This volume is devoted to the epigraphic finds from Giricano, a
tell in the Upper Tigris region of south-eastern Turkey. It is the
first of the final reports recording the excavations carried out at
this site between 1999 and 2003 by a team from Munich University
directed by Andreas Schachner. In this book Karen Radner publishes
an archive of fifteen cuneiform tablets that were found in a sealed
The texts constitute a coherent group of legal texts written within
one year and can be dated to the reign of Assur-bel-kala of Assyria
(1073–1056 B.C.). They deal with affairs in a specific type
of Middle Assyrian agricultural establishment, which was named
Dunnu-Sa-Uzibi and may be identified with the site of Giricano.
These texts deal with a time and place in history that hitherto was
almost completely unknown, the late second millennium in the Upper
Tigris region. In her publication Karen Radner integrates the new
data into the wider context of the ancient geography and the
history of the region and discusses the significance of this
archive for our knowledge of Assyrian legal practice and economy.
These texts also provide us with welcome new information on the
terminology for the production of bulghur (cracked wheat) and shed
some light on a largely undocumented stage in the development of
the Assyrian language.
In addition to Radner’s philological treatment, Andreas
Schachner presents a detailed study of the archaeological context
of the find and Michael Roaf describes the recovery and
preservation of the fragile texts, the first unfired clay tablets
to be unearthed in Turkey; his richly illustrated report will serve
as a valuable field manual to other archaeologists faced with a
similar task. In a concluding chapter, Radner and Schachner combine
archaeological and philological data in order to trace the
development of the settlement pattern in the Upper Tigris region
from the Mittani period to the Neo-Assyrian period and to
investigate the agricultural organisation of the area.