Large Assyrian building emerges in Operation M.

by matney
In our search for Assyrian domestic houses in the lower town, we once again appear thwarted, this time by the presence of a very large Late Assyrian building. Today, Kemalletin uncovered the top of a 2m (6 ft) thick mudbrick wall in Operation M where we had hoped to find the modest dwellings of commoners.

Digging at a depth of just under 1m (3ft), Kemalettin recovered the first faint traces of mudbricks: two walls forming a corner at the northern edge of the trench. Adjoining the 2m thick wall is a perpendicular wall, perhaps about 80cm thick. At first glance, it seems possible that the thicker wall is an exterior wall for a large building, while the smaller wall may be an internal or partition wall, but at this point this is largely conjecture.

Importantly, we also found no evidence (or failed to find evidence) of the Romans, whose remains in the western lower town in 2011 foiled our search for Assyrian private houses in an area where geophysical survey was very suggestive. Kemalettin’s area in Operation M this year has a few pits cut into it, but no significant occupational levels above the Late Assyrian building.

We are dating the walls on the basis of the associated pottery, but according to our earlier work in Operation M, the floors should be located about 50cm (1.5 ft) below where we are excavating now so even this dating must remain tentative. By mid-week, we should be down to a primary Late Assyrian floor and hopefully the artifacts found on the floor will provide some clues as to the function of this large building in Operation M. We should know a lot more in a few days.