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Journal / Summary:C-1-2005-Summary

Final Trench Summary, Year 2005 Season

Area C

Trench 1

June 26, 2005


Trench C1 is located on the western side of the tepe. The datum is the southwestern corner of C4 and is 597.16 meters above sea level. This is a 5x5m trench and it abuts C4 on its eastern baulk. This trench was last excavated during the 2003 season, but had also been previously excavated by Pete. I excavated this trench in the 2003 season, so I was well acquainted with its loci and contexts. The trench was started on June 7, 2005 after the first half of the season I had spent excavating trench G9. C1 was started at a depth of 595.35m above sea level and went down to 594.51m, and was therefore taken down 84cm. Previous excavations in area C point to this part of the tepe having been occupied in the Bronze Age. This season, much of the excavation focus was on areas showing evidence of Late Chalcolithic and ‘Ubaid occupations. C1 was reopened this season to help balance out the research focus and to create a more holistic picture of occupation at the site. This is also why the C2 sounding was opened. Based on the pottery reading conducted this season, it seems that area C, at least with C1 and C2, is firmly entrenched in the Bronze Age. C1 may have reached back to the Early Bronze (EB), but there is no evidence of us moving closer to Late Chalcolithic occupation evidence on this part of the tepe.

Excavation of C1

The first locus opened in the 2005 excavation of trench C1 is L1102, a cleaning locus. The goal of this locus was to clean up the compressed areas affected by the plastic laid down at the end of the 2003 excavation season. As always happens in this trench, interesting finds were made without any clear context. A nice example of a stone tool was found (KT C.1.1102.15) while removing back fill.

The beginning of the excavation was focused on initially attempting to clean up evidence from previous loci and to determine the presence of new loci. At first I thought that the walls, etc. from the 2003 season were finished, and new loci were created to equal the older loci as they were cleaned up and removed. L1106 was created to equal L1092, which was originally thought to have been a short wall or windbreak to protect a cooking installation. This locus continued down for two rows and was removed, but it continues into the northern baulk, so its full extent is not known. L1103 was created to equal the stone wall 1069 in the eastern baulk. L1104 was created to equal what had been described as a mud brick surface or foundation trench (L1071) in the middle of C1. Similarly L1105 was created to equal L1083 the mud brick foundation to L1069 stone wall. Approximately 10cm from each of these loci (L1104 and L1105) and then an arbitrary cleaning locus (L1107) was created to finish the initial removal of approximately 20cm. At this point I finally realized that what I had originally mistaken as a foundation to a stone wall, was in fact a mud brick wall. Better late than never. So new loci were started again to correctly deal with the mud brick walls. L1110 became the eastern mud brick wall, so L1105 was closed and divided into two areas to cover both the wall and the fill to the east of it. L1114 was created to encompass the fill on the eastern side of that wall. L1111 became the western wall that runs through the center of the trench. At the end of the season when these walls were finally traced to their extents and removed, a good amount of cultural remains were removed from each. Two of the more special finds from wall 1110 were an interesting worked sherd disk that might have served as a lid (KT C.1.1110.6) and a straight ball-headed bronze pin (KT C.1.1110.7). A similar bronze pin (KT C.1.1111.12) was recovered from the removal of wall 1111.

During the 2003 excavation season, there had been an elevation difference between the western and eastern halves of the trench. This problem was revisited in the 2005 season. Cleaning locus 1108 was therefore created to deal with the western half of the trench which was lower than the eastern half (L1107).

Through the removal of L1107 cleaning locus for the eastern portion of the trench (between mud brick walls 1111 and 1110), a plastered surface (L1109) was uncovered between the two walls. This surface extended between the two walls and was approximately 1.5m in width. The plaster did not cover the entire surface, but was constrained to a roughly 1m circular patch in the approximate center of the surface. This surface was removed using Household Archaeology Protocol (HAP) sampling procedures, and the actual HAP sample itself was taken from the plastered area. At least one large chert core (KT C.1.1109.8) was removed, as well as a good deal of lithic material. This portion of the trench also contained a good amount of slag (KT C.1.1109.11), which Lynn believes was from an over-fired pottery kiln. No kiln has been found in this trench, so the kiln must have been located elsewhere on the tepe. One of the most remarkable finds from this surface, however, is a coarse ware sherd impressed by a cylinder seal (KT C.1.1109.14). This sherd was taken as a small find and has been photographed and drawn. The seal impression has been possibly recreated as well, and might depict a "birdman" figure as well as a monster killing a stag. Parallels with other sites are necessary to make further investigations into this find.

