surface, the surface that remains of the 4 m square is going to be the center of the "window". In the squares around k106 we are going to dig the stepped sections. The steps in k13 (square S of k106) are going to be looking N, and the ones in k24 (E of k106) are going to be looking W. k14 and k12 are going to be the "corners" and the steps would run diagonally to link with k13 and k24. The steps in k12 are going to be looking E and the ones in k14 are going to be looking N. The final result would have the shape of an angular amphitheater, where the cavea are the stepped sections, the chorus the bottom of k106, and the scenae is going to be the Terrace Wall. As we planned to go a total of 9 m deep, each step is going to be 2 m deep, so we would have at the end 4 steps of 2 m and one of 1 m. The angle of the slope is going to be quite sharp, being 40 cm wide, whereas the surface remaining flat would be 50 cm wide. So each step is going to be 90 cm wide. The length would be that of the locus, 4 m in k13 and k24. In the "corners" the length would decrease while going deeper. The distance between the Column and the farthest step is 3.6 m (90 + 90 + 90 + 90 cm, 4 steps) in each side. Adding to that the 4 m of the Column, the total width of the window will be some 11.2 m. We have take the elevation of the top of the Terrace Wall, that is 9000. We presume that the elevation of the bottom of the wall, and of the floor of the Plaza as well, would be the same as the elevation of the pavement in the courtyard of the Palace, that is 8500. That means that we have to expose more or less 5 m of the wall in depth to find the Plaza floor. In the old squares that would be some 2 m below the actual surface of the deepest excavated part. [Input: P802CVP.j]
2005-08-07 cvp Yesterday it was discussed with Iko the convenience of making the steps 1 m wide instead of 90 cm. So, today we moved the string that signaled the beginning of the steps in k13 and k24 30 cm farther. The last step of the section on k13 then is going to intrude into the area of the N baulk, that is why, instead of drawing the N section of k13, we are going to draw the S section of k106, which will provide us with the whole stratigraphic sequence of the Column. [Input: P802CVP.j]
2005-08-10 cvp There is a slight change in strategy regarding the setting of the stepped sections. Instead of each unit begin the first step at 2 m from its own surface level, we decide to locate the first step at a given elevation, so all three units will have the steps at the same level. Fortunately for J1, we decided to begin the first step at 9000 m, that is the level we have reached in k13 for our first step, as it is 2 m from our surface. Anyway the elevations would remain with a difference of 2 m, so the steps would be at 9200, 9000, 8800 and 8600, then the 1 m step to reach the desired 8500. [Input: P810CVP.j]
2005-08-11 cVP When we begin to dig the f38 feature touching the outer part of the wall in k32 we rapidly reached the level left in the old k101 square. At that moment a dilemma was created, because the space that we are going now to dig here is a kind of triangular trapezoid that in fact pertains to 3 different squares of the grid: there is a part in k32, another part in k22 and another part in k101. That is the reason why we are creating another locus, the new k107, with the only purpose to dig in a more sensitive and easy way that trapezoidal triangle, that still has some 2 meters of potency to work. See J1sk25. [Input: P810CVP.j]
2005-08-11 cVP A note on the nature of the possible buttress: One of the goals of our J1 excavation is trying to understand the nature of the stones located in an irregular pattern in a section of the wall. We have to decide if they come from the destruction of part of the wall or they were laid there on purpose to build a kind of buttress. In favor of the first answer, also the most probable, is the fact that imbibed between that irregularly laid stones we have found a piece of basalt grinding stone, and, according to fAB, in all the Terrace Wall excavated till now, basalt stones had not been used at all in the building process. [Input: P810CVP.j]
2005-08-20 cvp As a result of this morning meetings, we have decided to beging to lift the stones from the "collapse-buttress" that are more clearly floating. We will do that recording everything, photographing and doing templates. It seems quite possible that here it would have been an opening, maybe a gate, that could have been the one leading to the III millennium temple. That would be a likely solution in case that, as it seems in J02, the staircase and apron were an addition in the Mitanni period, leading not the the III millennium temple, but to the one built in later times, now completely eroded. [Input: P817CVP.j]
2005-08-28 mS meeting in the pm with vS, pC and mS. We were prioritizing the tasks at hand for the rest of the excavation. We also discussed whether we should begin a new column in k24, or whether we will expand the current column. We will ask gB this question tomorrow. We also discussed the possibility of whether the wall, f72 may have different bottom elevations. f164 is the series of flat stones along the lowest point we have of the wall in the west. We have been referring to it as a foundation or footing and wonder if this may be the case. We will talk to gB about this also tomorrow. gB suggested we remove the floating stones running perpendicular to k106 and 72. We will insure they are relayed and photographed and remove them as soon as possible. [Input: P828MS1.j]
2005-08-31 mS meeting in the am with gB, mKB, fAB, pC, vS and mS to discuss plans for the rest of the excavation season. We will cease excavation in k108 and k109 after bringing both to the same elevation. We have not found anything, nor do we expect to find anything in these two loci and will focus excavations to the east and utilize our manpower most effectively. We will focus on what is currently k110 and make the western extent of the excavation about one meter west of the baulk of k14. This is also just to the west of the large floating stones, f167 and f166.8. We will designate all the excavation area as the column and flag all lots. We will also go down in front of the wall in k10. Finally we will start making the oblique baulks. [Input: P828MS1.j]
