Hi, my name is Laura. I am a senior at Concordia University – St. Paul, currently working toward a degree in Archaeology of the Levant. I had the opportunity to excavate Hippos-Sussita -more specifically, the Northeast Insula- during the 2012 excavation season. Although the dig season ended in July, the work is far from complete. We are now in the process of sorting through thousands of pictures, logging small finds and ceramic analyses, and conducting research on some of the season’s findings. Over the next few months I will be using this blog to update you on the latest news from the Northeast Insula Project.
Meet the members of the Hippos 2012 teams. The Concordia team, including our Canadian friends and their rendition of “O Canada,” is shown in the last part of the video.
A fourth week of digging and cleaning brought to an end the 2012 season on the Northeast Insula Project.
In the House of Tyche in the eastern zone, we partially exposed a room to the east of the peristyle court. Its southern section is a narrow space, possibly used for storage or serving the unexcavated space to the south (a triclinium?).
This section of the room was separated by a window wall from the larger portion of the room to the north.
The northerly section of the room is unfinished, but a shelf or high bench sites again its northerly wall.
In the beta building complex on the west side of the dig, we exposed part of the northerly room with a court yard in from of it.
In the southeast corner of the court yard is a crude staircase leading to a second floor above the north room.
Pottery and coins from the building suggest it was constructed in the Umayyad period and then abandoned before the earthquake of AD 749.
In the southern section of the Beta building is a large room with a double-sized entrance from the plaza to the east, in the center of which is a column.
Again, we ran out of time before completing work on the room. But we did do a probe to the base of the column (60 cm below our stopping level).
The column sits on a plaster floor.
With a single large entrance from the plaza to the east, we speculate that the room was used for some kind of public assembly. We further assume that the court yard and room(s) to the north were domestic and may have housed a leader from those who assembled here. We hope that work in 2013 will bring use from speculation to answers.
The dig this years benefited from the hard work of many, including the following . . .
Thanks to all for an interesting season!
Below is the latest site plan for the Beta Building complex.
With the departure of the Canadian team and other volunteers, the Concordia team is much smaller in Week 3 (eleven people). We are working solely in the Beta Building complex.
During this week we got a fuller sense of what appears to be an inner courtyard of the complex. It is some four by six meters in size and probably served a domestic function.
The courtyard is surfaced with re-used pavers and some building stones.
In a probe between the Alpha and Beta buildings, we sought evidence of an earlier stylobate that was part of the final floor of the Alpha Building. Did the stylobate extend to the north? How far?
We found the stylobate in the north wall of the Alpha Building.
But all portions of the stylobate to the north were removed prior to the construction of the Beta Building complex. We posit that the stones were incorporated into various walls of that building.
Rains from last winter had caused the collapse of the northwest corner of the Alpha Building. This week we put back into place two courses of the wall.
Work was challenging this week, but not without its lighter moments. Erin takes a bit of a rest in a stone feed box excavated by the team.
The team moves into the final week of the dig starting on Sunday. We will be home on Friday, leaving behind challenges for future seasons and friends living in a very tense part of the world.