1: G. Buccellati, July 2009

A chapter of the digital monograph: Site Presentation

Reading stands



     Individual small posters are placed at a variety of places within the excavations. I call them "reading stands" because of their look, similar to that of the stands used for playing music instruments. Conceptually, I consider them like footnotes on a printed page: they provide important additional detail, but they can be read or skipped depending on interest and time availability.
     For casual visitors, they anticipate questions, stimulate latent interests and direct the attention to points of detail. Even a visitor in a rush knows that something deserves more reflection, and the very availability of the information encourages further thoughtful and unhurried visits.
     For interested visitors, the "footnotes" offer the possibility to study the site as one would a book. It is in this sense that conservation and site presentation go hand in hand: what is explained ought to be visible in its original state, as it was when first excavated. Then the site itsef is effectively presented in this full documentary power.
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     The reading stands are a central component of the Mozan presentation system, because of the following characteristics.
  1. Flexibility. – Physically, the reading stands are adaptable to any situation in the ground.
  2. Graduated detail. – Conceptually, they can reflect a number of different types of information and ranges of detail, thereby addressing each audience at its proper level.
  3. Unobtrusiveness. – Small in size and slight in shape, they are noticeable only for those who want to see them.
  4. Direct relevance. – Being placed next to the feature they illustrate, the reading stands provide a one on one commentary with an immediate link to the pertinent monument.
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     There are at present twenty-five reading stands, divided into four clusters. They follow the narrative proposed by the itinerary and highlighted by the signposts.
  1. The first cluster includes two welcoming stands found, one at the base of the High Mound, and the other by the entrance to the Expedition House.
  2. The second cluster includes seven reading stands, centered around the Temple and the Temple Terrace.
  3. The third cluster includes eleven reading stands, centered around the Tupkish Palace.
  4. The fourth cluster includes five reading stands, strung along the way from the palace back to the Expedition House.
     The translation into Arabic is by Rasha Endari with the assistance of Yasmine Mahmoud.