2005-09-01 mS meeting with gB, vS, pC and mS to address concerns over the plan to remove the stones f188, f190 and f168 to the west. vS and pC felt strongly that the red packing which we have called f189 is intentional and may be a part of a buildup adjacent to the wall f72 and believed we should keep the stones. f189 is similar to the brown/pink packing of f156 and f158 along the wall to the west. They also believe the accumulation south of f168 and f169 is different from the accumulation to the north. We looked at the area more closely in the meeting. It was decided to cut back the section under f188 in k10 to see how deeply founded these stones are. Currently they are in the way for us to go down in the column. Then we will follow the accumulation very closely. We moved the elevator to make this easier to do. These stones may be a wall but if they are highly founded and only a single course they are probably only a screen wall and not important for our purposes. [Input: P901MS.j]
2005-09-03 mS meeting with gB, faB, vS, pC and mS regarding the area in k10 but now part of k110. We removed the accumulation from the north of the wall f188 and found it ran deeper than we first assumed. pC and vS noticed there was red packing, similar again to f189 in this area. We will continue to excavate from the north to find the final bottom of f188 and we will remove this wall as soon as possible. In section we see a layer of bekiya, f192, and will follow this to the wall. The larger stones may be a later rebuilding or continuation of this screen wall. We will go down in k110 to the south of f188 to the level of f192, the bekiya to see what information this gives us about the wall. The accumulations north and south of f188 the wall are very different. We are at the point where we should be able to find out whether this is an important wall or just a screen wall. There is no evidence of a street or other use patterns. [Input: P903MS.j]
2006-08-12 cvp The general strategy of this year in J1 is going to follow the one began last year, even if stressing 3 main aims: the first aim is to enlarge the space in front of the terrace wall to the south, i.e. the amphitheatre, in order to have a better general view of the wall; the second goal will be to reach the level of the plaza floor in all the interior of our amphitheatre, at the end of the projected steps; and the third goal will be to link the wall in our k32 with the section that appears in the German trench at its NE. Here the terrace wall seems to have a completely different direction. The wall in k32 goes more or less NS, while the one in the German trench is more or less NE-SW. So, it seems that in the middle we have to find a sharp angle. If this is so, then the temple terrace would be not so elliptical as was drawn by the geophysical survey, but more polygonal. [Input: Q812CVP.j]
2006-08-13 cvp I have been commenting with fAB the possibility to make the steps 1 meter deep instead of 2. In this case we would not need to open so much space between the terrace wall and the steps, but he said that actually they prefer to have all that much space and the steps sharper, so we keep to the original idea. The new projected amphitheatre is drawn in sketch J01sk55. Also, we are going to follow last year strategy of making the steps at a given total elevation instead of just at 2 meters from the surface. Thus, in all trenches is the J area the steps would be at the same total elevation. Last year elevations were 9200 (surface), 9000 (first step), 8800 (second step), 8600 (third step). We still don’t have any total elevation this year but they must not be very different. [Input: Q812CVP.j]
2006-08-16 cvp Site meeting with gB, fAB and jO to discuss digging strategies. First we discuss the pros and cons of keeping the steps 1 meter wide and do the bevel in a 15% of it. This way we would have more space as plaza floor, but we consider that it would be unnecessary time consuming, and we maybe could not reach the goal this season. Instead, if the steps are built 160 cm in horizontal, with 100 cm for the step and 60 for the bevel, the resulting ‘amphitheatre’ will keep the same desired visual effect with the advantages of creating a more consistent and ‘safer’ step and slope, and also safe time, which increase the possibilities of finishing all our goal at the end of this season (see sketch J01sk59 for the new planning). We have some pictures (…) showing the different results of last year steps dug, between the 1x2 meters planned ones (15% angle in the slope) and the “unplanned” ones, left at some 1 m deep, and consequently with the slope in a broader angle. The second question was how to proceed with the excavation to link the terrace wall with the German trench. We are going to lay two squares, k31 and k41 but, as the goal is simply reach the top of the terrace wall in here and try to find the possible corner, we are not going to need to dig the complete loci. We will open first the eastern half of k31 and later we will proceed as the necessity arises. [Input: Q812CVP.j]
2006-08-17 cvp gB comes to visit and we comment on the possibility to equate the beginning of the steps not so much to a given total elevation but to set it at the beginning of the next feature. The other units are not going to do steps on the sections as they have not so deep a trench, so we don’t need to be equalized with them. Anyway, we are going to wait until around 2 meters deep, to see if we found first the next feature or the 2 meters, and then we decide. [Input: Q817CVP.j]
2006-08-19 cvp gB comes to visit and we discuss the option of letting a straight section at k21 some 2 meters from the outer face of the wall. So, not doing the steps just to touch the walls but some meters before. In that way we will have a straight complete section which will show us the stratigraphy related to the terrace wall. The only problem is that, as we are going to dig k31, it is possible that we wouldn’t have section from the level of the top of the wall above. We will check the possibility to do so as the excavation progress. [Input: Q817CVP.j]
2006-08-29 mS Meeting with J1 staff, gB, fAB and jO on how to proceed for the next two weeks of the season. Instead of taking the entire area down to the level of the plaza in in the 'amphitheatre' style, we will instead bring everything down to the 9000 level and just step down in the western portion of J1. We will also cut back about a meter in k22 and k23 along the line of the step of last season at the 9000 level. This will open a large viewing area and also bring us to the plaza level. We will also excavate along the wall in k31 and open up a new area on an oblique line to the northwest, along the curve of the wall. This will allow a greater view of the curve, again with minimal dirt removal. bWP will begin laying out points in the morning. The oblique will run the the SW corner of the trench. [Input: Q824MS.j]
