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Grabungskampagne 2005

Kamid el-Loz 2005

 

8th season


Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
Vorderasiatische Altertumskunde

 
Director: Prof. Dr. M.Heinz
 
Trench supervisors
Frommherz, Corinna, M.A. - Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
Dr. Leschke, Christian - Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
Wagner, Elisabeth, M.A. - Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
 
Pottery specialists
Dr. Kulemann-Ossen, Sabina - Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
Möhle, Max - Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg
Yahya, Hassan, Licence - Lebanese University, Beirut
 
Anthropologist
Adolf Abi Aad - Lebanese University, Beirut
 
Draftsperson
Leicht, Michael, freelance graphic-designer - Freiburg
 
Preface* 
For generous help and all the cooperation we needed we would like to thank first of all Dr. Frederic Husseini, General Director of the National Department of Antiquities. Tania Zaven, M.A and Dr. Suzy Hakimien kept again the door open, as all the years before. Assad Saif did help as before with his general advice on the pottery - Rana el Endary helped with her knowledge on hellenistic and iron-age pottery, to both: thanks a lot for this! For all the support we got we would like to thank our friends and colleagues in Beirut, especially George Hanna for help and support during all our years in Kamid el-Loz.
Our work in Kamid el-Loz would not have been possible without the support of the mayor Ali Safiye, whom we like to thank for the good working conditions and for the sponsorship of two workman during the season 2005.
And - as I said many times before but never felt it to be a routine expression: an excavation is only as good as its team - my sincere thanks again to the workmen and friends of Kamid el-Loz for cooperative working together. And - last but not least - my sincere thanks to the colleagues who took part in the 2005 excavation and who have been a humorous team of excellent experts in their fields: Adolf Abi Aad, Licence, Corinna Frommherz, M.A., Dr. Sabina Kulemann-Ossen, Michael Leicht, Dr. Christian Leschke, Max Möhle, Elisabeth Wagner, M.A. and Hassan Yahya, Licence.
MEA, the Middle East Airlines Airliban did sponsor our transport - a great help for which we express our sincere thanks. Our sincere thanks also for the financial support that was given by the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität.
 
* As usual this report has to be seen as a piece of "work in progress", written during the excavation time and considered to be a description of our work, but not yet a full analysis.
 
Kamid el-Loz, September 2005
 
 
 
I. Working Period 
The German archaeological team arrived in Lebanon on Tuesday, August 16th, 2005. Work began on Wednesday, August 17th, 2005. The season ended on September 20th, 2005.
 
II. Scientific Aims of the Season 2005
In 2005 the excavation has been concentrated on the "slope area" and on the immediate neighbourhood west of the palace. (plate 1).
II-e-6 / The Iron-Age settlement area
Research focused on the Iron-Age-house with at least two building phases discovered in 2002. The aim of the season was to reconstruct the house type and to explore the activities carried out in the house and its immediate surrounding as well as to establish the chronological position of the house within the Iron-Age-Period.
 
II-e-7 / The eastern part of the Iron-Age settlement
Further structures in the immediate neighbourhood east of the "Iron-Age-house" suggest a continuation of the settlement into this direction. The kind of structures and the function of the architecture here should be clarified in 2005.
 
II-e-8 / II-f-8 / The Roman Period
In area II-e-8, II-f-8 a second large roman house had been build in the immediate neighbourhood of the roman house 2 in area II-e-7 / II-e-8 on the east slope. Kamid el-Loz is one of the very few known roman settlements in the Levant. With the houses preserved we will provide an inside into aspects of the settlement structure and house types of the roman occupation as well as more information about house- and settlement activities during roman times in Kamid el-Loz.
 
III-a-12 to III-a-13 / The Hellenistic House (House V)
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 2002 we opened a large deep-trench in the palace area to establish a stratigraphy and chronology of the settlement-succession in this part of the site. In connection with this deep-trench we excavated a massiv stone build wall, belonging to the south-western part of the palace. In 2005 our intentions were to clarify the building context of this - so far - isolated wall.
 
