Unit Book J1

J1 Synthetical View / Stratigraphy

Depositional data for unit J1

Lorenzo Crescioli – May 2011

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Floors and Pavements

There are three main pavements in J1 and many floors probably used as walking surfaces but compacted naturally.

The lowest, or earliest pavement is ^pav3. This pavement dates back to Ninevite 5 period. It is constituted of sherd of very small size as well as very small pebbles (gravel). It is very thin and not very compact. We don’t know if it was expanding, because it was in part removed by later EDIII cuts. Probably it was used as pavement of the Plaza or for an outdoor space, possibly related to ^str1.

The second pavement is ^pav2. This pavement is constituted of pebbles (average diameter about 5 cms) and scattered larger stones, very compacted and forming a very regular and hard surface. Some sherds were found in between the pebbles, but most sherds were on top of the pavement so to be considered as the use of this pavement and not as part of the pavement itself. This pavement was covering all the area excavated in front of the wall and was the pavement of the Plaza from EDIII period untill Mittani. In some points there are more layers of pebbles (f324). Above the pavement there are accumulations some of which with an high percentage of sherds, pebbles and bones. They should be considered as semi-natural accumulations born because and showing an intense use/walking, more than an intentional built pavements.

The third pavement (^pav1) is less compact than the previous one. This pavement is constituted of pebbles and sherd on the northern portion, while going to the south (unlikely f325) is less compact and seems to disappear. This pavement shows a renewed use and care of the area of the Plaza during Mittani period and was built at the same time of the shallow curtain wall in front of the eroded southern face of the later escarpment.

Other walking surfaces are constituted of dirt or clay floors. Not many floors of this kind were found in J1 and it is not easy to understand when are simply compacted layers and when are intentionally laid or compacted by human use, at least in an open area as J1. So because of its nature these walking surface could be considered as accretion features and not constructions, but few of them could be intentionally built. Floor f338 is a very hard surface, slightly slooping to the South. It possibly dates to Ninevite 5 period, but very few sherds were found. Very distinctive is the orange color of the clay, possibly showing a intentional man-made floor? (Similar to salmon floor in J2?) Among the others floors f265, f281 could be considered walking surfaces, also because associated with ^pav3, while f351 and f352 are too sloping to be walking surfaces, but could they be considered as glacis?

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Terrace complex

The revetment wall and the escarpments are two elements found in J1 among the several (glacis, staircase, apron, etc…) forming the Temple terrace, built during EDIII and used (with small and marginal changes) until Late Mittani period.

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Revetment wall

The revetment wall (^wall1) was built against the existing Late Chalcolithic mound, which was cut back a little, even if the edges were presumably sharp. The wall doesn’t show foundation and it is composed of unshaped stones, without any kind of mortar. Probably this was enough to cover the face of the earlier Chalcolithic mound. gB has identified a mountain motif in the placement of the stones. Initially the idea was a possible reference to the mountain motif, beloved by the Hurrians and by their Gods. According to the last interpretation, based on ethnoarchaeological comparisons in southern Anatolia, it was probably a specific technique to build this kind of “revetment” wall.

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Three escarpments have been found in J1. The first clay escarpment was built together with EDIII Revetment wall. It is constituted of a hard surface clay layer to avoid water seepage, while inside is made of mixed dumping material found all around the area. Contemporary to this escarpment there is a stone escarpment (f318) built of flat and elongated stone slab forming three (and some points more) shallow steps following the face of the wall. Few elements show it could be an earlier structure, but more excavation is required to clarify this hypothesis. The stone escarpment was used to protect the wall from the water flowing that damaged the clay escarpment. A second clay escarpment, was built to replace the earlier damaged escarpments. It is constituted of dumping mud brick material coming from a collapsed building.

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LC/Ninevite 5 Stone structure

     This is the only structure found in J1 not belonging to the EDIII Terrace complex. It is dated to LC3 or possibly to Ninevite 5, and a more detailed discussion could be found in this topic. It is constituted of two bonded walls (f288 and f259) forming a L-shaped structure. The stones are very large sized and irregularly placed with smaller stones between the interfaces. The walls are slightly inclined and they seem leaning against and containing the material behind. We suppose they were kind of containing walls. Probably this structure was part of an Early temple terrace, delimiting its north-western corner. The structure was visible until EDIII period because was forming a kind of boundary.

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There are just few pits in J1. Although the area of the Plaza was an open space no pits were excavated here because it was part of a sacral area with a strong ideological meaning. The few pits recorded are shallow (f187 and f275), and they don’t seem to have a specific dumping function. Different is pit f301 excavated in early deposits before the construction of the Temple Terrace, with an ashy filling f287.

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