2006-08-30 mS meeting in am with gB, jO, and mS refining the strategy to open squares to the west to improve the view of the wall. We will add k30 and k40, but open only small portions along the perimeter of the wall. We will also remove the NW quadrant of k31 which runs along the perimeter. This smaller opening will take the place of the larger oblique discussed yesterday. We will not open the entire squares, but just obliquely along the wall. [Input: Q824MS.j]
2006-08-31 mS Meeting with gB, fAB, jO and mS confirmed the strategy of yesterday to just open oblique areas along the terrace to maximize the view for next week's visit of the Minister of Culture and other directors of excavations and staff in the Hassake region. [Input: Q824MS.j]
2006-09-03 mS met with dC, and then gB to continue refining strategy for opening the view for the wall. We will focus on going down in the NW quadrant of k31 and will open more of k41. From what we see of the wall and the curve in k31 this would be the best place. gB also suggested that we change the first step at 9900 to be 3 meters wide instead of just 160cm. This would serve two purposes. First we will be able to dig a staircase in the step making it easier for visitors to get down to the plaza level. Second it will mean less dirt to move this season. We will probably begin a 3 meter step when we go back to excavating this area. [Input: Q902MS.j]
2006-09-09 mS strategy discussions on Q908 and Q909 with gB, fAB, mS, and J1 staff focused on what to do in the final week to meet the season's goals. The first goal is finding the corner of the wall. We will open small areas of westernmost loci following the line of the wall that is currently exposed. Based on the geophysical survey, we expect to find the turn here. We will excavate to about 50cm below the top of the wall to see the line of stones. The second goal is to get to the plaza level. We reevaluated the initial plans for the amphitheatre because time is short and there is a lot of dirt to move. We will follow the original plan to the south and west but increase the size of the first two steps to 3.5 meters to accomodate stairs down to the plaza level. The third step will return to the original 160cm. To the east we will cut back to the current eastern baulk down to 8800. We have asked bWP to put in the points of the first step. [Input: Q902MS.j]
2006-09-10 mS continued the discussion with gB, and J1 staff about the shape of the first step because we have changed it since the initial plan. We will make the step 350cm on the south, 300cm on the west and 150 on the east. The eastern portion will be straight to conform to the first step of MZ18, in k24. The second step will only be 150cm wide to allow for a greater corridor to view the wall from the plaza. [Input: Q902MS.j]
2006-09-11 mS meeting this am with gB and J1 staff continuing to discuss strategy for the rest of the week, which is also the season because we must finish on Saturday. We will continue as planned yesterday. Also discussed putting points in along the top of the wall in order to have a more permanent method of seeing how far out the stones jut, and whether there is any bulge from season to season. I have asked mL and dC to also write a journal entry about this since they were part of a more complete and detailed discussion of methodology and mL will take the lead on this. [Input: Q912MS.j]
2006-09-12 mS mS had a conversation with the J1 team and later with gB about changing what we will be digging because the time is getting shorter and there is still a lot of area to remove. Instead of going down two meters in the second step, we will only go down one. And we will focus on going down mostly in what we are calling the corrider, which is in the eastern section of J1 and runs along the cut made in MZ18 running north-south from the wall and glacis. [Input: Q912MS.j]
2006-09-14 mS continuing meetings with gB, fAB, mS and J1 staff refining our goals for the season, predominantly driven by the corrider and view, and the placement of the stairs we will have coming down to the plaza level. We have had several discussions about this stair placement based on time and practicality. As of today, we have decided to put the stairs coming down from the western portion of J1. The cut back will be three meters from the top of the baulk at 9200 to the west and the first step will end at 9000. The second step will be adjacent and come down to the 8800 level. The next one will end at the 8600 level. Because of this we will cut back one meter more to the west in k114 and go down to 8800. We have also decided to extend the working time four addtional days. We have been working in the afternoons for four days. We will finish major excavations on Saturday, work one week in the house and then come back to the field for four days with only a small team of the best workers. [Input: Q912MS.j]
2006-09-15 mS we continue refining the strategy for what will excavate for the rest of the season. gB has reworked the placement of the stairs coming down into J1. We will now widen the area of the corridor down the the first step. We will move to the west until k116 down to 8800. We will also excavate one meter to the west adjacent to the corridor so we can leave a portion of the pebble surface, f232 extant. We presume it does exist to the west because it does go into the unexcavated portion here. The present plan is to remove this surface in the corridor as we go down to the plaza level. [Input: Q916MS.j]
2006-09-22 mS Per discussion with gB we decided to focus primarily on the corridor to insure we meet the goal of getting to the plaza. The other items can be left in case we have time. [Input: Q916MS.j]
2006-09-23 mS we will now excavate f231 to the east of the corridor in k117 which is an addition to yesterday's strategy. We will also remove the last piece of k118 which is not at the 8800 level because this area is need for the last staircase down to the plaza. [Input: Q916MS.j]
2006-10-03 mS after meeting with gB, fAB, mL, lC and mS we decided to finish excavations for the season. We are still about one meter above the plaza level but the pebble surfaces along the top of the escarpment are taking a long time to excavate. We discussed digging a trench one meter wide down to the plaza level but we decided against this because we would prefer to open the entire area rather than just a strip. It is a very important area and we want to make sure we don't miss anything by digging in a hurry or in a limited space. Ceasing excavation will also allow us to spend more time working on the records because we will leave Mozan in nine days. There are some items we do not understand such as f239 the brown mudflow and what function it served or what it's full extent is, but we have a good starting point for excavation next season. We will clean well k103 in front of the wall to have a complete picture of the escarpment at this point. We will also finish the third staircase in k118. [Input: QX03MS.j]
