Operation 1


The mud-bricks walls in Operation 1 were removed with the exception of their stone socles. New plans and photographs of the building structures were made. Afterwards older floors and installations were exposed. In a small extension in the northern part of the trench there appeared first a deposit of rubble covering Parthian graves, and below, it the Late Assyrian building level with the entrances of two private houses. Our investigations in Field 1 exposed remains of five or six buildings. All but one were partially excavated. The fully excavated medium-sized private house in the centre of the trench consisted of six rooms. It is a typical Late Assyrian structure with a fore-courtyard, a big reception room, and the inner courtyard with a small living unit.

The trench was extended 5 m to the south where Andrae’s trial soundings in the former grid squares eA-B9I are located. Our work concentrated here at first on a Parthian grave structure whose stone foundation was entirely exposed adjacent to the grave remains excavated ten years ago. The tomb stood on mud-brick collapse and rubble. This deposit partially sealed two big rooms in the Late Assyrian destruction level. Debris with conflagration remains in these rooms indicate the disaster of the year 614 B. C. when the city was captured and at least partly destroyed by the Medes.

Fifteen clay tablets and fragments of the tablets found in the trench were secondarily burnt by the fire (S. M. Maul has prepared the preliminary publication for MDOG 132, 2000). They turned up in the rubble between the Parthian grave chamber and the Late Assyrian buildings. The tablets belonged to one of the archives found by B. Hrouda during the former excavation (preliminary report by K. Hecker, MDOG 123, 1991; now being prepared for publication by K. Radner).

In the grave foundation as well as in the deposit below it, there were many pieces of inscribed and stamped bricks, most of them from the quay wall of Adad-nerari I. (1295–1265). The former expedition had found some of these bricks re-used also in the walls of the Assyrian rooms. There were many fragments of Assyrian clay hands (‘Handkonsolen’) in the entire eastern part of Field 1. Also a large number of loomweights made of unbaked clay were found on the floor in the south-western building. Some well preserved jars, cups and bowls also belonged to the inventory of these rooms. A burnt piece of an engraved tridacna-shell is presumed to belong to the same shell fragments which came from this trench ten years ago.