ÇATALHÖYÜK 2000 ARCHIVE REPORT
The Excavation of the BACH 1 Area
BACH 1 Alanındaki Kazılar
Mirjana Stevanovic and Ruth Tringham
BACH (Berkeley Archaeologists at Çatalhöyük)
Project Director: Ruth Tringham
Field Directors: Mirjana Stevanovic, Ruth Tringham
Site Assistants: Başak Arda, Michael Binder, Başak Boz, Predrag Dakic, Amanda Erwin, Luchen Foster, Sheelagh Frame, Lori Hager, Heidi Underbjerg, Kathryn Killackey, Slobodan Mitrovic, Ana Spasojevic, Laura Steele, Sonya Suponcic, Vuk Trifkovic, Anne Marie Vandendriessche, Tonya Van Leuvan-Smith, James Vedder
Site Photographer: Michael Ashley, Adriana Garza
The BACH team excavated for 4 weeks in July-August 2000. The primary aim of the season was to continue and possibly finish excavation of the Building 3 (space 86 and 158). In the 2000 season, excavation progressed down through the multiple phases of the building, uncovering 5 burials under the platforms and central house floor of space 86. 5 major phases in the history of the building could be identified, each consisting of multiple sub-phases, which introduced change in the spatial configuration of the house and its burials.
BACH ekibi, Çatalhöyük 2000 senesi kazı mevsiminde Temmuz ve Ağustos ayları içerisinde 4 hafta boyunca calışmıştır. Bu sezonun amacı, Bina 3un kazısına devam etmek ve mümkünse bitirmek olmuştur (86 ve 158 nolu alanlar). Binanın evrelerini izleyerek yaptığımız ilerlemelerde 86 nolu alanın ortasındaki tabandan ve sekilerden 5 mezar açığa cıkarılmıştır. Binanın tarihinde, alanların ve mezarların sınırlarını değiştiren, her biri birçok ara evre geçirmiş beş ana yapı evresi tanımlanmıştır.
Work commenced on 22 July, 2000, (two weeks later than our scheduled start date) and ended on August 20.
The primary aim of the season was to continue and possibly finish excavation of the Building 3 (space 86 and 158) in order to undertake the study season in 2001. The small buildings known as Spaces 87,88,89 whose excavation has been in progress since 1997 (see reports for previous seasons) were not excavated in this season due to our focus on Building 3. We started partial excavation of Space 85 located immediately to the west of Building 3 in order to explain the phasing of the West wall.
In previous years while excavating the fill of Building 3 we had recorded a number of burials from the late Roman period, as well as the roof, midden, screen wall of the Neolithic building, and two periods of its entire western wall of the house (reported in previous Archive Reports). In the 1999 season we began to excavate the building floor level and its platforms, which comprise a complex collection of features. As we removed the top-most floor level preserved in the house we came upon a burial under the northwest platform of Space 86 at the end of the 1999 season. In the 2000 season, as we progressed down through the multiple phases of the building we continued to uncover more burials under the platforms and central house floor of space 86.
We have known since the second (1998) season of the excavation of Building 3 that it stands out among the currently excavated houses at Çatalhöyük its size and complexity. In the 2000 season, however, we were once more reminded that this complexity is even greater than originally perceived.
In the 2000 season we established 4 major structural phases of the building, each consisting of multiple sub-phases. Each sub-phase introduced change in the spatial configuration of the house and its burials. We were able to excavate the later two out of the four major structural phases in the building. These two phases comprised series 1-5 and 5-10 of the central floor area, at least 6 renewal floors of the surrounding platforms, four Neolithic burials, and a large group burial.
Our plans to finish the excavation of Building 3 were considerably modified by the delay of the starting date of our excavation season. As a result, the remaining phases in the history of Building 3 will be excavated in 2001. We are planing to carry out our study season parallel with the excavation. That is, a large part of our team will in 2001 start the study season from the beginning of the project and will carry it out parallel with the excavation.
