Cybernetica Mesopotamica

Archaeology: Aims

Giorgio Buccellati – June 2020

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arch. aims
Terqa
Urkesh
Empiricism and theory
Data: recovery and explanation
Emplacement, deposition, function, typology
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Hardware and theory

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Empiricism and theory

     My approach to digitality in archaeology has been marked by a close interaction between the empirical dimensions of field work and an explicit concern for theory. This meant on the one hand pursuing the excavations on a large scale (two major historical sites, large exposures, a numerous staff and workforce), and on the other pursuing at the same time an unrelenting search into how we could harness the empirical within a coherent theoretical framework.
     It is of course the age long interplay between inductive and deductive methods. But was happening here was a direct confrontation where the two proegressed in a lockstep manner, conditioning, limiting and stimulating each other every step of the way.
     It was therefore a long process. Instead of a predisposed research design or theoretical model that had to be tested in the gournd, we were progressing gradually, with a constant interchange between the two poles, adapting practice to theory and theory to practice as the excavation was unfolding.
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Data: recovery and explanation

     This also meant that there was always a double dimension to the process of data recovery.
     On the one hand, there was the traditional effort at understanding the nature of the new data that were coming out of the excavation: the function of an item, the reading of a text, the chronological assignment of strata, and so on.
     But alongside this, there was a second major effort: the "explanation" not just of the data as given, but of the process that was bringing them to light. We all came to learn, the hard way, what "methodology" means: the question of the "how" emerged more and more clearly with the same weight as the question of the "what."
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Emplacement, deposition, function, typology

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A browser edition

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Hardware and theory

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