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. The most recent known settlement dates back into Roman times.
Pottery fragments, found in the stratigraphical sondages of the temple and palace area (2002) show that an early Bronze Age settlement existed in Kamid el-Loz. The first archi-tectural evidence of a proper settlement comes from living houses on the site, which accor-ding 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, the functions and the importance of Kumidi during the Iron Age is now being explored. With the publication of the Iron Age Cemetery in Kamid el-Loz in 1978 first information about the Persian Period have been given. The new results of the current excavations suggest that at least during the Iron-Age I period Kamid el-Loz has been a large settlement, extending from the east-slope to the so called "Kuppe" and further to the south-west next to the Late-Bronze-Age palace.
From the results of the excavations of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005 it is further known that Tell Kamid el-Loz has been used as a settlement site until the Hellenistic / early Roman period. Since 1997 work concentrated inter alia on the so called "Kuppe" (hilltop) region, where a house (living area, handicraft) and the so called "glacis" have been exposed. Since 2000 the excavation was enlarged, trenches were opened in the east and a second building of the Hellenistic / early Roman period were discovered. Ever since 2001 and 2002 the excavation 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, house V, excavated since 2004 in the immediate neighbourhhod of house IV as well as of the late-bronze-age palace area reconfirms the existence of the hellenistic settlement and provides further information on activities in the settlement as well as on the settlement lay-out. When the inhabitants of the Roman settlement moved to another spot, the former living-areas were 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, 2004, 2005) 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 Hellenistic and 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.east-slope and "Kuppe"  ?* terra sigillata
Hellenistic* 3rd. century B.C. - 1st. Century B.C."the palast-area" and burials on the east-slope  ?* megarian bowls; insribed handles - rhodian amphora
Iron Age III = Persian Period

Iron Age II (NEW)

Iron Age I
600 - 330 B.C.

1000/900 - 600 B.C.

1200 - 1000/900 B.C.
burials on the east-slope III-a-13/courtyard

?

houses east-slope
  





1-3
pottery


pottery


pottery
Late Bronze Age
I-IIB
1600
-
1200 B.C.
houses in the temple area house-structures in the palace area pottery / east-slopepalace

1-5
temple

1-3
4-5pottery and small finds
Middle Bronze Age -1900 

1600 B.C.
+not reachedtemple 46-7 
Middle Bronze Age IIA2100
-
1900 B.C.
+  8pottery
Middle Bronze I to Chalcolithic4100
-
2100 B.C.
+  -pottery
fig 1 Chronology of the site
 
For further information see
M. Heinz (ed.) Kamid el-Loz in the Beqa'a-Plain / Lebanon. Continuity and Change in the Settlement of a Region; in: BAAL 5, 2001:5-92. 
forthcoming: M. Heinz (ed.) Kamid el-Loz in BAAL 8, 2004
 
IV. Excavation-Areas 
1. The "Slope Area" II-e-6 (Elisabeth Wagner) 
1.1 Areas: II - e - 6 (E. Wagner) (plates 
1 and 2)
1.1.1 Aims of season 2005
Concerning the area II-e-6 the aims of the season were mainly concentrated on the evaluation of the detailed stratigraphy and chronology of the Iron Age settlement activities on the eastern slope of the tell. Furthermore the functions of and the activities in the Iron Age building, partly excavated in 2002 by J. Nieling should be explored in further detail. This included the exploration and reconstruction of the building phases and the construction of the house-types.
 
1.1.2 Procedure
The deep trench in II-e-6, carried out in 2002, showed the first structural outline of the Iron Age building (plate 7). In 2005 we enlarged this trench to a spacious area-excavation in order to uncover the working and living area here as a whole unit. After uncovering the expected Iron Age working area, the whole surface had been deepened to reach the next floor levels and earlier building phases.
 
1.1.3 Results
Before getting into further details it should be mentioned that several layers of the area contained graves. These graves clearly do not belong to any of the surrounding structures but have been deepend into these in later times (see also area II - e - 7). The graves will be described and analyzed at the end of this chapter.
 
1.1.3.1 The Iron-Age-House area: the first level (ca. 937,450)
The upper layer contained a tannour of yellow orange clay (tannour 2/FS 12), which was associated with a trodden floor. The large amount of fragmented pottery, belonging to that level, dated these structures into the early Iron Age (IA - I).
 
1.1.3.2 The second level (ca. 936,700)
Floor level 2, consisting of a hard greyish clay-layer, stretched to the eastern side of wall 1. Wall W1 is preserved in a lenght of about 3 m (its northern end is still covered by the northern section - this part and its construction will be explored 2006). W 1 is running NW-SE and probably belongs to W 45, exposed (and removed) in 2002 and both forming part of a house belonging to the later building phase of the Iron Age I-period.
 
