Banahilk

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The field work at the Banahilk archaeological site began in 2018 with the aim of resuming the excavation of this emblematic Pottery Neolithic (PN) site, and reviewing and expanding the existing information for the 7th and 6th millennium cal ANE of the Zagros region. The archaeological research in Banahilk, although it is in an initial phase of execution, has made it possible to contribute to the delimitation of the Halaf outdoor settlement and to carry out a proposal for the sequencing of employment, in an area of ​​great urban transformation in the same city of Soran (Iraqi Kurdistan).

As is known, the site is located on a mound about 5 m high, with an ovoid plan of approximately 100 x 159 m of 675 m asl, in the interaction of two tributary rivers of the Balakiyan Rowanduz that controls the valleys fertile Soran-Dyana. It is a visually strategic point with access to basic natural resources such as water and fields or pastures. Currently, the deposit is located in a neighborhood of the city of Soran-Dyana, called Al Matar. There are two known previous performances, on the one hand the intervention of Patty Yo Watson who carried out several surveys in 1954 under the auspices of the University of Chicago project led by Dr. Robert and Dr. Linda Braidwood in the Zagros (Watson 1983). And a survey conducted in 2014 by Dr. Michael Danti within the framework of the emergency intervention motivated by the construction of a house, materials published by Kaercher (Kaercher 2016).

The opening of 4 soundings between 2018 and 2019 in a private garden has provided a new sequence for the knowledge of the Halaf horizon (Gómez et al. 2019). The works carried out on 50 m² have made it possible to recover, to date, a stratigraphy associated with important areas of activity in open space and evidence of architecture associated with various domestic units.

The walls built with large stones and joined with clay are combined with other walls made with soft and mixed techniques of adobe and stones. Other architectural remains such as clay containers and silos are also well preserved. The deposit has been interpreted as a small settlement, of short duration, located chronologically between 5700-5300 cal BC, located on the limit of the area of ​​influence of the Halaf horizon.

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