Jericho Excavations 2011

Rome “La Sapienza” University and the Palestinian Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage (MOTA – DACH) excavated at Jericho (Tell es-Sultan) in March 2011 and have now posted a preliminary report online.

The team excavated four areas with remains from the Early and Middle Bronze periods. The report contains the following sections:

  • Palestinian Culture Protection: Jericho, 10,000 years of History of Humankind
  • Restorations of EB IIIB (Sultan IIIc2, 2500-2350 BC) Palace in Area G
  • Area A: MB I-II (Sultan IVa-b, 1900-1650 BC) stratigraphic sequence, MB III (Sultan IVc, 1650-1550 BC) Cyclopean Wall and rampart, Iron Age IIC (Sultan VIc) house and installations
  • Area B: the South Gate in EB IIIA (Sultan IIIc1) double line of fortifications
  • Area E: MB II (Sultan IVb, 1800-1650 BC) Curvilinear Stone Structure and connected features
  • Area E: MB II (Sultan IVb, 1800-1650 BC) Curvilinear Stone Structure and connected features
  • Middle Bronze II-III (Sultan IVb-c) Palace foundation walls W.633 and W.1175
  • EB IV (Sultan IIId) installations
  • EB IIIB (Sultan IIIc2) Palace G

Palace G is believed to be the residence of the city’s governors in the third millennium BC.

The continuation of the exploration of Palace G during this season allowed to produce a more complete plan and architectural section of the building, which extended at least on three different terraces on the eastern slope of the Spring Hill. The connection with previous excavation plans to the north-west (in Sellin and Watzinger’s squares 5G-H; Sellin – Watzinger 1913, 39-42, figs. 18-20) and in Kenyon’s square HII (see above note 45), allow to draw out an overall plan of the palace, which was the seat of the rulers of Jericho in the third quarter of the 3rd millennium BC. Its monumental architecture and special finds, such as carefully executed pithoi and storage jars, seal impressions, ceremonial vessels, as well as the copper dagger, further corroborate this identification.

The palace was restored this season with plastered mudbricks. Photos of the excavation and restoration works are also available (figures 1-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12-15, 16-19, 20-21, 22-25).



One thought on “Jericho Excavations 2011

  1. My comment is not so timely, perhaps — I let the post sit in my in-box too long! The Italians have indeed done some impressive work at Tel es-Sultan. I take people there from time to time and have noticed many on-site interpretive installations – historical background, diagrams, etc. – along with the reconstruction work. A few weeks ago I first saw the introductory film which is shown in a small (but blissfully air-conditioned!) theater – a major addition. Overall, though, people still have to do some homework to make much sense of the tel, I'm afraid. Too bad that Israeli citizens, per the dictates of their government, are not allowed to enter Jericho, visitors cannot pass THROUGH Jericho on their way north along the Jordan Valley, nor are Israeli/international rental cars insured for travel there. All this will change… someday.

    TOM POWERS / Jerusalem

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