Christine Kepinski (Director of Research CNRS, HDR University of Paris I, UMR 7041)
How Eveha Participates
Excavations at the site of Kunara, which were begun in 2012, continued between August and October of 2013.
Further investigations were carried out in the three excavation zones opened during the previous season.
The Upper Town
The continuation of excavations in the Upper Town led to a better understanding of the nature of the remains, and a more refined chronology. During the earliest occupation of the site, dated to the Early Bronze Age (2350-2200 BC), this area is marked by the presence of a fortified building constructed on top of a platform, which was accessed by a monumental ramp. This ramp is made predominantly of mud brick or pisé (rammed earth) steps on stone foundations. The walls of the fortified structure are 1.5 metres thick and reinforced with buttresses, while its floors were made of lime plaster.
The platform was still standing at the end of the Early Bronze Age (2200-2000 BC). At this time, it gave access to a huge building with a supposed surface area of approximately 2000 m², which occupied most of the Upper Town. The walls identified during the previous year’s excavations belonged to this building, made of stone, mud bricks and rammed earth. In the space interpreted as a courtyard, a terracotta pipe 10 metres long was uncovered.
This large building was later burned town, and the area redeveloped. This settlement probably dates to the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1800 BC) and is characterised by a series of pits.
The Lower Town
The Early Bronze Age settlement in the Lower Town is characterised by a monumental area bordered on its south side by the remains of domestic structures. The large monumental building detected in 2012 underwent further study. A new wall was identified along its eastern side, but the role of these structures has not yet been determined. The ensemble is dated to the end of the Early Bronze Age.
In relation to the later period, besides the buildings already identified, the discovery of three human burials is of note, though a precise date has yet to be established for these. The bodies were deposited in pits, and the find of a bronze pin in one of these structures may be evidence for the use of shrouds.
Excavations in the other area of the Lower Town uncovered a fourth room of the Early Bronze Age building dug in 2012. It was possible to determine that the roof was made of reed mats covered with pisé. Evidence that a fire had taken place was found in the room excavated this year. Large numbers of broken pottery vessels in the layers associated with the abandon of the structure suggest that this space was used for storage.
At the end of the Early Bronze Age, a new building complex was constructed on the site of the previous one. It is characterised by monumental structures associated with outdoor spaces. One of these comprises a rectangular floor level paved with large fired bricks. Two pipes ran through this area, and the oven found during the first field season appears to be associated with this space.
A trench was opened on the slope which borders the Upper and Lower Towns with the aim of demonstrating the existence of a surrounding wall. No traces of such a structure could be identified, however.
Finally, another trench, opened in the south-eastern part of the Lower Town, revealed evidence for domestic settlement.