[main] : [Excavations] : [Tell Aray] [Tell Abd el-Aziz] [Tell el-Kerkh]
Tell Abd el-Aziz is a small low mound situated 3km south of Tell Aray. It is about 120m in diameter and roughly 3m in height. Because a lot of Ubaid related pottery sherds were collected on the surface of the tell, we chose this site for sounding excavations aiming to establish a chronological order from the Neolithic to Chalcolithic.
A 5x5m sounding pit, named Test Pit, were set up slightly south of the center of the tell. The terra-rossa virgin soil was reached at 5.10m from surface, and bed-rock at 5.20m. Because the virgin soil was not fan deposits but the limestone bed-rock, it is supposed that the first settlement was founded on the natural low hill. Eighteen layers, named from the top, were distinguished in all, and various kinds of structures were discovered.
In Layers 18 to 15, no remarkable structure was found except for a stone row in layer 17. Very few pottery sherds or other artefacts were recovered from these layers. Layers 14 to 9 have several stone rows and storage bins. In layer 14 plastered storage bins were found. Interestingly, a set of a grinding stone, mortar, stone slab, and large dark-face unburnished jar was recovered in layer 12. It possibly shows that cooking activity was employed here. Layers 8 to 5 were characterized by many storage bins and ash pits. Plastered storage bins were found, but no stone structure was uncovered from these layers. In layer 4 to 1, several stone rows, which are probably foundations of buildings, were revealed.
Based on pottery types, we could broadly divide these layers above into three periods. The pottery from layers 18 to 15 mainly consists of dark-face burnished and unburnised ware. It is worth noting that some fragments have a shape of early Halaf type such as cream bowl. In layers 14 to 9, a lot of Halaf related pottery was recovered. There were also fairly amounts of dark-face fine ware of Amuq tradition. Ubaid related pottery first appears in layer 14 and increases toward upper layers. Layers 8 to 1 produced mainly Ubaid related painted and unpainted pottery. In layers 8 to 5, small hatching or other fine motifs painted in black are common. On the other hand, simple motifs in red paints are remarkable in layer 4 to 1.
As for other artefacts, it is notable that semicircular-shaped flint sickle blades were found from layer 14 to 9. Numerous stone sling balls were also found in layers 4 to 1.
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Currently designed and constructed by Shannon Gibbs, Osamu MAEDA.
Last edited 25th of December 2000