|1996 Field Campaign - Fourth Year|
The staff was comprised of Dr. M. S. Joukowsky, Director; Dr. A. W. Joukowsky, Administrator and Photographer; Dr. J. J. Basile, Associate Director, E. Payne, Assistant Director; Chief Architect-Surveyor; P. Zimmerman; M. Slaughter, Assistant Director, Photographic Recorder and Development; Ceramic Analyst, L.-A. Bedal; D. Barrett, Finds Recording; M. Sylvester. Computer Data Base, Dr. J. Blackburn, Draftsperson; and Erika Schluntz. Archaeologists, L. Bestock, B. Brown, K. A. Butler, J. Gimon, D. Goldstein and field excavators, Z. Habboo, R. Takian and E. Wolf; and volunteers F. Bennett, C. Hisert, K. Hisert, G. A. Hisert, and Faith Erickson-Gini. Again, besides Dr. T. Tullis, 1996 Great Temple Consultants included Dr. J. McKenzie, architectural historian, M. Shaer and Z. Aslan consolidation and preservation consultants as well as Paul S. Fay; Dr. C. Augé numismatics, S. Schmid, Nabataean fine wares analysis; Y. Gerber, Plain wares analysis, and P. Warnock, botanical materials analysis.
GoalsIn the Lower Temenos:
In the Upper Temenos and in the Great Temple itself the initiatives were:
1996 ResultsNot only was there a wealth of finds, including 60 coins, a Latin inscription, some 72 fragments Nabataean, Roman and Byzantine, and large amounts of ceramic assemblages included unguentaria and bowls, but there were 31 more fragments of elephant sculpture, including eyes, trunks and faces. Of interest is the recovery of a large brain coral, presumably brought in antiquity from the Gulf of Aqaba, from the Temple rear west vaulted room. It was unearthed in association with many coins and the fragmented Latin inscription. There was continued study of the Great Temple sculptural program that includes richly adorned capitals embellished with fruits and vines. The number of small finds inventoried included fragmented glass bowls and several bone items needles and a spatula. Bronze decorative pieces were found, including a leaf, a petal and a bronze buckle.
There were also extraordinary revelations about Nabataean temple architecture. The most significant 1996 architectural features indicate a Nabataean penchant for formal symmetry with the discovery in the Lower Temenos of east and west triple colonnades adorned with a total of 120 columns - 60 flanking each side of the Lower Temenos. also excavated was an elegant apsed East Exedra with interior buttresses with twin columns matches the already excavated Exedra West. Additionally on the east, the eastern peripheral wall of the precinct was defined to the east of the East Exedra, as well as twin arched passages in the Upper Temenos leading to the 'Lower Market' to the east. Additionally, one of the season's most significant discoveries was the excavation of a monumental flight of stairs leading from the west Lower Temenos sacred area to the Upper Temenos. These too were defined.
The sondage excavated in the Lower Temenos in 1995 was re-entered and once a floor was found, it was finally closed at a six meter depth.
In the Great Temple proper, the interior Pronaos was completely excavated in 1996 as was the northwestern interior anta wall and the founding levels of three of the eight western columns. The Attic base of the north west engaged column was found to extend south of the interior anta wall. In its interior was a staircase. Features in the temple rear included the complete excavation of the east and west vaulted stairwells and the large west vaulted chamber to some four meters in depth where the fragmented Latin inscription was unearthed. The Central Arch was explored and on the temple southeast, the outer east wall, the southeastern double engaged corner column, and the Inter-Columnar Wall were defined. All of the factors combine to suggest the Temple south to have been a three-storied structure. Of particular interest, however, is the discovery of the upper courses of a major east-west semi-circular wall opening into the central cella. This may clearly define the 'Adyton' and promises to be a major architectural component of the Great Temple.
1996 - Preliminary
Conservation and Consolidation
Now that all the temple
columns have been located, we have undertaken their reversible reconstruction.
Plans are now underway for consolidation of architectural elements that
have been imperiled both from 2000 years of erosion as well as by recent
excavations. The protective fencing that was placed around the temple in
1995 had to be extended for the site's protection in 1996.
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