Results of the 2000 excavation season
BUILDING 3 (Spaces 86 and 158)
Building 3 is the largest single building in the BACH excavation area (see Figure 13). Its interior dimensions are 6m x 5.5m. Building 3 comprises a large, open central space (86), and a long and narrow space (158). These two spaces are separated by a series of walls running in a N-S direction comprising two short interior walls (F. 160 and 161), and the "curtain or screen wall" (F.601) in the middle (consisting of F. 155, 156,164).
The two spaces when observed in plan seem a logical and familiar division of space at Çatalhöyük. When examined in the context of the stratigraphic relationships of their floors, however, it becomes apparent that, firstly, they are not continuous, that is they dont flow from one space into the other, and, secondly, the floor in Space 158 is considerably higher than the floor in Space 86. In other words, the floors of the building abut the line of the interior and screen walls. These features thus hold the key to the relationship of the life-history of the two spaces.
Phasing the house
We have identified at least 4 major (and 1 minor) construction phases of building 3. We will refer to them in this report as Phases A, B, C, D, and E. The E phase which comprised the latest floors were removed in the 1999 season. This phase was not present in all the parts of building 3, being most obvious in the northern part of the building that is on the platform features 162, and 173, where the floors were covered and presumably preserved by the collapsed roof. The E-floors were distinctly different from the Phase D and C floors below them.
In the 2000 season we removed the floors of phase D across the entire Space 86. In Space 86, the 2001 excavation will start from the top of the floors of phase C. In the narrow and elongated Space 158, we are still excavating the D-floors.
In the D-phase the small interior walls were already constructed. During the D-phase the pillar (F. 164) that we excavated alongside the "screen-wall" was constructed.
It is very obvious to us that there was a major re-configuration of the spatial organization (platforms etc.) of Building 3 between phases D and C. This reconfiguration might include its sub-division into two rooms (in D) from a single room configuration (in C).
Layers of burning in the entire house
Observations of the profiles of the post-retrieval pits (Features 602, 168) and the burial pit (Feature 617) enabled us to identify thick layer of intensive burning in the Building 3, stratified immediately below the C-phase floors, and belong to the phase B of Building 3. These burned layers are observable in the North, NE, Central, and Central-East part of Space 86. Areas that were unaffected appear to be in the SE and South of Space 86, and throughout Space 158. The southern half of Space 86 - especially the so-called "kitchen area" - does show numerous layers of burnt organic materials throughout its multiple floor layers, but these are from a later phase of Building 3's history. The layers of burning observable in Space 158 are also from phase D.
At floor level, the overall impression of the Space 86 is a tripartite division -: Northern, Central, Southern - replacing an earlier impression of a bipartite division - Northern and Southern - that was presented by the roof and midden remains. Space 86 is dominated in the North by the five platforms along the north and east walls (Features 162, 170, 173, 167, 169), the lower floor area (F.606) in the Center, and the "kitchen area" (F.613 etc.), in the South.
As in the previous seasons, the area of Space 86 was excavated in meter squares, regularly sampled, with two baulks running N-S and E-W used as stratigraphic controls. At the end of the 2000 season the N-S and E-W baulks were removed. We plan to renew the baulks as we continue excavating in lower levels.
In 1999, we removed the upper floors (floor series 1-5) that belong to the D-phase of the house. In 2000, we continued with removing the lower floors (series 5-10) of the D construction phase. The quality of the removed floors and the technique of their construction are consistent. Each floor is built in two major layers. A layer of packing, topped by a thin layer of vegetal material is overlain by a layer of floor clay.
The spatial organization of Space 86 stayed the same during the entire D-Phase. However change can be observed in the redesigning of some platforms, and in the relocation or complete absence of particular smaller features, such as fire installations, in the sequence of floor.
Central Floor Area
The Central floor area (Feature 606) is located in the middle of the building and it covers about 2 square meters (see Figure 13). The series 5-10 floors were removed under the following unit numbers: in SW 6349, in NW 6351, in E-W baulk E-part 6356 and W-part 6357.
Throughout phase D, the Central floor area continued to be lower than the other floors (platforms and southern area) in the Space 86. This was the result of being completely enclosed on all the sides by:
N platforms F.162, F.173
E platform F.170
S threshold "step" dividing it from the kitchen, platform F.169
W screen wall
A new feature that was recognized in the Central Floor area is a fire installation (F. 641), which is located partially under an earlier fire installation (F 616).
