Göbekli Tepe. Preliminary Report on the 2012 and 2013 Excavation Seasons.

Most recent excavation seasons at the Pre-Pottery Neolithic hill sanctuary of Göbekli Tepe have been largely dedicated to essential provisions in advance of construction work on the permanent shelter for Enclosures A-D. In 2012 deep soundings down to

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   Editorial Field Reports  Richter et al.  Shubayqa 1 Dietrich et al. Göbekli Tepe  Richter  East Jordanian Badya  Olszewski and al-Nahar  Tor at-Tareeq, Wadi al-Hasa Contributions Caracuta et al.  Archaeobotanical Data from Nahal Zippori 3    Lab Report   Kinzel et al.   Diana Kirkbride-Helbæk Archive    Events  Watkins   Prix Archéologique Upcoming Conferences / Workshops  New Publications  Masthead     NEO-LITHICS 1/14 The Newsletter of Southwest Asian Neolithic Research  2  Neo-Lithics 1/14ContentsEditorial  Editorial 2 Field Reports  Tobias Richter, Amaia Arranz, Michael House, Adnan M. Rafaiah, and Lisa Yeomans  Preliminary Report on the Second Season of Excavation at Shubayqa 1 3  Oliver Dietrich, Çiğdem Köksal-Schmidt, Jens Notroff, Cihat Kürkçüoğlu, and Klaus Schmidt  Göbekli Tepe. Preliminary Report on the 2012 and 2013 Excavation Seasons 11  Tobias Richter  Rescue Excavations at a Late Neolithic Burial Cairn in the East Jordanian Badya 18  Deborah Olszewski and Maysoon al-Nahar The 2012 Excavations in the Area A Early Epipaleolithic at Tor at-Tareeq, Wadi al-Hasa 25 Contributions   Valentina Caracuta, Ehud Weiss, Edwin C.M. van den Brink, Roy Liran, Jacob Vardi, and Omry Barzilai    From Natural Environment to Human Landscape: New Archaeobotanical Data from the Neolithic Site of Nahal Zippori 3, Lower Galilee 33  Lab Reports  Moritz Kinzel, Charlott Hoffmann Jensen, and Asger Væring Larsen  Digitizing Archaeological Archives: The Case of the Diana Kirkbride-Helbæk Archive 42  Events  Trevor Watkins  Prix Archéologique Pierre Mercier 2013   45 Upcoming Conferences / Workshops 47    New Publications 50  Masthead    Within a few weeks, we editors of ex oriente  paved the way for three important publications (D. Henry and J. Beaver, eds., on Ayn Abū Nukhayla; by guest editors M. Benz and J. Bauer the pioneering  Neo-Lithics  2/13 special issue on The Symbolic Construction of Community ; the book of M. Kinzel on the architecture of Shkārat Msaied and Ba‘ja in our SENEPSE   series). We are proud of these publications, as are our co-editors Reinder Neef and Dörte Rokitta- Krumnow. But this would not be an editorial of Neo-Lithics, if we would not be thoughtful about this output: Who can read all these, process all the information, and who can afford to buy all these, in addition to the rapidly increasing enormous output of equally important publications on the Near Eastern Neolithic by other authors, editors and publishing houses? And even more problematic: Who can intellectually and fairly evaluate the constantly emerging new approaches and schools of thought? If one has to publish one‘s own material and thoughts without rst consulting the eruption of new literature for one‘s own topic, doesn‘t this severely impact the academic quality, discourse and  progress of one‘s own publications? More and more we see that colleagues apparently were unaware of recently  published materials and ideas on their subjects and have forged ahead in order to cope with the publishing constraints. Research has become governed by highly problematic tools and concepts since it is fueled by various uncontrollable acceleration mechanisms and developments, such as funding institutions that grant shorter and shorter research terms, the “authority” of rating systems in academic publishing, the ever-growing possibilities of the internet and computer software; the list goes on and on. Does what has been thought to facilitate research gradually become the grave digger of research? Can we continue to hope that things are not that dramatic or worse? Hans Georg K. Gebel and Gary Rollefson  Göbekli Tepe. Preliminary Report 2012 and 2013 Excavation Seasons  Neo-Lithics 1/14 11 Most recent excavation seasons at the Pre-Pottery  Neolithic hill sanctuary of Göbekli Tepe have been largely dedicated to essential provisions in advance of construction work on the permanent shelter for Enclo- sures A-D. In 