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Archaeological Investigations on the Uruk Mound, Abu Salabikh, Iraq

  • Susan Pollock


The 1987 field season was the first full season of work on the Uruk Mound at Abu Salabikh (see Postgate & Moon 1984 and Pollock 1987 for discussions of previous work). The interests and questions guiding this work center on the political economy of the Uruk period—the ways in which decisions of a political nature structure, and are structured by, economic activities. Our work thus far has provided preliminary insights into patterns of production, distribution, and consumption of both craft and subsistence goods. Because our samples are relatively small, the results of this season's work must be viewed as suggestive rather than definitive. The reader should also bear in mind that the analytical and interpretive study of the material is still underway. Fuller discussions of the work will be presented elsewhere (Pollock n.d. a, n.d. b).

In the 1987 season 2280 m2 of the mound was surface collected and 1805 m2 was scraped, mostly in 10 × 10 m units (Fig. 1). The scraping enabled us to further elucidate the plan of a large, well-constructed building in the 3D95 grid square that was first identified in 1985 (Pollock 1987). To the north of this building, we followed out an area of solid brick construction, revealing the remains of a mudbrick platform more than 55 × 32 m in extent. On the west edge of the mound, in grid squares 2C12–13, 23–24, we also found a massive brick construction, approximately 17 m wide. Its location near the mound's edge is suggestive of a town wall, but until we trace it further this idea remains highly speculative. Elsewhere, the scraping revealed either little in the way of coherent architecture or enigmatic areas of brick that do not at present yield any meaningful architectural plans.



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