E-LIBRARY / PROJECT PUBLICATIONS / 912b.htm
G. Buccellati, 2002-2010.
L. Recht, 2013-2017.
M. De Pietri, 2018-.
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ARTICLES - ALPHABETICAL

     Alphabetical list of articles published by staff members using primary data provided by the Expedition. Where available, click on the date to see the printed copy in PDF format. If an online version is independently available, click on the appropriate link below the title (all titles are lastly accessed on 19/12/2019).
     Information about each author can be easily found on page Authors index, by clicking on the word 'Info' placed after the authors' surnames.
     A brief summary of the content is provided after each bibliographical entry and in some cases wider abstracts are offered. In these abstracts, sized in paragraphs, some peculiar keywords or relevant passages are bolded to strees the topic of each section.
     When a review of a publication is available, it is indicated within curly brackets, with the link to the review itself.

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    Y    Z


Bonetti, S.
Buccellati, G.
2003


“Conservation at the Core of Archaeological Strategy: The Case of Ancient Urkesh at Tell Mozan,”
Conservation, The Getty Conservation Institute Newsletter 18, pp. 18-21.
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Alternative online version
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A new concept of 'conservation' is presented in this paper, describing innovative conservation technique adopted at Tell Mozan. To fulfil this goal, a strict relationship and collaboration between archaeologists, restorers and conservation is developed.
[mDP – November 2019]
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Buccellati, F.
1998

“3-D Rendering and Animation at Tell Mozan/Urkesh,”
in Giorgio Buccellati and Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati (eds.),
Urkesh and the Hurrians,
Urkesh/Mozan Studies 3,
Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 26, Malibu: Undena Publications, pp. 51-62.
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New technologies (such as CAD and XRF) can be applied on fiel dand laboratory to achieve a better analysis of both architectural remains and archaeological artefacts. As for structures, 3D renderings can provide archaeologists with a full -volumetrical reconstruction of arcient buildings and 3D pictures support an in-depth study of objects and finds, also allowing a more 'readable' view on structures and artefacts.
[mDP – November 2019]
2001 “Digital Photography and Architectural Modeling as Elements of Conservation,”
in Sophie Bonetti (ed.),
Gli Opifici di Urkesh.
Papers read at the Round Table in Florence, Novembre 1999.
Urkesh/Mozan Studies 4,
Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 27, Malibu: Undena Publications, pp. 83-88.
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Today, digital technologies (and above all digital photography) supplies with new elements towards a better study and conservation of structures and objects (both for what concernes the material and the form of an object). Furthermore, CAD and allows to develop images of a 'architectural objects', making possible a registration of data within a three-dimensional reality.
[mDP – November 2019]
2010 “The Monumental Temple Terrace at Urkesh and its Setting,”
in J. Becker, R. Hempelmann, and E. Rehm (eds.), Kulturlandschaft Syrien - Zentrum und Peripherie - Festschrift für Jan-Waalke Meyer, AOAT 371, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, pp. 71-85.
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The monumental Temple Terrace of Tell Mozan is deeply analyzed in this contribution, describing its architectural stracture and the function of some of its major buildings.
[mDP – November 2019]
2012 “Wie wird ein Palast gebaut und warum?,”
in P. Breunig and C. Trümpler (eds.),
Werte im Widerstreit. Von Bräuten, Muscheln, Geld und Kupfer. Ausstellungskatalog Wiesbaden, Frankfurt am Main: Goethe-Universität, pp. 31-34.
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The analysis and contextualization of the major buildings of ancient Urkesh can provide scholars with a better definition of the history of the site. Indeed, the Royal Palace and its finds (most of all the sealings) support a historical importance of the mound in ancient times, and mostly between 2400-1800 BC.
[mDP – November 2019]
2014a “Understanding Households - A Few Thoughts,”
in F. Buccellati, T. Helms and A. Tamm (eds.), Houses and Households in ancient Mesopotamia, Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 35-42.
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Households at Urkesh are investigated in this paper under an anthropo-archaeological perspective comparing the site with other cities and mostly with the so-called 'Fortress of Elephant Hunter', in Burkina Faso.
[mDP – November 2019]
2014b “Diachronic Developments at the Central Monumental Complex of Ancient Urkesh (Tell Mozan),”
in P. Bieliński, M. Gawlikowski, R. Kolinski, D. Lawecka, A. Soltysiak and Z. Wygnanska(eds.),
Proceedings of the 8th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East. 30 April ü 4 May 2012, University of Warsaw. Volume 1. Plenary Sessions, Township and Villages, High and Low. The Minor Arts for the Elite and for the Populace, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, pp. 313-319.
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The central monumental complex represented by the Temple Terrace at Urkesh is here described as for its architectural components and functions, together with the role played by sealing practices attested from the Royal Palace of king Tupkish.
[mDP – November 2019]
2019 “Perception in Palatial Architecture: The Case of the AP Palace at Urkesh,”
in Manfred Bietak, Paolo Matthiae and Silvia Prell (eds.),
Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Palaces. Volume II.
Proceedings of a workshop held at the 10th ICAANE in Vienna, 25-26 April 2016
, CAENL 8.
Harrassowitz Verlag: Wiesbaden, pp. 31-40.
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This paper contributes in providing a description on how the perception of architecture can be retrieved and understood on the base of the archaeological and architectonical evidence. The author offers a 'perceptional description' of the Royal Palace AP at Urkesh, underlining how it was a focal point in the landscape of Urkesh, with specific functional issues, such as the storage of materials and the public displaying of the royal power.
[mDP – December 2019]
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Buccellati, F.,
Dell'Unto, N., Forte, M.
2005



“The Tell Mozan/Urkesh Archaeological Project: an Integrated Approach of Spatial Technologies,”
in Maurizio Forte (ed.),
The Reconstruction of Archaeological Landscapes through Digital Technologies, Oxford: BAR International, pp. 171-183.
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See abstract
Archeological structures and remains in general can be currently investigated thanks to modern technologies leading to a better analysis and recording of the data (within the concept of a 'Browser Edition') and to a more effective strategy of conservation. The most important techniques of topographical relief are deeply presented in this paper, offering an overview on some practical applications at Tell Mozan.
[mDP – November 2019]
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Buccellati, G.
NOTE
1990


“'River Bank,' 'High Country' and 'Pasture Land': The Growth of Nomadism on the Middle Euphrates and the Khabur,”
in S. Eichler, M. Wäfler, D. Warburton (eds.), Tell al-Hamidiyah 2, Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, pp. 87-117.
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The history of ancient Khabur region is displayed and discussed in this paper, focusing on some of the most relevant sites in the area (included Urkesh), taking into account both the archaeological and the textual evidence, hinting to a re-definition of the concept and the practical realization of 'nomadism' in ancient Northern Syria.
[mDP – November 2019]
Buccellati, G.
1997


