Kunara – 2015

© Mission Archéologique du Peramagron

The excavation campaigns
(by years)


Aline Tenu

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Archaeological investigations

During the season which took place in September and October 2015, excavations continued in two sectors (B and C), while a new sector was opened in the north of the Lower Town.
The aim of Sector B is to explore a monumental building found by geophysical survey in 2012. In 2015, we discovered that the structures visible in the survey in fact correspond to several buildings constructed at right angles to one another. The largest of these (Building 1) is over 30m long. A footpath ran along its south-east facing façade. One of the entrances was excavated in 2015: it is marked by a stone threshold more than 1.70m in length. A stone ramp led to the threshold from the south-east. Three buildings are located to the south of this edifice. Further excavation will show whether these structures are separate, of if they belong to the same complex.
In Sector C, excavations focused on the Level 2 remains, comprised of three buildings with associated floor levels and exterior features. One of these (519) has the particularity of being half-buried. Preserved to its original height (almost 1.5m), its walls were constructed using very sophisticated techniques: the superstructure of some of these was made of cob, faced with fired bricks and topped with courses of mud bricks. A rich collection of finds was uncovered in 2015, including numerous earthenware storage jars (at least one of which was finely decorated with snakes and scorpions), a clay jar seal and eight cuneiform clay tablets. The tablets were heavily damaged by the fire which devastated the sector, leaving a number of them virtually illegible. They are administrative texts which record different types of flour.
Sector E revealed a new monumental building, characterised by a wall at least 13m long and 1.35m wide. This was made from solid earth (cob or rammed earth, laid in regular layers), built on a base of stone blocks. Only a small area was excavated, but it contained a number of other features, which may have been internal partition walls or benches, whose function was to organise and subdivide the space. A large quantity of pottery was also found on the floors.
The excavations carried out at Kunara since 2012 document a very important settlement at the end of the 3rd millennium BC. They have led to the discovery of monumental buildings whose presence on this type of site was quite unexpected. This suggests that Kunara was, at that time, an important place. This is confirmed by the discovery of a cylinder seal in 2012 (Sector B), and a clay seal impression and eight tablets in 2015 (Sector C).