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Grabungskampagne 2004

7th season 

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
Vorderasiatische Altertumskunde

Director: Prof. Dr. M.Heinz

Trench supervisors
Dr. Ali, Nabil - Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
Badreshany, Kemal - American University, Beirut
Frommherz, Corinna, M.A. - Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
Kirsch, Elisabeth, M.A. - Berlin
Dr. Leschke, Christian - Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
Wagner, Elisabeth, M.A. - Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg

Pottery studies
Dr. Kulemann-Ossen, Sabina - Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
Dr. Mertens, Sabine - Freiburg
Möhle, Max - Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
Saati, Jamal - Kamid el-Loz
Yahya, Hassan, Licence - Lebanese University, Beirut

Draftsperson
Leicht, Michael, freelance graphic-designer - Freiburg

 

Preface 
As already said in 2002, the success of a season is due to the help of many.
First of all I thank Dr. Frederic Husseini, General Director of the National Department of Antiquities, for his cooperation and the generous help in administration and organisation.
Tania Zaven, M.A and Assad Seif, M.A. have been at our side, Dr. Suzy Hakimien kept the door open, as all the years before. We are lucky and we would like to express our sincere thanks to our friends and colleagues in Beirut.
Our work in Kamid el-Loz would not have been possible without the financial support of the Gerda Henkel - Foundation and the Albert-Ludwigs-University. My sincere thanks go to both institutions. In Kamid el-Loz mayor Ali Safiye gave us all the support we needed - many thanks for this.
An excavation is only as good as its team - my sincere thanks again to the 38 workmen of Kamid el-Loz for six weeks of co-operative and humorous working together.
And last but not least - my sincere thanks to the team of students and colleagues who took part in the 2004 excavation with great enthusiasm: Dr. Nabil Ali, Kemal Badreshany, Corinna Frommherz, M.A., Lisa Kirsch, M.A., Dr. Sabina Kulemann-Ossen, Michael Leicht, Dr. Christian Leschke, Dr. Sabine Mertens, Max Möhle, Elisabeth Wagner, M.A. and Hassan Yahya, Licence.
As usual this report has to be seen as a piece of "work in progress", a draft version of a first report, written during the excavation time. Still missing details concerning the chronological position of pottery and buildings, sections and ground plans that are still being drawn, drawings and photographs of contexts and small-finds will be added later.

Kamid el-Loz, 16. September 2004
 

I. Working Period 
The German archaeological team arrived in Lebanon on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004. Work begun on Wednesday, August 4th, 2004. The season ended on Thursday, September 17th, 2004. 

II. Scientific Aims of the Season 2004
In 2004 the excavation concentrated on 4 areas concerning the research on Roman and Hellenistic settlement activities: 1. the "slope area", 2. the so called "Kuppe", 3. the immediate neighbourhood west of the palace and 4. the Hellenistic house IV in the south-west of the tell. Further excavations have been carried out in the temple and in the deep sounding of the palace-area, there focused on the Bronze Age levels (plate 1).

plate_01.jpg

The "Slope Area" / II-f-4, 5, 6 and II-g-6, 7
During season 2001 house II was excavated in the "slope area". Its ground plan, aspects of its functions and its chronological position have been cleared on the whole. In 2002 our interests concentrated on the surrounding buildings north and north-east of the house, their functions and chronological positions (see report 2002).
In 2004 we concentrated our work on the west and north-west areas around house II. Our main objectives here are to reconstruct the settlement layout of this neighbourhood, to gather information about the functions exercised in this part of the settlement and to define its chronological position. As in 2002 we combined the analysis of the horizontal dimensions with the analysis of stratigraphical information gained in deep trenches in the "slope area" (plate 2).

 
plate_02.jpg
 

The so called Kuppe / I-g-18 / II-g-1, 2
In 1997 a Roman house (house I) was excavated on the so called Kuppe in area II-g-1/2 (plate 1). In addition to our analysis of the horizontal dimension we added a deep trench on the west-slope of area I-g-18. A stone wall emerged, then roughly dated to the Roman period. In 2004 our intention was to expose this wall and possible additional walls belonging to this structure to a greater extent (plate 3). In addition to this its chronological positions should be checked. In 2002 we realised that our preliminary dating of the wall to the Roman period might have been due to Roman pits (!), deepened into older structures on the spot.

Plate 3      

plate_03.jpg


Further sondages were carried out to explore possible older building structures underlying house I - as suggested by the results of the geomagnetic prospection done in 2003 (plate 4).

Plate 4 
        plate_04.jpg                                                      
 
  
    

The Palace area in Roman - Hellenistic times / III-a-12, 13
A thick ash layer at the western end of our deep trench in the palace area (exposed in 2002) turned out to be of Roman / Hellenistic origin. Our research in 2004 concentrated on a massive stone wall there (see our report of 2002). The aim of the 2004 excavation in this part of the site was to reconstruct the building structure, its chronological position in detail and possible functions of the context (plate 5).

 
Plate 5

plate_05.jpg


The area south-west of the palace = the Hellenistic house / III-b-12, 13, 14 and III-c-14, 15 In 2002 the area south-west of the palace was explored for the first time. A massive house structure was exposed, "disturbed" mainly in its western part by graves constructed here after the house had been abandoned.
In 2004 we tried to reconstruct the layout of further parts of the house and to explore the history of building activities in this context (plate 6).

 
Plate 6
 
plate_06.jpg
 
 
 

The Temple Area / I-f-12, 13, 14
Just west of the late-bronze-age palace lies the hellenistic house, partly excavated in 2004. The house contained a startling high concentration of stamped pottery as well as carefully decorated vessels. We are interested in the function, layout and size of the house. 

III-a-13/14/15 - The Iron-age evidence
In 2004 we layed open a stone build structure (house ? courtyard restriction?), a lime pla-stered pit and tannurs bordering the late-bronze-age palace-wall. In 2005 we enlarged this area to collect more information about the activities in the immediate palace-neighbourhood and about the connections of this working-area to the palace. 

III-a-15 / The "Palace Wall" and its surrounding / Late Bronze Age
In 1999 the excavation in area I-f-16 exposed the ground plan of a temple, part or predecessor of the - to date not yet fully published - temple T5. The 2002 season brought to light information about the late Bronze Age building activities north of the temple (see our report 2002). In 2004 we continued on the one hand the exploration of the living area, on the other hand we opened the area to the south extending our excavations into the former late-Bronze-Age temple-site (plate 7).

 
Plate 7
 
plate_07.jpg
 

The Palace Area / III-a-12, 13 

The second investigation in the palace area concentrated on the eastern massive wall discovered in our deep trench in 2002 (see our report 2002). According to the pottery analysis of 2002 this structure should belong to the period of the late Bronze Age palace. Chronology and the form and structure of the building here should be explored in 2004 (plate 5). 

III. Short Overview of the History of the Site 
The earliest known history of the settlement Kamid el-Loz starts during the early Bronze Age. Pottery of this period derived from the stratigraphical sondages of the temple and palace areas (2002). The most recent known settlement dates back into Roman times. Furthermore some fragments of byzantine to medieval pottery were found, unfortunately out of context.

The first architectural evidence of a proper settlement comes from living houses on the site, which according to the pottery can be dated into the middle Bronze Age. Nothing so far can be said about the function and character of the settlement during these two periods. It was only in the following late Bronze Age, that Kamid el-Loz, then called Kumidi developed into a major city in South-Beqa'a. A temple, a palace, a workshop area and some graves formed the main architectural structures of which remains have been discovered. While the general lay-out of the city is still unknown, some hints concerning its function are available. As texts from Egypt and Kumidi show, the city has been used as the seat of the Egyptian administration in the Beqa'a, Egypt then being the dominant power in the region. When the Egyptian power diminished and major political changes took place in the area, the function of Kumidi changed. The kind of settlement and the importance of Kumidi during the Iron Age has still to be explored, first hints given with our results from 2002 indicate, that the settlement had been a solid one. (Former considerations that indicated a regress of the city Kamid el-Loz to a small village have to be revised).

It was only in the following late Bronze Age, that Kamid el-Loz, then called Kumidi developed into a major city in South-Beqa'a. A temple, a palace, a workshop area and some graves formed the main architectural structures of which remains have been discovered. While the general lay-out of the city is still unknown, some hints concerning its function are available. As texts from Egypt and Kumidi show, the city has been used as the seat of the Egyptian administration in the Beqa'a, Egypt then being the dominant power in the region. When the Egyptian power diminished and major political changes took place in the area, the function of Kumidi changed.