2007-07-31 mS meeting with gB, fAB, lC, sG, cJC and mS in the field to discuss next steps in the excavation of J1 this season. The focus will remain on the escarpment and how the various slopes, f196, f238, f240 relate to each other and how the so-called mudfow, f239 relates to them all. [Input: R724MS.j]
2007-08-01 cJC In the evening gB, fAB, lC and mS (with Martin Sheen) discussed the strategy for this year's excavation. In order to better understand f239, the yellow layer, and its relationship with the feature below, f195, and the escarpment (f196) we decided to shift the main focus of the excavation from k117 to k10. This will allow us to follow the ashy layer (f195) and see its relationship to both the escarpment and f189. [Input: R731LC.j]
2007-08-08 lC This morning the J01 team, led by lC, had a meeting with gB to discuss the strategy for the rest of season. We have decided to excavate the areas from the higher elevation that were left last year in the west part of k117, specifically f232 and its underlying layers (f235, f237). Because this year, while excavating we have uncovered a clear line between f189 and f248, we have decided to excavate approaching this line to better understand it. We want to clarify if the line between f189 and f248 is an artificial cut, and if f189 is a later version of the escarpment or another kind of accumulation. [Input: R731LC.j]
2008-07-06 rE Before the excavation this area needs to be cleaned by the workmen and taken down 5cm. fAB suggested to think about the different elevations of the specific q-lots.This year we plan to resume the excavation that has been going on for several years. The last excavation ended at a very sensitive area at the base of the wall. [Input: S707RE.j]
2008-07-12 rE Yesterday we had a staff meeting at the Tell. Gb described the various aspects of the excavation. Our group will be excavating the J1 area. Between the German trench and the A20 there is no structures due to this perhaps being the main plaza area/meeting area keeping the area clear and bowl shaped. The Mittani layer was found five meters down on J1 while at A20 the Mittani layer was around two meters down. On J1 no structure was found except some pottery shards and floor level were found. Gb mentioned that in the future the area behind the wall will be removed in sections creating a stair to get the effect of the temple as the ancients, the direction of the stair is being discussed. J1 is 1 1/2 meter above the palace courtyards pavement. The east section in J1 is very well protection against the winter and the levels of strata are straight - maybe this could have been a sacred place. Our goals now are to reach the Phase two floor and follow the down slope to the south. This area is important because of the chronology of pottery being in thick layers in a very good time sequence. [Input: S707RE.j]
2008-07-13 rE fAB discussed the site with us and gave us some ideas. We could either expand or go downwards cutting into the layers, downwards was agreed upon paying careful attention to the pottery layers. fAB also asked if we could finish our goals in six weeks realisticly and expand afterwards time allowing. We will not be removing the stones directly touching the wall because they are important to show the boundary of the plaza, but we will be removing the stones not connected to the wall in the unit. fAB suggested to go down 10cm but after finding several large bone fragments on the surface after it had been cleaned we have decided to start at the top. Tomorrow morning we will set up the elevator to help remove the dirt before working and we will continue removing the baulk. We are going to print out the sections from the last season and compare them to what we see now. [Input: S707RE.j]
2008-07-14 rE Discussed with fAB regarding expanding the section. It was decided that the down step in the south section would be expanded to within 25cm of the ledge behind it. The east section will be looked into later in the season, so far it is being discussed regarding moving it back so that the presentation of the site will be better. fAB also mentioned that perhaps the south section could be inclined as to avoid falling rocks. The east section will be sketched soon due to the ant/bird damage that has already been done to it, and a template made as well. [Input: S707RE.j]
2008-07-15 rE gB suggested to expand to the east by removing the down step in the east section. [Input: S707RE.j]
2008-07-21 lW gB said that the strategy last year was to dig down but now it is to expand and to re-establish the physical grid. gB said also to have the workmen work in two areas at the same time so that the work will go quickly. Also to cut the sections back and clean it, also to straighten the ledge area on the east side. [Input: S720LW1.j]
2008-07-14 lW Discussed with fAB regarding expanding the section. It was decided that the south wall would be expanded to within 25cm of the ledge behind it to get to the Akkadian level underneath. The east wall will be looked into later in the season, so far it is being discussed regarding moving it back so that the presentation of the site will be better. fAB also mentioned that perhaps the south wall could be inclined as to avoid falling rocks. The east wall will be sketched soon due to the ant/bird damage that has already been done to it, and a template made as well. [Input: S720LW1.j]
2008-07-22 lW Tomorrow we will take relays of the stones by the wall. fAB asked us to read the notes from last season regarding the locus areas and the various features and to take notes on where sections end and begin. fAB also asked us to pay attention to where the floors were f237 and f235 to see if they were sealed between any accumulations. gB asked us to look for the seal of the floor and make a template in freehand showing this. Also to dig to the south and north of the stones by wall but leave the stones on a pedistal. gB also said to ask bpW where marker points are located, and to leave the baulk where the new marker points that bPW put up are. gB also said that he would look into putting a curtain on the wall to prevent birds from nesting in the wall and other wildlife. [Input: S720LW1.j]
