The existence of written records at a site is viewed with great joy because texts impart information that cannot be gleaned from other material remains. When no such texts are found, the archaeologists and other associated scholars must work that much harder to understand what happened at the site. One way this is done is by analyzing the remains of the site in light of other contemporary information, as has been done for Hasanlu in this issue. Contemporary sites of Assyria have produced historical texts recounting the activities of the Assryian kings that not only shed light on the period in general but on the area of Hasanlu in particular. It is only with an understanding of the nature of these texts and their inherent problems that they can be useful for this purpose.
© 1989 University of Pennsylvania Museum
The following appears in Expedition 31, no. 2-3 (1989): 64-66, doi: 22.214.171.124, and may be found at http://www.museum.upenn.edu/new/Zine/31.2-3.shtml