the communities
  loyalty to the territory

     The hinterland is not just a territory.
      It is a habitat full of people and traditions that blend with this territory. They live with a mutual, deep and tenacious bond, which is based on being rooted in the landscape with all its resources.

the village of Mozan (left)
next to the archaeological site

a shepherd with his sheep
and Mozan in the background

     The archaeological "territory" is a novelty for the local inhabitants, brought to light by the excavations. But here too a lively and natural bond has been triggered. Because today's men and women, like those of yesterday, relate in a similar way to the territory, and "live" it as we never could.
     Even during the war years, we are carrying out an intense program of valorization of this natural relationship, which aims to increase the awareness for this link, and therefore the consequent "loyalty" towards it. In particular, we have set in motion a series of initiatives that we carry out in close collaboration with friends and colleagues in the Mozan region:

  • Traveling Conferences: Local members of our staff go to each of the 22 villages around the site to explain the value that the archeology of ancient Urkesh has for them
  • Guided visits to the site: We organize bus tours for men, women and children of the villages
  • Guided visits to exhibitions: The same for the exhibitions that we set up in the nearby city of Qamishli
  • Guide to the site in three languages: We have published a booklet introducing the site in English, Arabic and Kurdish, and simpler flyers that we distribute to visitors for free
  • Local small libraries: Three books on our site are currently available in each of the 22 villages; this creates points of information and a sense of pride and belonging
  • Scholarships:We are considering the possibility of offering financial help to the young people of the villages so that they may attend the university.
     The purpose is to encourage a sensitivity for the valor of the landscape in which they live and inside which the ancient history of Urkesh and its hinterland took place. The big and the "small" story thus merge into a single vision.
     The most significant aspect of this phase of our work is that all the initiatives start from the bottom: the process is entirely shared at every moment, to obtain a truly and fully organic result.