Close to the end of the 2000 season we started working on what had been recorded since the 1999 season as a large cut in the Central floor area, parallel with the screen wall. This cut had been assumed to be a foundation construction cut most likely made during the renovation of the screen wall. The cut had damaged the C-phase floors in the NW part of the Central floor. During the 2000 excavation, however, it was revealed as a cut for a double burial of children (F. 648) (Figure 14). As the excavation of F. 648 proceeded, what seemed to be a single cut for a double burial, were actually two separate cuts for two burials. Each burial was then assigned a feature number: F. 648 (units 6681, 6667, 6661) and F. 756 (units 6682, 6667, 6661). As we finished the excavation of the burial F.756, it became clear that there is yet another burial under the two child burials. This was assigned a third feature number F., 757 (units 6688, 6689, 6691), (see details in the report on Human Remains).
"Kitchen" and Entrance Floor
Along the South wall of the building 3 is a 2-square meter area known as the "kitchen or dirty area" (see Figure 13).
The South-central floor or "kitchen" area is south and southeast of the Central floor area of Space 86. Like the Central floor area, this is an open floor area, and they are in fact connected. The South-central floor is separated from the Central floor area by a threshold built of fine white plaster (F.645 units 6601, 6342), which runs from the SW corner of the platform F. 170 westwards along the north edge of the platform F. 169 and links to the F. 164 demarcating border between dirty (kitchen) and clean (central floor) areas of space 86. It was put in place after phase C i.e. contemporary with the later configuration of the platform F. 170.
The South-Central floor area is very different from the other floors of Space 86 in the way in which it was built and used during the life-history of the house. It is also differs in its treatment after the abandonment of the house in that it was filled in by midden. It gives the appearance of a dirty floor because of the multiple layers of organic materials, comprising ash, charcoal, and phytoliths, deposited on it. Moreover, this floor area did not have the same type of surface finish as the rest of the house floor. The floor layers in the kitchen area in the D-phase are multiple, mostly red burnt or scorched black-red, especially around the oven F. 613 and some of the cuts in its vicinity.
The use of this area of floor is indicated by a large fire installation in its center and by a possible platform for the access ladder F. 167. The fire-installation (F.613, units 6111, 6160, 6294, 6306, 6368, 6369, 6615, 6396) is oval in plan, and originally had a dome roof that was supported by a number of thin poles. The impressions of the poles are preserved throughout the D-phase floors as circular holes infilled with charcoal and ashy deposits. During the 2000 season on the western side of this feature were found the rim of the oven and further small stake holes close to the central circular scorched area.
This oven, F. 613, dominates the "kitchen" area. It had a long history of use during the D-phase, and possibly the E-phase of the Building 3. We have excavated numerous oven floors (units 6383, 6111, 6106, 6160, 6125, 6294, 6362, 6369, 6375, 6615, 6609, 6656, 6622, 6389, 6396) and could see that the size, shape and construction of the oven changed over time.
East of F. 613 are a number of circular cuts (Features 751, 753, 754, 755). Cuts 753 and 754 have been described as "dirty cuts" because their infill comprised layers of black ashy charcoal and white ashy deposits interspersed with layers of brown clay that sealed the deposits below. Cuts 751 and 755 are described as "clean cuts" whose infill comprised clay packing with no ash and charcoal in them. Cut F. 751 cutting into platform F. 167 had a concave bottom and has been interpreted as a possible ladder fixture. The cut F. 755 is a larger cut with a flat bottom like the cut F. 641 in the Central floor area of Space 86.
In the possible entrance area in the South-east corner of Space 86 there are no features except for the cuts, which have been interpreted as possible ladder fixtures (see platform 167). The floor in the entrance area is ragged and uneven. Although there are many layers of replastering revealed, it is virtually impossible to follow them due to their patchy nature.
The remaining floor surface in Space 86 is taken up by five platforms, which are raised about 20-25 cm above the level of the Central Floor.
