Taphonomic reading of recently abandoned mud houses in support of prehistoric tell-digging: The case of Tell Arbid Village (northeastern Syria)


WILDING Maximilian

Year of publication 2017
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description One means of the Masaryk University excavation team (Brno, Czech Republic) to cope with the exceptionally bad preservation state of the wall substance at the Late Neolithic Tell Arbid Abyad (Upper Mesopotamia) have been inspections in a field of decayed, traditional mud-brick houses adjacent to the Czech excavation house. The principal aim of the recurrent visits in 2007-2010 has been to acquire a better understanding of the appearance and arrangement of wall debris scatter accumulating next to the reduced wall stumps proper. The attempt at Tell Arbid Village has had the following outcome: by mutual elucidation indeed some headway in the excavation of highly decomposed prehistoric clay walls can be made. Plans to improve the approach by moving forward from non-invasive photo documentation to targeted measures of (test) excavating, documenting and sampling in the modern field of ruins could not be pursued after 2010. The session will draw upon the existing stock of photo-material from the modern field-of-ruins of Lower Tell Arbid to show how, in practice, field excavators can use visual observation to get to new insights concerning the principal conversion process of derelict mud houses into the depositional layers found at tells.
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