Sites & cities that bear the name of Tell al-Fakhar

Tell al-Fakhar

Today in : Iraq
First trace of activity : ca. 15th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 9th century B.C.E
Recorded names : Kuruhanni?, تل الفخار

Description : Tell al-Fakhar (Arabic: تل الفخار‎ "Pottery Mound") is a tell, or archaeological settlement mound, in Kirkuk Governorate, northeastern Iraq. Excavations were carried out at the site between 1967 and 1969 by the Directorate-General of Antiquities of Iraq. The site measures 200 by 135 metres (656 by 443 ft) and is 4.5 metres (15 ft) high. Excavations revealed two occupation phases that were dated to the Mitanni/Kassite and Neo-Assyrian periods, or mid-second and early-first millennia BCE. The mid-second millennium phase consisted of a large building, dubbed the "Green Palace", where an archive of circa 800 clay tablets was found. The excavation revealed two main occupation phases, termed Stratum I and II. In the oldest phase, Stratum II, a large structure with at least 17 rooms was uncovered. The walls had been plastered up to six times and the plaster was covered with green paint, hence the building was dubbed the "Green Palace". Based on architectural details such as the presence of drains and toilets, and the size of the different rooms, the building was divided in a private and public wing. In the public wing was a large room with benches along the walls that has been interpreted as a "reception hall" where the ruler could receive his guests. In front of the building was a large terrace paved with mudbricks. At least 34 skeletons were found in the palace. The majority were located in 2 rooms and were associated with arrowheads and pieces of armour, suggesting that they died a violent death while defending the palace. This is also indicated by the fact that several doorways in the palace had been blocked, and that the palace was destroyed by a conflagration, as indicated by the burned walls and thick ash deposits on the floors. An archive of circa 800 clay tablets was found in the Green Palace, many of them also bearing seal impressions. Because the tablets were found in all of the rooms of the palace, it has been suggested that the archive was scattered during the pillaging of the building. Other finds included pottery, gold and silver adornments, bronze armour scales, copper leaf-shaped spear and arrowheads, glazed and glass bottles and cylinder seals. After the end of Stratum II, the site was abandoned for some time. The next occupation phase, Stratum I, was badly preserved. Parts of three different structures were excavated, but the walls were only preserved up to a height of three or four rows of mudbricks. In one building with rooms grouped around a courtyard, several kilns were found but their purpose is unclear. In the second building, two ovens were found while one room in the third contained a basin built of baked mudbricks. Except for pottery, no other finds were recorded from this occupation phase. Strata II and I are dated to the Mitanni/Kassite and Neo-Assyrian periods, or mid-second and early first millennia BCE, respectively. The proposed ancient name of Tell al-Fakhar is Kuruhanni.

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