16-U-15 Melik en Nasr East – Turmukki

This was a small cemetery of at least 40 graves, lying on an alluvial bank below a low rocky ridge, c.500m east of the village of Turmukki and c.550m from the river. This was excavated by Bengt Schönbäck in March 1968. 

Cemetery 16-U-15, before excavation, from southwest (1968)

The surface was covered with  a quite thick layer of sand and large stones from collapsed grave superstructures. The graves were generally rectangular pits with an east-west orientation, but with some circular pits. All the excavated graves had been robbed and few finds or human bones were recovered from the disturbed grave shafts. The few skeletal elements found in situ suggested most burials were placed on their right sides, head east, facing north. In some cases pots were found on the surface beside the superstructures.

Deposit of bowls on surface beside remains of stone superstructure of Grave 22, 16-U-15

These and other concentrations of sherds close to graves suggested such surface deposits were quite common. The stone superstructures were mostly completely destroyed but in a few cases some traces remained. Field notes recorded that the most characteristic pottery was bowls with “vertically radiating” decoration, along with vessels with incised decoration. The most common ware was H4.11D (associated with Early C-Group), along with H4.01A, H2.11, H1.03B, H1.01A, H1.01B, H2.01B and H2.13 as well as imported wares (W3.01= ‘hard pink unpolished’ and W5.01 = ‘hard unpolished Qena ware’).

Bowls from Grave 7
Pottery from Grave 15, including fragmentary pottery stand.
Pottery from Grave 15 including bowl with fine incised decoration. Bowl ‘4’ appears very similar to example found with Grave 7 (see above)
Pottery from Grave 22. Pot ‘7’ an example of bowl decorated with vertical impressed decoration.