Friday 13 April 2012

Chronology: Kites and Wheels

Determining the date for an archaeological site is best determined by excavation, but relative chronologies can be determined by examination of a very simple interaction - what lies on top of something else?

In the stone built structures of the Harret al-Shaam, we have been observing what kinds of sites are most likely to overlie others.

In the Jordan section of the Harret al-Shaam it is most likely, where Wheels and Kites are located in the same area, to see a Wheel manipulating or lying over the structure of a Kite. This most often involves the wheel overlying or using the wall of the tail of a kite, but there are also examples of the structure of the head being manipulated or built over by a Wheel. This chronology suggests that Wheels are a later structure than the Kites. In turn it is possible to see Pendants and Corrals overlying Wheels.

Azraq Wheel 11 overlying tail of Kite 21; Azraq Wheel 173 overlying head of Kite 55; Safawi Pendant 4 overlying Wheel 282. Images: Google Earth. Click to enlarge.

Kites > Wheels > Pendants ≥ Corrals

A recent investigation of a group of Kites located on the Harret in Syria, however, does not follow this broad relative chronology. In a tangle involving no less than 14 Kites and 25 Wheels, four Wheels overlie sections of four Kites, while two Kites can be seen to overlie sections of two Wheels.

Ghadir al Hajj tail of Kite 7 overying Wheel 22; Kite 10 overlying Wheel 24; Wheel 25 overling Kite 11, both overlain by corrals. Images: Google Earth. Click to enlarge.

So, simply an exception to the rule? Investigation will have to continue...

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