“Syria in the Bronze Age,”
in W.G. Dever, C.L. Meyers, J.D. Muhly, D. Pardee, J.A. Sauer (eds.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archeology in the Near East, Vol. 5, New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 126-131.
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A short introduction to the Syrian archaeology in the Bronze Age.
[mDP – May 2022]
1998 “Urkesh as Tell Mozan: Profiles of the Ancient City,”
in Giorgio Buccellati and Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati (eds.), Urkesh and the Hurrians, Urkesh/Mozan Studies 3, Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 26, Malibu: Undena Publications, pp. 11-34.
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The author sketches in this paper an overview on the basic topographical display of ancient Urkesh, defining the position of the major structures and discussing the expansion of the city from the core to its periphery, outlining some wider insediamental traits in the area of Tell Mozan.
[mDP – November 2019]
1999a “Urkesh and the Question of Early Hurrian Urbanism,”
in M. Hudson and B. A. Levine (eds.), Urbanization and Land Ownership in the Ancient Near East, Peabody Museum Bulletin 7, Cambridge: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography/Harvard University, pp. 229-250.
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The basic urbanization mechanisms at Urkesh are presented in this contribution, focusing on the development during time of a more complex social situation, based on the Palace institution. Comparisons with other adjacent towns are offered, complemented with quotations from textual sources (mostly of the mythological genre), such as the Myth of Silver.
[mDP – November 2019]
1999b “The Royal Storehouse of Urkesh,”
in Michel Fortin (ed.), Syria, Land of Civilizations, Quebec: Musée de la Civilization, p. 170.
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A brief but effective description of the system of the Royal Storehouse of Urkesh, specifically focusing on the function of sealing practices at the site.
[mDP – February 2021]
2000a “Urkesh: archeologia, conservazione e restauro,”
Kermes 13, pp. 41-48.
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Restoration techniques newly developed at Tell Mozan for the conservation of ancient buildings are here presented and discussed, underlining the usefulness of this system both for scholars studying the site and for visitors or tourists visiting its ancient remains.
[mDP – November 2019]
2000b “La figlia di Naram-Sin,”
Urkesh Folio, 1 (2000), 6 plates.
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Italian version
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The sealings from Urkesh belonging to the daugther of Naram-Sin, Tar’am-Agade are the topic of the present contribution. Their discovery places Urkesh a one of the most important city of the second-half of the third millennium BC, when the royal family of Urkesh strenghted his power by means of a dynastic and wedding alliance with the Akkadian Empire.
[mDP – November 2019]
2002 “Beyond Clay and Beyond Paper,”
Backdirt, Fall 2002/Winter 2003, pp. 4-5.
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The paper briefly describes how the development at Tell Mozan of the 'Urkesh Global Record' digital system deeply contributed in the recording and diffusion of data through the web, including the site within a modern 'digital thought' of archaeology.
[mDP – November 2019]
2003 “A LU E School Tablet from the Service Quarter of the Royal Palace AP at Urkesh,”
Journal of Cuneiform Studies 55, pp. 45-48.
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The tablet labelled as A1j1, found in 1992 campaign at Urkesh and reporting a LU E school text, is presented in this contribution, comparing this item with other specimens found elsewhere.
[mDP – November 2019]
2004 Review of: “Anonymus (ed.), La civiltà dei Hurriti, La parola del passato. Rivista di studi antichi, vol. 55 Napoli: Gaetano Macchiaroli, 2000, pp. 424,”
Die Welt des Orients, pp. 209-214.
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This review provides the reader with a specific comment on a monography entirely devoted to the topic of the Hurrians' ethnical definition, collecting information and suggestion from papers by many authors (mostly Giorgieri, Pecorella and Salvini).
[mDP – November 2019]
2005a “The Monumental Urban Complex at Urkesh,”
Studies on the Civilization and Culture of the Nuzi and the Hurrians 15, General Studies and Excavations at Nuzi 11/1, pp. 3-28.
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The purpose of this paper is the publication of the outcomings of the 16th excavation season at Tell Mozan (2003) focused on the exploration of the monumental urban complex of the ancient city of Urkesh, underlining the importance of some peculiar structures, such as the necromantic pit intended by archaeologists as a KASKAL.KUR.
[mDP – November 2019]
2005b “The Perception of Function and the Prehistory of the State in Syro-Mesopotamia,”
in Brian D. Dillon and Matthew A. Bost (eds.), Archaeology Without Limits. papers in Honor of Clement W. Meighan, Lancaster (California): Labyrinthos, pp. 481-492.
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Urban revolution and its role towards the development of hurban society in ancient Northern Syria are discussed in this paper, retracing the different steps of this phaenomenon and analyzing its social impact on inhabitants and the general regional framework.
[mDP – November 2019]
2006a “Conservation qua Archaeology at Tell Mozan/Urkesh,”
in N. Agnew and J. Bridgland (eds.), Of the Past, for the Future: Integrating Archaeology and Conservation, Proceedings of the Conservation Theme at the 5th World Archaeological Congress, Washington D.C. 22-26 June 2003, Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute, pp. 73-81.
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The destructive nature of the archaeological work needs for the development of proper registration of data and the following conservation of the uncovered structures. The innovative conservation system firstly applied at Urkesh is here deeply described, stressing the benefits of this new setup od the archaeological site, perceived as an archaeological park as a whole.
[mDP – November 2019]
2006b “Presentation and Interpretation of Archaeological Sites: the Case of Tell Mozan, Ancient Urkesh,”
in N. Agnew and J. Bridgland (eds.), Of the Past, for the Future: Integrating Archaeology and Conservation, Proceedings of the Conservation Theme at the 5th World Archaeological Congress, Washington D.C. 22-26 June 2003, Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute, pp. 152-156.
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After the proper excavation process, archaeologists are required to act towards two goals: the interpretation and preservation of the excavated structures and material and the presentation of the site to the wider public of scholars and tourists. The different strategies of preservation and presentation of Tell Mozan are here briefly outlined.
[mDP – November 2019]
2006c “An Archaeologist on Mars,”
in Seymour Gitin, J. Edward Wright and J.P. Dessel (eds.), Confronting the Past. Archaeological and Historical Essays on Ancient Israel in Honor of William G. Dever, Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, pp. 17-21.
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The problem of interpretation of archaeological remains is the core topic of this contribution, discussing on the perspective that any archaeologist has to apply both on the field and in the later post-excavation process. Culture is here defined as an entity nneding for a proper understanding by both specialists and common visitors, being able to re-link the archaeological remains with their original 'broken tradition'.
[mDP – November 2019]
2006d “A Browser Edition of the Royal Palace of Urkesh: Principles and Presuppositions,”
in P. Butterlin et al. (eds.), Les espaces syro-mésopotamiens: dimensions de l'experience humaine au proche-orient ancien : volume d'hommage offert à Jean-Claude Margueron, Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 49-55.
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The recording system for data from Tell Mozan's excavation bases on a digital perspective structured within the frame of the so-called 'Urkesh Global Record', a 'browser edition' set up by means of a specific 'grammar' and of a 'structured fluidity' of the archaeological record.
[mDP – November 2019]
2008 Mozan as Urkesh: Archaeology in the Making
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A general introduction about Urkesh/Tell Mozan as a Hurrian archaeological site.
[mDP – April 2020]
2009 “An Architectural 'Logogram' at Urkesh?,”
in Paola Negri Scafa and S. Viaggio (eds.), Dallo Stirone al Tigri. Dal Tevere all'Eufrate. Studi in onore di Claudio Saporetti, Roma: Aracne, pp. 23-29.
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The interpretation of ancient remains under a proper archaeological view does imply also the definition of some patterned structures connected to ancient culture's language: in this case, a specific 'logogram' related to the Sumerian sign for 'mountain' (KUR) was detected on actual walls of the precint of Urkesh's temple.
[mDP – November 2019]
2010a “The Semiotics of Ethnicity: The Case of Hurrian Urkesh,”
in J.C. Fincke (ed.), Festschrift für Gernot Wilhelm, Dresden: ISLET, pp. 79-90.
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The definition of ethnicity is always a difficult task and even more in the case of the identification of a Hurrian ethnical pattern; this topic is deeply investigated in this paper, aiming to define ethnicity on the base of actual, verified archaeological and cultural elements.
[mDP – November 2019]
2010b “The Urkesh Temple Terrace: Function and Perception,”
in J. Becker, R. Hempelmann, and E. Rehm (eds.), Kulturlandschaft Syrien - Zentrum und Peripherie - Festschrift für Jan-Waalke Meyer, AOAT 371, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, pp. 87-121.
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The structure and the function of Urkesh's Temple Terrace is widely analysed in the present contribution, aiming to define the limits and features of ancient perception on this monumental structures.
[mDP – November 2019]
2012a “The Floodwaters of Urkesh and the Structural Coherence of the Urkesh Temple Complex,”
in P. Quenet and M. al-Maqdissi (eds.), “L'Heure immobile”. Entre Ciel et Terre. Mélanges en l'honneur d'Antoine Souleiman, Subartu 31, pp. 21-33.
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Alternative online version (Academia.edu)
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A description of the central Temple Terrace of Urkesh, focusing on architectonical elements and on the structural features of the entire sacral complex. The history of occupation and use of the top-mound as a sacral place is then sketched in detail.
[mDP – November 2019]
2012b “Coerenza e storia. La Mesopotamia nell'ottica storiografica di 'Ordine e Storia': Istituzioni politiche, trasmissione del pensiero e percezione dell'assoluto,”
in Giorgio Buccellati et al. (eds.), Prima della Filosofia, Milano: V&P, pp. 113-124.
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The self-consciousness of ancient human being is here re-actualized on the base of both the 'urban revolution' and of the development of a religious 'perception of the absolute', which occurred after (and thanks to) the invention/diffusion of writing, perceived as a reification of the reality.
