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Document Details :
Title: The 'Eanna Archive'
Author(s): VAN DRIEL, G.
Journal: Bibliotheca Orientalis
Volume: 55 Issue: 1-2 Date: januari - april 1998
Now that E. Gehlken has published the second of his volumes on the post-World War II excavated texts belonging to the Eanna Archive, it is opportune to initiate a discussion of what he rightly indicates as a much talked-about, but little debated and ill-defined subject: What constitutes the archive? The background of this archive also has a certain, sadly unwelcome, actuality in another respect.
First of all it should be stressed that the publication which provides the occasion for the following remarks is a labour of love, in that it requires a considerable perseverance on the part of the Author, while the real results are hardly discernible to the cursory reader. These texts, often little more than scraps, are, however, of great interest for several reasons, in the first place because they are the excavated remnants of an important institutional archive, secondly because in comparison to their size they are of disproportionate value in the reconstruction of that archive, as much of the material that can be connected directly with it, was removed by illegal excavators and, thirdly, because it compels us to reflect on the theme “excavated-unexcavated” at another level. A properly administrated excavation can save much information, even though the context has been destroyed.