Unit Book J5

J5 Synthetic View / Typology / Built Environment

Structures in Unit J5

James L. Walker – June 2011

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^wall1 Earliest wall system found so far; tentatively dated to the Late Chalcolithic period v214
^wall2 Early Dynastic III wall extending from J2 in the east through J5 in the west.
^wall3 Mittani addition atop ^wall2 to preserve separation between sacred and secular areas. v224
^sa1 Mittani monumental entrance to the BA temple built as part the westward relocation v123

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Structures in J5 are from two widely separated time periods and serve two distinct purposes in each:

  1. The first is a series of walls, built in the Early Dynastic period and previous, that emphasize the monumental, sacred nature of the BA temple mound and separate it from secular activites outside and below.
  2. The second is a monumental entrance to the BA temple built during the western shift in the Mittani period.

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A. Walls

The only evidence of the earliest wall system is a line of stones roughly on the same line, but below the bottom row of stones of the Early Dynastic III period segment f189 of the wall. It shares alignment with a pre-EDIII wall in unit J1.

The extant EDIII revetment wall has two components:

  1. An “original” segment, composed of a cut stone wall and its associated stone escarpment, and
  2. A somewhat later segment composed of a rough stone wall, and its associated baqaya escarpment.

The newest of the three, a curtain wall, was built during the Mittani period. Most likely its purpose was to link the “memory stones” of the earlier revetment walls with the new western staircase. It differs from earlier walls in that it is free standing. It was built in two phases after the EDIII structures had been covered.

The first wall stood about 50cm tall, while the second, made with capstones, consisted of a single line of stones laid atop the first.

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B. Western Temple Entrance

When, during the Mittani period, the EDIII monumental revetment wall, plaza, and eastern entrance staircase became covered with accumulation, the entrance to the BA temple was shifted to the western edge of the revetment wall. It had several important components.

  1. A monumental staircase made from cut stone blocks. It had five steps, a stone border, and a path toward the temple ending with a stone threshold.
  2. An small, open assembly area delimited on the east by the stairs and on the west by several lines of stones.
  3. Decorative stonework associated with the staircase.

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