The city of Khirbet al-Batrawy represents a rare example of an early urban center arising in a peripheral area of the ancient Near East at the dawn of urban civilization in the third millennium BC. The discovery of Batrawy in 2004 by a Rome Sapienza Expedition, and the ﬁndings at the Royal Palace in 2009, opened up new perspectives on the inhabitance and settlement of these fringe regions, especially in the period before the domestication of the camel.
Exploration of the "Palace of Copper Axes" and of the City-Walls
The planning activities for exploration moved from the discovery in 2009 of the Royal Palace (the "Palace of copper axes"), a public building of the third millennium BC which has provided a wealth of data and ﬁndings in an extraordinary state of preservation. Field operations have focused on the completion of the excavation at the Western Pavilion of the Palace, where beside the ﬁnding of whole vessels and valuable objects, faunal and paleobotanical remains have also been sampled for chemical-physical analyses, which involves: C-14 dating, pollen analyses, isotope analysis for metal artifacts, thermoluminescence.
A second aim of the Expedition has been the exploration of the well-preserved great city-walls in Area B North, just north of the Royal Palace. The excavations have been carried out towards the west, exploring the triple line of fortiﬁcations with its projecting towers and bastions.