1.1.3.3 The second level (ca. 936,700)

A) The area between wall W49 and W46 (ca. 936,550) (plate 9)

In the southern part of our area II-e-6 floor level 3 had already been reached in 2002, in 2005 we exposed its continuation to the north. It consists of a hard, grayish-yellow clay, which covers most of the area between W46 (running from SE to NE) and W49 (running from SW to NE). And it is this area, where most of the working installations (plate 10) are situated - which might explain the consistence of the floor!
Tannours:
Five tannour like structures have been exposed, one (tannour 5) directly east of wall 1, three (tannours 1,3,4) very close northwest-west of W49, and one (tannour 2) east of wall W46.
The arrangement of these ovens close to the wall structures is not unusual. The walls served as protection against the wind while working at the tannour.
Tannour 3 and 5 were very well preserved. It seems that they were already in use in an older phase (see below - floor level 4), while wall W1 is most probably younger than tannour 5.
A mud brick installation
in form of a small (ca. 20 cm long) box has been exposed next to the tannour. The structure was badly preserved and its specific function is still unknown. No further connections to other structures or any contents were excavated, but since white and black ashes covered the floor of this area as a result of household activities, the function of the box should be seen in this context.
 

B) The area between W1 and W46 (ca. 936,550) (plate 9)

The floor between W 1 and W 46 had been covered by a thick muddy layer of mixed ashes and burned clay - it seems that a heavy destruction had affected this area. Large traces of burnt wooden structures, most probably fallen off from the roof, have been uncovered here.
 
1.1.3.4 The forth floor level (ca. 936,100) (plates 9 and 10):
In the northern sector of the described household area a very hard greyish layer (floor level 4) has been exposed. In some parts ash in a thickness of about 30 cm had covered this area - without any signs of destructions that might have caused this quantity of ashes. At present we can only lead back the existence of the ash to household-activities - three tannours have been exposed in this sector - tannour 3 and 5, already mentioned above and tannour 6, situated east to wall W46 and using this wall as a protection against the wind has been exposed.
Although the amount of pottery found here was very small it can nevertheless be dated to the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Iron Age I - period (see below for further discussion).
 
1.1.3.5 The graves in area II-e-6 (plates 8 and 31)

Grave 1:
The uncovered bones were badly preserved and have not been found in their anatomical bond. The very few maintained bones were scattered. Nevertheless two individuals could be recognized: an adult and an infans. Due to their bad condition no further conclusions can be made.

Grave 2:
This grave is very similar to grave 1, it contained parts of an adult skeleton, which were not situated in their anantomical bond.

Grave 3:
See grave 8 in the report of C. Frommherz, II-e-7

Grave 4:
Grave 4 only contained the lower part of one skeleton - it is clearly part of grave 8, excavated in 2002 (J. Niehling, report II-e-6 in 2002). The head was positioned towards SW and the feet towards NE. The head was surrounded by some stones, resembling the typical Persian grave type.

Grave 5:
This burial has been very well preserved. The body was surrounded by stones, the head faced to the SW. The type of burial 5 refers to a dating into the Persian period.

Grave 6:
(plates 8 and 31): Grave 6 contained an infans I, between 18-24 month old, buried in a fetal position. The head faced to the north. A little bottle (hellenistic), especially referring to children needs, has been found near its hips.

Grave 7:
The buried indiviual, an adult person, was laying on its back (several stones had crushed its bones). Two iron nails were uncovered near his femurs, perhaps referring to a wooden coffin. The head faces to the north, the surrounding stones could again be a hint for a dating into the Persian period.

Grave 8:
It contained a juvenil individual, slightly bound, lying on its left side. The burial itself had disturbed wall M 46 in some small parts and has to be younger than that wall. The deceased femurs were flexed, possibly an outcome of extensive horse riding. The orientation is SW to NE. Since the grave was positioned under one of the tannours, the grave has to be dated into the Iron Age I period. Like in Grave 7 two iron nails were found.

Grave 9:
Only half of the body was excavated since the upper part runs into the eastern section. The head was oriented to the east. Neither did any stones surround the grave nor have any grave goods been found. No evidence for its chronological position has been found.

Grave 10:
The grave contained a female adult with unusual large femurs (45 cm). The individual laid on its back, the head facing towords NNE. Some stones were situated near its head. As commonly observed no grave goods were uncovered.

 

1.1.4. Conclusions

1.1.4.1 The Iron-Age house area: Activities and house functions

Floor level 1: Pottery shapes and types as well as the tannour 2 indicate for level I that in this area household activities like storaging and food production took place.

Floor level 2: The walls of level two also indicate the existence of a dwelling here, but only additional evidence will allow a more detailed determination of activities that had taken place in this house-area.

Floor levels 3 and 4: Both levels clearly reveal to household activities. Cooking pots, frag-ments of large storage vessels, the tannours and other working traces (ashes) proof that this area was used as a working place. At least the eastern part of floor level 3 had been affected by a blaze that severely burnt parts of the mud brick and wood construction of the building.

