Tell Halaf Grabungsprojekt

Area A

Raphaela Heitmann, M.A.

As in the previous year, the first weeks of the season of 2010 were used for a study-season. The following excavations on the mound lasted from 09/13/2010 to 10/11/2010. With a small team, excavations concentrated especially on building A 1 on top of the mudbrick terrace in the southern part of the citadel. Work continued in the courtyard A 1:AC (discovered in 2007/2008), in order to find out more about its dimensions and equipment.
We were able to win new insights of the Hellenistic building A 3, which covers the Neo-Assyrian building A 1. Remains of the pisé-foundations, which are characteristic of this building, were revealed, so that the extent of room AB to the east is now known. It is not clear yet, if this is also the outer wall of the building.
So far, four rooms of this building have been excavated. Their floors were partly covered with a pebble-pavement. The western limiting wall or further rooms have probably been destroyed by the great north–south trench of the earlier excavations.

Our investigations inside the Neo-Assyrian house A 1 revealed that the pebble pavement covered a large part of the excavated area of the court. In 2008, great numbers of small objects had already been discovered next to the entrance to the courtyard. This year, the extreme high density of objects was also encountered in the newly excavated parts of the courtyard. Among them were many beads, but also objects made of bronze (e.g. pins), iron (e.g. a sickle), or bone. A special find was a very finely crafted small ivory head. The context resting upon the pavement was very rich in pottery sherds, also including fragments of stone vessels (Fig. 1). The southern boundary of the courtyard can only be traced by some remains of walls. Due to recent construction work by today’s inhabitants of the village of Tell Halaf, the question, as to whether or not more rooms originally lay to the south, can no longer be answered (Fig. 2).
To the north, the courtyard is limited by a wall with a doorway leading into another part of the house. A rectangular basalt threshold is situated in the 90 cm wide doorway. A fragment of a miniature vessel with polychrome enamel color-painting was found close to the door (Fig. 3).

Parallel to the investigations on the «Lehmziegelmassiv», excavations in the squares south of the «West-Palast» were continued. Here, earlier excavations were re-examined and measures for future work in this area were taken, thereby also removing re-fillings of the old excavations on a large scale. Thus, the eastern wall of building A 7 can now be traced over a length of 8 m. Unfortunately, the east-west bound wall of building A 9 (discovered in 2008/2009) was cut in the area of square 6109 by a round deep sounding, dug by the earlier excavations. So far, a wall branching off southwards can be traced over a distance of at least 2 m (Fig. 4).

(Translation: A. Sollee / B. Sollee)

1Stone cup in situ on the floor of courtyard AC of building A 1 (Photo: R. Heitmann)
2Courtyard in front of building A 1 (Photo: D. Vogel)
3Fragment of a miniature vessel with polychrome enamel color-painting (Photo: L. Simons)
4Excavations south of the foundations of the «West-Palast» (Photo: D. Vogel)
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