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Tall Abu Al-Kharaz: preliminary excavation report of the seventeenth season of the Swedish Jordan expediton, 2014

Journal article
Authors Peter M. Fischer
Teresa Bürge
Published in Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan
Volume 58
Issue 2014
Pages 675-690
ISSN 0449-1564
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Historical Studies
Pages 675-690
Language en
Keywords Jordan, archaeology, Iron Age
Subject categories Archaeology, Non-European


The main objectives of the 2014 excavation season at Tall Abu al-Kharaz were achieved. They included investigation of the area around the geographical centre of the city (Area 12) and extension of Area 7 to the south (Area 13). In accord with the overarching aims of the project, preference was given to further investigation of the Iron Age sequence, i.e. the period from the 12th to 7th centuries BC that corresponds with local Phases IX - XV. The 30-year-old female, dated to Byzantine - Abbasid times, was buried under Iron Age stone structures weighing many tons. A forensic expert is currently analysing the remains in order to extract additional information. Phase XV, once again, highlights the squatter character of this late Iron Age society: the older structures were reused for dwellings and only a few new structures appeared. The situation in the preceding Phase XIV was totally different, in that the remains of a thriving society were exposed. The Phase XIV occupants were in contact with the eastern Mediterranean, Phoenician and Neo- Assyrian cultural spheres, as can be seen in the pottery which was either imported or at least locally copied. The thick fabric of our small ‘Cypro-Geometric’ juglets (Fig. 8:7-8) and their bichrome decoration in the ‘wrong’ colours excludes the possibility that they were Cypro- Geometric III imports from Cyprus, although they display a high level of craftsmanship. We agree with V. Karageorghis (ref. above) that they imitate Cypriote shapes of the second half of the 8th century BC, perhaps Black-on-Red II. In this respect, the Cypriote dates are in exact accord with the well established Phase XIV chronology at Tall Abu al-Kharaz (Fischer 2013: 516).

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