 

1.1.4.2 The Iron-Age house area: Dating with - and defining the functions of - the pottery

The pottery of the working areas can - for the most part - be dated into the Iron Age I period. Some sherds date earlier - into the Late Bronze Age - which hints either to the existence a transitional period layer or indicates that the so called "Laufzeiten" of Late Bronze-Age pottery into Iron-Age must be taken into consideration. The pottery of this area mostly consists of cooking pots (carinated) and large storage vessels. Only very small amounts of pottery have been brought to light, indicating that the area had been left before the destruction.

 

1.1.4.3 The cemetery

Area II-e-6 has been used for burying the deceased of several periods. Nine graves could be exposed, some of them on a level above the Iron-Age structures (1, 2, 6), not disturbing the Iron Age floor levels. Most of them 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 had been deepened into the older levels. The orientation of the graves does not follow any strict order. Four graves faced SW, two NE and one to the East. Except of the children graves, no grave goods have been discovered.

Criteria for the chronological assignment of the burials to the Iron Age I - and to the Persian or Iron Age III period and to the Hellenistic time (infans I, grave 6) have been the type of construction of the graves respectively the grave-goods.

 

2. The "Slope Area" II-e-7  (plates 1 and 2) (Corinna Frommherz)

2.1.1 Aims of season 2005

The main aim of this season was to reach the Iron-Age level in II-e-7 and to connect the structures with the Iron-Age remains of II-e-6.

 

2.1.2 Procedure

Within test-trenches we deepened the area and at the same time enlarged the ex-cavation-sector.

 

2.1.3 Results

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

2.1.3.1 The House-structure (plate 11)

 A rather large house and connected to this a large courtyard occupied the 2005 excavated area! So far three walls have been detected, indicating type and size of the building. Wall 40 runs into north-northwestern direction, walls 41 and 42 form the southern and northern bounds of the house. A large courtyard streches to the west of wall 40. Here, on the trodden clay floor, 4 tannours had been build. In this sector household activities like cooking and baking were carried out. The pottery and small finds of this courtyard support this assumption, many cooking pots and several grinding-stones have been found.
So far only the uppermost building level as well as the uppermost floor-layer have been excavated in 2005. The pottery clearly indicates that the building structures date into the Iron-Age-I-period.

 

2.1.3.2 The Cemetery (plate 12)

13 graves have been excavated in the 2005 exposed area of II-e-7. Comparable to the situation in II-e-6, no grave pits have been recognized and only some of the burials (grave 3 and 6) were surrounded by stones.

 

Grave 1:
This skeleton was badly disturbed. Only few bones were preserved.

Grave 2:
Infant or primature birth, the bones were not in anatomical connection.

Grave 3: (plate 13 and 15 right)
The grave consists of two stone rows that surrounded the body, the grave pit was filled with earth. The skeleton lies in northwest-southeast direction on its back, the head oriented to the south-east, the upper arms put close to the body, the lower arms were laid parallel to the body. The feet crossed each other and a stone covered them.
Gravegoods: (plate 13 and 15 right) The woman wore a necklace of silver and agate pearls, a bronze fibula and a scarab, excavated in the south-eastern part of the grave. A massive ring of bronze on each lower leg and a small ring of silver, laying on her pelvis, also belonged to her gravegoods. The grave dates to the Persian period.

Grave 4:
This skeleton was badly disturbed, only the legs were preserved.

Grave 5 / Sarcophagus 3 (plates 14 and 15 left)
The stone-sarcophagus, southeast-northwest oriented was made of limestone, 2 m long and 1,5 wide. One of the narrow sides has been decorated with a lion head, the opposite side shows a panel-decoration. Panels also decorate both broadsides. The lid is formed as a gable-roof.
The skeleton was rather badly preserved, water infiltrated into the sarcophagus. The dead male lay on his back, his arms streched out parallel to the body. Compared to sarcophagus 1 and 2, found in the immediate neighbourhood (see BAAL 5, 2001 and BAAL 8, 2004 forthcoming), sarcophagus 3 is of better quality and only sarcophagus 3 has been made of white limestone. While sarcophagus 1 and 2 were north-south oriented, sarcophagus 3 is oriented in southeast-northwestern direction. Just like sarcophagus 1 it was surrounded by big stone slabs. The main difference between sarcophagus 3 and the other ones is the shape of the cover and the ornaments on its outside.
In the area where the feet of the skeleton were located, iron parts of shoes and leather pieces were found. The burial dates to the Roman period.

