Excavation units

January 2010 - G. Buccellati
The home for this page is Mozan Sitewide
Digital book
Physiognomy of a unit
High Mound units


     A unit is the maximal area of excavation. It is identified by a letter that correspond to the zone, and by a sequential number that matches the temporal progression of the excavations. Only exceptionally is a unit identified by a two letter code, which is otherwise reserved for areas. The only two letter code used so far for a unit is BH.
     The unit label controls the indexing of every single element in the excavations. Thus any feature exposed in unit A1 will have the label A1f..., where the three dots stand for a sequential number from 1 to 9999. These are unique numbers that remain forever associated with that particular element, as its primary label.
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Digital book

     All the data connected with a given excavation unit constitute a digital book by the same name. Unit books are the backbone of the whole system, because they contain the record in its globality. The challenge is for the system to transcend the "arbitrariness" inherent in the fact that a unit is by definition a fragment of a larger whole that does not necessarily have a typological identity of its own. This is the problem faced in dealing with the concept of a narrative.
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Physiognomy of a unit

     Precisely because a unit is "arbitrary" in terms of its boundaries, which do not necessarily match those of the various typological realities discovered in the course of the excavation, it may seem to lack any marked sense of identity. In point of fact, however, each unit develops its own "physiognomy" which is of course related to the various typologies discovered, but is also defined by three other factors: the initial strategy reasons and expectations that determined the choice of the location; the history of the excavations; and the staff that has taken part in it.
     The physiognomy of each unit grows during the excavation, and it reflects primarily the perception developed by the staff. For each unit,we make an attempt to capture this perception in the Overview section which is found at the beginning of each digital book.
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High Mound units

     The following units have been opened on the High Mound since the beginning of the excavations (I do not give here a list of the units opened in the Outer City). I hope to be able eventually to develop a full Browser Edition for all these units. For now, the only units in a relatively advanced state of elaboration are the ones listed in the Global Record section of the Urkesh website..

A1-A2, A5-A20 Palace AA and strata above it,
Lower Sacral Area
A3-A4 top squares in step trench in Zone A
B1-B5 Temple BA
B6 trench sounding connecting BA with C2 (excavated by DOG team)
BH Expedition House
C1 ground truthing sounding
C2 wide area excavated by DOG team
E1 small superficial sounding for tent cables
F1 residential or administrative building
J1-7 Plaza and edge of Temple Terrace
K1-4 inner city wall to the east
Q1 small sounding to the west
S1 long and shallow strip for the electrical cable
S2 narrow, deep sounding for well
S4 construction of test mudbrick wall in Temple area
S5 construction of test stone wall in area of Expedition House
S6 construction of path between Plaza and Palace

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