Rapport préliminaire sur les activités de la Mission archéologique franco syrienne d'Al-Rawda, travaux 2007-2010 (Part 2)

Abstract : This article, presented in two parts, deals with the excavations and the pluridisciplinary studies conducted at Tell Al-Rawda (Central-Western Syria, Early Bronze IV) and in its surroundings between 2007 and 2010. The excavation of the main sanctuary of the city (a temple in antis, a smaller temple and the partially constructed sacred precinct) has been completed for the last level of occupation (about 2200 BC). A new program has been developed in 2009-2010 especially based on in-depth exploration of the archaeological levels. It shows that the radio-concentric plan of the city goes back to the beginning of the urban foundation, about 2500 BC. Outside of the fortification system, to the east, a small quarter of byzantine houses has been discovered. The studied region around Tell Al-Rawda has been enlarged and includes the “Very Long Wall” which is 220 km long and situated 10 km to the East of the city of Al-Rawda. New methods of investigation have been tried, including some particularly promising as new techniques of magnetic surveys, with measurements of higher resolution than we had previously used, and geoarchaeological analyzes which have confirmed the pastoral use of most of the stone circles and, at least approximately, their age. A defense system based on a network of EB IV towers has been identified as well as new EB IVB habitation sites. Tell Al-Rawda which is certainly connected to the “Very Long Wall” appears to be a “central place” in the region. Furthermore a new EB IVB roughly circular city surrounded by a double rempart, Khirbet el Qasr, 36,7 km NW of Al-Rawda, has been discovered. So the arid steppe of Syria was widely occupied in Early Bronze IV by a network of villages inhabited by semi-nomads and by sedentary populations, but also by a network of cities that were inhabited year-round. Some of these cities at least, like Tell Al-Rawda, Tell Sha’irat and probably Khirbet el Qasr are fortified, circular and organised around a radioconcentric streets network. They reveal the existence of a true “urban model” attested in Central-Western Syria as soon as 2500 B.C.
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Corinne Castel, N Awad, Olivier Barge, Jacques Élie Brochier, Carine Calastrenc, et al.. Rapport préliminaire sur les activités de la Mission archéologique franco syrienne d'Al-Rawda, travaux 2007-2010 (Part 2). Akkadica, Assyriologische Stichting Georges Dossin, 2014, 135 (2), pp.1-36. ⟨hal-01347482⟩

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