Unit Book A16
General Intro

Introduction to Unit A16

Giorgio Buccellati – May 2010

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A16 in isolation

As with most other digital books covering specific excavation units, A16 is, by necessity, highly heterogeneous. It covers a relatively small area (eight 5x5 squares), within which very different functional areas followed each other in time. In succession they are: the Tupkish royal palace, an open area (serving nearby houses that have not been excavated), a grave complex possibly bordering with a public building, a massive brickfall giving evidence of nearby structures.

Chronologically, A16 shows a continuous occupation from about 2300 B.C. until about 1600 B.C., but it is obvious that earlier strata are to be found beneath the lowest exposed surface (the Palace courtyard, which is about 6 meters above virgin soil). We also can infer, from findings in the neighboring excavation units, that the area was still occupied in the Mittani period, between 1500 and 1300 B.C.: the correspondent strata in A16 have eroded away completely.

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A16 within its broader setting

To more fully make sense, depositionally and functionally, of the findings in A16 it is indispensable to see them within the wider contexts of the area and even the site as a whole. Area AA has been excavated for a long period of time (since 1990), and it comprises many excavation units. But precisely because of the fact that during these years the UGR was being conceived and shaped, neither the unit nor the area digital book are currently in a state of completion. Thus at present A16 suffers from the fact that it remains essentially accessible in a relative vacuum – which will hopefully be filled in the coming years as the entire record is published.

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The inaugural volume

A16 was the inaugural volume of the UGR system, and, as such, it has served as the standard point of reference for all subsequent digital books. Not that it was completed at the end of the excavation season, nor soon after that (see the chronicle for details). In fact, it has remained in the works ever since, as the research progressed and the UGR was refined. But it remained throughout the model, not only for the structure of the analytical part (accessed from the right hand side vertical bar), but also for that of the synthetic part and of the tabulations, as with the treatment of the objects (especially the ceramics and the glyptics) or the conservation lab. The tabulations of the ceramics, for a total of 61,082 pieces, were the first to be completed and served as the test data for the respective programs (see for example the frequencies by wares or by feature).

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The uses of the book

To be able to “read” the A16 digital book, like any other such book, requires a certain familiarity with its structure, although the intent has been to make access to the browser edition as transparent as possible. One will find a detailed explanation of the page layout in the Mozan Sitewide digital book.

Briefly, the section accessed from the left hand side vertical bar (in red) is discursive and synthetic, and is presented using traditional concepts and terminology. The right hand side vertical bar (in black) is analytical and it embodies the UGR system proper.

For a synthetic overview of the main results of work in A16 please refer to the overview within the special Introduction to this digital book.

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