It is known from the results of the excavations of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 that Tell Kamid el-Loz has been used as a settlement site until the late Hellenistic / early Roman period. In 1997, 1999 and 2000 work concentrated on the so called "Kuppe" (hilltop) region, where a house (living area, handicraft) and the so called "glacis" have been exposed. In 2000 the excavation was enlarged, trenches were opened in the east and a second building of the late Hellenistic / early Roman period were discovered. The excavations of 2001 and 2002 exposed further architectural proof of the Hellenistic-Roman settlement with house II. House IV (2002) meanwhile proved that a proper Hellenistic settlement had been established in Kamid el-Loz. When the inhabitants of the Roman settlement moved to another spot, the former living-areas were once again transformed into a cemetery. According to the pottery and glass finds, the settlements on the "Kuppe" as well as on the eastern slope and the area south-west of the palace (season 2000, 2001, 2002) have probably been used from the third century B.C until the first century A.D. without any hiatus. The fact that the site has been settled during late Hellenistic- early Roman times gives a new insight into the history of Kamid el-Loz, compared to the results of the excavations done by the University of Saarbrücken.

Roman pottery was in use between 100 B.C. and 600 A.D. (Hayes 1997:12). In political terms the history of the Roman Empire is divided into the Republican period (c.509-31 B.C.) and the Imperial period (31 / 27 B.C. - 324, 410, 476 A.D.). In its early years this Roman period overlapped with the Greek culture, the "Hellenistic period". The end of the Roman period sees the beginning of the new Christian Byzantine civilisation of Constantinople (op.cit., S.12).

 
Periodsabsolute chronologydomestic architecture"palace"templebuilding periodsnotes
Roman* 50 B.C. - 50 A.D.+  ?* terra sigillata
Hellenistic* 3rd. century B.C.
- 1st. century B.C.
+  ?* megarian bowls
Iron Age I1000 - 1200 B.C.+  1-3pottery
Late Bronze Age I-IIB1200 - 1600 B.C.+palace 1-5temple 1-34-5pottery
Middle Bronze Age -1600 - 1900 B.C.+not reachedtemple 46-7pottery
Middle Bronze Age IIA1900 - 2100 B.C.+  8pottery
Middle Bronze I to Chalcolithic2100 - 4100 B.C.+  -pottery
 

IV. Excavation-Areas 

1. The "Slope Area" II-g-5, II-g/f-6, II-g/f-7 (Elisabeth Wagner)
 
1.1 Areas: II - g - 5; II - g/f - 6; II - g/f - 7 (E. Wagner) (plates 1 and 2)

1.1.1 Aims of season 2004
This season the possible structures, buildings, features and functions of the areas west of house II should be explored. Therefore the area - due to the inclination of the tell - has been divided into two excavation sections, one located north-west of house II, explored by C. Frommherz, and one in the south-west, explored by E. Wagner. Because of the large amount of modern rubble on the northern part, it had been decided to use a caterpillar to remove the surface earth. 

1.1.2 Procedure
Thanks to the excavated areas on the 'Kuppe' and the test trenches on the slope, we were able to reach the level of the so called glacis using the caterpillar without destroying any archaeological contexts. Beginning at a point of about E 1030/N 1014,50 - 1030/1017,50 the surface earth had been removed as far as E 1064/N 1014 and E 1064/N1017. The opened area covered 3 m from north to south. In the slope area of II-g/f-6 the surface rubble was removed further to the north in an extension of about 5 m. In addition to this, the deep trench of season 2001 in area II-g-7 has been extended and started as new deep trench, located east of the former one. The area north-west of house II could therefore be explored by deep trenches and by larger excavations in horizontal dimensions. Here we were able to establish stratigraphical analyses of the western part of house II, presumably dating from the early Iron Age up to the Roman Period, and to gain insights into larger settlement areas, their functions and use. So both chronology/stratigraphy and settlement activities/functions near to house II have been explored. 

1.1.3 The deep trench in II-g/f-7
The deep trench covers the area from the point E 1060/N1014 - E 1069,5 /N 1014 to E 1062/N 1024 - E 1069,5/N 1024.

Two former massive stone walls have been uncovered, wall M 1 runs SE to NW, wall M 2 runs SW to NE, whereas M1 seems to be on a slightly higher level than M 2 (plate 2). Both were constructed as 'Schalenmauern'. Apparently they broke, so that many stones, formerly belonging to the walls, surrounded the remaining wall parts. Another wall M 3 (if the stone accumulation can be considered as a wall) runs from S to E on a lower level than wall 2 and seems to undergo wall M 2 in its western end. The details of the chronological sequence still have to be analysed. 'Roman' sherds including large amounts of T.S. as well as Hellenistic pottery were found in the surrounding and covering earth. In the SE- corner of the trench, between wall M 1 and 2 - on a slightly lower level - a vessel and several sherds date this level into the Iron Age. If the Roman pottery (mostly first century A.D. according to Paul Reynolds) corresponds to the walls, than their dating is comparable to house II and indicate a densely settled Roman area in this part of the tell. However the type of construction of the wall does not exactly match the wall types of house II. Mostly around the northern part of wall M 2 the pottery of the upper layers, corresponding to wall 2 varies from Roman to Hellenistic. Since Roman pottery has been found in findspots above and below those containing Hellenistic sherds it is necessary to consider a pit or any kind of disturbance for that context. Further details will be analysed and open questions concerning the stratigraphy and chronology hopefully will be answered in 2005. 

Furthermore it is most likely that the pottery, dating into older times than Roman or Hellenistic, coming out of the SE corner (E 1062,5/N 1014-E 1064/N1014 to E 1064/N1016,50) and of the deeper laying northern parts of the trench (E 1062,5/N1018-E 1064/N1018 to E 1062,5 N 1021,5/E 1064/N 1021,5) belong to an older phase which contained mud bricks and burned, as well as broken mud bricks. Underneath the broken mud bricks a mud brick wall / M4 could be uncovered). Due to the small extension of our trench we will continue the exploration of the details only in the following season 2005. As far as the pottery analyses shows, wall M4 clearly belongs to an Iron Age occupation period and is definitely older than the stone walls M1, 2 and 3. 

* features: (plate 2)
One broken tannour could be uncovered. In the earth below this tannour and the surrounding structures (FS 38) a small bronze tool was found. (plate 9) Very close to the west of the tannour a storage jar was found, destroyed by some big stones laying on the top of the installations. Both indicate household activities. The wall of the tannour was heavily damaged and a grey mud layer on the ground indicates that we reached the bottom of this working facility. As far as we can see now, this working place in the north of the trench lays slightly higher than the mud brick wall (north of the M2) but still too deep to belong to the same phase as one of the stone walls.

 
Plate 9
 
plate_09.jpg
 

* layers:
Several layers could be explored. Some of the important ones shall be mentioned here in detail. The top of the excavation area was covered by a 1m-2m high layer (Nr 6-7 in the section drawing). In the south of the area this layer covered an earth layer including ashes and charcoal (Nr.1). A destruction layer (Nr. 2) with large charcoal pieces (4-6 cm) and ashes and pottery follows. Layer 2 overlaps a thick mud layer (Nr. 3). Underneath we found a layer of earth (Nr. 10 +4) containing mud bricks, most of them fragmented and broken. In the north of the section it seems possible that a modern pit disturbs the context, but the outline of the pit itself could not be established. A thin layer of stones and pottery fragments (Nr. 11) divides the earth in two layers, whereas the earth itself is not changing (this layer does not stretch over the whole section). At about 1,7-2,3 m several bigger stones, earth, mud and mud bricks belonging to wall 4, indicate a change of activities in this part of the area (Nr. 9 + a-i). 

* pottery: see below: pottery report

 * chronological conclusions:
The walls M1 and M2 could, according to the large amounts of terra sigillata found there can be assigned to one occupation period and to that of house II. The deeper layers (Nr. 9,3,10,4,a-i) can be dated earlier. The higher percentage of sherds coming from the deeper layers of the trench clearly belong to the Iron Age. Only very little Hellenistic pottery has been found in this area. Whether a Hellenistic settlement has to be taken into consideration or whether house II had been built directly on the top of the Iron Age structures has still to be clarified.

1.1.4 The deep trench in II - g/f - 6 and II - g - 5
E: 1045/1020-1040/N1015 - - E:1050/1022-1050/N1015; E: 1050/N1015-E1050/N1022 - - E: 1060 /N1022- E: 1060/N1014

* Introduction:
These areas belong to a Roman occupation period and indicate an extensive use for household activities like baking, cooking and storaging.

* The so called Glacis and 'modern' burials':
As in the area of house II some parts of the excavated working area - mostly concerning the western parts - were covered by the so called glacis. In the extension to II-g-5 the 'glacis' contained even two layers of stones. In some places, mainly concerning the transition from II-g-6 to II-g-5, some burials of post-Roman times overlapped the structures.

* features:
The features of the area II-g/f-6 and -5 (plate 2), clearly revealing it to be a working place, are mainly tannours, ovens and a storage jar. Tannour 3 could only be seen in the southern section of the trench. Tannour 1,4 and 5 show different kinds of colours, tannour 1 is orange, 4 orange-reddish and 5 pinkish. Best preserved is the oven (called tannour 2) showing a height of about 60 cm, very well burned with a deep red colour of the brick face. A man-made hole in the middle (to be seen on its eastern site) refers to its usage as a storage facility. Near the south of the 'oven' we uncovered a large storage vessel, giving further hints on the use of this space as a working place.

