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Excavating a Monumental Stepped Stone Structure at Khirbat Ataruz: The 2016-17 Season of Fieldwork in Field G

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This paper presents the results of the 2016–2017 excavations of Field G at Khirbat Ataruz, an area corresponding to the southeast slope of the site that includes a large-scale stepped stone structure. According to our preliminary assessment, the remains would have been stairs ascending the eastern side of the site, which provided an access system to the Iron IIA temple on the acropolis. At the top of the steps, we have what may at some point have been a plaza paved with flat paving stones, possibly contemporaneous with the temple on the acropolis. Field G also includes Moabite architectural remains dated later than the stepped structure, most likely Iron IIB. These remains cut significantly into and removed a large part of the earlier staircase and other materials in the building area. The presence of a possible outdoor monumental staircase at Ataruz is noteworthy, especially for the region and period in which it was constructed.

Figure 1 Map of Ataruz Region TIFF.tif (6077 kB)
Map of the Ataruz Region

Figure 2 Aerial Photo of Ataruz APAAME_20181014_MND-0049.tif (53107 kB)
Aerial Photo of Ataruz (Courtesy of APAAME_20181014_MND-0049)

Figure 3 Ataruz Topo Fields A-G 2017.tif (1508 kB)
Contour Map of Ataruz and Excavations (as of 2017)

Figure 4 Ataruz East Slope 2015.JPG (1764 kB)
Southeast Slope of Ataruz before Excavation (2015)

Figure 5 Ataruz G1-7 Top Plans TIFF.tif (5628 kB)
Field G Top Plans (2016-17)

Figure 6 G1 2017 Caption.jpg (3553 kB)
Field G Square 1 (2017)

Figure 7 G1 Stone Pavement.jpg (2273 kB)
Iron Age Stone Pavement in Square G1

Figure 8 G4 2017 Caption.jpg (2956 kB)
Excavating Three Islamic Floors in Square G4 (2017)

Figure 9 G4 Mid Islamic Tabun.jpg (1350 kB)
Mid Islamic Tabun from the Building in Square G1

Figure 10 Field G Pottery.GIF (17 kB)
Selected Pottery from Squares G3, G4, and G6 (#1-#3: Phase 4 (Iron IIA) Pottery from Square G3 Deep Probing; #4-#19: Phase 3 (Iron IIB) Pottery from Square G6 Excavation; #20-#23: Phase 2 (Mamluk) Pottery from Square G4 Excavation)

Figure 11 G4 Iron II Floor Caption.gif (5409 kB)
Possible Iron II Floor in the Northwest Corner of Square G4 (2017)

Figure 12 G6 2017 TIFF.tif (20824 kB)
Field G Square 6 (2017)

Figure 13 G6 Rectangular Stone Installation.jpg (1324 kB)
Rectangular Stone Installation in Square G6

Figure 14 Ashlar in G6.tif (17784 kB)
Ashlar in Square G6

Figure 15 Lion Paw from G6.jpg (668 kB)
Terracotta Lion Paw from Square G6

Figure 16 POBC Wares.JPG (2831 kB)
Pinkish/Orange-Band-on-Creamy Wares from the Iron IIB House in Square G6

Figure 17 G3 Stairs.tif (33802 kB)
Stairs in Square G3

Figure 18 G7 East Section Stairs.tif (41311 kB)
Stairs in the Eastern Section of Square G7

Figure 19 G7 West Section Stairs.jpg (1157 kB)
Stairs in the Western Section of Square G7