chapter  3
24 Pages

Activities Inside the Temple: The Evidence of Microstratigraphy

Background The sequences of floors and occupation deposits which accumulated during the use o f the temple have been analysed both in the field and in large thin-sections under the microscope, in order to provide new evidence for the activities which took place in different areas o f the temple. This is the first analysis of the microstratigraphy and micromorphology of archaeological deposits in the Gulf. The sequences o f floors and occupation deposits within the temple are being compared to sequences within domestic houses, unroofed areas and streets at Saar, in order to study differences in the formation of deposits and the use o f space in ritual and domestic contexts. These analyses are part of a three year research project at The McDonald Institute for Archaeological research, University o f Cambridge, supported by the Natural Environment Research Council. The objective of this project is to develop the application of thin-section analysis to the study of occupation sequences and the use o f space within early urban sites in the Near East. The depositional sequences at Saar will be compared to those from the other sites in the project, namely Tell Brak in N E Syria in levels dating to 3 ,600-1 ,600 BC, and Qatalhoyuk in central Turkey in levels dating to 6,200-5,500 BC.