1
Historical Development of the Grammar

June 2010 - G. Buccellati
[December 2022 - M. De Pietri]
A Digital Monograph
The home for this page is GRAMMAR



Table of contents

1.1: Background
1.2: Early formalizations
1.3: Consolidation of the theory
1.4: Public presentations
1.5: Current formalization
1.6: Publications
1.7: Field Encoding Manual (1996)


1.1: Background

     The beginnings of my interest in this subject goes back to the beginning of field work undertaken under my direction at Terqa. Excavations began there in 1976, and by 1978 we already had in place some of the earliest versions of micro-computers, as they were called in contrast with mainframe and mini-computers (the later being mid-size machines). In fact, they were not micro at all in size, though they were so in digital power. But the concomitant beneficial effect of these limitations was that my attention was constantly directed at the importance of the theoretical framework above and beyond the niceties of the machines.
     While the intellectual goals were clear in my mind since the early stages of my effort, published references have been minimal. The main reason for this has been the need to accompany the theory with a substantial and fully coherent body of data that would exemplify the application of the theory. (During my fieldwork, the recurrent physical proximity to ancient city walls often emerged for me as a metaphor – just like the system presented here, a city wall makes sense only if it is complete, without a breach however minimal: a partially completed building can be used, but not a partially completed city-wall.)
     Development of the grammar went hand in hand with the training of the staff to implement its objectives. If the long gestation of the project could unfold in spite of the darkness which seemed to loom on the horizon, much of the credit is due to the patience and loyalty of the staff. To them goes my heartfelt gratitude. This is particularly true because, in retrospect, one can say that the system was aimed since it was first conceived towards a digital implementation such as has become possible only with the introduction of such environmental conditions as browsers, large data storage, digital photography, graphic capabilities – none of which was available during the first several years of my work.
     It is clear that the development of the Grammar went hand in hand with that of the UGR. Here, I will describe especially those aspects that affected the formation of the theoretical, grammatical scaffoding on which the UGR ultimately depends.

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1.2: Early formalization

[TEXT TO BE WRITTEN; ZGz05 mDP]

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1.3: Consolidation of the theory

[TEXT TO BE WRITTEN; ZGz05 mDP]

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1.4: Public presentations

[TEXT TO BE WRITTEN; ZGz05 mDP]

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1.5: Current formalization

[TEXT TO BE WRITTEN; ZGz05 mDP]

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1.6: Publications

[TEXT TO BE WRITTEN; ZGz05 mDP]

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1.7: Field Encoding Manual (1996)

     Many aspects of the theory about archaeological field work are explained in the "Field Encoding Manual" (FEM), dating 1996.

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