* walls and 'Windfänge' (wind protection):
One wall (M1) in this context does not belong to the later discovered working area, but to an earlier phase of which no superstructure could be found, -it was uncovered and removed for further research. During the removal (FS 22) a bronze bracelet was found (plate 9).The pottery out of this findspot clearly dates into Roman times. Several further stone structures were uncovered. Structure 2 (the so called Windfang 2) can be interpreted as a protection against wind or other disturbances for tannour 1 and 4. Another round structure (Windfang 1) may have had the same function for tannour 2. However 'Windfang 1' is remarkably larger in its width than 'Windfang 2'. The construction of these features indicate that the working place was an open space, maybe a courtyard. Three walls are likely to belong to this area. Two of them are heavily damaged and were situated in the north-west of the tannours. M 2 runs from SE to NW, ending in the west slightly north to the beginning of M3. M 4 running SW to NO ends north of M 2 nearly at wall M 3. This wall (M3) stretches west of the other walls from West to East and is built of extraordinary large block stones and well preserved (plate 2). The further course of M 3, which ends in its eastern extension just several centimetres in front of M 2 is still not known and will be explored in 2005.The large wall M 3 can be seen as the outer extension of a larger building, probably belonging directly to the working places.

* floors:
Traces of one floor west of the tannours were uncovered. The floor was made of plaster, with a light greenish colouring.

* pottery: see pottery report below.

* usage and functions of the area according to pottery and small finds:
The large amount of fine wares, mostly terra sigillata propose that the area at least belonged to a rather well situated household or to a group of households, possessing this amount of probably imported fine wares. The small amount of small finds, larger vessels and other facilities indicates that the area was not destroyed or destructed, but thoughtfully abandoned. 

* chronological conclusions:
As far as the pottery analyses shows house II ( and house IV/2002) was used during the same time span, meaning at least the first half of the first century A.D. Since the pottery of the first layers of the deep trench, mostly stratigraphically corresponding to the walls M1 contained similar sherds of terra sigillata, the walls M 1 and M2 should belong to the same period as the working area of II-g/f- 5/6. 

1.1.5 Conclusions
The aim of season 2004 - to explore the occupation west of house II and to gain insights into the stratigraphical situation west of house II - could be reached. Southwest of house II lies a working area with tannours, storage facilities and several stone structures dating to a similar period as house II. Furthermore a larger building, indicated by M3 of II-g/f5-6, can be expected in this context.
The deep trench shows several occupation layers, reaching from Roman times to Iron Age, perhaps including a Hellenistic "layer". The Iron Age layers containing storage vessels and a tannour also reveal a domestic use of this area. Wall M 1 and M2/II-g/f-7 of the earlier times as well as the deeper layers full of charcoal pieces and burned mud bricks of the deep trench show heavy destruction. The exploration of stratigraphical and chronological details will be done in the next working season. 

1. The "Slope Area" II-f-4, II-f-5, II-g-6 (Corinna Frommherz) 

1.2 Areas II-f-4, II-f-5, II-g-6 (Corinna Frommherz) (plates 1 and 2) (Corinna Frommherz)

1.2.1 Aims of season 2004
The most important aim of the season was to explore the structures, buildings and functions of the area west of house II and connect them where possible to the structures that were excavated in 2001 and 2002.

1.2.2 Procedure
In areas II - f - 4, II - f - 5 and II - f - 6 we excavated mainly the horizontal dimensions, no deep trench was opened here. 

1.2.3 Results
Area II-e-7 contains, like the neighbouring sector II-e-6, a living area as well as a cemetery.

Area II - f - 4
In the northern part a wall leads from the north-north-west to the south-south-west (M 1). On the northern end of the trench a big stone cut the wall, probably part of grave 2. In the north-eastern corner of area II-f-4 the skeleton of a little child was found (grave 1). Already in 2002 the wider area here turned out to be a post-Roman cemetery and the graves found then included also children's burials. On the western side of M 1 several big stones probably form a floor. The northern part of the wall is connected to M 2004/2 (Collo).

According to the state of preservation of this building structure, no proper ground plan could be reconstructed, the function of this area remains unclear.

Area II - e - 4
In this area also only a few structures have been preserved in the south-eastern part. Two stone structures were found in this area, probably graves, here called structure S 2 and S 3. They are constructed of big stone slabs and are oriented in an east-western direction. M 2004/2(Collo) in the neighbouring area could not be connected to any structures here.

Area II - f - 5
In II - f - 5 only two walls were found (M 1, M 2). M 1 leads from south-east to north-west and is constructed of several big, almost quadrangular stones and smaller ones of minor working quality.

In the northern part of the trench, a further wall (M 2) was discovered without any connection to other walls except M 1, together forming a rectangular structure. Its biggest part has been disturbed by grave 1, grave 2 and grave 3 on the western side of the wall. Grave 1 and 2 are built of big stone slabs. Grave 3 was just a burial without any building-structure, the skeleton rather well preserved (not shown on plate 2). All the burials are east-western oriented.

South of M 1 a further stone structure (S 1) was excavated, which again, due to its bad state of preservation, could not be connect to other structures (not shown on plate 2).

In the south-western corner of this area, a big and a small basin could be recovered, which are probably functionally comparable to the one found in 2002 (Nieling 2002) and are connected there to wine-processing. In the small one, a big stone vessel with handles and ornaments was found on its base (plate 25). The base of this basin had been laid out with a layer of small pebble stones. The dating of this installation is still an open question which can only be answered after the careful study of the pottery - we found many Roman amphorae in this trench! (But - see the suggestion for the dating of the northern "winery" in 2002).

The stone vessel shows a decoration on its outer side. The ornaments on the vessel seam to be leaves, maybe wine-leaves, a symbol often connected to Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and fertility.

Concerning the pottery, it should be mentioned, that very few terra sigillata, but a lot of cooking pots and amphorae have been excavated in this area. This aspect is very interesting, considering the above described wine basin. Also the small finds of this area are remarkable. On the northern side of M 1 (FS 20) a small applicator for kohl, made of ivory was found and another ivory object - a rectangular decorated plate - was found, both without any structural connection (FS 16), as well as a Bronze fibula (for all three objects, see plate 8). Even 5 Roman coins were excavated in different spots all over the area.

To sum up, it can be said, that only a few walls have been preserved in this area, but many findings. The chronological frame dates into the Roman periods.

 

Plate 25
 
plate_25.jpg
 

Area II - f - 6
In this area several structures were noticed. M 1 and M 2 belong to the same structure and form a bow with a short wall in their middle part. M 2 leads west towards M 3. They are constructed of uneven stones of different sizes, overrun M3 and belong to a younger building phase (not shown on plate 2).

In the western part of the trench a long wall leads in north-southern direction (M 3) building a rectangle with M IX in its northern and M 4 in its southern end. Like wall M IX it is constructed of well worked stones.

M 4 leads in east-western direction and seems to have 2 building levels. Level 1 continues on the same level as M 3 and M IX. About 1,4m east of the area's western border this level ends and level 2 begins. The stones of this level are bigger and rather badly worked. The entire wall is of less working quality. It is about 4m long and it ends at the beginning of M 6. (Plate 2 illustrates only the older building level.)

M 5, a curved-lined wall, runs from north-west to the east. This part is considered to be likely part of the glacis. The stratigraphical analysis of M 6 caused the biggest problem in this area, due to the connections excavated in 2002 (M X, M XI, M VIII, M IV, M II). It forms the point where M 4, M 5, M 6, M IV and M II come together.

At first M 6 seemed to belong to M 4, level 1, this also applied to the building, that it formed with M 3 and M IX. This is hardly possible because this complex (M II, M IX) leads under complex M X, M XI, M VIII, M IV, M II. M 6 however clearly cuts M IV and M II. The stones of M 6 are small grey and of a poor working quality and thus completely different from those of M IV and M II, which are made of big rounded blocks. M 6 must be younger than M IV and M II. An explanation might be that it is part of the glacis, like M 5 and S 1 which are made of the same stones. So far no installation was found or connected to the walls 1-6.

A proposal for the chronology and stratigraphy of this building complex shall be given: The oldest walls are M IX, M 3 and M 4, which belong to the same building Then the complex of M II, M IV, M VIII, M XI, M X was built, to which the second level of M 4 as well as M 1 and M 2 belong.

After this the probably ruined buildings were covered by the glacis.

In the southern part two further walls, M 7 and M 8, were excavated. M 7 forms a rectangle with M 2004/7*, with a floor between them. A further wall leads to the south (M 8), but only a very little part of it was excavated. Concerning the findings of this area, it has to be noted that they indicate a Roman context. Very little Greek pottery was found in findspot 43. To sum up - only a little amount of pottery and a few small finds were found here, especially in comparison to the neighbouring area II - f - 5.