North-West Platform - Feature 162
This platform is large, square in plan with rounded corners. In 1999 we removed the E-phase floors and started removing the D-phase floors. These latter were built of very fine white plaster with a smooth finish. It is interesting to note that only in the case of this platform F. 162 the floors in the D-phase given a white plaster surface. In the case of the other platforms and the Central Floor area the white plaster floors were characteristic only of the C-phase.
At the end of the 1999 season the burial F.617 was excavated. The presence of an additional skeleton was observed under and at the edges of this burial. During the 2000 season we identified several phases of reburial in the same pit Features 634,644,647 (see Figure 13 and Figure 16). This large burial pit in fact comprises a minimum of 4 burial pits (F. 617), (F. 634: units 6308, 6309, 6310, 6311, 6223; F. 644: units 6604, 6603, 6603; and F. 647: unit 6632) that overlap partially and were dug at different times. Since this group of burials is still in progress and will not be completed until the 2001 season, we cannot yet state how many individuals are buried under this platform, not the sequence of the burials. . At this point we can say that the child basket burial was the latest one of this series that was dug from the D-phase of the platform. In addition it is likely that some of the four burial events had more than one individual buried at a time. (see details in the report on Human Remains).
Immediately underneath the burial lid in the NW corner of Feature 634, in the top of the fill (unit 6223) we found very clear basket impressions (feature 640). Some unconsolidated basket remains were taken as a sample for phytoliths, and the remainder was consolidated by the conservators. The circular base of the little basket was found underneath these samples. An animal astragalus was found alongside it.
One curious feature of the burial pit of Feature 634 is that its position and orientation coincides with a late Roman/ Byzantine burial pit that was found above it in the first season (1997) of the excavation. One x-find from an animal hole in F 634 turned out to be an iron bead, which most likely belongs to the much later Roman/Byzantine burial above it.
North-East Platform - Feature 173
This is a large platform in the northeast corner of Building 3. It runs from the edge of Feature 162 to the edge of the East-Central platform (F. 170) and all the way to the North and East wall of Building 3. (see Figure 13). Both platforms F. 173 and F. 170 had at least 2 major phases in their configuration and both were rebuilt simultaneously. This can be observed in the place where they abut, which has been partially cut and exposed by the post-retrieval pit F. 602. In the earlier phase, which coincides with phase C of Building 3, F. 170 had its northern edge about 20 cm further north. In this phase, the southern edge of F. 173 had a thick "lip" with a gradual transition to the lower platform (F.170). The Northeast platform (F. 173), was therefore shorter in its earlier phase. In the later phase, coinciding with phase D of Building 3, the southern edge of F. 173 was extended southwards on top of the earlier northern edge of F. 170.
During the 1999 season two floors with a thick layer of dark gray packing in between from the E-phase were removed from the platform F 173. In 2000 all the floors belonging to the D-phase were excavated. As in the rest of Space 86 excavation in 2000 stopped on the surface of the latest C-phase floor.
The floors on the platform 173 along the North wall that belong to the E-phase and the later half of the D-phase were higher than in other parts of the platform. Those of the earlier D phase dived down steeply (that is they indicated a collapse of the underlying structure) against the North wall and had much thicker layers of packing than in the rest of the platform. Once these floor layers were removed, the exposed floor of the C-phase was white in color and similar to the D-phase floor of platform F. 162.
A burial cut (F. 631) in the center of the platform is clearly visible and similar to that of F. 617. It is oval in shape and was dug from the second or third D-phase floor from the top. That is, it was covered with at least 2 if not 3 platform floors after the burial was deposited in the ground.
The burial fill was covered with a clear clay lid. Immediately below this fill comprised black midden-like soil, which so far has been typical for the burials in Building 3 (like, for example,. the fill in burial F 617 in 1999). The burial of F. 631 comprised a robust skeleton with legs at the northern end and arms and skull descending into the midden fill towards the south (units 6272, 6279,6280, 6303) (Figure 15) (see details in the report on Human Remains).
