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Area N: Structures


Area N lies on the eastern slope of the tell. Evidence of Middle Bronze Age fortifications of the acropolis have been found in area N2. The earliest fortification wall (phase 3) has been exposed for a height of 4 m, but it has not been possible to investigate its width. It was built bricks measuring 36x36x10 cm. In the subsequent phase 2 the wall was reinforced on the outer side by a supplemental wall, 1,20 m wide. When these structures had fallen into disrepair, they were replaced (at the end of the Middle Bronze Age, phase 1) by a new structure: a supplemental rampart, preserved for a height of 1,80 m and made of superimposed fill layers of varying thickness alternating yellowish earth with red clay, was leaned on the older wall. The passage between Middle and Late Bronze Age is documented by three inhumations. In Late Bronze Age, the remains of ancient Middle Bronze walls were levelled using a reddish-yellow layer of soil. In area N1, three building phases have been identified, belonging to Late Bronze Age. In the first two phases the buildings built along the outer limit of the acropolis probably formed a belt of connected walls providing defence to the upper city. In the later phase (Late Bronze II) a fortification wall (exposed for a length of 10 m in the north and 30 m in the south) was built. Its stone foundation was set upon the razed walls of the previous phase. The original width of the structure cannot be determined since it was involved in the erosion of the slope of the tell; the maximum extension brought to light is 2.40 m. The slope under the wall was reinforced with a glacis made of mud-bricks. In a later sub-phase the first inner row of mud-bricks of the wall was removed, in order to facilitate the joining of the lateral walls of a domestic building. In Iron Age I, a double curtain fortification wall was built on the levelled remains of Late Bronze Age buildings. This has been exposed for a length of 9 m in the northern part, and for 10 m in the southern part of the area. The wall was 1.80 m wide. It is probable that the defence system of the oriental side of the acropolis in Iron Age I was conceived with a casemate system. Later, new domestic units were built. There is no evidence, due to the erosion of the Acropolis slope, that domestic units were connected with a fortification system in this later phase of Iron Age I.