The Dignity of the Dead: The Case of Ancient Urkesh and Modern Tell Mozan

Authors: Kharobi, A.

Journal: Paleorient

Volume: volume 43.2

Pages: 165-175

ISSN: 0153-9345

The site of Tell Mozan lies tucked in the northeast corner of modern day Syria, located between the Tigris and the Euphrates River, an area known as Mesopotamia. Evidence recovered inside the royal palace identified the site as the ancient city of Urkesh, an important urban centre of the ethnic group known as the Hurrians. This paper focuses on the graves of the Middle Bronze Age showing signs of bone manipulation likely linked to ritual gestures (respect for the ancestor, kispum, etc.). Our analysis, based on the taphonomy of burials, shows that re-opening of some burials occurred, which is not fully in accordance with Middle Bronze Age texts discovered in Mesopotamia.

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