Grave 6: (plate 16)
This skeleton was surrounded by few stones, northwest-southeast oriented and lay on its back, the head situated in the south-east, the left arm streched out parallel to the body, the right one placed on the abdomen. Like in grave 3, the feet were crossed and covered with a stone. The left arm wore a bracelet, made of a thin bronze wire.

Grave 7:
This skeleton lay in southeast-northwestern direction, only the right part of the body was preserved. The dead person lay on its back, the head located in the southeast.

Grave 8: (plate 12 top right)
In this grave we excavated a contracted, northeast-southwest oriented skeleton.The head has been oriented to the southwest, the face looking to the north. The arms and legs were contracted to the body, forming a fetal position.

Grave 9:
The skeleton lay streched out in north-southern direction, only the legs were preserved.

Grave 10: (plate 17)
The body was oriented to the southwest-northeast, it lay on its back, the head oriented to the south-east. The upper part of the body has been severly disturbed, an iron nail was found here. The dead wore a bronze bracelet and a ring, found in situ on the right hand. A little amphora was found close to the left thigh.

Grave 11: (plate 12 down right)
The skeleton lay in northeast-southwestern direction. The head was not situated in the natural position, but lying cross to the body. The right hand was placed on the upper part of the body.

Grave 12:
In grave 12, only a few bones were preserved, belonging to the upper part of the body. The bones were severely damaged.

Grave 13:
The orientation of this skeleton was northwest-southeastern. It lay on its back, with the head to the northwest, the left arm placed on the upper part of the body and the right one close to the body.

 

Stratigraphy and chronology of the graves
The pit of the roman sarcophagus did not touch the older building levels in this area. The other graves, which can be dated into the Persian period, cut the older, underlying house-structures.

 

2.1.4 Conclusion

The building structure of the Iron-Age I probably represents a part of a large house and its courtyard, which was used for household activities. During the Iron-Age III period the function of the area changed from being a living area to being a grave-field.

 

3. The "Slope Area" II-e-8  (plates 1 and 2) (Corinna Frommherz)

3.1.1 Aims of season 2005

Our research was focussed on the house structure and house functions of the roman house IV on the east slope.

 

3.1.2 Procedure

Test-trenches were opened south-north through II-e-8 to establish the complete dimension of house IV.

 

3.1.3 Results (plate 18)

Wall W 24, the western border of the roman house II, extends from the southern limiting wall ten meters to the north and than turnes to the west. It seems that this extension does not represent the original wall of the roman house but a building-phase younger than the original structure. As far as we could observe, this second phase of wall W 24 is not connected to any other wall and it does not belong to any architectural structure of this phase.

Parallel to wall W 24 runs wall W 39, both obviously belonging to the same building level and structure. Both walls form a room of which the floor has been carefully laid out with flagstones. The room has not yet been fully excavated, a task that has to be finished in the next season.

 

3.1.4 Conclusion

The roman house next to house II shows at least two building phases. One room could partly be excavated, but so far we do not have any detailled information about its function and the general ground plan. The work will continue here in the next season.

 

4. The Palace Area III-a-12-15  (plates 1345 and 6) (Christian Leschke)

Priliminary remarks

In 2002 on the western part of the tell the so called palace area was prepared by a bulldozer, removing wind blown sand layers. During the following excavation in this area two massive stone walls, W1 and W 2 in area III-a-15 were found, which seemed to belong to the Late Bronze Age Palace. 
To follow wall W 2 a deep trench was opened at a length of 22 m towards the west (from area III-a-15 to III-a-12); for the stratigraphic investigations the trench was excavated to a depth of 3.5 m. Two further massive walls, W1 in III-a-14 and W 2 in area III-a-12, both leading from northwest to southeast, were uncovered there (plate 19a).
In 2004 two small trenches (trench 1 and 2) were opened to follow these walls and to clarify their chronological position. The season in 2004 showed that W 1 in III-a-14 is most probably of Early Iron Age date (see also plate 5), while the western wall W 2 in area III-a-12 belongs to a Hellenistic house in III-a-12 / III a-13 (plate 19b). Although of different date, the walls of the areas III-a-12 to III-a-15 (plate19a) are on nearly the same level due to the decline of the slope (plate 20).

 

4.1 The Hellenistic House (House V), area III-a-12/13 (plates 19b and 21)

4.1.1 Aims of season 2005

In the 2005 season we wanted to investigate the dimension, the structure and the func-tion of the Hellenistic house. Furthermore a special interest was to clarify the context between the Hellenistic house V and the Iron Age area III-a-13/14.

