| ||Pit X ||Pit X was excavated as a large southern extension of the Royal Cemetery area, likely originally conceived as an extension of Pit Y (Pit J) at the southwest corner. Its main purpose was to uncover the earliest burials in the area, the so-called Jemdat Nasr cemetery first encountered in pits Y and Z. Pit X measured approximately 30x15 meters, though it may originally have been laid out to be 35x20. Woolley reports it as a rectangle covering 1000 square meters, but even the largest indication on the plan map and satellite images is at most 700 square meters and not truly rectangular. Nevertheless, it is a very large space that reached sea level some 20 meters below the surface of the mound. In the Antiquaries Journal for 1934 Woolley reports a total of 13,160 cubic meters of dirt having been removed from this pit.
Some minor building remains of the Neo-Babylonian and Kassite periods were found near the surface but most of the area was apparently used as a dumping ground in the Late Bronze Age and later. Woolley knew that the Royal Cemetery area extended to the south of his main area PG but believed he would find few graves of the Akkadian and EDIII period. He discovered more than he expected, but none were overly rich in finds. These graves did not receive PG numbers since the UE2 Royal Cemetery volume had already been published. Instead, they received PJ numbers. The series PJG applied to graves in Pit X Woolley felt to be Akkadian or later and PJB applied to those of the EDIII period. The break between these two sequences came at around 10 meters above sea level. In all, Pit X added some 250 to the more than 1000 burials of these periods that Woolley had already uncovered in area PG.
Beneath the graves of the Royal Cemetery (starting at around 6 meters above sea level) Woolley reached the earlier graves of what he called the Jemdat Nasr cemetery. Graves at this depth were given JNG numbers. In fact, JNG eventually applied to all of the early graves discovered in pits W, X, Y, and Z. Some of those excavated in Y and Z had received PG numbers but they were renumbered for publication in the JNG sequence. Most of these graves actually date to the Early Dynastic I period.
The area near the base of the pit was smaller than that at the top. Only around 400 square meters was exposed near sea level, yet more than 200 early graves were discovered. Although Ubaid period pottery fragments were found, only two Ubaid burials were discovered here. The large area excavation stopped at 2 meters above sea level, but a test pit at the bottom reached down to sea level itself. ||(none) |