Step Trench A
A Long Sequence from the Early Bronze Age to the Iron Age
During the 2019 season, the stratigraphic trench excavated on the southern slope of the mound yielded a sequence of imposing structures dating to the final phase of the Early Bronze Age (c. 2300-2000 BC), a series of buildings from the Middle and Late Bronze Age and an occupation from the Iron Age. The Early Bronze Age settlement is located on the mound’s slopes, where the remains of two structures and an industrial area were found. The most ancient complex features a level of destruction in which the archaeological finds were still preserved in situ. This building appears to have been obliterated subsequently by a space dedicated to pottery manufacturing and firing, as the numerous superimposed layers rich with burnt and vitrified materials suggest (baked clay, pebbles and pottery fragments).
Within the most recent building of the final period of the Early Bronze Age, a room delimited by mudbrick walls 1.20 m thick and with a floor in beaten earth was exposed. The Early Bronze Age occupation was obliterated by a terrace on which earth floors and hearths were installed and which has been interpreted as part of an open-air working space dating to the 2nd millennium BC (Middle and Late Bronze Age). This phase was covered by another terrace which was utilized as a foundation for a domestic building dating to the beginning of the1st millennium BC (Iron Age). Excavations have yielded remnants of an area utilized during a number of phases (as the succession of earth floors suggest) which was enclosed to the east by a mudbrick wall. The most ancient floor is made of beaten earth, while the second bares traces of a fire which sealed the materials in their findspot. A burial under the floor, located to the east and close to the wall, was also revealed.
The pit burial was sealed by mudbricks and contained an adult male lying in a crouched position on his right side with only one carnelian bead as a burial offering. Evidence of the most recent occupation of the building consists of beaten floor which indicates that the structure was rebuilt after the fire and its abandonment.