1.1.4 Conclusion
Concerning the areas II - e - 4 and II - f - 4 only little information can be given about the structures. We only found M 1 and probably a floor belonging to it. Any real house forms or functions could not be reconstructed so far. Area II - f - 5 also gave us only little information about building structures, but it was rich in small finds. Any connection to structures found in other areas were not visible. An interesting installation here are the wine-processing basins.

In II - f - 6 we have several building levels, as shown above. The house forms and functions of these different structures have not yet been identified.

2. The so called Kuppe I-g-18 / II-g-1/2 (Nabil Ali) 

2.1 Areas I-g-18 / II - g -1/2

2.1.1 Introduction
Preliminary report on the 2004 season of excavations at Kamid el-Loz (Area I-g-18 and II-g-1/2) This preliminary report presents the results of excavations that were conducted on the so-called Kuppe area of the tell. It is located on the western slope of the tell (Area I-g-18 and II-g-1). Area II-g-1 is partly excavated with the coordinates of 1000 E/1005 E and 1019,75N / 1012, 70 N; whereas I-g-18 has the coordinates of 990E/1000E and 1000N/1020.

2.1.2 Aims
The excavations in the above mentioned areas were chosen to reach the following aims. These are

  1. Explaining the relationships between House I (dated to the Roman period) and the deposits to the west.

  2. Exploring the building structures underlying House I (esp. in area II-g-1/2).

  3. Gathering more data that can support the dating of a massive wall (wall 3) that had been exposed during the 1999 seasons. During this season a deep trench west of house I and just located at the western-slope was laid out. Unfortunately, the amount of gathered pottery sherds was low and could not support a definite dating of this wall.

Therefore, this season we hoped to gather more data to support the dating of wall 3, and to extend the excavated area to expose the other structure(s) that may be correlated with this wall. Secondly, to get a well-stratified context that can shed light on the chronological sequences to the west of House I.

2.1.3 Procedure
To achieve the above-mentioned aims, two main operations were conducted in two different areas. One trench was laid out in area I-g-18, on the western slope (plate 3), and the second, near to the first, located in area II-g-1 (plate 4). The location of these two trenches allowed an understanding of the relation between the massive wall (Wall 3) and the deposits / building structures to its east, whereas the second trench gives an understanding of the relationship of House I in area II-g-1/2 to the north-west. In the area of wall 3, a step-trench was laid out to establish the stratigraphy and chronology from the top (House I building level) to the bottom (wall 3) building level. Two such steps were founded on the slope each measuring ca. 1m in width.

2.1.4 Results
The excavations in I-g-18 have revealed the following phases:

1. Phase 1
Phase 1 consists of the following FS(n): 3, 5, 6, and 7. These formed what would be called the Tanour room (at a level of 943. 94 m). It consists of a southern wall (FS03), a northern one (FS06), and to the west is limited by an irregular and partly preserved line of stones surrounding the tanour (FS 05). The floor of this room is made of compacted soil layer of brown colour (FS07) (943.71 m ). The pottery evidence indicates that this phase can be dated to the Roman period (no illustration here).

2. Phase 2
It consists of the following findspots (FS): 09; 08; 010; 11. Two burials 010, and 011 have been dug in the deposits of 08. The skeleton of burial FS 10 had been laid on its right side whereas the face was directed to the south. This burial seems to be placed in a pit inside a larger one dating to an earlier phase (08). No grave offerings were found with this skeleton. Burial FS 11 was also found inside the large pit (FS08) and just 2 m from the first one. Interestingly, this skeleton has been found in an unusual position. The face oriented down, one of the arms has been placed on the hip whereas the second one on the thigh. The legs were crossing each other at the knee. The right leg of this skeleton appears to have been broken sometime during this person's lifetime. The grave was marked with first-sized stones. The skeletons position indicates that it may have been subjected to violence before burial (not illustrated here). This phase can be dated to the Roman period (see pottery analysis report). 

3. Phase 3
Phase 3 consists of a temporary surface (FS 09), which is located under FS 07 (the compacted soil layer). It can be described as a working surface, (FS09) made of pebble-sized stones. The high density of pottery sherds and animal bones might lead to the suggestion that such a stone layer was a surface. The pit (FS08) also belongs to this phase. It seems that this pit had been dug from the stone layer level. Moreover, the pit should be described as later than 09 because this stone layer has an extension to the north but is interrupted in the middle of the trench by the pit (08) (not illustrated here).The dating of this phase is also Roman. 

4. Phase 4
Phase 4 could have been a working area consisting of FS 013 (stone clusters), 012 pocket of ash, and a grey soil layer mixed with tiny pieces of charcoal (015 and 014). This phase can be correlated to the east with FS 07 (II-g-1) where a stone layer with nearly complete vessels on it came to light, such as a cooking pot, a juglet, and the large sherds of a storage jar. The dating of this phase, as phase 3, is Roman (not illustrated here).

5. Phase 5
Please see Phase 3 in II-g-1

6. The main operations around Wall 03 (plates 3 and 4)
As mentioned above, one of the main aims of this season was to correlate the massive wall (wall 3) with House I to the east. House I is located in area II-g-1/2 at a level of 943.73-943.53 m. This house is almost 18 m to the east of the massive wall (3) in I-g-18. Wall 3 is at the level of 940. 95 m. Wall 3 lies almost 2.78 m under House I and runs from N to SW. It is preserved in some parts up to seven stone layers. It is ca. 2, 30 m high, and built of two rows of stones of large sizes that were filled in with smaller ones. The width of this wall is ca. 0.7 m. The wall has been built on a thick muddy layer mixed with pieces of charcoal.

Wall (3) has been subjected to destruction through two main pits. At its SW part, it has been destroyed by a later pit (021). At some points only the lowest stones have been preserved. On the northern part of wall 3, another pit (022) seems to have destroyed its northern extension. This pit also destroyed part of wall 4 that abuts to wall 3. Wall 4 goes from east to west and is constructed similar to wall 3.

Two main building phases can be distinguished during the lifetime of wall 3. One phase, the earliest, has a doorway at its northern part. During the second phase, this doorway has been closed and filled with fist-sized stones.

Unfortunately, we did not find any floor adjunct to the wall from the western part. So far, the deposits just west of wall 3 do not yet provide a proper context that can help us to understand either the dating of the wall or its functional context.

The following excavation concentrated on the eastern part of wall 3. This area includes the third step in the trench and is about 2m wide and 3.5 m long. At the level of 941.45-27 a floor of compact mud has been excavated. Two post-holes cut the floor.

The other main features that have been excavated east of wall 3 seem to be subsequent floors. These have been distinguished by stone layers - fixed in mud and fairly compact in texture. For example FS 048 (940.94) represents a floor consisting of a layer of fist-sized stones that have been covered by an ashy layer. It seems that wall 3 has survived the different building activities that were carried out just east of it. Another phase of use is the one that correlated with FS 056 (940.37). This layer mainly consisted of stones in different sizes (ca. 20-30 cm in diameter) and smaller ones of fist size. These stones have been exposed to fire, for example the limestones were brittle in texture. To this phase also wall 8 might have belonged, which runs from south to north and meets wall 3. Wall 8 has a foundation of stones which are ca. 10-25 cm in size. The upper parts of it might have been made of pisé. The length of this wall is ca. 150 cm.

These phases can be safely correlated with the wall 3. It seems that this wall has been the western side of a domestic building that extends more to east, after closing its doorway.

Explanation
During the 1999 season of excavation, the massive wall (3) had been partly exposed. This had been carried out within a limited wide trench (1 m wide). Consequently, wall 3 was thought to date to the Roman period, as the collected pottery sherds indicated. These results can be re-evaluated now based on two main points. First, the excavations west of wall 3 hvew shown that this area has been subjected to intensive disturbance. This might have well caused the mixing of pottery and its heterogeneity, which made the dating of wall 3 a difficult task. Secondly, wall 3 has been cut by a later pit, which during 1999 season could not be identified as a result of the limited size of the excavation area.

The extension of the excavation area this season enables us to understand the problem of dating of the massive wall. The identification of the recent disturbance layers and the location of the pits turned our attention to the east of wall 3. In this secure context the pottery sherds have shown that the wall is earlier than what was previously thought. Till now the collected pottery sherds supported our conclusion that this wall can be dated to the Iron Age.

The results of excavations in Area II-g-1 (only selected contexts will be illustrated) In this area a deep trench has been laid out just close to the eastern side of area I-g-18. The following phases have been identified. These are:

1. Phase 1
Phase 1 consists of a hearth (FS 04) at the level of 942.92, a grey soil layer, mixed with tiny pieces of charcoal (FS 03), and cluster of stones (FS05). This kind of stone clusters might have been used as a platform. This phase can be correlated with Phase 1 in I-g-18.

