Area A


Area A is located in the centre area of the site, south of Mound A, the higher elevation of the ancient Nigin. Here a trench, 5 x 5 m (Fig. 1), has been opened to clarify the archaeological evidence of some white gypsum bricks clearly visible on the surface due to the rain. Here two mud bricks walls (W.4, W.18) have been detected forming a corner of a room (L.20) full of flower pots (Fig. 2), some bevelled rim bowls, fragments of spouted jars and other typical pottery materials to be dated to the Late Uruk (Late Chalcolithic 5).



Fig. 1: Square opened in Area A (2015).

Fig. 2: Flower pots discovered in Area A (2015).

Fig. 3: General view of the building discovered in Area A (2016), from north.

In 2016 campaign (10 October - 1 December) Area A has been enlarged with a new U-shaped trench (5 m to the north, 5 m to the east, and 5 m to the west). In the new operation, several layers have been recognized, dating from the Late Uruk to the Early Dynastic I periods. In the main phase, dated to the Jemdet Nasr Period thanks to the typical reserved red slip and red painted pottery discovered in situ on the floor, part of a large building has been investigated (Fig. 3). Since now, three rooms of the building have been excavated; in this phase, the structure had its main large entrance on the western side (W. 105). The pottery dated to the Jemdet Nasr Period was located between room L. 108 and room L. 131, and consists of at least four large jars found broken on the white plastered floors of the two rooms and in the space of the door between them (fig. 4). The main external door of the building led to an open area on the western side. Here, different earthern floors have been identified, dated to earlier phases of the same Jemdet Nasr Period and characterized by the presence of a circular oven (tannur) (fig. 5). In this layer, probably connected to the main kiln, almost forty complete conical bowls have been recovered (Fig. 6). Probably in the same late phase of the main building, at least three fire places have been identified in this open air area, testifying the continuity of use of this sector of the settlement for cooking activities and food production.

Further excavations will be extended farther to the north and east, in order to identify the extension and possibly the limits of the building that seems it had been reused in the Early Dynastic Period; moreover, the structure seems to be more preserved to the north-east as far as it get close to Mound A.

Fig. 4: Some of the fragmentary painted Jemdet Nasr jars discovered in place.

Fig. 5: The circular tannur discovered in the open courtyard of Area A, from west.

Fig. 6: One of the conical bowls discovered in place near the tannur.