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Occupation on the high tell spanned much of the Middle Bronze Age. Unfortunately, information about the earliest Middle Bronze levels, gleaned only from limited soundings in Areas F and B, is not sufficient to confirm the size of the site at the onset of the period, or to clarify in which phase the city's fortifications originated. 22 el-Oitar The site of el-Qitar was excavated by an Australian team from the University of Melbourne between 1982 and 1985. The site is situated on a "mountain" on the West bank of the Euphrates River about 60 km south of the ancient site of Carchernish.

The largest room was usuaily the first to be accessed fiom the Street, and thus served also as a kind of entrance ha11 or courtyard. One cannot be certain whether or not these rooms were roofed since little in the way of timber roof remains (Orthmann 1981: 20), post-holes or other roof supports were found (Orthmann 1989: 26). At the sarne time, however, no system of mn-off or gutters was fouiid in the rooms, which would have been expected if they had been open to the elements (Orthmam 198 1: 20; 1989: 26).

McClellan suggested that el-Qitar was destroyed during the campaigns of the Hittite king Suppiluliuma 1in the mid- 14th century B. C. (1 98485: 67). While the majonty of excavations focused on Late Bronze Age remains, a few smaller probes on the site confirmed the presence of earlier material dated to the Middle Bronze Age. In particular, a step trench sunk in Area Y in squares F/H 38 between a LB stmcture known as the "Orthostat Building" and the main outer defensive wali on the western side, revealed a senes of layers containing pottery that was typologically earlier than the pottery found in the "Orthostat Building" and among the other Late Bronze structures (McClellan 1986: 94 and fig.

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Archeology - Bronze Age In Syria, Mesopotamia


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