2. Phase 2
This phase represents a platform, made of stones (FS07), at a level of 942.62. Directly above these stones semi-intact vessels such as cooking pots, a juglet and parts of storage vessels were found (plate 14). The cluster of these pots and the small spatial unit where they have been found, might indicate a surface area within a courtyard. This surface is correlated with a grey soil layer mixed with tiny pieces of charcoal, hinting toward domestic activities. This surface probably dates to the Roman period (see pottery report).

 3. Phase 3
This phase is represented by an E-W wall (wall 7) and N-S one (wall 6). The former is located at a level of 942.23, almost 3m long and app. 0.60m wide. It is made of limestone, and is mainly of one course. wall 6 is vertically placed at the western end of Wall (7). The excavated extension of wall (6) is 1,25 m long, whereas its width is 85 cm. It seems that this wall is also made of one course of stones. However, the two walls are separated from each other by 50 cm. This might be a doorway.
The building technique of these walls might indicate that they served as shelter outside of a house. This might be deduced from the size of stones (ca. 20-25 cm intersected with first size ones), the use of undressed stones and the fact that they built only one course of stones. Moreover, the density of charcoal pieces mixed with the soil that was found just close to this wall and the thick ash layer (FS 017) just to the north of these walls, might support the suggestion that these walls are a feature built in a courtyard. The dating of these walls might be the Hellenistic period.

Explanations
The results of the excavations in the deep trench II-g-1 are remarkably useful with respect to the stratigraphy and chronology of the site. Despite the limited size of this trench (2 m wide and 2.4 long), a well-stratified sequence has been revealed. These sequences relate mainly to the Roman and Hellenistic periods and have been uncovered in a good context without interruption (please see section -not yet illustrated here). These results are useful in terms of identifying the relationship of House I with the north-west deposits. That is, the excavations underlying House I can provide insight on the stratigraphic and chronological sequence at the site.

Area II-g-1/ 2
Last year a geomagnetic survey has been carried out at the site. One aim of this is to identify the probable structures that can be excavated later. One of the results of this survey has shown that a kind of square, regular structure might underlay in one of the rooms in House I. Hence, a deep trench was allocated inside this room and to the north of it to attest the geomagnetic result. Unfortunately, the time left did not allow us to reach the structure, and it may still lay deeper. However, after reaching the lower courses of the room walls, a stone layer (FS 05) has been exposed. It extends inside the room without interruption.

To the north of this room and adjunct to its northern wall a plastered basin (FS 06) has been exposed. This basin was just laid under the removed part of the stone courses of the northern wall. Therefore, this feature is earlier than the room. However, the spatial relation of this plaster basin to other features or structures has not been cleared this season.

Explanation
The limited excavations in House I, however, yielded an interesting result concerning the construction methods of the houses during the Roman period. It seems more probable, that this stone layer (FS 05), had been laid out on purpose. The extension of this layer under the courses of the walls might be a hint that it has been used as a pavement. The function of this pavement might be a) to create a fixed, and levelled layer and b) that this pavement could support the above walls and make them stable.

3.The Palace Area III-a-12-13 (Christian Leschke / MH) 

3.1 Procedure in area III-a-12 (plate 5)
As a result of our 2002 explorations in the so called palace-area two large walls were exposed in the deep trench running east-west. While the western wall seemed to be of Roman / Hellenistic "origin", the eastern wall seemed to belong to an obvious earlier building phase -we assumed it to be of late-Bronze-Age origin. To date the walls and to analyse the chronological and stratigraphical details we continued our work in this area. Within a short working period of 2 weeks we opened two further deep-trenches, trench "east" and trench "west".

3.2 The (Roman?) / Hellenistic house V
The "east"-trench showed a stone built house, oriented NE / SW four rooms have been discovered so far. Among a lot of fragmented pottery, room 1 contained a storage vessel in situ, room 4, findspot d a complete Hellenistic jug (plate 24). A thick ash layer covered the whole house. Our working period in this area was too short to go into a detailed stratigraphical research or to expose larger horizontal dimensions. Our small trench however produced a new Hellenistic house type, compared to house IV in the immediate neighbourhood of the new house, now called house V.
 

Plate 24
 
plate_24.jpg
 

3.3 The Hellenistic settlement activities
Both houses not only prove the existence of a Hellenistic settlement, they already indicate different activities within the same neighbourhood - the representative and impressive house IV on the top of the area and the smaller living-house north of it. Further studies of this Hellenistic evidence are necessary - we also should try to connect the many clues given by the Hellenistic pottery from the slope area in the east of the tell with these settlement activities in the south-west. For preliminary chronological details see below - the pottery-report (Max Möhle, V). 

3.4 The east trench
The massive stone wall on nearly the same level as stone house V and with nearly the same orientation as house V (and as wall M 2, excavated in 2002, see plate 5) turned out to be of pre-Roman and pre-Hellenistic origin! The wall had collapsed, and the small dimensions of our trench did not yet produce further walls belonging to it. Nevertheless hints could be gathered according to the activities in this spot of the site. The wall bordered on a wide white circle, an installation not yet explainable (see plate 19). According to the pottery (see report below) wall and installation belong to the Iron / late Bronze Age. The close vicinity of the late Bronze Age palace /wall M 2, excavated in 2002, see plate 5) makes this area even more interesting. Further explorations here should to be continued in 2005

 
plate_19.jpg
 

4.The Area south-west of the palace III-b/c-14/15 (Kemal Badreshany) 

4.1 Area III -b/c - 14 / 15 (plates 1 and 6)

4.1.1 Introduction
Most of the actual excavation was limited to the south-western quadrants of the northern squares and to the northern quadrants of the southern squares. That is to say, between 950 to 965 east and 910 to 930 north. In fact, only one shallow trench was opened in square III - b - 13.

4.1.2 Aims and procedure of the 2004 Season
The aims of the 2004 season were twofold. The first aim was the completion of the reconstruction of the ground plan of house IV, which had already been started in the 2002 season. The second was a better understanding of the area's stratigraphy and any older building phases.

Aim 1
Due to the rather poor preservation of the upper building level, it was nearly impossible to simply follow the walls as they were all too often disrupted. These disruptions made it necessary to consider our methodology carefully. The first step taken to accomplish aim 1 was the complete exposure of the visible architecture. This included the systematic removal of all standing bulks in the area left from the 2002 season. The reason for this was to get as good an understanding as possible of the horizontal dimension of house IV, which in turn would help us plan our next moves. Further, since the bulks had been standing for two years and were already recorded, it was decided that they were of little use. The next move was making sketches of the ground plan and opening trenches at various points along its predicted extensions. These trenches usually consisted of long (2 to 3 meter) trenches that were 1 meter wide. Further, these trenches were placed in a way that would only expose half the wall so as not to cut it off stratigraphically. Unfortunately, opening of these trenches rarely produced new walls. In fact, they only proved that very little of phase 5 (see plate 6) was left to be uncovered, especially in its western quarter where the later cemetery nearly destroyed every trace.

Aim 2
For exploring the building levels four "deep trenches" have been placed. They are as follows: 

  • Deep trench 1 (co-ordinates: 1. 954 E 910 N 2. 958.50 E 910 N 3. 954 E 906.50 N 4. 958.50 906.50) south of the so far known ground plan of house IV in area III - c - 14.

  • Deep trench 2 (co-ordinates: 1. 964.38 E 923.18 N 2. 965.38 E 922.34 N 3. 960.56 E 919.78 N 4. 961.51 E 918.78 N) within the northern courtyard of house IV, area III - b - 15 / III - c -15.

  • Deep trench 3 (co-ordinates: 1. 961.14 E 927.38 N 2. 962.25 E 926.28 N 3. 954. 44 E 917.79 N 4. 953.18 E 919.19 N) located at the western extension of house IV.

  • Deep trench 4 (co-ordinates: 1. 960.56 E 919.78 N 2.961.51 E 918.78 N 3. 957.34 E 914.17 N 4. 955.91 E 914.80 N) the continuation to the south of deep trench 2.

4.1.3 Results

Deep Trench 1 (Section 1 III - c - 14, plate 28)
In deep trench one we first encountered four graves. Graves one and two were pit burials containing the remains of one individual. Graves three and four were built tombs (plate 6) (see graves section below) containing the remains of three and one skeletons respectively. The fact that Grave three was a communal tomb makes it unique to this season's excavation in this area. The older skeletons were simply swept up to make room for the later burials. All of these burials are of the post-Roman variety (see below). Most of the preceding layers contained Roman / Hellenistic pottery. At 943.36 m findspot 19, a lime floor was uncovered. The floor survived much better in section and was very patchy and hard to trace in three dimensions.