2008-07-23 lW fAB suggested that when f239 was removed to look for bricks or heavy mud. Also on the slope in the east section k123, to look for shovel marks. gB said that the rocks placed in our unit may have been a possible railing or a barrier between the Khabur and Mittani periods. Or these stones could have been a buffer zone between the plaza and the wall. [Input: S720LW1.j]
2008-07-26 lW Today fAB sugeested that we get the slope of the escarpment f196 to see how far down at the south side we would need to go to get the same floor as f240. gB also said that a staircase needs to be put in on the west side down into the main section for easier access. He also said that the ledge on the south side that was a temporary buffer zone for rocks should be taken out sometime soon. [Input: S720LW1.j]
2008-07-20 rE gB suggested not to draw the east section, because it will take too long to finih it. And he also said to place a string on the section with ribbon every one meter, so we know the exact measurment for when we draw it in freehand. [Input: S720RE.j]
2008-07-28 rE tomorrow we are going to remove f257, then we will take a picture to f238 which covers the whole area. after that we will move to k123 and the small baulk next to it, to remove f232 and the accumulation under it f235, then f237 to reach f238. But gB refers to the reddish accumulation under f237 in k123 and the baulk, that it's more similar to the Bakaya material that we found it in J3, so when we reach it make sure that it's Bakaya not a brick. [Input: S720RE.j]
2008-07-30 rE in order to get a general idea of the depth of the pavement floor f238, gB suggested to take the elevation of the bottom of the slope of f238 and the top of the escarpment. [Input: S720RE.j]
2008-07-31 rE fAB suggested to remove the stones and to check if they are sitting on f238, and to take some close up shots of the floor to show the pottery. Then to remove the floor in a grid pattern for control areas. [Input: S720RE.j]
2008-08-02 rE We will continue to remove f238 and f240 which is the same as f238. [Input: S720RE.j]
2008-07-20 rE gB suggested not to draw the east section, because it will take too long to finih it. And he also said to place a string on the section with ribbon every one meter, so we know the exact measurment for when we draw it in freehand. [Input: S720RE.j]
2008-07-28 rE tomorrow we are going to remove f257, then we will take a picture to f238 which covers the whole area. after that we will move to k123 and the small baulk next to it, to remove f232 and the accumulation under it f235, then f237 to reach f238. But gB refers to the reddish accumulation under f237 in k123 and the baulk, that it's more similar to the Bakaya material that we found it in J3, so when we reach it make sure that it's Bakaya not a brick. [Input: S720RE.j]
2008-07-30 rE in order to get a general idea of the depth of the pavement floor f238, gB suggested to take the elevation of the bottom of the slope of f238 and the top of the escarpment. [Input: S720RE.j]
2008-07-31 rE fAB suggested to remove the stones and to check if they are sitting on f238, and to take some close up shots of the floor to show the pottery. Then to remove the floor in a grid pattern for control areas. [Input: S720RE.j]
2008-08-02 rE We will continue to remove f238 and f240 which is the same as f238. [Input: S720RE.j]
2008-08-06 rE regarding to the hard situation we have, that we have hard materials against hard materials and also because of the slope of the features, it's difficult to know which feature is under the other. Thus gB and fAB suggested not to excavate tomorrow, just to work at home to have a better understanding of the area and the features, since it's so important for the chronology not to mix the features. In addition gB suggested to make a good plan and section to the area, showing the strata sequence. [Input: S720RE.j]
2008-08-12 rE gB suggested to go down and break phase one to reach the earlier escarpment f196. [Input: S720RE.j]
2008-08-16 rE tomorrow we will continue removing f239. [Input: S813RE.j]
2008-08-20 rE Before the end of the day, we had a meeting in J1 with gB and fAB to discuss the present state of the unit, due to the short excavation time we have left. After exposing different strategies, we agreed that the best conclusion for the area in the last week of the excavation is to make a trench in the western parts of k126 and k127, going from the wall to the south section having width of 1.40cm. In this way we can easily follow the slope of f196 to the south, because the elevation in the south west corner of k126 is 8541, which is 40cm higher then the platform of the palace, where gb expects to find the plaza. We have to remove f261 to be sure that it's a boundary of the ash f278. We have to remove also f269. In addition, we let hB take the measurements of the whole area to check is not trapezoidal, and to establish the correct lines of the trench parallel to the east section. [Input: S813RE.j]
2009-07-18 lC Today J01 team has had a meeting in the field with fAB to decide the initial strategy of the excavation. We decided to start removing the upper part of the eastern baulk in k127, left there from previous years excavations, to check the probable presence of the early escarpment f196 not clearly exposed, then we will remove it to have all the east section clean and most of all to have more space to expose the wall f288 in length, one of the most important goal of the season. We also decided to excavate at the beginning just inside k127 starting from south and going on toward north, to find the face of the Chalcolithic wall. From the results we gain we will decide if excavate also between the Chalcolithic wall and the base of third millennium wall, fact that could be dangerous for the stability of this last structure. Due to the complexity of the stratigraphy and to the type of the deposits we decided don't use the big pick, but just small picks and more precise tools. [Input: T718LC.j]