 

4.1.2 Procedure

Area III-a-12 (plate 1) was opened by a poclain and a so called bob-cat about 5 m to the west to follow up the walls in this direction, that had been covered with modern rubble. Here we first touched a massive roman ash-layer..

 

4.1.3 Results

Our hellenistic house, house V, was covered by this ash-layer. The decline of the layer can clearly be see in the southern section (plate 22).
This ash-layer was separated from the upper limit of the walls which were covered by a light brownish soil containing Hellenistic material. The huge amount of pottery in the ash-layer can be dated into the Roman period. Furthermore some little bronze pieces, as fragments of fibulae, some iron nails and two corroded bronze coins have been found. The stratigraphic as well as the pottery evidence suggests that the house was abandoned, before the deposit of the ash-layer took place.
The Hellenistic house V is oriented Northeast-Southwest and has nearly the same orientation as the Hellenistic house IV. The uncovered part of house V consists so far of two building phases (plates 19b and 21).

 

Walls:
All the walls are double faced constructions with rubble packings. Only the walls W 5 and W 6 show in some segments regular layers of stones: wall W 5 on the inner side (= room R 3) and wall W 6 on the side to room R 4. Due to the slope situation the better preserved walls are slightly tipped according to the descent and the pressure of the soil from above.
It is striking, that the walls follow the descent of the slope. For example wall W 9 shows on the excavated length of 3m a difference in height of 39cm. Much bigger is the descent of wall W 6 in room R 4: here the height of the foundation rises over a length of 3,50 m about 57 cm.

 

Building phases:
The house shows at least two building phases.

 

Pottery and small finds:
In room R 3 a huge amount of pottery has been found, among it painted fine ware. Among the pottery we found a rim/neck-fragment formed as a human face (plate 23) and two inscribed handles belonging to so called rhodian amphora.

 

Character:
Building technique as well as installations show a house of rural character. The walls are built of quarry-stones and not of square stones, the floors are made of clay instead of stone pavement or even mosaics.

 

Conclusions

House V has potentially been a traders house or at least a household that was able to afford imported goods. Our evidence for this derives from the pottery. Only in house V we found stamped pottery (see our internet-report 2004). For the first time in 2005 we found even an inscribed handle (plate 23) giving the eponym, the name of the priest whose name stays for the name of the year.

 

4.2 The Iron Age context in areas III- a -13/14 (plates 1 and 3)

4.2.1 Aims of season 2005

In 2005 our aim was to clarify the stone built structure excavated in 2004 in this trench and to enlarge the excavation in the courtyard area.

 

4.2.2 Results (plate 24)

No further architectural structures beside the large wall W 1 were found in this area. Wall W 1 is totally collapsed and does not continue further to the northwest. At a later date some circular structures were inserted into this area - the wall abutted one of the circles (diameter 1.40 m), which was defined in its contour by a thin line (4-5 cm) of white ash, obviously the burned rest of organic material, maybe a basket-work. The other circular structures were pits for garbage; they contained little and big stones, pottery sherds, some animal bones and many charcoal particles. Concerning the pottery analysis, the pits derive from the Hellenistic period. There are two tannurs, one in the northern section of the trench nearby the wall W 6 of house V, another on a higher level near wall W 1. The mainly homogenous strata above wall W 1 and the pits did not contain a lot of pottery. Single small finds like fibulae came to light.

 

4.2.3 Conclusions

The function of the massive wall W 1 remains up to now unknown. In the Late Iron Age, when the wall already was collapsed, this area was probably a courtyard; the absence of any building structures, the two tannurs as well as the slag of iron (?) suggest the placement of household and handicraft activities in this area.

 

4.3. The Late Bronze Age Context in areas III-a-14/15 (plates 252627 and 28)

4.3.1 Aims of season 2005

In area III a 14/15 the course of the "palace" wall should be clarified and a small stratigraphical sondage was opened to collect stratigraphical and chronological information.

 

4.3.2 Results and conclusions

Two small walls (plates 25 and 26) run underneath the large stone wall W 1. W 3 is a stone wall, W 4 consists of one layer of stones and of brick.
Three building phases can be distinguished. The oldest phase is the stone floor; in the second phase the small walls W 3, W 4 and W 5 were built over the stone floor. The walls form at least three rooms (R 1, R 2, R 3), with floors that have been plastered with white gypsum. The exposition of the area is still too small to give backed up information concerning the activities that have been taken place here, but all three rooms produced a huge amount of pottery, among this a lot of painted ware (plates 27 and 28).