Feature 633 (units 6277, 6390, 6619) comprises a cut 1 m long and 20-30 cm wide on platform F. 173, dug from the D-phase floors. It is parallel with F 631 cut next to and into the East wall. At first, the cut was interpreted as a means to retrieve something that was on the East wall of Building 3, for instance, a relief sculpture, a bucranium or a wall painting. This was supported by the fact that exactly in this area of the building the wall face is missing its thick plaster surface, although above and around it the wall plaster exists. Further excavation of F. 633, however, brought to light its connection with the massive layer of burnt clay from an earlier floor layer that belongs to a fire installation, which had been set in the niche in the east house wall. Clarification of this feature awaits the 2001 season.
East-Central Platform - Feature 170
This platform abuts the East building wall and was built between two wooden posts, evidenced by two large post-retrieval pits along the East wall of Building 3 (see Figure 13). This platform slopes steeply down from south to north and from east to west, probably as a result of collapsing deposits underneath, but also possibly intensified by the weight of roof that collapsed in its northern part.
The platform floors of F. 170 that belong to the D-phase were excavated in a number of units that comprise floor and packing surfaces (6278, 6282, 6283, 6284, 6285, 6287, 6284, 6286, 6291, 6295, 6292, 6292, 6299, 6298, 6312, 6313, 6314).
The floors at the western edge of F. 170 were as hard as concrete to excavate and difficult to distinguish between the floor and packing layers. The packing at the northern end of the platform is not brown clay but is re-deposited fire installation material - crumbly hard clay blocks (units 6330, 6332, 6325, 6326, and 6331). The interface between F. 170 and the Central Floor area consisted of very thick 3-4 cm packing (unit 6343).
At the northern edge of the platform F. 170 where it was cut by the post retrieval pit F. 602 it was possible to see an earlier plaster bench (unit 6394) in the profile of the pit. Two stake holes were visible in the plaster of the bench as dark 5 cm-diameter circles in plan view.
No burials have been discovered yet under platform F. 170 but it is very likely that they will be found in the deeper floor layers in 2001.
South-East Platform - Feature 167/637
This feature comprises a platform located in the southeast corner of Space 86. In its latest stages the platform had a step-like shape. That is, the southern part of the platform that abutted the South wall of Building 3 was higher, whereas its extension towards the north was lower. However, during the 2000 season, as we removed the latest floors of the platform we could see that in its earlier phases there had been two separate adjoining platforms. During the 2000 season each platform was assigned a separate feature number: the higher F. 167 in the south, and the lower F. 637 to its north. Both of these features were considerably damaged by cuts that were dug in preparation of the post-abandonment midden (e.g. "scapularium, see 1999 BACH report) and by the post retrieval pit (F. 168).
In addition, F. 167 was cut by two circular shallow pits of a similar (nearly 20 cm) diameter, which have been interpreted as the possible remains of an entrance ladder that was fixed in the floor of the platform. One of the two cuts was filled with black soil and charcoal, which we suspect was brought in to this area of Building 3 from Space 89 by animal activity. In this matrix a fragmented miniature figurine with very expressive sexual features was found.
A number of floor and packing layers were removed from F. 167 (units 6271, 6290, 6318, 6329), as well as from F. 637 (units 6329, 6354, 6337, 6340).
South-West Platform - Feature 169
This platform is in the corner between the South wall of Building 3 and the short interior wall (F.161) separating Space 86 from Space 158. During its long history this platform was probably the most damaged of all the platforms in the Building 3. Its eastern half belonged to the "kitchen area" and underwent numerous transformations, especially as a result of the establishment of a series of fire installations: F.604 (units 3591, 3598), F. 630 (unit 6360, R=25-30 cm), F. 632, and F. 752 (unit 6644). Judging by the cuts excavated in its central part (F. 603: units 3590, 3597; F. 605: units 3592, 3599; F. 624: units 6161, 6162) this platform was intensively used for other activities. F. 169 has also been damaged on its eastern side by midden cuts and its uppermost floors were stripped off before the post-abandonment midden debris was deposited. The stripped platform top reveals several events of earlier repairs made to the platform floors.
