MZ Sitewide

MZS synthetic view / Integrative / Periodization


Giorgio Buccellati – May 2024

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The following basci terms and concepts are discussed in te Grammar:

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MZA basic frame

The basic frame was established by Federico Buccellati during the 2011 study season. It is the frame that has served ever since as the basic chronological frame of reference for hte chrolonologcial organization of the data from the excavation, and to which all strata sequences relate.

The letter A in MZA refers to the fact that this is the first such frame. Others will follow as new excavations are undertaken at the site

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Strata and phases are defined primarily in terms of stratigraphic correlations, and, in the case of phases, by typological considerations as well. Horizons, on the other hand, are broad units of reference relating spatial elements in terms of a temporal sequence, but their definition is based on a variety of other types of evidence as well. Thus the linkage to epigraphic information coming from other sites is used to establish an association with a broader scheme of reference, which pertains in the first place to absolute chronology, and then to a variety of other factors (geographical, ethnic, ideological, etc.).

For example, letters from a “man (ruler) of Urkesh” addressed to his overlord the king of Mari, and found in the royal archives of that city, allow us to assume that some of the strata found in Mozan and datable to the same period may give evidence of the same people who are mentioned in those letters.1 Analogously, the close similarity of certain domestic items (the “andirons”) found at Mozan with others found in the Anatolian highlands suggests both a geographical and an ideological bracketing between the two areas, at given time periods.2

The relationship between strata, phases and horizons may be charted as follows:

strata phases horizons
type of evidence stratigraphic typological integrative

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Cross-units and cross-sequences

The correlation
explain cross-units, as: across units; ~ cross-cultural ~cross-country
compare cross horizon in ceramics; check cross data
kept current
Ceramics cross horizons

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     1See my abstract of J. R. Kupper, Lettres royales du temps de Zimri-Lim, Archives Royales de Mari 28. Paris: Éditions Recherches sur les Civilisations, 1998.
     2See M. Kelly-Buccellati, "Andirons at Urkesh: New Evidence for the Hurrian Identity of Early Transcaucasian Culture," in A. Sagona, ed A View from the Highlands: Archaeological Studies in Honour of Charles Burney. Peeters, 2004, pp. 67-89.

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