Tell Halaf Grabungsprojekt

Area B

Dr. Jörg Becker

Excavations on the Northern Slope
In the season of 2009 the large round building 5 was excavated just north of the smaller circular buildings (see above). Mainly the rectangular annex, as well as parts of the round building have been preserved. The northern part of it was destroyed by the erosion of the slope and its eastern half was removed by the step-trench from Max von Oppenheim’s dig. Nonetheless, size and ground plan were recognized easily. Thus, this building has a keyhole layout, too. The interior diameter of the round building can be reconstructed to about 7 m. On the inside, a rectangular separating wall has survived. It was filled with debris and belongs to the original layout. Probably, it was meant to support the outer wall. As parallels, for example in Yarim Tepe III in northern Iraq have shown, a cross-like layout was created by four such separations and doubtlessly, it was meant to carry a flat roof (Fig. 1).

Round Building 5
Together with the rectangular annex, round building 5 offered a considerable habitable living space of about 47 m². On the inside, the walls are covered by a thick lime plaster. The walls of round building 5 themselves were founded upon a carefully leveled gypsum-plaster floor. It is ca. 4-5 cm thick and stands in line with an older Neolithic tradition.
A carefully arranged pebble-pavement lay adjacent to the west of it. It remains to be established, whether it represents a courtyard or a north-south bound lane.
The pottery, as well as two calibrated 14C-samples give reason to date the buildings, that were uncovered on a large scale on the northern slope, to the period of about 5500 B.C. Thus, it corresponds to the late Halaf period (Halaf IIb).

Round Building 4
Parts of round building 4 were uncovered just underneath the «West-Palast» in the course of smaller re-investigations at its northern façade (Fig. 2). Here, earlier prehistoric levels seem to have been removed by the construction of the «West-Palast».
With an interior diameter of ca. 5 m, round building 4 also has an interior separating wall for supporting the outer wall. At present, it is dated to the late Halaf period (Halaf IIb, ca. 5500–5300 B.C.). Outside of it, a small oven is located just north of it. West of round building 4, the plan (Fig. 3) shows the north-south bound trench that had been excavated 15 m long and 5 m wide beneath the former entrance of the «West-Palast» during Max von Oppenheim’s excavations. Here, another triangular separation that may be interpreted as part of another round building that had not been recognized back then, was uncovered.

(Translation: A. Sollee / B. Sollee)

1View of round building 5on the northern slope of Tell Halaf (Photo: L. Simons)
2View of round building 4 in front of the northern façade of the «West-Palast» at Tell Halaf (Photo: L. Simons)
3Plan of round building 4 and the old excavation next to it in the area of the «West-Palast» at Tell Halaf (Design: J. Becker)
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