MZ sitewide

MZ Excavations / Stratigraphy

Stratigraphy of the built environment

Giorgio Buccellati – November 2006, March 2024

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Basic goals

It should be stressed that a stated aim of the Urkesh Global Record is to fix in published form, first and foremost, the stratigraphic context in which the data fit. Such immediacy is the only way, I feel, to bring us closer to the ideal of objectivity – the goal being for the original observations about emplacement and deposition to be public before and instead of being filtered through a functionally and typologically oriented crystallization process. At the same time, the system allows for practically unlimited possibilities to include at any later date the results of in-depth typological analysis.

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Stratigaphy: frame and sequences

The system aim to harmonize the narrower scope of an individual excavation unit or excavation area with the wider scope of the site as a whole. We refer to the unit or area system as a “sequence” and to the site system as a “frame.”

The frame defines horizons and phases, which are shared by all sequences. Sequences define the strata.

Each sequence or frame is identified first by the label of the proper digital book, i. e., MZ for for the sitewide frame, and the digital book label for the individual unit, e.g. A15, or for an area book, e.g. AA.

The wider frame is further identified by a letter following the prefix MZ. The current frame is MZA.

The area sequence is further identified by the area label followed by a letter, e.g., JPD.

The unit sequence is similarly identified by the unit label followed by a letter, e.g. A15A.

This may be summarized as follows:

frame sequence
area unit
digital book MZ AA
full label
with version
relates to horizons
and phases

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