A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Architecture

By Gwendolyn Leick | Go to book overview

H

Hacilar

Anatolia, see map p. xv. Important Neolithic site with nine levels of occupation (c. 7000-5000 BC).

The remains of buildings at level VI (c. 5600 BC) show that they were exceptionally well built. Nine large houses were found (up to 10.5m×6m) around two sides of a rectangular court, the walls of which consisted of rectangular mudbricks on stone foundations (1m thick). Some of these houses had upper storeys made of wood, and timber posts supported the ceiling. Access to the houses was by centrally placed double doorways.

At level II (c. 5435-5250 BC), the settlement was surrounded by a rampart (36m×57m) of mudbrick on stone foundations with small towers or bastions. Various clusters of buildings (workshops, houses, granaries etc) were grouped around a central open space. Some houses had huge internal buttresses supporting upper storeys built of wood and mudbrick. The main room had a raised hearth in the middle. The so-called ‘NE shrine’ had a large alcove, a raised platform between two short walls, a hearth in front and two rows of wooden columns along the main axis. This building may also have been the house of an important individual.

The fortress of level IIB was built by a new population above the levelled remains of earlier buildings. Massive walls (up to 4m thick) surrounded the whole mound. Blocks of rooms were grouped into complexes separated by small courtyards. Upper storeys made of light timber with daub fillings were burned to charcoal when the fortress was stormed and burnt down.

Mellaart, J., Excavations at Hacilar I-II (Edinburgh 1971)

Haft Tepe

Iran, see map p. xvii. The site was occupied from the 6th millennium BC but is best known for its important Elamite ruins dating from c. 1500-1300 BC. The remains of about a dozen ziggurats, royal tombs, temples and palaces were discovered. The whole area of the city must have covered at least 30ha, but only a small part has been excavated.

The temple complex was surrounded by mudbrick walls (4-9m thick). It consisted of a courtyard (25m×15m) paved with baked bricks, which contained a central low platform (an altar?) and a transverse portico in front of two parallel long halls (9m×7m). Below each were vaulted burial chambers, built of baked brick set in gypsum mortar, reached by a passage from the eastern hall. A baked-brick platform was divided into three unequal sections by partition walls. These subterranean rooms appear to have been family vaults, like those found at CHOGA ZANBIL and SUSA.

Negahban, E.O., Iran 7 (1969) 173-177
Negahban, E.O., Akten des VII Internationalen Kongresses für Iranische Kunst

-92-

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