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Akh Purattim 1

Jean-Claude Margueron
Olivier Rouault
Pierre Lombard

General preface

Jean-Claude Margueron, Olivier Rouault et Pierre Lombard

Texte intégral

1The disappearance of the journal MARI (Mari, Annales de Recherches Interdisciplinaires) after its eighth edition in 1997 (more than four years after MARI 7) has left a void in the research conducted in the Euphrates valley, a void which has been deeply felt in the scientific community.

2The archaeological component of the editorial team found itself deprived of the support that it had put into place in 1979, at a time of a change in direction at the head of the Mari mission. The demands made by publication of archaeological research have greatly evolved sinc; it appeared difficult to repeat the formula, practiced by André Parrot, of a simple preliminary report at the end of each campaign. No general review, for example Syria, can absorb in its ordinary volumes all the written research related to the city of the middle Euphrates valley and its relations with other sites, research to which has been added that of Terqa. However, even in the absence of publication outlets, excavation continues and the archaeologists have pursued the preparation of studies which follow naturally from their activity. The accumulation of unpublished articles demanded a rapid solution.

3It thus seemed urgent to remedy the situation and define a new policy by creating a publication intended to become a meeting place for historical, archaeological, epigraphic and archaeometric research in the region which Mari dominated. Priority was given to the work undertaken by the different missions, French (Mari, Terqa, Masaîkh, Mashnaqa...) as well as foreign, in a geographic area extending from the Balikh valley to the Syrian-Iraqi frontier and including the Khabur.

4Thus arose the idea of founding a new periodical. The title proposed, Akh Purattim, “the banks of the Euphrates”, one of the expressions used in the 18th c. B.C. to designate the kingdom of Mari, can also be taken in the broadest geographical sense, which is much larger. The objective of this new publication is therefore to also cover research concerning various regions of the Near East having direct or indirect relations with the Euphrates valley, but always to favour a regional perspective aimed at identifying the characteristics of each culture. It is thus advisable to take into account not only the work carried out in the Syrian middle Euphrates in the periods when Mari dominated the region, but to examine as widely as possible the role of this confluence in Syro-Mesopotamian history throughout Antiquity.

5The subtitle, Mémoires d’archéologie et d’histoire régionales interdisciplinaires, emphasizes the double approach, archaeological and historical, as well as the area concerned. The rhythm of publication, except for the first two volumes, will be at a minimum once every two years, in order to assemble within a reasonably short time the results of the work carried out, in the form of preliminary reports concerning the excavations as well as the study of the material. Each volume will also include other types of contributions which not only concern recent work in the field, but go beyond the initial and essential documentary sources, and so take a resolutely historical approach.

6The editors

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