A. Site Conservation
1 – Overview

Giorgio Buccellati – July 2010

The nine chapters of this digital monograph may be grouped under three subheadings as follows.

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  1. Overview. – The current chapter provides a concise overview of the arguments treated.
  2. General principles. – I first review the basic criteria that guide my approach to site conservation and the mechanisms that have been set in place and have been tested over the years. Central to the task is the figure of the conservator, who must be not only well versed in the specific techniques, but also have a marked sensitivity for the archaeological setting.
  3. Environment. – The specific environmental situation that conditions our efforts must also be addressed.

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Specific goals

I will then present in detail the specific goals of my approach at Mozan, where I have developed a comprehensive approach to this issue.

  1. Methods. – The reflection about methods refers to the importance of safeguarding the document, i.e., the "ruin" as excavated and as distinct from the architectural reconstruction that approximates the ancient.
  2. Techniques. – The technical aspects are then reviewed in detail, in particular our distinctive system of localized shelters for walls and sections, the treatment of floors and stone walls, those interventions that alter the consistency of the original.
  3. Maintenance. – Without proper maintenance, the system is doomed to failure. A sustainable approach is being developed, which rests on the training of local assistants, including their ability to provide long distance reporting.
  4. Evaluation. – Finally, the nature of the evaluation process that we have set in place is presented, which builds on the data given in the section on the Record (chapter 9).

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The data

The Mozan system is neither restricted to theory, nor limited to a merely experimental phase. It has affected instead the totality of our excavations, over the full course of time during which we have been active at the site. A very large and exhaustive body of data has been collected, for which the browser edition serves as the ideal publication venue.

  1. History of the project. – Here, I will outline the various phases the system has undergone during its first twenty years.
  2. The record. – The amount of actual data from the field is so vast, and the detail so minute and technical, that it is reserved for the Urkesh Global Record (UGR) portion of the website. Chapter 9 in this monograph serves as a portal to the multiple sections of the Urkesh Global Record (UGR) where the data are found, specifically with regard to the Palace and the Temple (cf. also the dedicated digital books BT and AP).

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