Loci 1112 and 1113 were created as fill loci to remove material from around the mud brick walls. These loci were later combined since there did not seem to be the need to have separate loci for fill on both sides of the walls. L1115 may also have some overlap with L1113. L1115 was located along the middle area of the eastern baulk. It was comprised of very hard and compact bricky areas. This could have been some sort of brick collapse from wall 1110 or from both walls, but few whole bricks were visible. Because of the difference in consistencies, this locus was taken out as a separate entity.

L1116 was a stone arc located on the exterior of the southwestern end of wall 1111. This may have been a pit cut into lower contexts from above, but there was no evident pit line. The inside fill of the arc was removed as L1119. We think this might be something that cut into lower levels, since the pottery from L1119 appears to be Middle Bronze when other loci at the same level or slightly higher seemed to indicate an earlier date of occupation. The stone arc (L1116) contained an almost complete vessel profile (KT C.1.1116.2), multiple pieces of the same broken basalt grinding stone (KT C.1.1116.4), as well as a small ground stone door socket (KT C.1.1116.5).

L1118 was started as a fill locus, but then was closed before any excavation could be done. I decided that there was a better way to proceed. Instead L1120 was created as a fill locus since it was below the level of loci 1116 and 1119 (stone arc and fill). This locus (L1120) was also used to clean the top of surface 1117.

When originally found, L1117 pebble surface was thought to be the earliest level of use for the mud brick walls 1111 and 1110. It started at the break line where L1109 plaster surface had stopped and continued northwards abutting both walls and reaching the northern baulk. The surface was removed using HAP sampling protocols. As we were straightening and cleaning up the locus after removal, I noticed that the pottery and stones from L1117 continued underneath wall 1111. I had already suspected that we had proceeded below the extent of the walls, but had not yet attempted to remove them. This was the last proof that I needed. Also, in L1120 on the western side of wall 1111 there had started to come up more pebble surface, which appeared to be the same surface as that removed on the eastern side of the walls. So L1117 pebble surface was in existence before the construction of mud brick walls 1111 and 1110. There must have been at least 5cm of fill above the pebble surface (1117) and then the walls were constructed on top of that. So the walls were removed and L1120 was used to clean up the surface on the western side of the trench. Then what remained of surface 1117 was again sampled using HAP methods.

This was the last act of excavation that was conducted in C1 at the end of the season. The trench was closed on June 23, 2005. The baulks were not drawn from this season. The trench was taken down to below the walls and below the pebble surface and was then back filled for the possibility of further excavation.


The earliest level in C1 excavated this season is pebble surface 1117. This surface was below wall 1111 and was bounded on the western side of the trench by two large stones. There is a space between the stones that might have marked access to the area.

Then there was a layer of fill (L1120).

This was followed by the construction of the mud brick walls 1111 and 1110. Through the many uses of these walls, they seem to have been often used for domestic purposes. The earliest use of the two walls (L1111 and L1110) appears to be the plastered surface (L1109). This surface covered half the length of the space between the two walls. These walls were previously excavated in the 2003 field season as well as earlier. Another context that would be interesting to revisit as to the use of these walls was from the 2003 season in which an in situ pot smash was found against wall 1111 (different locus then) and possibly in connection with the small wall (now L1106) that has been described as a wind break. After their use as mud brick walls they were later reused as stone walls. For more information on this period of their use, see notes and summaries from the 2003 season.

Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Journal Type Season
Date 2005-06-26
Year 2005
Has note At the end of each week, trench supervisors were expected to write a concise summary of the previous week’s activities. The purpose of this weekly summary was to review the week’s notes, check for completeness, identify any mistakes or missing information, and to begin building interpretations.
Suggested Citation

Bradley Parker, Peter Cobb. (2012) "C-1-2005-06-026-Season from Asia/Turkey/Kenan Tepe/Area C/Trench 1". In Kenan Tepe. Bradley Parker, Peter Cobb (Ed). Released: 2012-03-28. Open Context. <> ARK (Archive):

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