 

V. Pottery-Analysis / Preliminary Chronological Results 

by : Dr. Sabrina Kuhlemann-Ossen, Hassan Yahya, Max Möhle

Areas II-e-6 and II-e-7

Due to the pottery analysis the architectural remains of areas II-e-6 and II-e-7 can be dated clearly into the Iron Age I period (as illustrated in plate 30, upper row). Especially the cooking pots with folded rims and carinated bodies indicate an early Iron Age date. Some rims of cooking pots and storage vessels suggest a date at the boundary from Late Bronze to Early Iron. The assemblages are comparable with those found in the Iron Age contexts of sites like Sarepta, Beth Shean and Hazor.
The pottery clearly gives the impression of household activities like baking, cooking and storaging.
In the uppermost layers of II-e-6 and II-e-7 some hellenistic pottery (plate 29) came to light which was not connected with any architectural structures.

 

Area III-a-12

Although the "hellenistic house" in area III-a-12 yielded large quantities of pottery most of the assemblages may rather be described as "garbage" left in the house after it has been abandoned than as the inventory of the building.
One of the most distinctive wares of the hellenistic pottery is the so-called "spatter-ware" (plate 29) which is characterized by an unregularly paint of mostly reddish-brown colour. Good parallels for this specific ware can be found in the Hula Valley, namely at Tell Anafa.

 

Area III-a-13

The pottery evidence of area III-a-13 suggests an Iron III (Persian) usage of this part of the site. Unfortunately no architectural remains occured which were associated with these pottery assemblages, it rather derives from a courtyard area (working area according to the tannurein).
Worth mentioning are storage vessels with a hole mouth and carinated shoulder which are a typical feature of the Iron III period in the Levante.

 

Area III-a-14/15

The pottery assemblages of the so-called "palace area" (III-a-14/15) include large quantities of Late Bronze painted wares (plates 27 and 28). Especially common are wares with a white slip and a brownish paint colour. Furthermore carinated bowls as well as Late Bronze cooking pots occur in a great amount.

 

Conclusions

As documented in former seasons areas II-e-6 and II-e-7 were already occupied during the Late Bronze Age. The Iron Age I occupation of Kamid el-Loz was also attested in the area of the east slope (II-e-6 and II-e-7). This part of the site was abandoned during or at the end of the Iron I until the Hellenistic period. For the Iron Age II until now no significant settlement traces were observed although a few sherds may indicate this period.
At least in the Iron Age III (Persian Period) the settlement activities might have shifted to the southern area of the site (area III-a-13). The east slope (areas II-e-6, II-e-7) was now used as a cemetery.

 

VI. Bone-Analysis (Adolf Abi Aad)  (plates 3132 and 33)

 

Aims of bone analysis

Bone analysis will help us to determine the age, sex and demographic tendencies of ancient communities:

  • Mortality

  • Community composition...

 

Paleopathology:

  • Sanitary status

  • Bones fracture

  • Nutrition

  • Ancient medicine...

 

The aim of the bone analysis in Kamid el-Loz in this season is to do field studies of the skeletons, to get as much information as possible from each individual and link them together to try to reconstruct in a general way aspects of the community to which they belonged. We will be also interested in the burial methods and if possible the cultural habits.
Not all skeletons belong to the same period - if in future excavations further evidence will be available we might be able to follow the social evolution of the people living in Kamid el-Loz. All information have been taken from the material in Kamid el Loz and are relevant only for Kamid el-Loz - and most specially to sectors II-e-6 and II-e-7 where our studies took place.

 

Procedure

The preliminary studies of a skeleton should take place in situ where the bones are in the best conditions. Measurements should be taken and if possible one should try to figure out the gender and the age. Photos of the skeletons and sketches must also be taken from the in situ situation.
Studies on skeletons that were previously excavated - and have not be seen in situ by the anthropologist will get more complicated because we will be studying fragmentary bones. Nevertheless we will always be able, if all the clues are gathered, to make serious studies of the fragmentary bones and get out all the possible information.
In both cases, drawing of the characteristic bones must be made to have a good data base.

 

What are the characteristic bones?
* Sex determination:
- Pelvis: this part of the body will help us determine the gender of the individual via several marks that deferentiates between a male and a female:

  • Angulus subpubicus

  • Incissura ischiadica major

  • Pre-auricular sulcus

-Cranium: in the skull we can find two major differences between a male and a female:

  • Angle of the meatus acusticus internus

  • Morphology of the margo supraorbital

* Age determination:
- Teeth:

  • An age scale is to be suggested comparing the patterns described on the molars

  • The dentition development will also indicate the age of the individual

The development of several bones will lead us to determine the probable age of a person ... etc

Size determination:

  • Femur

  • Humerus

  • Tibia

  • Radius

 

Results

In sector II-e-6 we studied two skeletons, one in crouched position (foetal), and the other layed on his back.