The trench size did not allow for a full understanding of this floor or any associated architecture. Under this floor, findspot 20 produced some interesting pottery, possibly dating to the Late Bronze or Early Iron Ages. Evidence remains scant, however, and this dating is not yet secure. Below FS 20, at 942.40 m, a layer of stones appeared that was named findspot 21. Findspot 21 has at least three "courses". Within the supposed rubble (no doubt after staring at it long enough!) a line of stones that appears to be a wall (Wall 11) emerged. The wall consists of rows of roughly faced medium sized stones and measures 1.50 m. In the western section parts of an ash layer that may be the floor associated with this wall was noted (plate 32). 

Findspot 21 was uncovered but not removed. Instead the trench was continued next to it and findspot 24, a layer of mud brick debris appeared. Directly under it the white ash layer, findspot 25 with long horizontal streaks of black ash emerged. This context was only about 5 to 10 cm thick and, at the risk of sounding strange, can only rightfully be described as quite beautiful. More important then its aesthetic qualities, however, was the fact it gently slopes up to, and covers, the lowest wall in the excavation area (wall 10). This can only indicate a gradual accumulation and betrays the ash layer as some feature related to the buildings function. Whether it is a proper floor or not is uncertain. 

With regards to wall 10 only two stones appeared, both medium in size and roughly faced. Lastly, it was decided that a small trench should pierce findspot 25 in order to gather ceramics. After 5-10 cm a brown medium sand with loose consistency was encountered. At a depth of about a meter it was decided that enough ceramics had been collected and work in this deep trench stopped. The reason for this was that the contexts became too interesting, and it was thought they really should be investigated with proper excavation and not a deep sounding. 

Deep Trench 2 (III - b - 15, Sections 1, and 2, plate 29 and 30)
Work in the second deep trench moved much more slowly than that in the first. The reason was the discovery, directly beneath the surface (FS 4) at a level of 944.36 m, of a lime plaster floor (FS 6). This was the first well-preserved plaster floor in the area, unfortunately only a small piece survived. 5 meters to the north-west at a level of 944.28 m close to wall 5, a second piece was found covered with mud brick debris. Due to the levels and the fact that findspot 6 is clearly not associated with wall 5, these floors are both considered to be associated with phase four (see below). 

The second problem was the discovery of the post-Roman grave 1. The north section (2) preserves traces of grave 1's pit that clearly cuts the surface layer and the Roman/Hellenistic layer (FS 5). Findspot 5 is a layer of mud-brick decay containing charcoal, pottery, and pieces of plaster. FS 8 was a sandy layer that was encountered in many parts of the area (see stratigraphy section). This layer produced little pottery and is mostly sterile. In the southern part of the trench, wall 6 (FS 10) was found. This wall is nearly perfectly aligned on a west-east axis, and belongs to an earlier phase (3). 

Deep Trench 3 (III - b - 15, Section 3, plate 31)
Deep trench 3 also got of to a slow start. Numerous debris and structures made it necessary to divide this trench into smaller segments. The extension of wall 7 (FS 14, III - b - 14) was soon uncovered and both belong to phase four. In front of this wall, partly preserved, two plaster floors belonging to this phase were noted. In the southern part of deep trench 3, wall 13 (FS 34 III - c -14) was found. Although this wall is 50 centimetres lower than wall 7, they run parallel to each other and are both considered part of phase 2. Interestingly, a nice piece of a plaster floor was found abutting this wall, and clearly belongs to it. Either the house was built in steps to accommodate for the slope of the tell, or the floor was sloping (see phases section). 

Deep Trench 4
Only one disturbed layer was associated with this trench (FS 27). Some stones, that are possibly the extension of wall 12, were uncovered. Veering to the east of this trench to chase these walls produced a tannour (FS 31). 

Building Phases (plate 6) 

Phase 6 (Post-Roman)
There are 6 building phases in the area of Hellenistic House IV. The latest, Phase 6, is post-Roman and is mainly represented by the graves (see graves section). These graves, as stated above, are one of the major factors contributing to the bad preservation of the earlier, phase 5. 

Phase 5 (Roman/ Hellenistic)
Phase 5 is the most extensive building phase in this area. The stones are all large, measuring up to 50 cm, and roughly faced. They usually occur in rows of two or three and never exceed two courses. These walls represent foundations that had mud-brick super-structures, as evidenced by the mud-brick decay found sporadically and in layers throughout the area. 

A reconstruction would show the known ground plan of House IV as a rectangular structure measuring approximately 9 meters in width and 15 metres in length. Wall 5 measures 9 meters in length and is divided in the middle, probably by the buildings entrance. This would be the only known entrance to the structure. Wall 2 measures 15 metres in length. This wall is bisected by wall 4, which measures 7 meters in length. Near this wall's centre it forms a corner with wall 1, which measures 5 meters in length. Walls 1, 2, 4, and 5 form a room measuring 3.20 m in width and 5 metres in length, or room 1. This room contained a tannur and basin, excavated in 2002, with a stone floor. This led us to interpret this "room" as a courtyard. In the eastern part of wall 4 a skeleton was found (III - c - 15 skeleton 2) that is buried directly under it. This skeleton is clearly earlier than the wall as evidenced by the stratigraphy and the fact that the stones of wall 4 are still well set, and were not moved and later replaced after burial (see III - c - 15 section 1, plate 32 or more information). The southern extension of house IV is marked by wall 12. The only floor found that is associated with this structure was made of cobbles. Some plaster floors were found near wall 5, but seem too low to belong to it and probably belong to phase 4 (see below). 

Phase 4 (Hellenistic)
Phase 4 is represented by two walls, 7 and 13, that run parallel to each other, about six metres apart. Both are made of two rows and one course of medium sized and roughly faced stones that approach 30 centimetres in length Only a small portion of wall 13, measuring about 1.50 metres, has been exposed at a level of 943.46 m. Wall 7 measures about 9 metres in length and is located at 944.02 m. 

This building, as house IV, had a mud brick superstructure. Also four lime plaster floors were found that most likely belong to this phase. The first, FS 35, was found abutting wall 13 at a level of 943.21 m. The second (group of floors really) was found one metre to the north of wall 7 (see III - b - 15 section 3) at a height of 943.76 and is very likely associated with it. The third and fourth, as mentioned above, were found closer to phase 5 wall number 5, at levels of 944.28 m (FS 13) and 944.36 m (FS 6). 

What is clear from the variations in levels of the walls and floors is that the building was somehow designed to deal with the slope of the ancient surface of the tell. Two hypotheses were developed in order to explain this. The first was that in order to accommodate for the slope, the building's walls were built at differing levels like terraces. The floors of each room would have been levelled, with steps connecting the different rooms. The second was that even though the walls were at different levels the floor gently sloped from the higher walls to the lower walls. The levels and distances of the floors associated with walls 7 and 13 were used to calculate the slope of the floor between these levels. The result was that the floor between these walls would be sloping upward toward the north at an angle of 4 degrees This slope would have been barely noticeable to the inhabitants, deal with the surface of the tell, and simultaneously provide an excellent drainage system for the structure. This alone does not provide conclusive proof for either hypothesis, but two additional pieces of evidence make number two extremely likely. First, when this model was applied to floors three and four it was able to predict their approximate distance from wall 7, given the calculated slope. In addition, the latter provides good evidence that all of these floors belong to phase 4. Second, plaster floors with slopes of nearly 10 degrees are noted in a few places in this area, namely in deep section one (see section 1 III - c - 14 west profile), showing that 4 degrees was definitely acceptable to the Hellenistic period inhabitants. 

Phase 3 (probably Hellenistic)
Only one wall was found dating to this phase (wall 6). Little is known except that it is earlier than phase 4. Wall 6 runs from west to east and is made of one row and one course of smaller stones, about 20 cm in length.

Phase 2 and 1 (Late Bronze-Iron Age?)
The chronology of these phases is still uncertain, but it is clear from the stratigraphy that they are quite a bit earlier than house IV and should not be considered associated with it. Both were uncovered in deep trench 1.

Phase 2 consists of what seems to be stone decay. Within this decay's western extension one structure is visible, wall 11, running north-south. Directly across from it in the west section (III - c - 14, 1), one can see a grey ash layer that may be a floor belonging to this structure. Above this floor are numerous areas of burning and ash and below it is a clear layer of mud-brick decay, probably belonging to phase 1. 

Phase one is the earliest building phase encountered on the tell. Although only two stones were found, the ash floor (FS 25), associated with it makes it a likely wall (wall 10). This ash layer slopes gently up to and covers wall 10 proving a gradual accumulation and not some sudden burning event. Further proof of this is that the layer is very regular. Whatever this ash layer is, it may denote the function of the room associated with wall 10, or was simply part of the construction of the floor.