2012 deep soundings down to the natural  bedrock were made in the main excavation area in the south-eastern depression of the tell; these soundings will provide the foundations for the struts of the per-manent shelter. In the meantime a preliminary wooden shelter has been installed (Fig. 1). The erection of this  preliminary structure addresses the urgent need for the  protection of the prehistoric remains in this area; fur  - thermore, it will provide a platform for building work on the permanent membrane shelter which is expected to commence next year. A similar shelter structure will also be installed in the north-western depression of the mound where new excavation areas were opened in 2011. Preparations for this third structure were the focus of our 2013 excavation seasons. Work in the Main Excavation Area In the main excavation area in the south-eastern de -  pression of the tell an older layer (III) dating to the PPNA is superimposed by a younger layer (II) that is assigned to the early and middle PPNB. While layer III is well known for its eminent monumental architec- ture with its towering T-shaped pillars, the younger layer II is characterised by smaller rectangular buil - dings, often with only two small central pillars or none at all. While a total of six deep soundings were excavated down to the bedrock in 2011, all remaining soundings in this excavation area were completed in the autumn season of 2012. A positive effect of the soundings – which in some cases exceeded depths of ve metres – has been the unprecedented insights that these have provided with respect to the structure of the site. Three soundings situated immediately adja - cent to Enclosures C and D also produced signicant quantities of charred botanical remains, a rst at Gö -  bekli Tepe, these at last providing sufcient organic material for the generation of an extended series of radiocarbon ages (reported on in the last issue of Neo-Lithics: Dietrich et al.  2013).In addition, work in area L9-85 - at the southern edge of the main excavation area - has helped clarify the entrance situation of Enclosure C (Fig. 2). This stone circle, which comprises a number of concentric, interwoven walls with pillars, has an overall diameter of approximately 30m. The oor of the enclosure was created by cutting and smoothing the natural bedrock, which also included the carving of two pedestals, each about 30cm high, to hold the two central pillars. No - tably, both central pillars were destroyed in antiquity; their shattered remains were found in the lower part of a (prehistoric) robber pit. A virtual reconstruction using modern laser scanning techniques shows that one of these central pillars (P35) was srcinally some 5 metres tall. The pillars of this enclosure are adorned with nu- merous reliefs, rst and foremost depictions of wild  boars. Structure and layout were changed conside - rably during its operating life. An early, and later blo - cked, entrance situation consisted of a narrow passage way between two parallel, narrowly-set walls which  branch off southwards from its centre; these walls are made of massive stone slabs that are worked on all sides. A further large stone slab protrudes into this  passage way. Although not completely preserved, it is likely that this slab would have once been furnished with a central opening (or portal). At some point, this opening had been walled up , as testied by the two lowermost courses of a blocking wall which were found preserved in-situ . On the southern side of the  porthole-stone, just below the opening and accosting visitors to the enclosure using this passage way, there is the low-relief of a boar lying on its back.But the  porthole stone is just one element of a much more rened entry to the enclosure. To the south of the  porthole-stone a large U-shaped monolith was disco -vered, the left-hand column of which is crowned by the carved sculpture of a predator; unfortunately, the top of the right-hand column of the monolith was not  preserved, though it too may also have featured a si -milar  guardian gure. Together with the porthole slab it marked the entrance to Enclosure C. A new element in this situation was discovered in 2012. A stairway Göbekli Tepe. Preliminary Report on the 2012 and 2013 Excavation Seasons Oliver Dietrich, Çiğdem Köksal-Schmidt, Cihat Kürkçüoğlu, Jens Notroff, and Klaus Schmidt Fig. 1 The preliminary shelter erected in 2013 at the main excavation area of Göbekli Tepe (Photo: K. Schmidt, DAI).   