The Year 2001 Season of Excavation at Late PPNB Ba'ja

Hans Georg K. Gebel and Bo Dahl Hermansen
(Institut für Vorderasiatische Altertumskunde, Freie Universität Berlin; Carsten Niebuhr Institute, Copenhagen University)

 

 
The Year 2001 Season of Excavation at Late PPNB Ba'ja

Important Insight into a Stratigraphical Pattern of LPPNB Pueblo-Like Villages (H.G.K.G.)

From the excavation in Ba'ja it appears now more than likely that the groundplans of LPPNB pueblo-like multi-roomed buildings, stretching across one terrace or more, exclusively represent basements. They may show ceiling/floor features of an upper storey, staircases leading up, or fill that gives evidence of a second or even third floor. The stratigraphical investigations so far could not explain why only superimposed basements occur in this at least two-storied environment and how basements could undergo the many changes in plan and function in evidence while still supporting an upper storey. Fresh insights from Ba'ja 2001 revealed a simple explanation that may add a new understanding for a hitherto unknown pattern: The "basements" received their alterations when they still were in use as upper storeys. When their basements became too shallow, or functional changes were necessary, they were intentionally filled, and the former upper storey became a basement by adding a new storey above it. In this moment another episode of groundplan alterations happened by insertions of stairs, walls, buttresses to support planned upper storey features etc., closing of windows and passages, etc. The complexity of architectural events in this process results from the fact that building measures could happen in one building at different levels (terraces), and the overall good preservation of LPPNB buildings (basements) is the result of the aforementioned intentional filling. If we assume that the latest upper storey always is eroded away, the stratigraphies should contain only superimposed basements. (Gebel n.d.)

 


Fig. 7. Goods from the collective burial: mother-of-pearl object found under the skull of a newborn (A); mother-of-pearl ring (B); mace-head- type object made from igneous rock (C). (drawings by Britta Winckler)

 

   
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