As in 2007, the entrance area to the huge triclinium BD 235 of the Soldier Tomb complex was again the objective of investigations in 2009. Although the area of the triclinium was cleaned in the 1930s by the then Department of Antiquities of Transjordan Horsfield 1938: 40 with notes 5. 7; Horsfield 1939: 93. , important information as for the different phases of use of the structure were obtained. Already in 2007 we observed that the easternmost of the three entrances to the triclinium was blocked by a careful setting of stones perfectly corresponding to the outer rock-cut wall of the triclinium. In front of the rock-cut outer wall of the triclinium, a massive, podium-like structure was observed. In order to gain a better understanding of that structure, the sounding was enlarged including one half of the central main entrance to the triclinium.
The structure in front of the triclinium does indeed continue until the main entrance, where it forms an angle and an outer doorway, as is clearly visible on figures 10 and 11. When the podium-like structure was erected the main entrance to the triclinium had two successive doorways and thresholds. The structure is built from massive stones and although the somewhat careless construction it is extremely massive, mainly due to the abundant use of hydraulic mortar. Contrary to the hydraulic mortar from the small basin in the N-portico (cf. above), the hydraulic mortar from the triclinium area made abundant use of charcoal and ashes resulting in a clearly distinguishable gray colour (fig. 10). As had been widely observed on other occasions, this characteristic hydraulic mortar is not used in the Petra area before roughly AD 100 Graf and Schmid and Ronza 2007. . The same succession of clearly distinguishable two phases was observed on the floor of the main entrance (fig. 11). Initially, rows of oblique floor slabs were covering the entrance area. In a later phase the level in front of the threshold was raised and the second (= outer threshold) was introduced as mentioned above. The new floor slabs are posed in a 45° angle in relation to the earlier ones. As was revealed by a small sounding, the slabs of the second phase are bedded into exactly the same grayish hydraulic mortar, which contains charcoal. Therefore, the new floor slabs, the introduction of two successive doors and the massive podium in front of the triclinium BD 235 as well as the blocking of the lateral doorways are contemporary and do not occur before circa AD 100.
Compared with similar observations made elsewhere, i. e. changes occurring to the complex of the Soldier Tomb around AD 100, we can deduce that some major changes happened in that period. Of course, one is tempted to think about the Roman annexation in AD 106 that could have resulted – within others – in a new ownership of the complex. In the case of the entrance area to the huge triclinium BD 23, the motifs of the changes described above may go beyond simple fashion related to a new owner. The massive construction, the double doorway and especially the abundant use of hydraulic mortar could well suggest a reaction to problems related to flash floods penetrating the complex during the rain seasons. Therefore, the podium-like structure and the double doorways are to be understood as an attempt to prevent water from flooding the rock-cut room.
When installing the double doorway around AD 100, the original threshold of the Nabataean period must have been replaced as indicated by a small stretch with a secondary fill behind the inner threshold of the second phase. As a matter of fact, this stretch does exactly correspond to the rock-cut traces of the lintel approximately three and a half meters higher (fig. 12). The fill from the small stretch corresponding to the original threshold was excavated and it contained Nabataean pottery belonging to phase 3a according to Schmid 2000 and, therefore, providing a terminus post quem in the late 1st century AD for the second phase with the two doorways.