The Swedish excavations, directed by Peter M. Fischer from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have been carried out at Tell Abu al-Kharaz since 1989. The excavations are financed by the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities since 2008.
Tell Abu al-Kharaz is a 12 ha tell in the central Jordan Valley. The current objective is to shed further light on the Iron Age occupation of this city, first settled around 3200 BCE, which corresponds to the conventional Early Bronze Age IB. The Iron Age occupation lasted from the 12th century BCE until 732 BCE, when the city was conquered by the Neo-Assyrians. From 2009 to 2012 excavations in Area 9 revealed an exceptionally well-preserved two-storey compound dating from Iron Age I (local Phase IX), that is around 1100/1050 BCE. The stone compound was exposed for a length of 46 m (not counting the western annex of additional 20 m) and consists of 21 rooms, with walls still standing to a height of more than 2 m. Several hundred complete vessels and other objects point to the extensive contacts of a fairly rich society. Direct and indirect contacts with Phoenicia, the Aegean and Cyprus were ascertained. At the end of the 2012 season of excavation the eastern limit of the compound was reached. In 2013 and 2014 complementary excavations were carried out to the north and east of the compound and – for the first time – in central parts of the tell. The eastern extension revealed a defence system, which was originally built in the Early Bronze Age IB/II around 3100 BCE, but which was reused as a part of the Iron Age I defence structures. Trenches in hitherto unexplored areas of the city in the centre and along the city wall attested remains dating mainly from the Late Bronze and the early and late Iron Ages. Due to publication obligations, the excavations rest at present. Resumed excavations are planned in the near future.
EB III–MB II/III