Our work in the lower town, Operations T and U, continues to be dominated by the Romans. We now have two clear levels of architecture in both areas with similar stone wall foundations, unknown in the Assyrian buildings, and associated pottery, glass, and a few coins, alas not very legible, suggesting a Roman occupation. In Operation T, there are at least two large rooms, with floors containing smashed pottery and small artifacts. For archaeologists, this is a real prize because it allows us to associate the artifacts with the actual last use of the floors. We are even more fortunate because one of the vessels on the floor of the northern room had a thin pocket of burnt (carbonized) seeds in the bottom. These seeds were carefully collected and wrapped in aluminum foil. They should provide excellent radiocarbon dates for the end of this structure giving us our first fixed point in time for these levels that post-date the Assyrian abandonment of Tushhan.
In Operation U, we also have two levels which look very much like those in Operation T. The one difference we can see in this case is that the later stone wall foundations follow the line of an earlier mudbrick building, suggesting that the two phases of architecture were not separated by a large span of time. I’ll post a few photographs of some of the artifacts coming out of these levels soon. In the meantime here is one of Hilary’s great panoramic shots of the Roman walls in Operation T.