OVERVIEW / PREFACE / $02
1: G. Buccellati, April 2011
IntroductionThe title of Maimonides' great work will serve as an invitation for those who come to the website with a specific intent and are "perplexed" by its complexity.
While I did strive for the underlying structure to be as transparent as possible, two factors do pose a difficulty. First, the amount of information is such that one cannot easily obtain a clear overview of the subjects included. Second, the nature of the presentation is intentionally different from what one normally expect in a website.
This "Guide" seeks to give a hint of the underlying "philosophy" and to explain briefly the operational design through which it is put in practice. I do this by describing the operative principles and tying them at the same time to specific examples. The latter illustrate procedures that can be followed in "studying" the subject matter covered by the website.
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Conceptual goalsThe website has the double goal of presenting the complete set of data pertaining to our excavations, while developing at the same time a series of interrelated arguments.
The data contain the totality of observations ever made during the excavations, and those derived from subsequent analysis. They are found in the section entitled RECORD. In this respect, they constitute a data base.
However, they are presented in ways that develop a narrative woven around the data. In this respect the RECORD constitutes an open report, which is always "preliminary" because open to constant, dynamic revisions, and yet always "final" because no observation of stratigraphic facts can ever be added.
This rests on a rigorous application of the distinction between emplacement and deposition. It is only the former that is susceptible of observation, and thus the only one to carry documentary weight.
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Operational goalsIt is, admittedly, "text heavy," but for reasons that are argued explicitly with reference to an intentional effort at producing a properly digital text.
The ultimate goal is to include the entire the record
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Introductory clips to the websiteI give here a selection of "guided tours" that will illustrate how to navigate the website in pursuit of specific topics. These clips are meant to give an idea of how to approach a given topic, and to encourage a reader to pursue accordingly the topic, using the website independently; they are not intended to develop the argument per se.
Introductory clips to the Urkesh Global RecordThe following clips illustrate the organization of the material within the Urkesh Global Record. Like the other clips in this section, they are not intended to develop the argument per se.