The Site > Topography
Dominik Bonatz

The archaeological area at Tell Fekheriye extends over 90ha and is pentagonal in shape due to the contour of the city walls from the late Antiquity period which are still evident today as a small rise in the terrain. In the north and northeast the landscape borders a natural depression in which the dried-out riverbed of the Khabur and its karstic springs can be found.

The long lasting settlement history and numerous conflicts predominantly during the period of late Antiquity, which are associated with repetitive destruction and rebuilding, have accumulated in many cultural layers. These layers form an irregular, rather flat hill that rises 6m above the surrounding terrain. A further elevation of 12ha in size is situated 15m above the surrounding area on the eastern side of the tell and is clearly visible in the landscape. This ‘settlement hill’ can be regarded as a Tell in the classical sense and justifies the partitioning of the archaeological area into an upper city with an area of 12ha and a lower city with an area of 78ha.

Due to recent agricultural activity the upper city area, with its highest elevation at 363,40m a.s.l., has a more or less flat surface with the exception of a rise in the southwest where the tomb of Ibrahim Pascha is located. The southern side of the mound has a gradual downward slope whereas the northern and eastern area is eroded through the nearby Khabur sources and therefore has a steep gradient. The western section of the tell is well suited to archaeological investigation because it forms a wide terrace along the slope of the hill, which lies at an elevation of 358m a.s.l. This wide terrace is not of natural origin but was artificially levelled for farming in the 1960’s and 1980’s. On Langenegger and Lehmann’s plan the western slope was steeply inclined although this was most probably caused by building activities in the lower city during the late Antiquity period which cut the mound at this location. The sprawling lower city expands westward of the tell at an average elevation of 354m a.s.l.