2009-07-21 lC Right after breakfast J01 team had a site meeting with gB and fAB. We showed them the proceedings of the excavation and we discussed about near future strategy. The main discussion was about the possible links of the stone wall f259 with the early or late escarpment. Stone wall seems to continue to the north, but we don't know how much until we don't remove the ashy layer f241. It is older then the later escarpment, now we have to check if the wall abuts the early escarpment or if it goes underneath the escarpment. In this case it could be linked with the Late Chalcolithic wall found in k128. Moreover we don't have yet the bottom of the stone wall f259 that could be close to Chalcolithic levels. Another open question is linked to the relationship between the late escarpment and the big flat stones J5f188 running almost parallel to the revetment wall f72. The second escarpment f239 seems to slope more to the south going toward east, instead toward west is cut closer to the wall (as we can easily see in both the east and west section of k127). Very important is the link of this escarpment with the big flat stones of J5f188 that are just uncovered in their upper part. Probably next days J05 team will excavate to clarify this relationship. Moreover we have also to keep in mind the possibility that the escarpment, along the revetment wall, is sloping toward east, from J05 to J01 area. Maybe also the bottom of the revetment wall f72 is higher following its path to the west and then to the north. Next days the results of excavations in these two areas will add many more important informations for a general understanding of the plaza and the terrace. [Input: T718LC.j]
2009-07-22 lC In the light of last results, after the daily site meeting with gB and fAB, the J01 beginning plans have been in part changed. After the removal of f241 on top of the early escarpment many questions are arisen. First the surface of the escarpment is badly preserved and this is probably due to flowing waters. In fact the escarpment is well preserved next to the revetment wall, where plastic material as pure clay and baqaia are used to avoid the seepage of water, but to the south where it is sloping sharply there is a shallow hollow. This fact probably compromised a good understanding of the relationships with the other features like f259 and f279. We decided to leave the feature f196 as we found because we could risk to cut into Chalcolithic levels. Another important element is that the early escarpment is sharply arising next to the wall, going to the west. For this reason we will excavated to the west (contrary the beginning plans) in order to expose the ancient escarpment and to check its relationship with the big flat stones of J5f188. This excavation should help to understand the general situation of the terrace and the plaza in its west edge where it is supposed to arise. J05 excavation is oriented exactly to solve this open question and this is even more interesting in the light of last results. [Input: T718LC.j]
2009-07-23 lC Today right before breakfast short site meeting between fAB, gB, lC and aGA. gB suggested to remove f309, probably the first escarpment or something associated to Chalcolithic levels, to collect pottery to date it. For now we left it waiting to finish excavating in k129. We discussed also about the cut that seems to cut f309 running from east to the west. fAB showed that probably a sloping surface is connected to the cut and this seems a good area to start to excavate looking for the Chalcolithic wall f288. [Input: T718LC.j]
2009-07-26 lC Site meeting with gB and fAB discussing about the stratigraphy and strategy for next days. f313, but most of all f315 seems really similar to f232, a Mitanni pavement excavated in 2006. We decided to remove also the stones f314.3 and f314.4 because accumulation f313 is clearly going under those. Before we want to take photos also with the other stones to the west in J5k100. So jW will excavate the accumulation in J5k100 to reach the same level of f313 and f315 that is a good stratigraphic sealing for the features below. The goal for the next days is to check the relationships between the accumulation f315 and the later escarpment but also to follow its slope to the south. It is not excluded that next days, having more workmen we will excavate both in k129 and k127. [Input: T718LC.j]
2009-07-27 lC Daily site meeting with gB and fAB discussing strategy. gB proposed to expand to the south k128 but we have already started to remove f 294 so the strategy changed a little. Digging in a wide area seems easier to understand the complicated stratigraphy we have in this level. Next days we will continue to go down in all the southern half of k127 to turn after to the north looking for the face of the Chalcolithic wall f288. [Input: T718LC.j]
2009-07-30 lC Long site meeting with fAB about stratigraphy and then with gB and fAB about stratigraphy and strategy for next days. From the first meeting resulted that the big cut of ED III probably was done because of the damage of water along the first escarpment. Checking the difference in elevation between East and West, probably the first escarpment was damaged and there was a sharp slope. ED III people so cut everything in between the damaged first escarpment and the southern Ninivite 5 levels and filled this cut with a big amount of dumping material, most of all broken mud bricks. The water damage is still visible in the surface of early escarpment f196 in the western portion of k127. Can the water erosion explain a such big cut? Probably the quantity of water coming from west along the revetment wall was enough to damage deeply the area where it was flowing. Probably also the stone wall f259 running north to south has had a function in this direction, but still date and function have to be checked. Moreover don't have to be excluded that the wall f259, either Chalcolithic or later could be a sort of edge of the plaza, with a narrowing of it. Besides the plaza should be lower and it worked as water collector. Coming back to the strategy for next days we are planning, on gB's suggestion, to dig two small trenches to accelerate the excavation, one at the base of the stone wall f259, and another one north-south in k127 to check what do we have at the bottom of the big filling of second escarpment. [Input: T731LC.j]
2009-08-01 lC After the stratigraphic review of yesterday and the site meeting of the day before, on gB's suggestion we decided to excavate two small trenches running north to south in k127. One at the bottom of the stone wall f259 to date it, but we didn't start yet, and another one next to the western section to check what below the lower part of the filling f296 and f294 belonging to the second escarpment. We started with the last one, but we didn't continue because of the stratigraphical complexity and we preferred to excavate entire f296 to the level to the stones of wall f288. [Input: T731LC.j]
