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Area B: Structures


Area B lies on the northern edge of Tell Afis. Here a long trench (20x5 m) was opened in 1999, and widened in 2000 and 2001. A city gate and considerable sections of the city walls and of buildings have been brought to light, belonging to Iron Age II. Also parts of the Middle Bronze I-II city walls have been found. In area B1 the Middle Bronze wall have been exposed over a length of 30 m and a thickness of 8 m, for a preserved height of about 2 m. They rested on virgin soil and were made as a double curtain: the inner one had a mud brick superstructure resting on foundations made of medium and large stones, the outer one consisting only in a mudbrick curtain. On the outskirts of the walls, at a lower level, some tombs were excavated, whose funerary equipment comprised pottery vessels and a nude female figurine with silver earrings. Above the Middle Bronze city walls a household unit was built in Iron Age II, where fine pottery was found (area B2). It was razed and sealed by the city walls of Iron Age III. The walls, constructed entirely of mud bricks, reached up to 5.4 m in thickness. They have been exposed over a length of 15 m. Two opposing mudbrick structures to the east could be identified as the outer buttresses of the Iron Age II-III city gate. To the north of the walls (area B3), the excavations explored remains of a house with small rooms, maybe part of the domestic unit discovered in area B2. A courtyard lay to the east, provided with a silo and a square mudbrick bench, which was part of a textile installation (probably a vertical loom), as hinted to by the discovery of several loom weights. A street ran to the south of the walls, bounded by a residential block.