Stratigraphy
Stratigraphically speaking this area, as far as we can tell, is somewhat uniform. Although one must proceed with caution as it is bad methodology to imply stratigraphic connections without exposing them. From what we can tell, with the exception of the deep section, excavation in this area has only produced 4 major layers. The first, of course, is the humus layer that is found all over but is usually less than 50 centimetres thick. The second is a compact loam layer that is usually between 1-1.50 meters thick. This layer was covering all of the architecture exposed in this season. This level usually contains Roman/ Hellenistic pottery and is equivalent to III - b -15, FS 4, III - c -15 findspot 9 and 12, and III - c - 14, FS 12.

The next layer is similar in composition to layer two, but always contains charcoal, numerous pottery fragments, small white patches of plaster and sometimes burnt mud brick. This layer is considered to be mud brick decay and appears to be associated with phase 4. Layer 3 is usually not more than 50 centimetres thick and is associated with III - b - 15, FS 5. The dating of this layer seems to be Hellenistic. Lastly, there is a relatively sterile medium sand that is found at the bottom of most excavation trenches. Close investigation reveals that this layer is unique in the sense that it is usually levelled. Because of this, and the fact that no structures and few cultural remains are noted with it, an idea was developed that this layer predates the Hellenistic period occupation. The idea is that this layer gradually accumulated and was levelled by Hellenistic period building activity.

This hypothesis still needs a bit more evidence, but is something to think about nonetheless. This layer is usually never penetrated, but in deep section 1 it was shown to be over a meter thick. The thickness of this layer and the seeming change in pottery under it in the deep section further support this notion. Also, this provides evidence for a hiatus in the occupation of this area between phases 1, 2 and phases 3, 4, and 5. The stratigraphic situation of deep section 1, is described in more detail above. This layer is associated with III - b - 15, FS 8, III - c - 15, FS(n) 14 and 18, and III - c - 14, FS(n) 17 and 18.

Graves
Nine graves and 13 skeletons were uncovered in the 2004 excavation season, with many more near misses. All of the burials were of the same type, but the graves come in two categories, the pit burial and the built tomb. 

No matter the grave, the skeletons are always laid in the same manner, the body extended laying west to east, the skeleton placed on its right side with the head facing the south. These burials never have artefacts with them, making them hard to date. Their position betrays Islamic tradition as the face looks toward Mecca. Moreover, the modern Muslim inhabitants of Kamid el-Loz bury their dead the same way in the adjacent graveyard. What is known is that the associated burial pits, when found, clearly cut Roman/Hellenistic period levels (see section 2 III - b - 15) and, therefore, post-date them. 

The pit burials are simple pits dug about a metre deep. The pit only survives in one instance in this area (see above). The built tombs are represented by six examples, two of which have been excavated. These show slight variation, but in general are either piles of large roughly faced stones, or five to six horizontal slabs of well-cut ashlar blocks filled in with smaller stones and earth mortar. The excavated tombs came from the latter category. The substructure is usually two parallel rows of well-cut stones, about one metre apart One superstructure is represented on area plan 2 (Grave 4 III - c - 14) and one substructure (Grave 3 III - c - 14). Grave 3 (III - c - 14) is unique in the sense that it was a communal grave. One extended burial was found, amongst two piles of bones that were swept aside to make room for subsequent burials. 

Two special burials were found during the 2004 campaign. The first is exactly like the pit burials, except that it was found associated with bent Iron nails about ten centimetres in length (III - c -15, Grave 1, plate 33) These nails may have once belonged to a wooden coffin or other structure, at this point it is difficult to say. The second "special" burial is found directly under wall four and is laid in a similar fashion to the Islamic burials. This burial was not excavated, but it is clearly earlier than wall 4 (see section 2 III - c - 15).

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Other Architectural Features
The only other architectural features found in this area during the 2004 season were two tannours (III - c -15, FS 24 and III - c - 14, FS 31). Both specimens are badly preserved, because their superstructure is quite soft. This indicates a low temperature function, such as making baked goods. These two tannours are of the same size (about 60 cm in diametre) and seemingly similar construction. They also seem to form a diagonal line that may trace a wall that did not survive the ages, as tannours are usually located at a wall's base. Also, tannours are often located outside of the house proper or in the courtyard, which may contribute to an understanding of the buildings layout post excavation. 

Small finds
Over 30 small finds were unearthed during the course of this season. Mostly Bronze pieces, Iron nails, bone objects, and spindle whorls. The Iron nails were quite common and, as described above, found associated with grave 1 (III - c - 15). 

Some interesting finds include a number of oil lamps, including small find 4 (plate 11). This came from III - c - 15, findspot 2, which seems to be a layer of mud brick decay similar to layer type 3 (see stratigraphy section). A stamped amphora handle with a Greek inscription, small find 2, III - b - 13, (plate 11) was found in findspot 3. This level is a compact medium sand right below the humus layer and is best associated with Layer type 2.

 

Plate 11 

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4.1.4 Conclusions
During the course of this season we were able to arrive at a satisfactory realisation of our goals. Unfortunately, we were also able to prove that some of our goals were not completely attainable. Still, we have a good understanding of the ground plan of Hellenistic house IV and some preceding phases. 

The stratigraphic investigations of aim 2 proved more successful. The real triumph of the 2004 season was that the body of data collected during these investigations provides indisputable evidence that the above described damage in the area of the Hellenistic House IV, is only superficial. It is clear that this area has well-preserved remains, dating to the Hellenistic period and earlier, directly below this damage that will provide interesting results and further insight into these periods during the course of subsequent excavations. 

5. The Temple Area I-f-12-14 Lisa Kirsch and Sabina Kulemann-Ossen 

5.1 The Temple Area I - f - 12 - 13 - 14 (plates 1 and 7)

5.1.1 Introduction
In the 2002 season architectural structures were uncovered, which could be divided into at least three buildings (A, B and C). These correspond in their orientation as well as in their chronology with the Late Bronze Age Temple of the excavations, conducted by R. Hachmann. Furthermore, the 2002 work in this area uncovered a street running from the north-east towards the south-west (street 11). It is now thought, that this street is identical with the one that has been mentioned in an earlier report by M. Metzger.1
The work of the 2004 season mainly focused on the connection between the Late Bronze Age Temple and the structures discovered in 2002. Another aim was to obtain the complete extension of the rooms which were partly excavated in the last season, and to clarify the further course of street 11. 

5.1.2 Procedure
At the beginning of this season, a six meter wide area south of the 2002 excavation was levelled by a caterpillar as it was covered by a two metre high layer of modern rubbish. The excavation area was extended 2,5 metre to the north and about 4 m to the south.

5.1.3 Results

Street 11 and associated side streets
Street 11, already attested in 2002, was followed in both directions for a length of 17 m. The walls which line the street, retain a height of 1,2 m. The street was filled up with large quantities of sherds and animal bones, as well as several bronze objects (mainly needles) (plate 12, findspots 14 and 17). The upper edge of the street corresponds to the level Metzger has given for his plastered street that is dated to the latest period of the LB Temple. Further, this street is in line with our street but the connection awaits further excavation. However, the stratigraphic association leads to the assumption, that the street already existed before the Temple was built because the street level is far deeper than the Late Bronze Temples. The section clearly shows, that it must have been filled up within a short timespan, maybe as a foundation for the pavement of the later street. The large amount of bronze objects and painted pottery as well as fragments of incense-burners might be interpreted as former inventory of the LB Temple.
Between buildings A and B, lane 6 branches off to the south-east, where building A can be entered (and possibly building B which is disturbed in this part). Another lane is running parallel to lane 6 and might run along wall 2. Furthermore, a small passage runs to the north-west between buildings C and D. 

Buildings north of street 11
In the extension of building C the excavation exposed two other tannours in room 13 (in addition to the tannour of the 2002 season). The northern limit of building C is signified by wall 22. In the north-east of building C, the corner of another building (D) is represented only by two walls (M 20 and M 21). 

Buildings south of street 11
In building B, room 7 was investigated further to the south. The south-western wall of the room (M 24) was uncovered up to a length of at least 7m (the end has not been reached, as it is located outside the 2004 excavation area). Walls 25 and 28 form the south-eastern entrance to room 7. The north-eastern part of the room was disturbed by a later intrusive pit. The same pit damaged a tannour at the end of lane 6, which was associated with a broken storage jar. 
In building A room 2 was completely excavated (size: 4,5 m x 2 m). Later modifications of the room are attested by wall 26, which separated the southern part. The same phase, which is already mentioned in the 2002 report, yielded the upper part of a storage jar, which was dug into the ground of the south-eastern corner of courtyard 4.
The work outside of building A (east of wall 27) recovered a disturbed burial (only the upper part of the skeleton). It remains unclear whether it belongs to the Late Bronze Age structures of the area or to a later period.
Proceeding on the assumption that the north-western part of the older phases of the LB-Temple adjoined the south-eastern sector of our architectural structures, we investigated this area. Already in 2002 a small part of a wall (M 1) was unearthed within an unstratified context (modern trench). 
This season we followed wall 1 to the south and west. It became clear, that the wall fits neither in orientation nor in dimension with the main part of our architectural remains. The area south of the wall was characterised by a large amount of huge stones lying in a modern horizon of disturbance as indicated by rubble. In the same findspot a spindlewhorl-like ivory object was found (see plate 12, FS 24). It is suggested, that this context reflects the collapsed walls of the LB-Temple. 
The southern part of buildings A and B was covered by a massive layer of clay measuring up to one meter high. It may be assumed, that the area was levelled for the construction of the western extension of the LB Temple T2. Considering the pottery evidence, which corresponds well with the temple material, the hypothesis was developed, that the architecture attested in 2002 and 2004 is in the direct vicinity of the oldest LB Temple (T3). This is supported by the similarity of the orientation and dimension of the annexes, R. Hachmann discovered adjacent to the south-west of the T3-Temple.

