the recognition of value

     Today, we use the term "invention" in the (etymologically grounded) sense of discovering the nature of a thing.
     In this sense, the primary "invention" of Urkesh is the one resulting from the excavations which brought the city to light after millennia of oblivion.
     But there is also what we may call the secondary "invention" of Urkesh, namely the discovery of the living and modern reality of the ancient site in its current context. During these last years of war, it is of course this new "invention" that has dominated the attention in the academic world.
     The intrinsic value of the work carried out in Mozan emerges, thus, as a model of "best practices", i.e. of the best way to do things.
     Four highly significant awards have pinpointed the gradual emergence of awareness in the academic world for our approach. The four awards have come at some very distinct and crucial moments for the history of our project.

     2006. - Even before the war, the preventive approach to the conservation of the site and to the potential that this had for its preservation also on a social level, was recognized by the World Monument Fund, which registered our site on its list of the hundred endangered sites in 2006, and contributed to carry out the system of conservation of walls and presentation of the site to the public in 2009.

     2011. - Just two months before the beginning of the war, in January 2011, the project received the Archaeological Institute of America award for the site preservation program. This was the first edition of the program, and therefore Urkesh / Mozan has had the honor of having opened an illustrious series of projects that will subsequently be rewarded in a similar manner.

     2017. – At the end of the phase against ISIS of the war in Syria, the project received an award from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences: a medal for research, conferred on the occasion of the Shanghai Archeology Forum. The emphasis in this case has been particularly on the way in which the project can contribute to the theoretical dimension of the preservation of archaeological sites in their current contexts.

     2020. – Almost 10 years after the last archaeological campaign on the site, the project has developed various activities, including an educational project that has been shortlisted for one of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes. These awards, conceived within the framework of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards, are organised by Europa Nostra in collaboration with the European Commission, and are widely recognised as the most important European awards in the field of cultural heritage.

     2021/2022. – This year, Giorgio Buccellati and Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati have been awarded the very prestigious "2021 Balzan Prize"; this represents a kind of important watershed for the different project related to Urkesh/Tell Mozan, since this important award fostered the engagement of the whole community to a very high level. To stay updated with the progress of this phase of the project, you can visit the Cybernetica Mesopotamica website, specifically designed for this phase.

     2022. – The "Urkesh One-on-One" program, promoted by AVASA and IIMAS, received this year the "2022 Institutional Archaeological Heritage Prize" from the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA). This is a concrete sign of how engaging the youngsters in the heritage of the cultural past always deserves our best efforts and commitment.