1: G. Buccellati, February 2007


     As indicated at the very outset of this Preface, there are two main audiences to which the Urkesh website is addressed, the scholars and the broad public. Their immediate interests are distinct, and so is the tone of the presentation and especially the nature of the material.
     While these distinctions are significant and apparent, it is an important philosophical presuposition of the whole website that the "twain shall (in fact) meet." Rather, far from erecting a barrier between the two (for instance by proposing two websites, one for each audience), I have deliberately constructed the website as a seamless whole. The aim is that the broad public be encouraged to progressively access the more technical aspects, and, conversely, the scholars be enticed to review the wider perspectives.

     A key concept here is the distinction between general and generic, as well as that between technical and abstruse.
     A general presentation develops the higher nodes of understanding, and as such it contributes to original thought; while a generic approach obfuscates distinctions in what ends up being an often patronizing blur.
     Similarly, technical details may be embedded in a clear argument, so as to be profitably considered even by someone who does not control their full implications; while abstruse facts, however potentially valuable in themselves, may appear irrelevant when proposed for their own sake rather than in support of wells stated conclusions.