Thanks to the collaboration, enthusiasm and constant commitment of two of our Kurdish collaborators in Qamishli, we have started a campaign to raise awareness on the past and the landscape, which will touch all the 22 villages that are within the area of the eco-archaeological park.
Our goal is to explain to the local communities the importance of archeology, and in particular of Urkesh, for their present identity and for the development of future cultural, social and economic activities linked to the site. We also underline the importance of protecting the landscape and the local traditions – precious resources that should be preserved and maintained in good conditions, despite and actually because of the current difficult times, waiting for the moment when they can become a treasure to be valued for an economic and moral rebirth of the whole area.
in the Hajji Nasr village
in the Sabahia village
The results obtained from the first meetings are extremely encouraging: a large number of men, accompanied by women and children, listen carefully to the presentations of our collaborators, watch videos and images that tell them about Mozan and the Hurrian civilization, hear descriptions of the past excavation campaigns and of the materials found just a few kilometers away from their villages.
At the end of the presentations, the question is almost inevitable: "When will archaeologists return to dig at Urkesh?".
Men and women also ask how to preserve the fragile walls of the Tupkish Palace, how to protect the landscape around the archaeological site, which role in this process they have.
Finally, each village receives several copies of our publications in Arabic, English and Kurdish: in this way, we contribute to the creation of small local libraries, where the residents of these villages can go to read and research about the topics that they have heard in Amer's and Ristom's presentations.