Mapping Graffiti

The ongoing mapping of the Musawwarat graffiti corpus suggests that many of the graffiti were not placed randomly across the Great Enclosure. Some motifs appear to cluster on specific walls or sections of the monument. Possible reasons behind the positioning of the Musawwarat graffiti can be investigated once mapping of the entire corpus is completed.

There are some biases, however, which any study of motif distribution at the Great Enclosure will need to take into account. Due to the prevailing north-easterly winds there is a greater likelihood that south-facing walls and their graffiti are well-preserved, while north- and east-facing wall surfaces and their graffiti are often heavily eroded. In order to be able to judge to what extent distribution patterns are due to choice in graffiti placement or rather due to preservation, an evaluation of the state of preservation of each wall and each block surface is a standard part of the documentation strategy.

Side Photo
Mapping of blocks on a wall-by-wall basis (photo: Cornelia Kleinitz, 2013)

Side Photo
Graffiti mapping using a DGPS (photo: Heinz Rüther, 2009)