METHODOLOGY \ PRINCIPLES \ 313
1: G. Buccellati, May 2002

TECHNIQUES AND METHODS

     Techniques are concrete operations, which generally rely on tools. Some of the related technology is simply imported from outside archaeology, such as computer hardware or photography. We give here a technical description of the facilities available at Tell Mozan.
     Other techniques were developed specif­ically for our archaeological needs, such as conveyors for the evacuation of dirt or equipment for overhead photography. One will find here details about construction and use.

     It must be stressed, however, that the power of these techniques is proportional to the ability with which we integrate them in an overarching and coherent process.
     For example, photography is a technique everybody knows and uses. But random photos, however numerous, are useless. They must be tied to specific and articulate goals.
     True to the etymological value of the term, methods are “pathways open across” the data, to show us how to infuse meaning in what would otherwise remain opaque and amorphous.
     Thereby, we transform a mound of dirt into an analytically coherent whole, we transform a “datamass” into a database.
     Here one will find a presentation of the basic methodological concerns that inform our work at Tell Mozan, with particular regard to the two major areas of field work – the excavation proper and the analysis of the finds.