Methods and techniques

Giorgio Buccellati – January 2010

     This section is currently in preparation ("under construction"). Work on it is planned for phase two of the website project.
     It will deal with innovative aspects of the Terqa project which, in retrospect, are especially interesting in terms of the history of archaeology. They were, in fact, experimental in nature, and they attest to a moment when not only new tools (the computer in particular) but also new sensitivities were developing in our discipline.
     The most far-reaching of these development was the introduction of the computer to field work. Ours was the first archaeological project to do so in Syria, and the experience had profound implications for the whole conceptual restructuring of the methods of excavation. This will be highlighted in detail, especially as it serves as a background to the development of the system now fully operational in the Urkesh Global Record (ID tupkish, PW urkeshbeta). An important anticipation was the detailed plotting of the findspot of tablets in the House of Puzurum, which proposed some of the goals now addressed by GIS systems.
     Another aspect of computer applicatios is the way in which the cuneiform texts fom Terqa were published. The proper digital coding of the transliterated texts is given here in the section devoted to textual data base.
     A preview is also given at this stage of another dimension of our project that was in the vanguard of methodological innovation. Our audio-visual modules provided a conceptual anticipation of what eventually came to be known as the multi-media environment.
     Other important aspects of methodological innovation that will be developed in the second phase of the website project are conservation, site presentation, remote sensing.