Unit Book J5
J5 Synthetic View / Typology / Built Environment

Installations in Unit J5

James L. Walker – June 2011

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^esc1 EDIII stone escarpment built to protect ^wall2 from water damage v214
^esc2 EDIII baqaya and layered escarpment built atop ^esc1 to protect ^wall2 from further water damage v182
f74 Early Mittani escarpment to the northern extension of the EDIII revetment wall, f41. v56
^strc2 Early Mittani staircase which provided access to the top of the EDIII revetment wall, f41. v218
^eps1 Middle Mittani dam and holding pond built to control water past ^wall2. v192
^eps2 Two late Mittani stone piers built to divert flowing water away from ^wall3 v135
^bin1 Late Mittani stone enclosure and pavement which serves as an entrance to the BA temple. v122
^flr1 Mud plaster floor surface and associated stonework perhaps built during the Middle Assyian period v86
^aprn1 Decorative stonework on the BA temple side of the Mittani revetment wall. v122
^bdr1 Lines of stones arranged north to south to the west of the floors of ^sa1 which may be associated with a Middle Assyrian structure to the west, not yet excavated. v139
^bdr2 Lines of stones arranged north to south to the west of the floors of ^sa1 which delimits the western border of this sacred space. v139

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There are several categories of installations in J5. The first are escarpments, weirs, and dams that protect the revetment wall systems against damage from water flowing by them. The second are borders that delimit functional areas. The third are special stone structures that provide access to functional areas. The fourth are miscellaneous decorative and functional installations.

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A. Water Protection

The bases of major stone revetment walls were always protected from erosion by escarpments, sloping structures which abutted the wall and diverted water away from the junction of the wall’s foundation and/or the lowest courses of stones or bricks. The portions of revetment walls in J5 were, at various times, protected by escarpments of stone, baqaya, or packed mud.

During the middle of the Mittani period the higher portions of the wall was protected by a dam. It was a complex structure built of mud bricks laid on a stone foundation, backed by a settling basin containing fist-sized river pebbles. The east end was anchored by the pre-Early Dynastic period revetment wall, f41, while the west end anchor has not yet been excavated.

At the end of the Mittani period a simple stone groin was constructed to protect the southwest corner of the late revetment wall.

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B. Borders

Two lines of border stones delimited the western extent of the late Mittani sacred plaza. The first border was a north-south line of stones parallel to the temple entrance stairway. The second, two lines paired with a threshold located to the west of the first, formed the edge of another space. As this edge was in the context of the Middle Assyrian period, we cannot yet determine its function until we excavate farther to the west.

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C. Access

At different times during the Mittani period, stoneworks provided access from one part of the site to another. Early, a stone staircase was built to enable transit from the vicinity of the escarpments at the base of the revetment wall to the wall top. At this time, we have no evidence that the staircase was associated with sacred activity. At the end of the Mittani period, a path and specialized stonework were constructed to provide a transition from secular to sacred space on the BA temple mound. Named a bin, it provides access to sacred space at the north end of the rebuilt revetment wall, ^wall3. Given the relative crudeness of the stonework and path, it must have served the last remnants of the Hurrian population in the region after the western monumental access had been covered.

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D. Miscellaneous

The first of these installations is a late Mittani period decorative stonework similar to what we have called an apron along the east monumental staircase. This apron consists of large stones laid like a pavement between the revetment wall and the temple mound. The second installation is a rough mud surface and associated stones which seem to define a temporary floor which would have been fabricated very late in the history of the tell, perhaps in the Middle Assyrian period or later.

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