Tell Halaf Grabungsprojekt

Area B

Dr. Jörg Becker

Excavations at the «West-Palast»
In 2006, investigations of the prehistoric settlement began with excavations in the area of the Iron Age «West-Palast» and the «Skorpionentor». According to the publication of the old excavations (H. Schmidt 1943), prehistoric levels were to be expected ca. 2 m beneath the Iron Age buildings. The new research is concentrated around the area north of the «Skorpionentor». First, the Iron Age structures, which had already been discovered in the old excavations, were re-excavated and their present condition was compared to the old records (Fig. 1).

The next step was to expose the prehistoric levels in the context of the new excavations. However, the excavations showed that the prehistoric settlement lies far deeper than expected and that massive fillings had leveled the Iron Age building area. Only 4.5 m beneath the Iron Age pavement, half of a building of the Halaf period was excavated with round building 1. The building measures ca. 6.5 m in diameter. It is built of mudbricks and shows remains of white plaster on the inside and on the outside. On the inside, the building is divided into individual rooms by interior walls that branch off in different directions (Fig. 2).
At this point, the pottery from this area seems to belong to the middle Halaf period (Halaf IIa), ca. 5700-5500 B.C.

An important new realization is that the new excavations are located in a depression between two prehistoric mounds and that the order of levels is by no means as horizontal, as indicated by the reports of the old excavations.

(Translation: B. Finkbeiner / A. Sollee / B. Sollee)

1Iron Age buildings around the «West-Palast» and the «Skorpionentor» at Tell Halaf (Photo: G. Mirsch)
2Round building 1 in the area of the «West-Palast» and the «Skorpionentor» at Tell Halaf (Photo: G. Mirsch)
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