[mDP – November 2019]
2013a “When were the Hurrians Hurrian? The persistence of ethnicity in Urkesh,”
in J. Aruz, S. Graff and Y. Rakic (eds.), Cultures in Contact, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 84-95.
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The definition of Hurrian ethnicity is the topic of this paper, aimed to define the geographical and chronological framework of the beginning of the Hurrian identity and cultural perception as specific people. Both archaeological and textual elements help in sketching the borders and the paths of the process which led to the definition in antiquity of 'Hurrians as Hurrian', determining specific and objective clusters which also involved a peculiar role of Urkesh.
[mDP – November 2019]
2013b “The History of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology as a Research Paradigm,”
Backdirt 2013, pp. 14-20.
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A brief history of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the UCLA, stressing its origins and its peculiar purposes in the field of the archaeological research.
[mDP – January 2020]
2014a “Konservierung der archäologischen Stätte,”
Antike Welt. Zeitschrift für Archäologie und Kulturgeschichte [online journal].
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Alternative online version
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The interpretation and presentation of the archaeological site of Urkesh are here discussed from the very beginning of the discovery to the current strategies of conservation and valorization, underlining the innovation of the browser edition of archaeological data and the innovative preservation system for architectural remains.
[mDP – November 2019]
2014b “Courage among the Ruins: A Sustainable Conservation Program in Time of War,”
Backdirt, December, pp. 102-112.
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This paper aims in defining how archaeologists' responsability involves also (and probably mostly) the inclusion and valorization of the local community living nearby the ancient site of Urkesh; moreover, the current war-situation in Syria needs for new strategies of courage and braveness to maintaining the contacts with the local community of Tell Mozan, towards an increasing sense of involvement and mutual responsability.
[mDP – November 2019]
2015a “L'archeologia come presenza morale a Tell Mozan in Siria,”
Bollettino dell'Associazione Archeologica Ticinese 27, pp. 20-25.
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In a period of war, archaeology can respesent an effective link between local communities in Syria and the entire world: thanks to the promotion of local involvement and the valorization of local crafting manufacture, today, the community of Tell Mozan deeply contributes to the conservation and the presentation of the site, towards a new vitality and a constant hope for the future.
[mDP – November 2019]
2015b “Tensional factors and compositional analysis: Crossovers between linguistics and art criticism,”
in P. Ciafardoni and D. Giannessi (eds.), From the Treasures of Syria, Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, pp. 289-298.
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Linguistic analysis and archaeological data can be usefully linked and can communicate towards an effective shaping of ancient cultural features. 'Tensionality' represents here a key-point of this interpretative system, based on both linguistic and iconographic floors.
[mDP – November 2019]
2016 “Urkesh: For a Semiotics of the Hurrian Sacred,”
in P. Matthiae and M. D'Andrea (eds.), Ebla e la Siria dall'età del Bronzo all'età del Ferro, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei: Atti dei convegni Lincei 304, Roma: Bardi Edizioni, pp. 117-135.
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“The particularity of the morphological organization of the sacred urban space can be understood in the light of an understanding of the forms as signs of an equally coherent religious vision, one that contrasts deeply with that of the Mesopotamian south, in spite of the partial similarity of forms. The glyptics of the royal court displays a naturalistic style that, by setting itself off from the religious sphere, enhances the latter's distinctiveness. The Temple Terrace is a mountain in ways that match the concept embodied in the southern ziggurat and yet differs sharply from it: it is the urban echo of a landscape that remains alive in the conscience of the people, in ways that contrast with the highly stylized southern realizations. The abi reflects a conception of the divine that is based on the close interaction of a one to one relationship: it is the sign of a conduit to the absolute that the southerners explicitly eschewed, in favor of a conception based on the recurrence of patterns. The coherence of the outward forms, and their longevity, are thus rooted in their association with values of which these forms are the outward signs. The sometimes nebulous concept of ethnic identity emerges here with clear and explicit formal traits.” (author's abstract on p. 117).
[mDP – January 2020]
2017 “Iconology in the Light of Archaeological Reason,”
in Pavel S. Avestisyan and Yervand H. Grekyan (eds), Bridging Times and Spaces: Papers in Ancient Near Eastern, Mediterranean and Armenian Studies: Honouring Gregory E. Areshian On the Occasion of His Sixty-Fifth Birthday, Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 49-60 [eISBN: 978-1-78491-700-5].
DOI
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The thrust of the iconological approach was to identify a unifying point of reference behind the formal details of iconography. This can help us approach cultural traditions for which there are no longer any living carriers. 'Archaeological reason' defines the conditions of possibility for reaching behind the gap and suggests ways to re-appropriate the lost experience. In this way we develop a semiotics that can be controlled formally, particularly through distributional and perceptual analysis. [Author's abstract].
[mDP – May 2022]
2018 “A Children's Hermeneutics,”
Backdirt, December, pp. 32-37.
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In time of war (any war and anytime), children need to be perceived as a focus for any human being: under this respect, also an archaeologist has to ask how to behave and to contribute in the benefits of children in local communities affected by political and military conflicts. A concrete example is here presented, i.e. the involving of children from Italy and Tell Mozan in a 'dialogue program', exchanging ideas on themes such as 'heritage' and 'identity'. A simple (but brave) way of fighting war and sharing hope.
[mDP – November 2019]
2019a “The First Gilgamesh. Conjectures About the Earliest Epic,”
in Pavel S. Avetisyan, Roberto Dan and Yervand H. Grekyan (eds.),
Over the Mountains and Far Away. Studies in Near Eastern history and archaeology presented to Mirjo Salvini on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
Archaeopress Publishing Ltd: Oxford, pp. 114-119.
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“Out of the elements of the Sumerian cycle about Gilgamesh, a complex new epic was fashioned at the high point of the Akkadian period. The paper argues in favor of such a high date for the first composition of the epic as a literary whole, and situates it in the context of the Akkadian imperial experiment” [author's abstract]. – As for Urkesh, the author displays a plaque (A7.36) depicting the friendly encounter between Gilgamesh and Enkidu.
[mDP – December 2019]
2019b “From Urkesh to Mozan. The itinerary of a project in wartime,”
in A. Pieńkowska, D. Szeląg and I. Zych (eds.),
Stories told around the fountain. Papers offered to Piotr Bieliński on the occasion of his 70th birthday.
Warsaw: University of Warsaw Press; PCMA UW., pp. 187-204.
DOI
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“Building on a long experience with community engagement in prewar times, the Urkesh Extended Project has faced the problems caused by the current war in Syria by expanding the range of its activities and involving on many different levels the local communities. Here I touch first on a theoretical consideration: the notion of territorial legacy as linking the modern with the ancient inhabitants of the area of ancient Urkesh. I then illustrate two particular aspects of our work, namely, conservation and site presentation: both continued unabated during the war, and were even expanded. The response of the local people has been a major measure of success, with large numbers of visitors still coming to the site for a surprising form of war tourism” [author's abstract].
[mDP – December 2019]
2019c “Persistence of Tradition at Urkesh. The Temple Terrace from Protoliterate to Mittani,”
in Caucasian Mountains and Mesopotamian Steppe. On the Dawn of the Bronze Age. Festschrift in Honour of Rauf M. Munchaev's 90th Birthday
Moscow: ИАРАН, pp. 340-354.
DOI
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“The Temple Terrace of Urkesh had an extremely long history, spanning over more than two millennia. This is surprising because the structure, while monumental in scope, presents several features that are relatively ephemeral in nature, and could have been preserved only through special care and maintenance. The article outlines the configuration of the Temple Terrace, highlighting its structural make-up and coherence, which allowed for incidental changes in its component parts – until the moment, in its final century, when the structure itself was affected by a more radical change. Possible reasons are suggested that may explain this cultural phenomenon” [author's abstract].
[mDP – Febraury 2021]
2020 “Degrees of Digitality. The Case of Excavation Reports,”
in Nadja Cholidis, Elisabeth Katzy, and Sabina Kulemann-Ossen (eds.),
Zwischen Ausgrabung und Ausstellung. Beiträge zur Archäologie Vorderasiens. Festschrift für Lutz Martin, marru: Studien zur Vorderasiatischen Archäologie, Vol. 9, Münster: Zaphon, pp. 247-258.
ISBN 978-3-96327-108-3 (Book) / ISBN 978-3-96327-109-0 (E-Book)
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This paper presents many issues concerning the topic of digital publication of an excavation report. After a discussion about the very concept of “digital” and conceptual digitality, involving themes such as those of categorization and exo- and endogenous dimension of digitality (static vs. dynamic), the author moves to the presetation of the case of a browser edition offering as an example that of the Urkesh Global Record (UGR) [see here for a video on this topic]; this system allows to reach a better and dynamic data gathering, leading to this final conclusion: “Thus it is that the question of digitality becomes imperative for data gathering more than in perhaps any other case, given the necessity of having a system that maintains every single observation ever made during the excavation process. True digitality becomes then an issue that goes well beyond theory and abstraction, and becomes instead a most concrete imperative for keeping the archaeological process within the framework of an arguable analytical process.” (p. 255).
[mDP – December 2020]
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Buccellati, G.
Kelly-Buccellati, M.
1990a