2009-08-02 lC Daily meeting with fAB. For k129 we decided to not remove the east baulk in order to draw a section showing all the horizontal accumulations and floors abutting the sloping surface of the second escarpment f239. So we will wait also to remove the southern small portion on top of the stone wall f259. In k127 we are still going down removing f296 and tomorrow probably we will concentrate on excavate f294 uncovering the surface of f317, sloping sharply to the East. [Input: T731LC.j]
2009-08-03 lC Daily site meeting with fAB and gB. We decided to remove the stones f328.1 and 328.2 in order to fully expose pavement f325 and to check its relationship with the escarpment and the stones of J5f225. In k127 we planned to finish to remove at the beginning all the later features, as f327, f317 and f278, so to have at the end all the earlier levels, dating to ED II and LC. This should help us to reconstruct the stratigraphical and depositional history of this complicated sector of the Plaza and the Terrace. [Input: T731LC.j]
2009-08-05 lC Site meeting with fAB and gB. We discussed about the excavation of part of the accumulation against the flat stones of J05, right next to J01 west section of k129. It is very important for us to check the relationships of the stones with the pavement f325. [Input: T808LC.j]
2009-08-08 lC Daily site meeting with fAB. We decided how to proceed next days. In k129 we are planning to remove the pavement f325, but we are now weating J05 to finish exposing the continuation of the pavement to the west. This is important to show the relationships between the stones belonging probably to the first escarpment and the pavement possibly dating to early Mitanni. In k127 the situation is more complex due to stratigraphy. Once finished to remove the ash, finding the bottom of the cut or of the erosion, we will start to remove the material belonging to first escarpment in order to expose the two stone structures f259 and f288. Probably we will start from the upper part, next to the north western corner of k127, leaving the western section showing the sequence of the two escarpments. Then we want go down removing the material of early escarpment until we don't find the features below, which we are assuming belonging to Late Chalcolithic period. Once removed the escarpment if necessary we will remove also earlier levels. [Input: T808LC.j]
2009-08-09 lC Today nothing different from what we planned yesterday, but many new discoveries, most of all the continuation of the wall f288 to the west and the find of other stones probably belonging either to the wall f259 or f288. Now the possibility that the two walls are part of a same structure is much more plausible. Tomorrow at first we will check if the stones of f307 are part of the deeper structures or just part of the second escarpment, and in this last case we will remove them to see the continuation of wall f288 and its eventual relationship with wall f259. It is important to reach at least the bottom of the early escarpment to see the base of the two structures. Probably we will excavate also part of the levels underneath (Late Chalcolithic?) to have a complete understanding of the walls. Of course because the days of planned excavation are becoming less and less we are trying to figure out the best way to proceed. Next days we will also check with the shish if the stones of wall f288 stop really to the east. In k127 we have to clarify the relationship between the first and the second escarpment and to understand if the layer found below f325 belongs to one or to the other one. [Input: T808LC.j]
2009-08-10 lC Daily site meeting with fAB and gB. In k127 we are following the strategy decided the previous days to remove all f196 to the level of stones f336 and the bottom of the wall f288. Tomorrow we will use the big pick to remove f196 because it is compact and just few sherds and almost no objects were recovered. Of course the soil will be sifted. In k129 the situation is more complex because below pavement f325 we found a hard surface and we don't know its relationship with early or late escarpments. We decided to draw the west section of k127 and then cut back f239 about 40 cms, in order to try to follow the surface of the early escarpment already exposed, that howewer, to the south, could be eroded. The goal is also to check the relationship of the big stone just slightly exposed inside f239 with the early escarpment. Then we decided, on fAB suggestion to dig a sort of probe sounding to the west of wall f259 to see its western face and the probable presence of Chalcolithic layers at a higher level. [Input: T808LC.j]
2009-08-11 lC (Part 1)First daily meeting of fAB with all J01 team. We discussed the strategy for the last week of excavation. In k129 the sloping surface f338 seems a good stopping point for this season, but still some questions are open. First goal is to see the western face of wall f259 and eventually to find Chalcolithic levels possibly at a higher elevation to the west. To do this it was proposed a small probe sounding, that while has some risky elements. For example the difficulty to understand the excavated layers in a such small area (about 1,40 x1,40 meters) but also to remove the pebbles alignment f343 and the baqaya f342. So we decided for now just to remove part of f239 uncovering eventually the surface of early escarpment f196, if preserved, to understand its relationship with the floor f338, stones f339, f318 and what to south. If the escarpment is eroded this will allow us to expose more stones of f339 and probably to understand their function. Removing this small portion of f239 we can also try to understand if the eastern stone of f318 belongs to the early escarpment or not. Once removed this portion of f239 we will decide how to further proceed. [Input: T808LC.j]
