General view of the excavations of Step Trench A on the southern slop of the Aliawa mound 

A bilobed kiln discovered during the excavation of Step Trench A 

Detail of a sector of the imposing building of the end of the 3rd millennium BC 

An additional terracing is imposed on this phase and used as a foundation for the construction of a domestic building dated to the end of the 1st millennium BC (Seleucid period). Excavations have exposed the remains of an environment delimited to the east by a mudbrick wall which was used for several phases, as indicated r by the overlapping of three floor plans. The oldest is made of beaten earth; the second renovation is marked by a fire that sealed the materials in situ. Under the latest floor plan, a rectangular trench burial was found, covered and lined with mudbricks, with an adult male individual lying curled up on his right side, accompanied by a single cornelian pearl. 

Open air working area with a bread oven (tannur) dated to the early Late Bronze Age

Detail of an adult burial found underneath the floor of a building dated to the end of the 1st millennium BC 

General view of the Ninevite 5 storage area V

Cretula with seal impression found during the excavation of a silos

Ninevite 5 painted pottery 

General view of the industrial complex dating to the 3rd millennium BC 

Detail of a collapsed kiln with in situ pottery vessels 

Materials for pottery manufacturing found in situ 

Bronze pins, an incised spindle whorl and ceramic quadrupeds found during the excavation of the industrial area 

Potter’s implements for the manufacturing of ceramic vessels 

Veduta panoramica delle strutture rinvenute sulla sommità di Aliawa

Tetradrammo di Alessandro in argento

Detail of the sub-pavemental burial belonging to the Seleucid building

Seleucid ovoidal jar with molded rim 

The building was then abandoned and its collapsed features were later obliterated by another structure dating to the late Hellenistic period. Its rooms were rectangular, its floors were finely plastered, and its mudbrick walls were preserved to a height of 1.20 m. Several installations were found in the corners of the rooms, while a tomb with a complete jar was excavated beneath the floor in the northern area. The typology of installations and the general architectural layout suggest that this building must have had a domestic purpose with production activities taking place within.

Imagine: General view of the Parthian production area 

The pottery assemblage of both phases is homogeneous and includes some of the diagnostic types from the Hellenistic period in Northern Mesopotamia. These include the well-known “fish plates” (wide-brim serving plates), plates with out-folded rims, cup-shaped bowls with the indented rim and the narrow-necked jars with a molded rim. A complete example of this type, with a pink fabric with vegetal inclusions and an ovoid body with a rounded bottom, was found inside the sub-floor burial belonging to the building of the second architectural phase.

In the medieval era, the entire sector was refurbished for the storage of food goods and for the carrying out of artisan activities, as indicated by the presence of various circular wells, silos and drain pits which were dug by cutting the levels of previous phases. Oval necked amphorae with vertical handles decorated with incised geometric motifs, were found inside several of the pits, some of which were lined internally with bitumen, indicating an Islamic date for this occupational phase (Aliawa XII). Several fragments of glass objects were also found, including some twisted bracelets made of glass paste.

Detail of a small well with an in-situ Islamic vessel 

Jar with incised decoration dating to the Islamic period G

Fragment of a twisted glass paste bracelet

Mapping and positioning of the excavation areas and of the geoarchaeological soundings in the south-western area of the site M

General view of the structures discovered in Area C 

General view of part of the Middle Bronze Age building in area D, with detail of the small darin coated with bricks and stones next to the adjacent floor 

General view of the canal which runs south of the site connecting it to Kurd Qaburstan