The upright vertical face of a doorway which supports the lintel and protects the wall-opening. In Egyptian and Achaemenian monumental architecture, the whole door-frame could be built of stone (sometimes cut from a single block). Elsewhere, bricks or wood or a combination of both were in use. Jambs with figurative relief ornamentation, especially on important gateways, ensured the magical protection of the building or city. Pairs of human-headed colossal bulls or lions (see LAMASSU) flanked the gateways in Assyrian and Achaemenian palaces; the Hittites carved images of lions, warriors and sphinxes on their monolithic gates.
Mesopotamia, see map p. xviii. Neolithic farming-settlement (c. 6700-6000 BC). The twenty-five excavated houses had rectangular ground plans with a courtyard in the middle. The walls were built of PISÉ on stone foundations. The clay floors were laid over a bed of reeds. The roofs were probably pitched and covered with mudplastered reeds.
Jericho (modern Tell es-Sultan)
Palestine, see map p. xix. This site had a very long sequence of habitation. It had a good position at the foot of hills, near clear water wells and lay on a frequented route along the Jordan Valley into the Judean Hills and the Dead Sea. The present stratigraphy was established by K. Kenyon.
The earliest Mesolithic levels (10th millennium BC) are associated with a population of hunters and food-gatherers living in simple hut-like shelters. The remains of one solid building, generally interpreted as a sanctuary, were found near the springs. It was a rectangular structure (3.50m×6.50m) with stone walls enforced by wooden posts. Three large stone blocks had holes bored right through them, perhaps in order to support some upright object of ritual significance.
The succeeding period (Proto-Neolithic; 9th millennium BC) marks the transition from a semi-nomadic, hunting way of life to a settled community based on agriculture. The impermanent huts became solid houses made of handshaped bricks, circular and semi-interred.
The settlement prospered and assumed urban character in the following Pre-Pottery Neolithic A period (8th millennium BC). A free-standing stone wall (1.98m wide) surrounded the town. One great circular watch-tower survived to a height of 9.14m. It was also built of stone (8.50m diameter) and had an internal staircase leading to the top.
The site was repopulated after a period of abandonment and the architectural
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Publication information: Book title: A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Architecture. Contributors: Gwendolyn Leick - Author. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1988. Page number: 105.
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