An Archaeological Documentation of a Partly Bulldozed Tell.
1- Location and Description
Tell Fadous is located in North Lebanon on the shore of Kfarabida, 2 km south of Batroun (Fig. 1). It measures ca 150 m north-south and ca 200 m east-west and rises some 23 m above sea level. North of the site is a wadi, and to the east, runs the modern railway.
The Tell is heavily disturbed because it was occupied for several years by the Syrian army whose tanks deeply destroyed the archaeological layers. Its western slope was bulldozed two years ago and the bulldozed area has a U-shape exposing a northern, southern, and western section (Figs. 3-5).
2- Fieldwork preparation and organization Back to top
Fieldwork started on September 10 and lasted until September 25, 2004, based on the agreement (Ministry of Culture, No 2619, dated 20/7/2004) signed by the Lebanese Department of Antiquities and the American University of Beirut represented by Helen Sader, the project director.The purpose of the archaeological operation on Tell Fadous was to draw maximum information from the existing vertical stratigraphy in order to reconstruct the site's settlement, geological, and environmental history. The south section was chosen for this purpose. It is 8m high and 20 m long, and scaffolding had to be built in order to allow workers and students to respectively clean and document it. (Fig.6).
Fig. 6 Scaffolding in front of south section
Fieldwork was supervised by Professor Hermann Genz assisted by Kamal Badreshany who developed special forms to describe and to document archaeological contexts, small finds, pottery, as well as soil and faunal samples. Four students participated in the fieldwork.
3- Preliminary results
After cleaning the section, 59 different archaeological contexts were identified. They consist in architectural remains and occupational debris. Several floors were clearly visible. Decayed or burnt timber and remnants of a mud roof were also identified (Fig. 7-9).
Fig. 7 Limestone walls showing in the section
2916 pottery sherds were collected from surface cleaning and survey, as well as from stratified contexts. 250 are diagnostic sherds were identified. A first screening of the pottery clearly indicates that it belongs to the Early Bronze Age (Fig 10). At the end of the third millennium BC, Tell Fadous was definitively abandoned and never re-settled.
Fig. 10 EBA Pottery from Tell Fadous
The final report on the results of this archaeological operation will be published in BAAL.
Tell Fadous presents a unique and rare opportunity for archaeologists to study a long and uninterrupted sequence of EBA occupation using modern methods and techniques. Bulldozing and other modern disruptions have destroyed almost one third of the site but enough intact archaeological layers remain for a thorough investigation of this EBA city. A large-scale excavation to complete the information gained from the previous documentation is planned in the near future by the Department of History and Archaeology of the American University of Beirut.
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