Cybernetica Mesopotamica
Archaeology

Giorgio Buccellati – June 2020

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arch. aims
Terqa
Urkesh

     Practically all our evidence for Mesopotamian civilization comes out of the ground, especially in Iraq and Syria. And at first glance, it seems simple to think of the artefacts that have been so dicovered as our "data": this building here, or that object there.
     To some extent this is correct: these are indisputable data, which we can then analyze according to refined typologies and compartaive studies.
     But the fundamental task of archaeology lies upstream of the typology of the "found" items. It is to document how these items were found in the ground. It is out of their contact association in the great matrix of the soil, that all subsequent conclusions must rest. It is to this aspect, to the "emplacement" of things in the ground that we must turn in a search for objectivity in archaeology.
     The first section refers briefly to the theoretical scaffolding that must govern our excavation in order to achieve this goal.
     What follows is a brief introduction to two field projects, Terqa and Urkesh where, in different ways, we have experimented in the concrete pursuits of those theroetical aims.
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