 
Plate 12
 
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Pottery
During the 2004 season a large quantity of stratified pottery came from the already mentioned street as well as from the buildings. 
The common wares are mainly grit-tempered and wheel-made. Typical forms include globular bowls with inverted rims as well as jars with ridged rims. Nearly 90% of the vessels have ring-bases, flat or rounded bases rarely occur. The bowls especially have many parallels within the LB Temple assemblages of Kamid el-Loz. 
Painted wares make up a comparatively significant percentage of the total assemblage. Most common are simple horizontal or wavy bands in brownish or dark red colour, sometimes even bichrome, which appeared in the LB Temple contexts as well. A few examples show traces of at least three different colours. Of special interest concerning the painted wares are some fragments which may represent imports from Greece or Cyprus respectively. Worth mentioning are two body sherds of the so called white slip ware (?) and a painted bowl with a bell-shaped body (skyphos). 
Cooking ware is usually wheel-made, prevalent are vessels with inverted rims in different varieties. Furthermore, we found a few examples of a red wash ware, unfortunately mainly body sherds. 
As already mentioned, the Temple inventory contained several incense-burners. The 2004 excavations provided at least 2 fragments of very similar burners. A single fragment of a pilgrims flask was uncovered in the fill of street 11. Its paste is reddish and the outer surface is covered with a buff slip that only survives in traces. Also, the assemblage of the street fill included two pieces of oil lamps which have direct analogues in the Temple material. 
Among the storage vessels thickened rims with waved lips are very common. The typical decorations of these vessels are bands with incised fishbone patterns, which occur in large amounts. 
Altogether the pottery evidence from the 2004 trenches corresponds in fabric and form as well as in decorations with the LB Temple material. Since the pottery analysis of the Hachmann excavations is still in progress it cannot yet be determined which phase of the Temple exactly correlates with our material.

V. Pottery-analysis / Preliminary chronological results 
by : Hassan Yahya, Sabine Mertens, Max Möhle

Introduction 
First of all a statistic analysis of the ceramic material which derived from the 2004 season was made (according to findspots). Furthermore, the pottery analysis was focused on pointing out diagnostic features concerning the ceramic material of the different settlement periods of the site, namely the Roman and Hellenistic periods, the Iron Age and the late Bronze period. In the following the datings of the architectural structures uncovered in 2004 are proposed. 

Results (see plates 34 - 40) 

1. Areas II- f- 5, II- f- 6 (slope area)
Due to the pottery analysis the excavated structures of area II-f-5 can be dated into the Roman period, although some features may represent a later period (close to the surface: Byzantine to medieval Islamic sherds). In area II-f-6 diagnostic Roman material occurred only rarely. Altogether, the pottery evidence represents rather a Byzantine to medieval Islamic date than an earlier period. 

2. Areas II- g/f-3-7 (slope area)
The pottery assemblages associated with the structures and installations of areas II-g/f-5,6 yielded a large quantity of sherds diagnostic for the Roman period, probably an earlier Roman phase. The deep trench of area II-g/f-7 provided a chronological sequence for the timespan between the Roman period and a pre-Hellenistic phase (probably Iron Age).

 3. Areas I-g-18, II-g-1 ("Kuppe")
An identical stratigraphic sequence was observed in the deep trench of area I-g-18, although the Hellenistic period is represented by a larger amount of diagnostic features. Nevertheless, the pottery of both trenches corresponds well with each other. The excavations in the neighbourhood of house I (area II-g-1) brought to light mainly mixed pottery assemblages (Roman and Hellenistic). The high percentage of Roman material leads to the assumption that the structures excavated 2004 around house I can be dated to the Roman period.

4. Areas III-a-12, III-a-13 (palace area)
The pottery assemblages which derived from the architectural structures of area III-a-12 consisted of homogeneous Hellenistic material. The massive wall in area III-a-13 has probably been founded already in the Iron Age as suggested by painted fragments which are typical for the Iron Age of the Levant. Late-Bronze-Age pottery fragments, similar to the Temple material, occurred as well in this context. Both areas were covered by a layer of mixed Roman-Hellenistic material.

5. Areas III-b-13, III-b-14, III-b-15, III-c-14, III-c-15 (the "Hellenistic" house IV)
The uppermost building levels (1-3) which were heavily disturbed contained mixed Roman-Hellenistic pottery assemblages. Despite the Roman fragments a dating into the Hellenistic period seems to be likely. However, building level 4 contained homogeneous Hellenistic pottery. A remarkable change was observed in the material underneath building level 5. For this context a pre-Hellenistic date (Iron Age?) is assumed. 

We would like to thank Paul Reynolds for his important hints concerning the dating of our Roman-Hellenistic pottery.

VI. Glass-Finds 
The glass finds of the season 2004 will again be analysed and published by Tania Zaven, M.A., (National Museum, Beirut, Lebanon).

VII. Summary 
Season 2004 underlines and confirms our chronological results of season 2002 as well as producing new information on the Hellenistic and Roman settlement activities in Kamid el-Loz. 
The slope area has been occupied all over by the Roman settlement. House II here was called a representative house. Season 2004 produced new evidence concerning the activities west of this house. Tannours and large storage facilities indicate household activities in II-g-6. A "winery" like the one discovered in 2002 in the northern part of the slope "produced" a remarkable amount of amphora fragments! Handicraft and household activities can therefore also be postulated for area II-f-5. 
The slope area west of house II shows several building phases. A detailed stratigraphical analysis of the different walls and buildings will follow. As far as the pottery analysis showed, all the structures can be roughly dated to the early Roman period, the winery might be later (see also our report in 2002, Jens Nieling)(...and very few Hellenistic pottery fragments have to be taken into consideration). 
An older building level has been reached in deep trench II-f/g-7, where the walls M 1 and M2 and their surrounding installations can be roughly dated to the transition - period Hellenistic - Iron Age. 
The "Kuppe" contained new hints concerning the function of the so-called glacis. Underneath house I a densely set stone layer occurred, comparable to the surface-glacis, but preserved in a far better condition. Since the Roman building has been build on top of this stone layer our suggestion concerning the "glacis" in general is: a substructure, that strengthened the slope and established a stable underground for the buildings on top. A first analysis of the pottery from this context suggests Hellenistic-Roman activities here. 
The deep trench in the west of the Roman house I on the Kuppe delivered a series of building activities and chronological information. Underneath the Roman layer established by house I a part of a house has been exposed in a smaller deep trench, dating to the Hellenistic period. 
The "big wall", our main reason for our stratigraphical research here turned out to be probably of Iron Age origin. The whole succession of settlement periods could be gathered here in future excavations. 
While the deep trench lead mainly to stratigraphical and chronological information, the enlargement of the trench in future excavations into horizontal dimensions will give the necessary information concerning the settlement layout in the different phases of the area. 
The Palace area develops into a more and more interesting area, not only containing the late Bronze Age palace remains (2002) but obviously also the following late Bronze Age /Iron Age building activities as well as the extension of the Hellenistic settlement. (The earlier levels explored in 2002 have not yet been reached in horizontal dimensions during our short 2004 season). 
In the so called "Hellenistic house" IV the horizontal dimensions were less informative than our stratigraphical research. Meanwhile 6 building phases can be distinguished. As far as the pottery shows phase 1-2 predate the Hellenistic period (probably Iron Age) while phases 3-6 all date to the Hellenistic period. A long lasting and widely distributed Hellenistic colonisation can be expected. 
For the Temple Area we can define three, probably four houses, A, B, C and D, all dating into the late Bronze Age. Street 11 will provide one of the clues to the connection between the results of the former Hachmann excavations and the new excavations opened here in 2002. The collapsed remains of the former late Bronze Age temple which have been identified this year provide the other key for connecting the workshop-area excavated 2002 and 2004 and the late-Bronze-Age temple in this area. The future investigations will concentrate on the one hand establishing further connections between our workshop-area and the ancient temples of Kamid el-Loz and on the other hand on the exploration of the pre-late Bronze Age structures in this context.

Kamid el-Loz, 16.9.2004

 

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