“Tell Mozan,”
Syrian Archaeology Bulletin 2, pp. 4-7.
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This paper offers the results of UCLA's 5th and 6th archaeological missions at Tell Mozan (years 1988 and 1990), focusing on the large public building A1; furthermore, a topographical-geophysical survey of the mound, an analysis of anthropological and zoological remains, and the 'global record' are presented herewith.
[mDP – November 2019]
1990b “Tell Mozan,”
Mille et une capitales de Haute-Mésopotamie. Les dossiers d'Archéologie 155, pp. 18-23.
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The present contribution retraces the paths towards the discovery of Tell Mozan and its identification with ancient Urkesh as well.
[mDP – November 2019]
1991 “Mozan,”
American Journal of Archaeology 95/4 (October), pp. 712-714.
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Alternative online version (JSTOR)
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The results of the 6th and the 7th excavation seasons (in 1988 and 1999, respectively) at Tell Mozan are here displayed, mostly focusing on third-millennium material from Temple BA and from the large public building A1.
[mDP – November 2019]
1994a “Mozan,”
American Journal of Archaeology 98/1 (January), pp. 131-133.
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Alternative online version (JSTOR)
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A report of UCLA's 7th excavation season at Tell Mozan (year 1992) in area F1 and AS, a stepped trench opened on the western side of the High Mound.
[mDP – November 2019]
1994b “Mozan: Tales from a Hurrian (?) Storehouse,”
Backdirt, Spring, pp. 1,4-5,98.
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See abstract
Sealings from Urkesh are here presented, stressing their importance as the northernmost evidence of cuneiform writing for the third millennium BC; a large storehouse exposed in sector B is then widely described as a possible 'house of the seal(s)'.
[mDP – November 2019]
1995a “Mozan, Tall,”
Reallexikon der Assyriologie 8 (5/6), pp. 386-393.
See full text
See abstract
This paper offers an overview on the history of excavations at Tell Mozan, displaying the chronology of the site, focusing on Temple BA and storeroom AK; some major epigraphic finds are then presented.
[mDP – November 2019]
1995b “The Identification of Urkesh with Tell Mozan (Syria),”
Orient-Express 1995/3, cover page and pp. 67-70.
See full text
See abstract
The authors explain in this contribution why they decided to concentrate their efforts on Tell Mozan; moreover, the 'vault' in sector B of the Palace is described, together with its sealings and written materials; the existence and peculiarity of a 'Hurrian art' is then discussed.
[mDP – November 2019]
1995-1996 “The Royal Storehouse of Urkesh: The Glyptic Evidence from the Southwestern Wing,”
Archiv für Orientforschung 42-43, pp. 1-32.
See full text
See abstract
Glyptic material (more than 600 seal impressions dating to the mid to late Akkadian period) from the Royal Storehouse (building AK) of Urkesh is here presented, analysing its peculiar features towards the determination of a specific 'Hurrian artistic tradition', further investigating the function of the seals and the storing practices at Urkesh.
[mDP – November 2019]
1996a “The Seals of the King of Urkesh: Evidence from the Western Wing of the Royal Storehouse AK,”
Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Moregenlandes 86, pp. 65-100, pls. 1-7.
See full text
See abstract
Sealings of kings of Urkesh (mostly Tish-atal and Tupkish), are here introduced, underling the peculiarity of the title endan; later on, seals and sealings of queens and queen's household are also presented, offering for all of them a valuable palaeographical and iconographical analysis.
[mDP – November 2019]
1996b “Una manciata di secoli,”
Bollettino dell'Associazione Archeologica Ticinese 6, pp. 16-23.
See full text
See abstract
The paper describes archaeological activities and studies conducted in 1995 and 1996, mostly focusing on Urkesh's Royal Palace.
[mDP – November 2019]
1996c “Evidence for a Royal Palace at Tell Mozan/Urkesh,”
Orient-Express 1996/3, pp. 72-76.
See full text
See abstract
The results of the ninth excavation season at Tell Mozan (Summer 1996) are here presented, describing activities in Building AK (the Royal Storehouse of Tupkish), in Area A6 (Eastern Sector of the Storehouse), and in a Khabur residential area uncovered in Area A8, the first remains of a private house at Tell Mozan; terracotta figurines and glyptic assemblage are then discussed.
[mDP – November 2019]
1997a “Mozan, Tell,”
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, vol. 4, pp. 60-64.
See full text
See abstract
An overview on different topics related to Tell Mozan: geographical location, physical description, previous investigations, chronology of the site, and the most important structures, together with the main finds.
[mDP – November 2019]
1997b “Urkesh. The First Hurrian Capital,”
Biblical Archaeologist 60, pp. 77-96.
See full text
See abstract
Mythological textual sources are here investigated to define the ethnicity of Urkesh's people, directly reconnecting the myth to a possible actual role played by the city in the trading of metals from the Taurus; moreover, sealings from Tell Mozan (over 1000 items) are presented, strengthening the development of a specific and coherent dynastic program. Two appendices describes some terracotta figurines and a small fragment of a school lexical tablet.
[mDP – November 2019]
1997c “The Seventh Season of Excavations at Tell Mozan, 1992,”
Chronique Archéologique en Syrie 1, pp. 79-84.
See full text
Alternative online version (Academia.edu)
See abstract
Report on the 7th excavation season at Tell Mozan (1992), presenting the topographical and geophysical surveys undertaken by the UCLA and by the University of California, Irvine; investigations in building AK are presented, sketching the structure of the complex and analyzing its rich glyptic material.
[mDP – November 2019]
1998 “The Courtiers of the Queen of Urkesh: Glyptic Evidence from the Western Wing of the Royal Storehouse AK,”
Subartu 4/2, pp. 195-216.
See full text
See abstract
Sealing belonging to Urkesh's king (Tupkish), to queen (Uqnitum), and to theirs courtiers are here described, representing a total amount of 164 rollings of 17 singular seals; these sealings presents a specific typology and style, here analyzed in detail.
[mDP – November 2019]
1999 “Das archäologische Projekt Tall Mozan/Urkeš,”
Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu Berlin 131, pp. 7-16.
See full text
See abstract
An overview on the archaeological mission at Tell Mozan/Urkesh: mythological texts, glyptic material, and other various artefacts arise the question about the Hurrian ethnicity of the city; Urkesh was evidently regarded as a 'mythological town', since some myths recognize the city as the home of the god Kumarbi; in the second part of the paper the main structures brought to light at Urkesh (together with some major finds) are presented.
[mDP – November 2019]
2000a “The Royal Palace of Urkesh. Report on the 12th Season at Tell Mozan/Urkesh: Excavations in Area AA, June-October 1999,”
Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu Berlin 132, pp. 133-183.
See full text
See abstract
Area AA (the Royal Palace) at Urkesh has been further investigated in the 12th season, in 1999; the results of this archaeological campaign are reported herewith: the finding on sealings of the name of Tar’am-Agade (Naram-Sin's daughter); the investigations in Area C2 with the discovery of a sealings cache; the interpretation of an iwan structure as a possible scribal installation; the description of some structures on the exterior of the palace; the excavation in the residential quarters of the time of the 'Bitumen Use Ceramic Tradition'; a clay statuette of a female figure is introduced; a paragraph is devoted to the description of the main ceramic typologies; eventually, computer network and digital photography, together with conservation strategies are presented.
[mDP – November 2019]
2000b “The Royal Palace and the Daughter of Naram-Sin. Report on the 12th Season of Excavations June October 1999,”
Urkesh Bulletin, 3 (April 2000), pp. 3-39.
See full text
“The results of the 1999 Summer's excavations in the area of the royal palace of Urkesh were little short of extraordinary. We had started out with a view towards determining whether the structure was indeed the palace. Ther esult was gratifying because sufficient evidence was found to give a positive answer to our question. And in the process we were led to identify an even more complex architectural history than we had imagined. In addition, we found seal impressions [ARc1] of a new queen, Tar’am-Agade, who was the daughter of Naram-Sin, the king of Akkad” (p. 3).
[mDP – January 2020]
2001a “City of Myth: In Search of Hurrian Urkesh,”
Archaeology Odyssey May/June, pp. 16-27.
See full text
See abstract
The mythological background (the Cycle of Kumarbi) of Hurrian myths related to Urkesh is firstly discussed in this contribution; the authors then report their own works on the site, started in 1984: the main structures and the major finds are presented; a discussion about the function and the actual use of sealings is then offered, underlining the local production of the seals and their typical and characteristic style; two side-boxes offer insights on Hurrian at Nuzi and on the methodological approach applied in the identification of Urkesh with Tell Mozan.
[mDP – November 2019]
2001b “The Royal Palace at Urkesh and the Daughter of Naram-Sin,”
Les annales archéologiques arabes syriennes: revue d'archéologie et d'histoire [Damascus: Ministère de la Culture, Direction Générale des Antiqués et des Musées] 44, pp. 63-69.
See full text
See abstract
This paper presents sealings with the names of Tar’am-Agade (daughter of Naram-Sin), of Ewrim-Atal, and of Ishar-beli; moreover, the ceramic of the third millennium is briefly presented, the seriation of sherds suggesting a considerable degree of continuity within the third millennium BC; afterwards, the authors offer a description of some other main structures: a large royal building, the Storeroom AK, a large courtyard, the 'formal' wing of the Palace, a platform and an apsidal structure, and sector C (within the service wing of building AK) interpreted as a scribal place.
[mDP – November 2019]
2001c “Überlegungen zur funktionellen und historischen Bestimmung des Königspalastes AP in Urkeš. Bericht über die 13. Kampagne in Tall Mozan/Urkeš: Ausgrabungen im Gebiet AA, Juni-August 2000,”
Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu Berlin 133, pp. 59-96.
See full text
English version
See abstract
Report summarizing the major results of the 13th campaign at Urkesh in 2000, aiming at defining the function and history of the Royal Palace AP and of the major glyptic mainds; eventually, some remarks about the conservation strategies applied on the main structures of the site are presented.
[mDP – November 2019]
2002a “Die große Schnittstelle. Bericht über die 14. Kampagne in Tall Mozan/Urkeš: Ausgrabungen im Gebiet AA, Juni-Oktober 2001,”
Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu Berlin 134, pp. 103-130.
See full text
See abstract
Report of the major results of the joined mission of UCLA (14th campaign) and DOG at Urkesh in 2001: a historical analysis of the 'great interface' occurred between the Post-imperial Akkadian and the Ur III periods (around 2112 BC) is presented; excavations in Areas A9, A10, A14, A15 and A16 are described; a paragraph is devoted to the presentation of the major finds: two terracotta miniature heads (A14.7 and A15.226), a bronze bucket (A16.29), a hematite cylindrical seal (A9.138), and a male head in stone (A9.149); eventually, bioarchaeological analyses of human remains from Tell Mozan are displayed.
