German Backfill, Relief Fragments Discovered

Overview of temple area.  Note mounded areas to far side of temple structure and along roadway.

Since first arriving at the site members of the U.C. Berkeley Excavations at El Hibeh often pondered the possible explanation for a pair of mounds which lay within the temple sanctuary.  One runs alongside the roadway marking the western boundary of the temple temenos.  A second runs perpendicular to the first and just south of the southern wall of the temple. Were these mounded areas just natural features of the site?  Did they contain the remains of buildings buried for centuries?  Or was the origin of these features to be found elsewhere?

Workmen and guards stand atop mounded feature to south of temple.

The answer came as the result of archaeological exploration carried out during the 2002 season.  It was decided early on that exploration of the test trench started during the 2001 season should be resumed and expanded.  Thus, once the backfill from the year old sounding had been cleared, an eastern expansion of the trench was marked out and the workmen began clearing the modern surface debris.

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