Field Reports  Neo-Lithics 1/14 12 with (so far) eight steps (Fig. 3) was constructed to  bridge a dip in the bedrock leading up to the srcinal entrance of Enclosure C; however, further excavations will be needed before we fully understand the implica-tions of this particular feature. Deep Soundings in the North-Western Depression The aim of new excavation areas opened in the north- western depression of the mound in 2011 was to as-certain whether the situation here would be similar to the one already encountered in the main excavation area in the south-eastern depression. As archaeological work in this area was preceded by geophysical survey, it came as no surprise when evidence for monumental enclosures began to appear in these new trenches. Sub - sequently also PPNB (Layer II) structures (which had not been visible in the georadar imaging) were disco -vered.One focus of our work in the north-western depres- sion of the tell in 2013 was the excavation of seven deep soundings to test suitable locations for supporting struts of the planned shelter. Bedrock was reached in four of these soundings; intriguingly, in two of the soundings the bedrock appears to have been articially worked. Partially utilising and expanding natural faults, channels had been dug into the bedrock which were then covered and protected by stone slabs (Fig. 4). Large-scale excavations will be required to reveal the extent of these modications and to show if and how these structures were connected to the cisterns located on the plateaus (Herrmann and Schmidt 2012). Fig. 2 Schematic plan of the excavation at Göbekli Tepe (main excavation area and summit of the south-western mound) (Plan: K. Schmidt and J. Notroff, DAI).Fig. 3 Entrance situation to Enclosure C with stairway (Photo: N. Becker, DAI / Plan: K. Schmidt and J. Notroff, DAI).  Göbekli Tepe. Preliminary Report 2012 and 2013 Excavation Seasons  Neo-Lithics 1/14 13 In two further deep soundings complex building structures were revealed. Subsequently, excavation tren - ches – measuring 9 x 9 metres – were opened in these areas. In one of these squares (K10-36) in the northern  part of the excavation area, several east-west oriented wall sections were exposed, forming at least one room which also produced the shaft remains from a T-shaped  pillar. In area K10-53, the other newly opened trench, a more complex situation with an agglomeration of several oval shaped rooms appeared, some containing (multilayered) terrazzo oors (Fig. 5). Next to – or rather among – these  building structures, a large stationary limestone vessel of the type previously associated with production and con-sumption of beer was discovered (Dietrich et al.  2012). It has a capacity of about 240l and is as such the largest of these vessels so far discovered at Göbekli Tepe. In the two remaining soundings, located in areas K10-05 and K10-13, the most important discovery comprised considerable amounts of charred botanical material. A large number of samples could be taken; these will not only help expand our knowledge of the PPN environment at Göbekli Tepe (Neef 2003)  but will also provide important organic samples for radiocarbon dating the features exposed in the new excavation areas, i.e.  comparable to similar recent developments in the main excavation area (Dietrich et al.  2013). Fig. 4 Example of one of the channels dug into the bedrock and covered with stones. In situ situation in the sounding in area K10-35 (Photo: N. Becker, DAI).Fig. 5 Overhead view of area K10-53 showing the complex architectural remains and large limestone vessel (Photo: N. Becker, DAI).Fig. 6 Overhead view of area K10-24 showing the fragment of one of the damaged central pillars (P 63) of Enclosure H in the north-western corner, pillars 55 and 57, and the remaining shaft fragment of P64 between them. Also visible is the surrounding wall of Enclosure H and part of another wall to its south (Photo: N. Becker, DAI).Fig. 7 Pillar 57 carries the relief of two antithetic snakes with a round object between them (Photo: N. Becker, DAI).
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