The Public Impact

Posted in: Archaeology and Politics, Cultural Heritage and Property
Tags: Archaeology, Syria
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At the Secondary Context I workshop,  Dr. Giorgio Buccellati spoke movingly of his commitment to the people who live in Mozan ( the village for which the tell that covers ancient Urkesh is named). He and his colleagues have collaborated with those who live in Mozan and work the land nearby to create an innovative program that involves both populace and excavators. Small wonder that the site survives intact, a monument to culture, to a people, and to a tradition that endures.
-Rick HAUSER, Research Associate
IIMAS The International Institute for Mesopotamian Area Studies

The Public Impact
Giorgio Buccellati
Mozan/Urkesh Archaeological Project (Tell Mozan, Syria)
March—June 2011

Times of turmoil encourage an intense reflection on the ultimate validity of our field work in foreign lands. Identified as we become with the people, committed as we are to recover their territorial past, engaged as we still remain in the more esoteric dimensions of our research — the question of relevance emerges with urgency. (more…)

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2 Comments for : The Public Impact
    • Lynn Dodd
    • April 11, 2012

    Dear Rick

    First of all, I commend you for being an organizer of a conversation at ASOR's annual meeting about issues that related to this month's blog entry. I read your comment to the post about Prof. Hallote's class trip to the Met. You say: "It does baffle me that colleagues should not see the connection between Buccellati’s efforts and the illegal antiquities trade."

    Are you referring to specific instances where colleagues have resisted this work and approach at Mozan/Urkesh?



    • Rick HAUSER
    • April 11, 2012

    Thank you, Lynn. ASOR has lent us great support for the Workshop on SECONDARY CONTEXT.

    And, as to what "specific instances" I was thinking about—

    I actually was thinking of our own efforts (me and my co-chairs) as we were designing the Workshop.

    Our initial focus was of course on material culture and the ethics of studying objects with no known origin. We were concerned that bringing the local populace (in several different situations) into the equation was, if not peripheral, then at the least challenging to conceptualize as an actual tool in the ongoing "battle" to stem the flow of illegal antiquities.

    We eventually began to see this work, complex as it is, as central to the looting question and as a meaningful way to address the flood of artifacts torn from context (which is where we began).

    I am glad the editors saw fit to publish the piece. There is of course much more to discuss. This blog will provide a forum for such collegial exchange.

    Cheers—and congrats, too!!

    RAH [Rick]

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