Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Samreklo (Georgien)

From 30.07.-17.08.2019, the first excavation took place on the hill Samreklo, about 1.5 km southeast of Dedoplistskaro, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Paata Bukrashvili, Ilia University Tbilisi, and Dr. Simone Arnhold, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.

Before the excavation began, Prof. Dr. Jörg Faßbinder and colleagues, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, carried out a geophysical prospection of 120 x 80 m in the central area of the mound. Various structures were found distributed over the entire area, of which an almost rectangular structure as well as various rounded and linear anomalies in the southern area aroused particular interest.

During a subsequent three-week campaign, an area of 324 m² was opened up with the help of 16 workers.

The excavation began in the southern slope area of the hill Samreklo in order to primarily record the measured angular structure (Fig. 2) as well as adjoining areas to the south. The aforementioned structure proved to be the foundation of a building consisting of a double-shelled wall with internal filling. Only one stone layer could be documented. A division of the building into rooms could not be discerned, but along the longitudinal axis there were two stone slabs in the middle, which may be interpreted as column bases or underlays for supporting posts. Large quantities of fired clay were recovered in and to the south of the building, weighing a total of more than 37 kg. The good preservation conditions of the clay chunks can be attributed to a fire, therefore the recorded building probably met its end in a damaging fire.

Pits were cut further south at a distance of 12 m from the building. They seem to be more than 1.5 m deep, as their bottom could not be reached within the excavation campaign. However, sherds and bones from the upper backfill indicate that rich finds were to be expected.

The last feature recorded was an east-west running structure. It is a linear stone pack of fist-sized and smaller limestones, which could be uncovered over a length of approx. 9 m and an average width of 2-2.5 m. The dense stone pack seems to be connected to the upper backfill. The dense stone pack appears to be thicker in the middle of its long axis and decreases in thickness towards the sides. A section through the structure was not made during the campaign due to time constraints.

So far, we can conclude that the building dates to the Late Iron Age, while the pits are probably older.

Simone Arnhold