[mDP – November 2019]
2002b “Mozan/Urkesh: A New Capital in the Northern Djezireh,”
in Michel Al-Maqdissi, Maamoun Abdul Karim, Amr Al-Azm and Moussa Dib Al-Khoury (eds.), The Syrian Jezira: Cultural Heritage and Interrelations. Proceedings of the International Conference held in Deir ez-Zor, April 22nd-25th, 1996, Damascus: Ministère de la Culture, Direction Générale des Antiqués et des Musées, pp. 127-133.
See full text
See abstract
Urkesh is the only Hurrian capital archaeologically investigated, thus far: this paper describes the stratigraphy, the structure and the function of building AK, and the importance of the sealings found therein.
[mDP – November 2019]
2002c “Tar’am-Agade, Daughter of Naram-Sin, at Urkesh,”
in L. al-Gailani Werr, J. Curtis, H. Martin, A. McMahon, J. Oates and J. Reade (eds.), Of Pots and Plans. Papers on the Archaeology and History of Mesopotamia and Syria presented to David Oates in Honor of his 75th Birthday, London: Nabu Publications, pp. 11-31.
See full text
See abstract
This paper presents five sealings found in 1999 campaign in area AA, sector H2 in a cache, a dumping ground of door sealings: they belong to Tar’am-Agade, to an unnamed king (endan) of Urkesh, to Ewrim-atal, to Ishar-beli, and to a person named Unap-[...]; the last paragraph investigates the role of seal entitlement and use, underlining how Urkesh glyptic provides us with a wealth of typological information and with an insight on sealing practices at Tell Mozan.
[mDP – November 2019]
2003 “Tell Mozan (Ancient Urkesh),”
in J. Aruz (ed.), Art of the First Cities. The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus, New York and New Haven: Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, pp. 224-227.
See full text
See abstract
A discussion about the two copper alloy, lion-shaped foundation pegs kept at the MET and at the Louvre: their provenance from Tell Mozan is supported by the inscription directly quoting Urkesh, which has been definitely identified with Tell Mozan.
[mDP – November 2019]
2004 “Der monumentale Palasthof von Tall Mozan/Urkeš und die stratigraphische Geschichte des ābi,”
Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu Berlin 136, pp. 13-39.
See full text
See abstract
Report of DOG's excavation season in 2004 (connected to the previous UCLA's 15th campaign in 2002): a wide description is provided about the Royal Palace of Tell Mozan and about the stratigraphy and finds of the ābi.
[mDP – November 2019]
2005 “Urkesh as a Hurrian Religious Center,”
Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici 47, pp. 27-59.
See full text
See abstract
Report of the 17th excavation season (2004) at Tell Mozan: the peculiar, historical role of Urkesh as a Hurrian religious center is stressed; the present excavation season aimed at better investigating and clarifing the ethnic valence of Urkesh's sacral and political spaces: the Temple Terrace (together with the ābi) and the Royal Palace.
[mDP – November 2019]
2007a “Urkesh and the Question of the Hurrian Homeland,”
Bulletin of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences 75/2, pp. 141-150.
See full text
See abstract
The Hurrian homeland is the topic of this contribution. Urkesh is perceived as one of the most important Hurrian centers and its structures are here described: the Palace of Tupkish, the ābi, and the Temple Terrace. The connections of the site with the North and mostly with the Northern Early Transcaucasian culture and Anatolia in general are presented, discussing the Hurrian identity of Urkesh, moving from a historical question to its following historiographical interpretation, defining methodological criteria and data connected to semiotics, linguistics, onomastics, cults and mythology.
[mDP – November 2019]
2007b “Between Heaven and Hell in Ancient Urkesh,”
Backdirt 175, pp. 68-73.
See full text
See abstract
This paper focuses on sacral spaces at Urkesh, namely the Temple Terrace (with Temple BA) and the ābi, the necromantic pit leading to the Netherworld. Both the sacral area of the temple and the necromantic pit represent indeed a 'trait d'union' between the living and the ancestors.
[mDP – November 2019]
2008 “The Ceramics of Urkesh: Statistics for a Browser Edition,”
in D. Bonatz et al. (eds.), Fundstellen Gesammelte Schriften zur Archäologie und Geschichte Altvorderasiens ad honorem Hartmut Kühne, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp. 315-326.
See full text
See abstract
The peculiar 'digital thought', implying a 'digital edition' of data, is applied at Urkesh also for ceramic recording. This coherent system led to the creation of a 'digital database of pottery' which consists of 'minimal constituents', 'frequencies', and 'correlations' allowing a whole understanting of the ceramic assemblage at Urkesh.
[mDP – November 2019]
2009 “The Great Temple terrace at Urkesh and the Lions of Tish-atal,”
Studies on the Civilization and Culture of Nuzi and the Hurrians 18, pp. 33-69.
See full text
See abstract
Report of the 18th excavation season (2005) at Tell Mozan, entirely devoted to the description and interpretation of the Temple Terrace; a history of the research is sketched, describing previous excavations on the High Mound (from 1984 to 2004), investigating the development and the structural components of the Temple Terrace: the escarpment, the Plaza JP, the revetment wall J5, the monumental access J2, the glacis, and the Temple BA itself. The final paragraph discusses two hypotheses dealing with the two lion-shape statuettes of Tish-atal (revisiting their provenance and dating) and with the equation, at Urkesh, of NERGAL=Kumarbi.
[mDP – November 2019]
2014 “... Nor North: The Urkesh Temple Terrace,”
in P. Butterlin et al. (eds.), Mari, ni Est, ni Ouest, Beirut: Institut français du Proche-Orient, pp. 441-461.
See full text
See abstract
The monumental Temple Terrace is the topic of this paper, focusing on EDIII and Mittani period and adding new results on structures pertaining the fourth millennium BC; two final paragraphs are devoted to the discussion of 'echoes of the mountain hinterland', underlining the connections between Urkesh and the surrounding mountainous area of the Tur-Abdin.
[mDP – November 2019]
2016 “26. Tell Mozan/Urkesh (Hassake),”
in Y. Kanjou and A. Tsuneki (eds.), A History of Syria in One Hundred Sites, Oxford: Archeopress Publishing Ltd., pp. 111-114.
See full text
A brief introduction about Urkesh, as for its history, architectural remains, and its main archaeological finds (sealings, a stone plaque showing Gilgamesh and Enkidu [A7.36]), and conservation trategies applied at the site.
[mDP – January 2020]
2017a “Conserviamo il futuro,”
in Tracce, febbraio 2017, pp. 36-39.
See full text
A discussion about preservation and conservation of archaeological sites in Syria during wartime, aiming at describing different efforts of local archaeologists (and common people, too) to defend the archaeological heritage of ancient Syria.
[mDP – January 2020]
2017b “Community Archaeology 1984: At the Interface between Practice and Theory,”
in Backdirt 2017, pp. 34-38.
See full text
See abstract
The paper offers a discussion about the efforts undertaken by the Urkesh/Tell Mozan team to enhance the practice of a "community archeology", following four main goals: “1. Conservation: The exposed architecture continues to be in perfect condition, thanks to the simple but very effective conservation system we developed at the start of excavations in 1984, entirely based on local resources and know-how. 2. Site presentation: Our extensive signage system has been fully reactivated with around 200 signs explaining the site to visitors. In addition, in December 2016 we published an 80-page booklet in English, Arabic, and Kurdish. We get a considerable number of visitors at the site, all from the surrounding region. 3. Research: Three of our local assistants continue to work on the data in our archives and on the ceramics stored in the expedition house. Together with the local university, we host seminars where students can work on our material, both at the university and at our site, which is the only excavation site effectively available for such purposes. 4. Economic development: We support local women who produce traditional handicrafts (clothes, dolls, jewelry), which they can sell locally or ship to us” (from p. 34). [mDP – February 2021]
2017c “Archaeology for a Young Future: The New Syrian Life of the Ancient City of Urkesh,”
Research Award 2017, pp. 227-243 (in English and Chinese).
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 2017 Shanghai Archaeology Forum.
See full text
The paper, presented on the occasion of the delivery of the 2017 Shangai Archaeology Forum Award and published in the ceremony catalogue, describes in brief the history of the archaeological research at Urkesh/Tell Mozan, from its discovery to the present time, offering an overview on the methodological approaches applied in studying artefacts and in dealing with the engagement of local community of Mozan in the conservation of the ancient city of Urkesh.
[mDP – February 2021]
2020a “Archaeological Digital Narratives: The Case of Urkesh Ceramics,”
in Alexander Ahrens, Dörte Rokitta-Krumnow, Franziska Bloch, and Claudia Bührig (eds.), Drawing the Threads Together. Studies on Archaeology in Honour of Karin Bartl, marru: Studien zur Vorderasiatischen Archäologie, Vol. 10, Münster: Zaphon, pp. 380-397.
ISBN 978-3-96327-120-5 (Book) / ISBN 978-3-96327-121-2 (E-Book)
See full text
The paper offers an overview on the project of digitalization of the cermic material found at Urkesh/Tell Mozan on the Urkesh Global Record (UGR) [see here for a video on this topic], a digital publication of the ceramics in a browser version (see Urkesh Ceramic Typology). After a discussion on the topic of the concept of digital narrative, the authors describe the many functions of the browser, providing the reader with a guide to the utilization of the corpus of ceramic material from Urkesh (based on the notions of uni- and multi-linearity, on hyperlinks connecting the various information, on a systemic digital narrative), leading to the presentation of a specific ware narrative and a peculiar horizon narrative. Furthermore, this systes allows to create specific coda associated to each ceramic type, gaining a uniform and coherent categorization and description of all pottery from the site as a Urkesh Ceramic Universe.
[mDP – December 2020]
2020b 'I'm again not doing well...',”
in Backdirt 2020 (December) Archaeology and Pandemics, pp. 72-73.
See full text
The paper presents an hommage in memory of Gregory Areshian. mostly focusing on his own personal and scientific attitude towards archaeology and specifically on his work at Terqa.
[mDP – March 2021]
2020c “Distancing: One-on-One Heritage Archaeology across Three Continents,”
in Backdirt 2020 (December) Archaeology and Pandemics, pp. 92-97.
See full text
In this contribution the authors describe how to keep a strong contact and commitment with an archaeological site (namely Urkesh/Tell Mozan) even during a period of war and many troubles and even at distance. Three keywords are underscored: 1) conservation; 2) publication; public presentation. A new program is then described, named Urkesh One-to-One Project, particularly focusing on the possibility of maintaining a strong and effective contact to the site and the local community and encouraging the role of young scholars, students, and people engaged with the ancient city, distant in time but close in crossing continents and boundaries defined by the present war and pandemic situation.
[mDP – March 2021]
forthc. “Temporal clustering at Urkesh. A structural analysis of strata, phases, horizons,”
in a forthcoming Festschrift.
See full text (restricted access: PW requested)
See figures (restricted access: PW requested)
[
mDP – September 2022]
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Camatta, P.
forthcoming