 

II-e-6 / grave 6 (plates 31 right and 33 down left): the crouched position skeleton is directed S/N and looking to the West. It is an infant between 18 and 24 months, we have been able to recognize the age from the mandibula teeth and from the iliaque bone. This infant is ca. 73cms tall and with healthy bone conditions. The measurement of the femur was made on the field because of the fragmentary statue of the bone, it is between 11 and 12 cm long. A baby feeder vessel was found just below his feet. It's probable that this vessel belongs to the hellenistic period.

 

II-e-6 / grave 7: this skeleton might have been buried in a wooden sarcophagus as indicated by several iron nails we found next to it. The direction of the skeleton is E/W. Compared to the angle of the meatus acusticus internus we can say that it is most probably a male (we have a leaned angle).
The measurement of the femur was taken on the field and it is equal to 44cms, by relativity we can say that this man is about 167cms tall. The pattern on the Molar 2 shows that this person is between 25 and 35 years old.

 

In sector II-e-7 our study in this season will be limited to six skeletons:

 

I-e-7 / grave 3 (plates 13 and 15 right): this skeleton is laid on the back directed E/W. The individual was wearing lots of jewelery like bronze feet rings, necklace with silver pendants, and a bronze fibula. A fritte scarab was also found with this person. The skull is crashed and we just have a few parts left of it. The dead person is a female, 165cms tall. The development of the bones indicates that this woman is over 24 years old. We have also some bronze traces on the fibula bone due to the jewelery this person was wearing while buried. The burial belongs to the Persian period.

 

II-e-7 / grave 5 (plate 15 left): this skeleton was found in a limestone sarcophagus decorated with an "relief" lion head which is believed to be a roman type of sarcophagus. The direction of the skeleton is W/E. At a first view this skeleton seemed to be headless but after studying the bones we recognized several fragments that belong to the skull: temporal bone, mastoide.
The gender of this skeleton was not to be defined but we know that this person is ca. 1,72m tall, over 21 years old. Those informations have been taken from the bones development.
The bones in this skeleton are too friable to help us in our studies. The head of the skeleton should have been resting on a pillow sculpted in the sarcophagus. A pair of leather and iron sandals was found with skeleton. This skeleton may be a male if we compare the context of the sarcophagus and this person's size.

 

II-e-7 / grave 8 (plates 12 top right, 31 top left, 32 right, 33 top left): we have a crouched skeleton directed W/E looking to the North; it is a male (juvenile) between16 and 17 years old, 156cms tall. He had serious problems with his dentition: he lost 2 premolars, 2 molars1 and 1 molar2, broke both canines while living. Maybe this was due to a bad nutrition or leak in vitamin C. The femur bone has not completed its development which helped us to say that this person is under 18 years old and the patterns on the molar2 confirmed this hypothesis and limited the age scale between 16 and 17.

 

II-e-7 / grave 9: this skeleton is directed N/S. It is a female - defined due to the pre-auricular sulcus, 157cms tall defined with the help of measurements taken at the femur and the humerus. The molar2 that belongs to the mandibula shows some degree of unequal wear which suggests that this person may have suffered from teeth problems. The pattern on the tooth indicates that this person is between 25 and 35 years old.

 

II-e-7 / grave 10 (plate 33 right): the skeleton was buried N/S with both hands on his chest and a Hellenistic amphoriskoi next to his feet. Due to the teeth display we can say that this person was between 15 and 20 years old when she died. Because the "apophyse" of theilium is well developed we can say that we have a female who is ca. 17 years old.

 

II-e-7 / grave 11 (plate 32 left): the skeleton is directed SW/NE and layed on the back. It is a male, between 21 and 25 years old judging by the teeth display, 160cms tall. This person lost two molars1 before he died. The gender of this person was defined from the leaned angle of the meatus acusticus internus.

P.S: All the studied skeletons in both sectors are inhumated.

 

Conclusion:

We can say that those two sectors became a cemetery area in the Iron Age III and continued to be used as a cemetery until roman times. We have a continuous occupation of the cemetery from the Persian to the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

All bones of the studied skeletons are more or less in good conditions except the skeleton that was found in a really bad condition in the limestone sarcophagus (II-e-7 / grave 5). As a rule the dead have been placed on their backs or have been buried in a crouched position.

 

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