As a result of our excavation during 2000, we have come to a much clearer understanding of the complexity of F. 169. The platform has had at least four major structural phases, each with a number of replastered floors and features. In the earliest exposed phase it had a thick, smooth white plaster floor and its current size. In the next phase the earliest cut for the hearth was made on its eastern side of (F. 752). In the third phase, more cuts for hearths were made on the eastern side of the platform (Features 630, 632, 604). At this stage the platform was divided into a heavily burnt eastern half and a continuously clean, white west half. In its latest phase the platform was consolidated back into single functioning feature by plastering over its entire surface including the fire installations with a thick, white floor plaster. The use of the platform from this point on, defined by three small, shallow cuts in the central part of the platform has been described in the 1999 Archive report.
The D-phase floors of F. 169 were removed in 2000 (units 6360, 6392) down to the uppermost C-phase floor. The most interesting aspect of the platform F. 169 that appeared in the 2000 season is its size and location in the C-phase of the house, when it extended towards the west into Space 158. In phase C, the small interior wall (F. 161) had not yet been constructed. Thus the platform (F. 169) in phase C most likely extended from the "kitchen/entrance" area to the very corner (SW) of Building 3.
Small interior walls Features 160 and 161
The southern interior wall (F. 161) has been investigated to a greater extent in 2000 season than F. 160. It is clear, however, that both walls were built during the D-phase of the Building 3. During the 2000 season, the interior wall F. 161 was removed (units 6624, 6676, 6677, 6678, 6679), except for the bottom brick layer. The wall was erected on a 5-10 cm thick layer of very burnt and often vitrified chunks of brick, which functioned as wall foundation packing. This wall foundation packing was placed on the D-phase floors of the platform F. 169, and was plastered with thick layer of white plaster. The courses of bricks were placed on the foundation wall packing.
The northern interior wall (F. 160) has not been removed yet due to the numerous burials located in its vicinity that had to be excavated before the wall could be dismantled. In cleaning the floor area around the wall in space 158, however, we observed a layer of large red-clay bricks and plasters under the interior wall indicating earlier C-phase features or possibly an earlier phase in the construction of the wall under the present interior wall.
Curtain/Screen wall Feature 601
The curtain wall comprises the continuation of the internal house walls (F. 160, 161), and along with them divides the house into two spaces (86, 158) (see 1999 report for details of this feature), (see Figure 13). The history of the construction of the curtain wall seems closely related to the rebuilding of the West wall of Building 3.
At each end, the curtain wall is structurally connected to a brick pillar (F. 156, 164). The plaster relief on the curtain wall and the pillars were built during the D-phase of the house, just like the short interior walls.
The wall plasters on the curtain wall were mostly removed during the 2000 season (units 6321, 6322). As in the 1999 season, the plaster came off in large molded lumps. Its removal exposed a thick layer of floor deposits in Space 158 that will be excavated in the 2001 season.
Both pillars (Features 156 and 164) (see the 1999 report for detailed description). had their west face supported by rubble shoring (described in detail in the 1999 report). In the 2000 season we removed these late additions to the pillars (F. 156: units 6352, 6365, 6366, 6367; F. 164: units 6680). In the case of the northern pillar (F. 156) we discovered that it was placed in a circular cut made through the floors of space 158.
In Space 158 during the 2000 season, we removed a number of floor layers and their associated features, including the niche (F. 607), a bin-like feature (F. 171). We also further investigated the West wall of Building 3. As we excavated deeper we unearthed new floors and new associated features.
The phasing of the floors and other deposits in Space 158 and linking them to the contemporary events in the large room of Space 86 must await further investigation and analysis in 2001. It appears that all the floors and features that have so far been excavated in Space 158 belong to the D-phase and possible later phases of Building 3. It seems that Space 158 was intensively used during the D-phase, judging by the numerous features in it. It remains a challenge, which we expect to resolve with further excavation in 2001, to interpret the vertical difference of 20-30 cm between the floors in Space 86 and 158, and the diverse functioning of the spaces considering the presence of the interior and curtain walls between them.