“Die Tempelterrasse von Tell Mozan im Vergleich zum mesopotamischen Befund,”
Aa. Vv. (eds.), Proceedings of the Conference Die Hurritische überlieferung- Stand und Perspektiven der Forschung.
2014 “High Temples in the Northern Mesopotamian Landscape,”
in P. Bieliński, M. Gawlikowski, R. Kolinski, D. Lawecka, A. Soltysiak and Z. Wygnanska (eds.), Proceedings of the 8th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East. 30 April - 4 May 2012,University of Warsaw. Volume 1. Plenary Sessions, Township and Villages, High and Low. The Minor Arts for the Elite and for the Populace, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, pp. 411-424.
Flyer
“Constructing a temple on a raised position was a common practice in ancient Syro-Mesopotamia, at least from the 4th Millennium B.C. onward. A main temple located on top of a 5 to 10 m high mud brick platform often characterized the urban landscape of southern Mesopotamian cities (Uruk, Uquair, Susa, just to mention a few examples). However, free standing platforms were not common in northern Mesopotamia (few examples are Tell Brak, Tell Halawa B, Mari). Instead of constructing huge platforms, temples were erected on top of artificial mounds often enclosed by temenos walls in the center of the settlement, thus in a prominent position (Tell Chuera, Tell es-Sweyhat, Jebel Aruda, Tell Mozan, Tell Arbid). On the base of comparative study, a consistent definition of 'platform', 'terrace', and 'temple foundation' will be advanced and a typological classification of 'High Temples' will be presented in this paper. The analysis of Tell Mozan Temple Terrace will be integrated in this framework. Finally the perception of 'High Temples' will be analyzed within the urban and surrounding landscape” (author's flyer).
[mDP – January 2020]
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Canby, J.V.
2003

