Area JP - The Plaza

JP Synthesis

Phase and strata sequence JPB

Giorgio Buccellati – July 2008

Back to top: Phase and strata sequence JPB


A full explanation of the criteria used for strata definition, and strata assignment, is reserved for the Grammar.

The sequence JPB follows closely JPA, the main difference being the addition of earlier phases. This is emphatically temporary, as suggested in particular by the use of label 0 to refer to all phases prior to phase 1. A fuller readjustment of the phases that takes into account the recent discoveries for the fourth millennium will require more thought.

The correlation to the kings of Mittani is speculative, because there is no historical evidence for it from the excavations. It is proposed here only as a suggestion based on the relative sequence of the stratigraphic finds on the one hand, the assumed sequence of the kings on the other, and the assumption that Urkesh was under their direct control.

An anlogous situation obtains for the early part of the second millennium, in the sense that we do not have direct evidence from the excavations for linking given strata with the rulers known to us from the texts of Mari: the attributon tothem of phase 5b is speculative, being based simply on the relative position on the chronological scale. While for the Mittani period we may at least assume direct political control by the kings residing in nearby Ta’idu and Wasshukanni, for the early second millennium we cannot draw any uch conclusion: tehre may have been a fluid situation Urkesh retained a certain autonomy and control over a territory limited to the immediate hinterland of the urban center.

The right hand column offers a correlation with the Palace area (AA). This, too, is tentative, because it is based on general sequences and on typological considerations, since we have no direct stratigraphic links as of yet between the two areas.

A fuller description of individual phases will be found separately for both the JP area and for the individual units.

Back to top: Phase and strata sequence JPB

Strata definition chart: generation JPB

B.C. Urkesh phase sub-phase sr
definition of stratum (JP)
     definition of substratum
definition of stratum (AA)
     definition of substratum
8 Mozan 1 erosion and latest activities erosion and latest activities
     a      surface wash and erosion      surface wash and erosion
     road building A17-A15-A14
     b      sod layer, topsoil      sod layer, topsoil
     c      disturbed upper layer      disturbed upper layer
     d      -      removal of ancient stones
     gulley wash, laminations
     e      -      modern burials
Adad-Nirari I 1307-1275 7 non-sacral 3 scattered occupation:
tannurs (J2-3), pits (J3)
scattered occupation: tannurs
4 layers covering Terrace -
5 surface -
Tushratta 1365-1335 6 reduced
6b glacis only and memory stones 10 abandonment -
edge of glacis
     marked by memory stones
narrowing of service structures
     a      -      collapse (A18)
     b      -      accumulation within
        divided storehouses (A18)
     c      -      partitioning and repaiing
     d      -      -
Shuttarna II -1380 12 remodeling of upper part of staircase and "secondary apron" structures and retaining wall to the west
     a      -      [abandonment ?]
     b      -      last accumulations
     c      -      A18 storehouse (walls,first floors)
     room with burnt basin in A17
     d      -      north-south retaining wall
        for continuing dumps
Saushtatar ca. 1450
(or 1420?)
6a revetment wall and staircase showing 13 upper part of accumulation
against revetment wall
(missing) houses to the west
     a      -      [collapse and erosion of houses?]
     b      -      [accumulation within houses]
     start of extramural dumps
        to the east (A17-18)
     c      -      extramural stone pavement
        to the east (A17,18,19)
     d      -      building of (missing) houses
        (walls, first floors)
Parattarna ca.1500 14 lower part of accumulations against wall ?
     a      -      re-use of phase 5 walls (A17)
interface? ? 16th century? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
OB [Babylon:
5 buildup
south and
west of
5c escarpment covered 30 top accumulations
   against escarpment;
erosion to the east (?)
houses and collapse
     a      J1 floors; J4 bin      great brickfall
     b      -      erosion and subsequent cut
     c      -      abandonment
     d      -      accumulations
     e      -      minor rebuilding
5b escarpment
31 mid plaza accumulations;
service activities to the east
houses/graves build-up and first use
     a      -      higher accumulations within houses
     b      -      construction and first floors
? 1800
- 5a escarpment still visible 32 - scattered occupation (not house related)
     a      -      A15 burials; small pit; late kilns;
     fragments of wall and hard acc. in south
     b      -      late dumping in depression
     c      -      depression for mudbrick pitting
     d      -      early dumping in widened pits and depression
33 - scattered occupation (house related)
     a      -      storage pits (large)
     b      -      A15 pottery kilns
     c      -      depression for mudbrick pitting
34 - scattered occupation (house related)
     a      -      burials
     b      -      tannurs ?
     c      -      pebble lenses and accumulations (A16)

Back to top: Phase and strata sequence JPB

Strata synopsis for selected units

A separate chart gives a synopsis of excavation units indicating the main aspects for each stratum that is present in that unit.

Back to top: Phase and strata sequence JPB