The floors and features of Space 158 have been grouped in three zones: Northern, Central, and Southern. The northern zone is dominated by a possible platform (F. 629), where we removed three white plaster floors and their reddish-brown packing (units 6289, 6638, 6651, 6624, 6671). The removal of the uppermost floor layer revealed a large pit (units 621, 6305) filled with re-deposited building material, including fragments of plastered features.
The Central zone of Space 158 is separated from the Northern zone by a low internal wall-like structure running east-west (F.623). In the Central zone, we removed three red-clay floors and their packing to arrive on the fourth floor which was a gray color (units 6393, 6654, 6655). These floors had been deposited in conjunction with a bin-like feature (F.171). This feature was removed starting with its most northern part (unit 6606), then the central and the largest part (units 6385, 6386, 6634, 6641), and finally its southern part (units 6635, 6642) (see the 1999 report for a detailed description of the feature). Under the southern part of F.171 (unit 6642), there was a cut in which a basket was set (F. 750). The preservation of the basket was excellent and we were able to consolidate it and lift it up in one piece. Another feature immediately under the red-clay floors and under F. 171 in this part of Space 158 was a large, well-preserved oven floor with a shallow rim around it (F. 646: unit 6663).
It is interesting to note that the southern part of the Central zone in Space 158, was covered with a white plaster floor which gave it a much cleaner appearance than the red-clay floor further to the north. In this part of the floor a basin like white plaster feature (F. 639: units 6387, 6388, 6610, 6627) was excavated. The relationship between these different colored floors will be investigated in the 2001 season.
South floor zone in Space 158 was characterized by numerous floor plasters and their packing (units 6316, 6324, 6333). Immediately under the niche (F.607), a large but fragmented fire installation floor was excavated. This fire installation seems to be in the very Southwest corner of Building 3 (F. 642: units 6346, 6370, 6626). Between the oven floor (F. 642) and the basin feature (F. 639) there is a large, shallow, and irregular cut (unit 6355) through the floors, in which was found a grindstone.
In the 2000 season we excavated the niche (F.607) in the very south-west corner of Building 3 in segments, taking regular 10 cm horizontal slices through it. The niche appears to be built into the late West wall of Building 3 and after the wall bricks were put in place. In the corner a short band of wall plaster that belongs to the original West wall has been preserved.
West walls of Building 3 - Features 600, 622, 628, 635, 636
In the 2000 season we continued to remove the late shoring of the West wall of Building 3, exposing the earlier wall (units 6391, 6640, 6267, 6659) (see detailed description of the West walls in the 1999 report).
Several courses of mudbrick from the northern part of the late west wall (F. 622) were excavated (6320, 6327, 6328, 6363, 6364).
This large space to the West of Building 3 is currently interpreted as an open area containing a large midden. In 2000, Space 85 was opened in a 1-meter strip running north-south and immediately next to the West wall of Building 3. It had become necessary to excavate a small segment of the midden in order to expose and understand better the complexity of the West walls of Building 3. We excavated the midden in arbitrary 10-cm thick layers (units 6334, 6350, 6364, 6382, 6398, 6608, 6620, 6635, 6636, 6662, 6666, and 6672). The deposits were rich in organic remains, especially animal bones. It is also interesting to see in the cross-section through the midden that was created by our cutting through it for a 1-meter distance from the West wall of Building 3, the nature of the accumulation of the deposits. Their color alternates from dark-gray to very black layers. The black layers are highly reminiscent of the layering of the roof of Building 3, which was excavated in the 1997-98 seasons. The similarity is not just in the stripy layering of the deposits but also in the angle at which these layers are sloping, from north to south.
We are grateful to the National Science Foundation, including the Research Experience for Undergraduates program for their support of this project. We are enormously grateful to John Coker, of Hillsborough, California, USA, without whom our excavation in 2000 would not have been possible. We are also grateful to the U.C. Berkeley Archaeological Research Facility and University Research Apprentice program for their support.
Figure 13: Schematic plan of Building 3 showing all the features
Figure 14: Neolithic double child burial (Features 648/756) in the Central Floor area
Figure 15: Neolithic burial (Feature 631) in platform F. 173
Figure 16: Neolithic group burial (Feature 634/644/647) in platform F.162