Last year I mentioned a Roman wall that was found on Tell Halif in square A8. After all it was immediately adjacent to a floor from the Roman period and was probably in use at the same time as that floor.
So what happens when you go down beside the wall and find out that it goes far deeper, indeed down to the Iron Age floor, or rather adjacent to it? That’s what happened this year. Our nice Roman wall seems to have been constructed – at least partly – a lot earlier. We had to revise our interpretation of the wall. If it was in use during the Iron Age, what happened to it in later years? Since usually only the foundation of walls was laid in stones with mudbricks used higher up, does this mean that in this case the stone wall was considerably higher, so high indeed that it still stuck out of the ground in the Roman Period and was then used as a foundation when a new building was built on the tell? Or did the people in the Roman Period come upon an Iron Age wall and decided to build a few more courses on it, so that the original Iron Age wall became somewhat higher? We haven’t found out yet. But those are the questions that arise on the small scale of archaeology. And they depend on interpretation, just as the overall picture we then put together out of these small data are a conglomerate that depends a lot on how we put those little pieces of evidence together.