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The Density of Types and the Dignity of the Fragment. A Website Approach to Archaeological Typology.use asterix (*) to get italics
Giorgio Buccellati and Marilyn Kelly-BuccellatiPlease use the format "First name initials family name" as in "Marie S. Curie, Niels H. D. Bohr, Albert Einstein, John R. R. Tolkien, Donna T. Strickland"
<p>Typology hinges on categorization, and the two main axes of categorization are the roster and the lexicon: the first defines elements from an -emic, and the second from an (e)-tic point of view, i. e., as a closed or an open system, respectively. Archaeology poses a special problem with regard to the -emic dimension, since it deals essentially with broken traditions, i. e., with cultural wholes for which there are no living carriers. Dealing with this problem entails that one should engage in a very intensive type of distributional analysis, where density plays a major role. – Having so defined the universe of data, we deal with the question of how best to articulate and communicate the results. We propose in this regard the use of the website as a privileged epistemic system, one that allows to preserve the dignity of the fragment in its singularity while at the same time offering a full-fledged representation of the larger typological classes. The notion of digital discourse makes it possible to integrate the data within the flow of a coherent multi-planar argument. – The paper explains these principles using concrete evidence from Urkesh, one of the earliest known urban sites in Syro-Mesopotamia, with an excavated ceramic record of close to one million items.</p>
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Antiquity, Theoretical archaeology
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2023-03-17 09:11:46
Shumon Tobias Hussain