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Excavations at Tell Abu al-Kharaz, Jordan Valley

Storage jars, bowl and jug in situ from Area 9, Phase IX
Jug with white slip and red decoration from Area 9, Phase IX

The Swedish excavations, directed by Peter M. Fischer from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have been carried out at Tell Abu al-Kharaz since 1989. The excavations are financed by the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities since 2008.

Tell Abu al-Kharaz is a 12 ha tell in the central Jordan Valley. The objective of the 16th season in 2013 was to shed further light on the Iron Age occupation of this city, first settled around 3200 BC, which corresponds to the conventional Early Bronze Age IB. The Iron Age occupation lasted from the 12th century BC until 732 BC, when the city was conquered by the Neo-Assyrians. From 2009 to 2012 excavations in Area 9 revealed an exceptionally well-preserved two-storey compound dating from Iron Age I (local Phase IX), that is around 1100 BC. The stone compound was exposed for a length of 46 m (not counting the western annex of additional 20 m) and consists of 21 rooms, with walls still standing to a height of more than 2 m. Several hundred complete vessels and other objects point to the extensive contacts of a fairly rich society. Contacts with the Aegean and Cyprus through offshoots of the Sea Peoples/Philistines, and with Egypt and Phoenicia, were ascertained. At the end of the 2012 season of excavation the eastern limit of the compound was reached.

In 2013, complementary excavations were carried out to the north and east of the compound. The eastern extension revealed a defence system, which was originally built in the Early Bronze Age IB/II around 3100 BC, but which was reused as a part of the Iron Age I defence structures. Test trenches in the north-eastern part of Area 10 and in Area 11 north-east of Area 10, i.e. a hitherto unexplored area of the city, revealed remains from the late and the early Iron Age, and the Late Bronze Age. 

Phasing of Tell Abu al-Kharaz

PHASES

DURATION BC

PERIODS

IA–B

3150–3050

EB IB

IIA–B

3050–3000

EB II

IIIA–B

3000–2900

EB II

Lacuna

2900–1600

EB III–MB II/III

IV/1

c. 1600

MB III

IV/2

1600–1525

MB/LB

V

1525–1450

LB IA

VI

1450–1400

LB IB

VII

1400–1350

LB IB/C–IC

VIII

1350–?

LB IC–II

Lacuna

 

LB II

IX

1100–1050

IA IB

X

1050?–930

IA IB/(IIA)

XI

930–850

IA IIA

XII

850–800

IA IIA/B

XIII

800–770

IA IIB

XIV

770–732

IA IIB

XV

732–600

IA IIC

Projektleitung:

Weblinks:

> Projekt-Website