PYNQ: PYTHON PRODUCTIVITY FOR ZYNQ

What is the purpose of the base overlay?

My understanding is that an overlay is an FPGA reconfiguration. In that case why should one load a base overlay that loads the intended overlay, as it seems to be the ‘standard’ workflow?

The base overlay is like a reference design or an example. It gives you something to try “out-of-the-box”. It can be used for some projects.
If you don’t want to use it, you can load your own overlay.

Cathal