Tell Halaf Grabungsprojekt

Area F

Prof. Dr. Winfried Orthmann

The city wall of Tell Halaf surrounds the nearly rectangular lower town . It was investigated in various areas during Max von Oppenheim’s excavations in 1912/13, but most of the records of this excavation have been lost.

Therefore, when the opportunity to supplement the findings from back then presented itself in the season of 2008, it was gladly taken. North of trench VI of Max von Oppenheim’s excavation at the western side of the town, modern settlers had removed some soil. Relatively little work was needed to straighten and clean the section they had created (Fig. 1).

In the section as well as in the plan, the earlier excavators’ observations, that the wall consists of a core and an outside and inside shell, were confirmed. The core was built of hard, reddish mudbricks, between which single extremely firm mudbricks consisting of a lime-clay-mixture were set. The core wall rests upon a sterile yellow-brownish level that rests upon the natural stone underground itself. In the excavated area, the exterior shell is built of dark brown mudbricks. The western edge of the wall is set evenly. The eastern edge is set somewhat more irregularly and is separated from the core wall by a joint. The outside shell is set upon the same sterile ground level as the core wall. The inside shell is built of the same kind of mudbricks as its counterpart on the outside. It has an irregularly wide joint to the core wall and its mudbricks partly are set into the gaps of the core wall. Thus, it has been established that it was set in front of the latter to strengthen and repair it. It is founded lower than the other parts of the wall directly upon the natural rock.

(Translation: A. Sollee / B. Sollee)

1City wall in Area F 2008 (Photo: G. Mirsch)
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