“A Figurine from Urkesh: A 'Darling' from Troy to Mesopotamia,”
Iraq 65, pp. 171-173.
See full text
See abstract
The paper discusses a lead figurine from Urkesh (A9.86), portraying a woman; a comparison is established between this item and other similar artefacts from Anatolia and other sites in Syria and Mesopotamia. Urkesh, also in this case, represented a key-site on the trade roades between the South and the North.
[mDP – November 2019]
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Chaves Yates, C.J.
2014

“Neighborhoods in the Outer City of Tell Mozan, Ancient Urkesh: A Case Study from Survey Data,”
in F. Buccellati, T. Helms and A. Tamm (eds.), Houses and Households in ancient Mesopotamia, Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 43-52.
See full text
See abstract
'Household', the topic of the present contribution, is defined as “as an individual unit, [...] then a building block of larger society, in this case, cities” (p. 43). A discussion about the concept itself of 'household' is offered in this paper, aiming at define the social and cultural aspects of this topic as for the peculiar case of Urkesh; the analysis is mostly based on actual artefacts (above all, the pottery), found at Tell Mozan.
[mDP – November 2019]
Chaves Yates, C.J.
2019

“Tell Mozan's Outer City in the Third Millennium BCE,”
in SANEM 3, pp. 113-121.
See full text
“During the third millennium B.C.E., Tell Mozan, ancient Urkesh, expanded to include an extensive outer city˻ A variety of investigations in the outer city reveal a complex urban environment, a mix of planned and unplanned activity with the environment and large municipal works acting as constraining factors on more localized activity” [author's abstract on p. 113].
[mDP – August 2020]
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Collins, B.J.
2004

