\ Samples and Specimens \ 561
1: L. Ramos, July 2009
Excavations at Tell Mozan have concentrated mostly on the high mound, in areas A and J with limited excavations in area F, B, OA, and C (excavated by Dr. Peter Pfaelzner). Human remains were found in all areas totaling over 229 combined inhumations, 160 from the UCLA team and 69 from the University of Tubingen team in area C, with the highest concentration dating to Old Jezira I-III (Khabur period) from areas A and C. This number does not refer to individuals buried at Mozan but the number of discretely excavated areas containing human bones which in some cases are partial skeletons or multiple burials. Analysis is currently being conducted on the 160 inhumations from the UCLA team with 118 assessed to date. Study from area C was conducted separately by Dr. Pfaelzner's team and is in press.|
The intention of performing osteological analysis on the inhabitants of ancient Mozan is to provide a deeper understanding beyond what their houses, artifacts, and streets may tell us. Through their bony remains, the goal is to reconstruct biographies of the individuals who died and in doing so, understand how they lived. The archaeological record plays a vital role in this endeavor as it provides a context to the remains, making them not only bones but people who were remembered, lamented, and cared for; people who once took part in daily experiences. As such, burying the dead is not simply a one-time deposit, which is often interpreted or experienced as archaeologists in the field. Human burial involves intention and should be viewed as a process. To understand the process of burial it is important to situate this analysis in a much broader anthropological framework that seeks to explore the funerary setting such as how the body was treated at death and post-depositional activity in addition to osteological analysis.
For a technical account of physical anthropology at Mozan see the relevant section of the UGR.