2009-08-11 lC (Part 2) In the second daily meeting with fAB and gB, after the recovering of the last stone showing that the two walls f259 and f288 are bonded and form a single structure, many other questions have arisen and also the strategy is a little changed. Probably this structure is linked to a Chalcolithic mound and its function was in some way linked to controlling water flow and as boundary from west and east where possibly the plaza was in LC period. For us for now it can't be excluded that it could be some other kind of building, with public or private functions, and we hope that the remaining week of excavation could solve this question. Moreover the northern part of wall f259 is damaged by a cut or erosion f344. If it is linked to water damage probably it happened in Late Chalcolithic period, when the wall wasn't repaired any more, and in ED II was it regularized with the construction of the early escarpment covering it. Important seems also the relationship of this structure with what is to the west. Probably to the west the Chalcolithic levels are higher. At least f259 was still visible in Mitanni period because the pavement f325 was abutting it. So if the stones f318 seem stopping right in line with the wall f259 running south to north, it could has been a sort of boundary even during the period of ^esc1. The material of the early escarpment seems to date clearly to Late Chalcolithic and this can due to the reuse as fill of material found around. At the end of the morning we uncovered the harder surface f345 below the first escarpment. It could be interpreted as a Chalcolithic escarpment, even if quite flat and similar to f196, still considering the walls f288 and f259 as part of the LC mound structures. Since tomorrow we will excavate to the east of f345, trying to reach the bottom of the wall f288 and, depending on how deep it is going, if we have still time we will expand the excavation to the west. This will allow us, removing f345, to uncover more face of both walls f259 and f288. [Input: T808LC.j]
2009-08-12 lC Today during the meeting with fAB we decided, at the end, to start the small probing sounding in k129. It should help us to understand both the wall f259 and the sequence of accumulations against it. Today we didn't remove the pebbles of f243 but tomorrow we want to follow the baqaya that could be part of the construction of wall f259, or likely later. In k127 we followed the strategy planned yesterday. But the recovering of many big stones below f329 and f345 probably will make us change strategy. It seems very important understand their meaning, even if at a first glance these stones seem just floating or collapsed stones. So tomorrow we will remove f345 next to the walls and at the same we will look for the bottom of wall f288, that is one of the main goals of the season. [Input: T808LC.j]
2009-08-15 lC Today we found the base of wall f288, so the first important goal is reached. We decided to stop here also because the situation is really complex with the bricks f356 running north to south and many other fragments to the west, perhaps belonging to other kinds of structures. The last three days we will concentrate the efforts in removing the accumulations and probably also the numerous collapsed stones to uncover the face of a8. In k127 we are still going deeper in the small sounding, and we will continue until a good part of the western face of wall f259 is exposed. [Input: T815LC.j]
2009-08-16 lC Site meeting with fAB. We decided for these last two days to remove the collapsed stones f336 and f349, checking carefully that they are not belonging to any structure. We will remove at first the upper floating stones f352 and then the lower ones. So we will expose a wider area of LC levels and this will allow us to uncover more surface of the faces of a8. We decided also to remove the floating stones f339 and the accumulations filling the break f344 inside the wall f259. So we will have a nice west section showing the sequence of late escarpment and what below to it, most of all the lower accumulations already excavated in the southern small sounding and sloping to the south. This will also show if the stone wall f288 is continuing to the west or stops in the corner with wall f259. [Input: T815LC.j]
2009-08-17 lC Small meeting today to highlight the goals for this season. We are almost done, and the only change in the strategy was to not remove the collapsed stones f336 and f349, first because it is a big job, being the stones numerous and quite big in size. Second because the stones show clearly the collapse of the walls f259 and f288, in at least two different moments. Some Units will excavate also this afternoon, but we don't need this extra time. Tomorrow, the last day of excavation, we will finish the northern sounding in k129 and we will clean all the area and the stones both of the structure a8 and of the collapse. [Input: T815LC.j]
2009-08-24 lC Today during the final stratigraphic review fAB suggested some small further excavations in J1. This is almost due to the new discoveries in J5. Right at the bottom of the revetment wall f72 in J5 was found a straight line of smaller stones J5f284. This stones could belong to an earlier wall, so we have to check if our stone wall f288 might continue to the west, and eventually join the J5 stones f284, next days we will remove a small portion of the section belonging to the early escarpment, right on top of the wall itself and to its west. We will remove also the ashy layer f341 on top of the stone wall f288 in order to see it better from the kite pictures. Another work will be to excavate in the southern part of k129, in between the modern steps and the area excavated this year, to build a new staircase to facilitate the descent in the excavation area in the project of site presentation. [Input: T824LC2.j]
2009-08-31 lC Removing the two spurs projecting to the south we found unexpected structures (f374 and f375) below the topsoil, so we changed a little the strategy. Instead of removing the entire portion of k132 planned at the beginning we cut a smaller portion next to the south western corner. This won't compromise the aim of this excavation, because the upper part of the wall is now uncovered and this let the winter waters flow away. [Input: T831LC.j]
2009-08-27 lC Today we resumed the excavation after a week of UGR working, in order to check few things before the end of the season. The first aim was to expose the top part of wall f288 so it is clearly visible in the next kite pictures. Second we wanted to check if the wall f288, running east to west could continue to the west and join the wall found in J5 at the bottom of revetment wall f72. This last J5 structure could be also a sort of step foundation for the revetment wall, and only further excavation will clarify the situation. Our wall seems stopping in the corner with wall f259 and it is not continuing toward west. [Input: T831LC.j]
2009-08-29 lC Today we started to remove two dangerous spurs of soil left from previous year excavations on top of the revetment wall f72. One seems the baulk between k9 and k11 and the other is a small triangle to the north of old k9, and to the east of k32. We created a new locus k132 including both these portions. The two soil spurs are projecting to the south and it was difficult to walk on top of the revetment wall for eventual conservation works. Moreover their section was very damaged by the water flowing and there was the risk they could fall down inside the lower J1 excavation area. [Input: T831LC.j]