The excavation campaigns
Axelle Rougeulle (CNRS, UMR8167 – Orient et Méditerranée).
A short period of work took place at Qalhât in February 2015 (Ill 1). The principal aim was to estimate the amount of time that would be necessary to gain a full understanding of the building B39, which was uncovered during the previous season.
While the majority of the building and associated occupation layers were excavated in 2014, the area immediately surrounding the building was hardly explored, and – most importantly – the chronology of the structure is still unclear due to the many reworkings and modifications which took place.
The northern wall in particular has a very complex morphology, changing orientation and shrinking several times. A trench was therefore opened where these various alterations took place. This revealed that the exterior layers had a very complex organisation (Ill. 2). Several remarkable structures were uncovered here: a trench, post-holes, a possible pit, etc. Furthermore, within the wall itself, further irregularities appeared. These included a pipe from the first phase, a plastered area on the lower part of the wall and a projection in the eastern part of the trench.
In addition, further examination of the masonry confirms the existence of a large number of modifications.
For all of the above reasons it was decided that the next season of the Qalhât Project would be principally dedicated to the analysis of this very complex building, which has the added advantage of being well preserved, at the centre of a possible small square. Excavation of the surrounding area will provide general information about this zone, which will be useful for the excavation of the pottery workshop, planned for early 2016.