Publishing Kenan Tepe with Open Context

We’re very pleased to announce the publication of a significant portion of the Kenan Tepe excavations. Excavations at Kenan Tepe, directed by Bradley Parker (University of Utah) and co-directed by Lynn Swartz Dodd (University of Southern California), represent part of the investigations of the  Upper Tigris Archaeological Research Project (UTARP). UTARP organized major excavation and survey programs aimed at defining archaeological correlates of ancient imperialism, colonialism and culture contact in an area that was, for much of Mesopotamian history, a frontier zone between the centralized states of Mesopotamia and the much less centralized cultures of its Anatolian periphery.

This initial release of Kenan Tepe data in Open Context represents the first installment of data and includes all Area F records where UTARP team members excavated twenty-two trenches of various sizes and depths in an effort to illuminate remains dating to the Late Chalcolithic period and Early Bronze Age at the site. Excavation records from further areas will be added in the near future to Open context and will be followed by the print publication of several final report volumes in the next few years.

UTARP’s  Area F data from Kenan Tepe can be accessed at the Alexandria Archive Institute’s Open Context website at:

Because the UTARP team had excellent data management, it was possible to more fully use many of Open Context’s features not commonly used in other projects. Archaeological documentation draws upon diverse structured data (esp. tabular data), less structured texts (diaries, journals), and media (drawings, photos, and other media types). The UTARP team kept excellent records and had very clear file-naming conventions that allowed us to link all of these different types of documentation together. This makes it easier to organize and navigate this large body of content. For example, one can follow links from top-plans to see day-to-day progress in excavation. See this example:




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