37-15-12 [Kh 8-251]
as “Mound B, House”
Possibly dating to I
sin Larsa/Old Babylonian
As, 0.85%; Sn, 0.037%;
Of the twelve artifacts initially included in the analytical program, five of them were excavated in Mound A:
Chisel (inv. A11605), in Square M44:5, Temple Oval III
Dagger (inv. 38-10-74), in Square S42:1, Burial 144
Dagger (inv. 38-10-73), in Square O50:1, Burial 146
Pin (inv. 37-15-75), in Square V44:2, Burial 156
Dagger (inv. 37-15-77), in Square V44:2, Burial 156
One of them was excavated in Mound B:
Chisel (inv. 37-15-12), House(?)
Six of them were excavated in Mound C:
Spearhead (inv. A17727)
Shaft-hole adze (inv. A17748)
Pin/needle (inv. 37-15-13)
Dagger (inv. 37-15-15a)
Spearhead (inv. 37-15-15b)
Spearhead (inv. 37-15-15c),
The last three of these were found pressed together in a concretion of soil and bronze corrosion products.
The artifacts with inventory numbers prefixed by “A” are part of the collections of the Oriental Institute and are not illustrated here.
Mound A, the Temple Oval
This was a major temple complex, perhaps dedicated to Inanna, that was located in the southwestern portion of the city, just inside a gateway in its fortification wall (Delougaz 1940). Private houses abutted the temple on three sides. The complex, which occupied an area of roughly forty hectares, comprised inner and outer oval shaped walls that enclosed a courtyard. A house (House D) was located at the northern end of the complex between the two enclosure walls.
The courtyard contained a number of features, including wells. At its southeastern end was a stairway that rose perpendicularly up the face of a mud brick platform. Though there were no traces of a structure on that platform that is presumably where one once stood. Similar oval temple complexes dedicated to Inanna have been found at al-Hiba/Lagas and Nippur(?), while al-Ubaid (ancient Nutur) has a similar one dedicated to Ninhursag. The room in Square M44:5 where the chisel (inv. A11605) was found opened off the Temple Oval’s courtyard at its northeast end.
While clearing Khafajeh’s Temple Oval, the excavators distinguished three major building periods, but only the very fragmentary foundations of the latest of these (Temple Oval III) were preserved. In his reconsideration of the Diyala sequence, Gibson (1982) has suggested that Temple Oval III (and the associated Houses 1) were early Akkadian in date, because stone objects with inscriptions of Rimus and Naram-Suen—previously regarded by the excavators as intrusive—were actually contemporary with the final building level.
Mound A, Burial 144
This burial was found in houses to the east of the Suen temple, in Square S 42:1. It contained the fragmentary skeletons of two adults. One, with a crushed skull, was lying on its left side in a contracted position; the skull of the second was dislocated and the bones in some confusion. Besides the dagger (inv. 38-10-74), tomb goods included an Early Dynastic-style cylinder seal, a fragment of another blade, pins, silver rings, beads (probably from around the neck of the skeleton with the crushed skull), and eleven pottery vessels (Delougaz et al. 1967).
Although Burial 144 was attributed to Houses 2 (and thus dated to Early Dynastic IIIa), neither the published description nor the plan of Square S 42:1 suggest that its stratigraphic context was solid. The pottery from the burial suggests that it was later than Early Dynastic IIIa, and so probably intrusive into Houses 2. Among the vessels in the burial were two types: (i) a squat jar with a ridge at the juncture between body and shoulder and wavy lines incised on the shoulder (C.404.350); and (ii) a jar with a high upright ridge at the juncture of body and shoulder and combed incised decoration on the shoulder (C.515.471: see Gibson and McMahon [1995: 13]). Gibson has shown both of these to be Akkadian in date. The burial also contained a "classic" Akkadian jar with multiple ridges on the shoulder (D.465.360). Gibson noted that, though at Nippur the type of jar was more characteristic of the late Akkadian and Ur III eras, it did occur in early and late Akkadian levels in the Diyala (1982; Gibson and McMahon 1995). In sum, the pottery suggests that Burial 144 was Akkadian in date.
Mound A, Burial 146
This burial was found in a test trench (Trench C) that ran southwest to northeast from the city wall in Square K 53 to Square R 49. Apparently, it was close to the surface, and the skeleton and grave goods were badly damaged. Besides the dagger (inv. 38-10-73), tomb goods included a cylinder seal (unpublished), two bronze containers, and a number of pottery vessels. Of these, only two–a jar with a high upright handle (C.516.471) and a "fruit stand" (C.365.810b), could be identified as to form (Delougaz et al. 1967). As with Burial 144, the pottery suggests that the burial was probably Akkadian in date.
Mound A, Burial 156
This burial was found in Square V44:2 in a test trench (Trench A) that ran east to west through Squares Q-Y44. It contained the skeleton of an adult lying on its right side. Besides the dagger (inv. 37-15-77) and the pin with an abraded stone head (inv. 37-15-75), the grave goods included a Jemdet Nasr-style cylinder seal, shell cosmetic containers, and several pottery vessels, including bowls (B.002.200a), a "fruit stand" (C.365.810), and a simple jar (C.406.340). There was also a pottery jar (C.527.471) with a high, incised upright handle, high pedestal base and incised decoration on the shoulder, the presence of which suggests the burial must date to the Akkadian (Delougaz et al. 1967).
Mound B, House
Eleven objects are listed with the provenance "Mound B, house" in the eighth season's field register (Hill et al. 1990). Besides the chisel (inv. 37-15-12), they include a Jemdet Nasr-style cylinder seal, six mold-made clay plaques, a fragmentary figurine, and two bronze pins. No information exists on the findspot “Mound B, house,” and it should not even be assumed that the objects were from excavations on Mound B. Mound C squares excavated in the eighth season, such as n 74-75 (see below) and r 80, were regularly listed in the field register under the designation, Mound B. For example, six objects are listed as from "Mound B, r 80 house," and it is likely that "Mound B, house" is an abbreviated form of that provenance.
The Oriental Institute's expedition worked on Mound C during the winter of 1935-1936, and more than fifty objects were listed in the field register as from that location. The objects include cylinder seals and a seal impression, beads, sickles, arrowheads, spear blades, axes, hoes, and a needle. However, no notes on the excavation(s) or plans of architectural remains can now be found, and no specific information on the find spots of two of the items of interest here–the spearhead (inv. A17727) and the shaft-hole axe (inv. A17748)–is available. The dating of these two artifacts must therefore be regarded as uncertain.
The two artifacts are listed in the field register as from Mound B, Squares n.74-75. Squares n.74-74 are located on the northwestern slope of Mound C. The elevation of the mound's surface in that area is two to three meters below its highest point. The Joint Expedition carried out excavations in n.74-75 in the eighth season in 1937, but no field notes or plans of the architectural remains can be found. Published pottery from n.74-75 is likely Kassite in date (Hill et al. 1990) and objects such as the pin/needle (inv. 37-15-13) and the three weapon parts (inv. 37-15-15a-c) from Squares n.74-75 can plausibly be argued, through parallels with material from Tell Zubeidi, Nippur, and Ur (Boehmer and Dammer 1985; Gibson, et al. 1978; and Woolley 1965) to date to the Kassite era as well. The inclusion of inv. A17727 and A17748 in this analytical program now must be regarded as of dubious value.