|1995 Field Campaign - Third Year|
1995 ResultsThe Great Temple architectural plan continued to be clarified with excavation backed up by EDM equipment, and there was a partial re-erection of the columns in the lower Temnos as well as in the Temple itself. The recovery of the principal columns of the Temple as well as its gigantic decorative capitals carved with complex floral designs again confirmed that the Temple structure originally stood to 19-20 meter height. Ground penetrating radar was used to trace the underground canalization systems that extended under the principal buildings of the site.
In 1995 the archaeological investigation of the Lower Temenos hexagonally paved area was undertaken. There was reconstruction of elements of the East Double Colonnade where the limestone stylobate was exposed and found to extend over 50 meters the north-south extent of the Lower Temenos. From the 1994 evidence, we assumed the hexagonal pavement covering this area to be constructed on fill, and we were correct, but we didn't suspect that the fill overlay a massive construction of arches and well-constructed Nabataean walls been built up more than six meters below the hexagonal court! This may indicate that the Lower Temenos had an earlier monumental construction phase with a conjectured access into the then Temenos which was on the same level as the Colonnaded Street. This leads us to speculate that there may have been an earlier Nabataean access to the Temple's Lower Temenos from the Street area - not the Propylaea Steps which serve as the present day Temple access.
CatalogThe catalog of more than 300 objects was prepared for the Department of Antiquities, and all registered artifacts except the lamps, coins, and architectural fragments are in storage at the Petra Museum. Of especial interest are the 37 elephant head fragments, 29 of which are elephant trunks. Using our data base, thousands of architectural fragments and registered pottery elements have been stored on-site. Animal bones have been transported to Amman where they have undergone analysis. Recovered and registered were some 57 coins, 172 lamps, most of which were fragmented, four figurine fragments, 12 bone artifacts including two complete bone pins and two spoon fragments, and five metal objects including a finger ring and a probable bracelet. The over life-sized head of the city goddess, Tyche, wearing a diadem with the crown of the city gates was also recovered.
1995 Consolidation and PreservationA fence was placed around the site to protect it from animals and to serve as protection for tourists. The ditch which served successfully to divert water from the site was rebuilt and consolidation measures were undertaken as the excavation progressed to treat ashlars that were in jeopardy of collapse.
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