|2005 Field Campaign - Twelfth Year|
Fig. 5. West Entry Stairs of Trench 102/103, to south.
Fig. 6. Nefesh from Trench 102/103 in situ.
3. A sounding in the floor of the Propylaeum East Room 2, revealed an early wall serving as part of the foundation beneath the east wall of Room 2, as well as several layers of floor leveling, and a section of dismantled “Wall K.”
4. The excavation in the corner of the Propylaeum West indicated a flight of stairs originally existed to provide access into the West Cryptoporticus East.
6. The Lower Temenos West Cryptoporticus excavations were successful in exposing the “open” hall connecting the West Cryptoporticus West and the Propylaeum. A sounding located near the center of the West Cryptoporticus between the vaults located in the east and west walls of the gallery, uncovered two east west transverse walls forming a contemporary passageway between the vaults. The stratigraphy revealed early construction activity in the area of the Lower Temenos, and that floodwaters flowed further south of the current wadi bed before the Petra Great Temple was constructed.
7. An additional sounding placed at the north end of the West Cryptoporticus East recovered a minimum of four construction stages in the gallery below the level of the arch superstructure. A sequence of nine stone layers alternating with soil/rubble fills was found between the level of the floor pavers and the foundation courses of the east west wall at the north. The upper six strata appear to have been laid specifically to level the floor paving; the lower 13 appear to be part of the artificial terracing.
Fig. 8. Trench 105/106 Roman Baths to southeast.
Fig. 9. Inscription from Trench 105/106 dating to the 2nd or 3rd century CE.
Fig. 10. Upper Temenos southwest cistern, to south, with stone basin highlighted.
10. The Residential Quarter steps excavations showed the steps were built on layers of rubble and soil fill with layers of wadi mud directly beneath. Pottery was also recovered which will be useful in finding a date of step construction.
11. Further excavations between the Residential Quarter, Settling Tank and Baroque Room to the south and between the West Walkway Wall and the West Precinct Wall, exposed the interrelationship of the bedrock and the architectural components in the southwest to further determine their date and function. The massive rock fill blocking the three caves to the east and west of the West Walkway Wall in the south were part of the same platform built by the Nabataeans to compensate for the bedrock loss in the west of the precinct prior to the construction of the distyle in antis temple.
14. An additional sondage in the Great Temple East Pronaos between the East Corridor Wall and doorway the East Anta of the distyle in antis and the stylobate wall of the tetrastyle in antis temple proved the tetrastyle in antis structure was a later addition to the original two-columned façade.
Figs. 12 and 13. Temple Pronaos sondage, left to the north, right, to the south
Fig. 14. Sculpted head of a deity. Fig. 15. Arrowheads found in the West Cryptoporticus, 2005.
The Great Temple catalog included 167 objects of which 78 were coins, 10 of bone, 18 of faïence, 7 of glass, 20 metal objects including arrowheads (Fig. 14), 16 objects of pottery, plus 6 lamps, and 12 stone artifacts, including the head of a deity shown above, left in Fig. 14. In addition our databases swelled with additional entries of architectural fragments, and pottery, bone, metal, shell, stone, glass, and vegetal materials.
2005 was a most rewarding excavation season of exploration and research at the Petra Great Temple, and I am deeply grateful to all who helped to make it such an outstanding success.
 A nefesh is a sacred Nabataean commemorative monument. It was carved to consecrate a person or a family, and to be the receptacle of the soul. Often there is no burial associated with it, as in the case at the Great Temple. It serves as a witness to a Nabataean shared belief.
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