“A Channel to the Underworld in Syria,”
Near Eastern Archaeology 67:1, pp. 54-56.
See full text
See abstract
This paper in entirely focused on the structural and functional analysis of the necromantic pit discovered at Urkesh in 1999, better known as ābi. According to both textual sources (mostly Hurro-Hittite rituals of later period) and archaeological finds (clay figurines and osteological remains), the pit has been correctly and convincingly interpreted as a channel to the Netherworld, related to the cults for ancestors.
[mDP – November 2019]
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Di Martino, S.
2005

“Tell Mozan/Urkesh: Archeozoologia della Struttura Sotterranea in A12,”
Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici 47, pp. 67-80.
See full text
See abstract
An overview on faunal osteological remains from Urkesh's ābi: around 1037 samples have been analysed, belonging to mammals, birds and rodent; the osteometrical study of the bones can also provide us with information about the age of death and the actual size of the various animals.
[mDP – November 2019]
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Frahm, E.
2014

“Buying local or ancient outsourcing? Locating production of prismatic obsidian blades in Bronze-Age Northern Mesopotamia,”
Journal of Archaeological Science 41, pp. 605-621.
See full text
See abstract
This paper considers the prismatic obsidian blades from Urkesh, investigating the different patterns of exchange and the technical production of such items, within a specific chronological horizon (ca. 3300-1200 BC); then, the focus moves particularly to the identification of the most important ores for Urkesh's obsidians.
[mDP – November 2019]
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Frahm, E.,
Feinberg, J.M.
2013a


“Empires and resources: Central Anatolian obsidian at Urkesh (Tell Mozan, Syria) during the Akkadian period,”
Journal of Archaeological Science 40, pp. 1122-1135.
See full text
See abstract
This paper presents the analysis on obsidian artefacts of the Bronze Age found at Urkesh: around the 97% of these items (probably considered as prestigious objects) turned out to be made of Eastern Anatolian obsidian. The authors stress the key-role of Urkesh in the commercial and political situation of the third millennium BC, on the border between the Akkadian empire (to the South) and the Transcaucasian people (to the North).
[mDP – November 2019]
2013b “Environment and collapse: Eastern Anatolian obsidians at Urkesh (Tell Mozan, Syria) and the third-millennium Mesopotamian urban crisis,”
Journal of Archaeological Science 40, pp. 1866-1878.
See full text
See abstract
Around 2200 and 2000 BC, a 'crisis' occurred in Ancient Near East, caused probably by a multifactor phaenomenona probably leading to the desegregation of the Akkadian Empire; aftermath, in Northern Mesopotamian area, only two sites survived, namely Tell Mozan and Tell Brak; a section of this paper briefly explores the history of Urkesh, from ca. 6200 BC to 1300 BC, stressing its important location along the route leading to Anatolia through the Mardin pass, Urkesh representing “a cosmopolitan city with diverse visitors or visitors with diverse itineraries” (p. 1866, abstract).
[mDP – November 2019]
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Frahm, E.,
Nikolaidou, N.,
Kelly-Buccellati, M.
2008



“Using Image Analysis Software to Correlate Sherd Scans in the Field and X-Ray Element Maps in the Laboratory,”
Society for Archaeological Science Bulletin 31/2, pp. 8-12.
See full text
See abstract
This paper offers an overview on techniques applied at Urkesh for the analysis of the ceramic tradition: a huge amount of sherds recovered was from the mound and all this material is available to any scholar through the UGR webpage about Urkesh Ceramic Typology (where descriptive statistics of ceramic assemblages can be found).
[mDP – November 2019]
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Hauser, R.
1998

“The Equids of Urkesh: What the Figurines Say,”
in Giorgio Buccellati and Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati (eds.), Urkesh and the Hurrians, Urkesh/Mozan Studies 3, Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 26, Malibu: Undena Publications, pp. 63-74.
See full text
See abstract
This paper discusses some peculiar equid figurines at Urkesh found at Tell Mozan and datable to ca. 2200 BC; the author defines the genus of horses represented at Urkesh by analysing some materials: the different kinds of horses can de detected according to precise measurements (establishing a determinate ratio) of body parts. The domesticated horse at Urkesh shows some specific characteristics: narrow muzzle, widely-spaced eyes, short ears, long mane, and wide tail; on the contrary, non-domesticated horses are characterized by: narrow forequarters, short muzzle, erect mane, and tufted tail.
[mDP – November 2019]
2015 “Reading Figurines from Ancient Urkeš (2450 B.C.E.): A New Way of Measuring Archaeological Artifacts, with Implications for Historical Linguistics,”
in A. Archi (ed.), Tradition and Innovation in the Ancient Near East, Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, pp. 105-120.
See full text
See abstract
This paper analyses some figurines portraying equids presenting a new reading approach, taking into account figurines dating to ca. 2450 BC and coming from the Royal Building AK: such an approach is based on “an innovative [...] strategy for measuring the objects, and rigorous evaluation standards for secondary characteristics [working out] methodology and typology in tandem” (p. 106). The final section of the paper deals with topics connecting archaeology and linguistics, linking material culture and language.
[mDP – November 2019]
2019
“Learning from Canis 203. Impressions of an Absent Artifact,”
in SANEM 3, pp. 219-226.
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“In a sense, the corpus of terra-cotta figurines published in 2007/8 as the fifth volume in Urkesh/Mozan Studies is hostage. Hostilities of a complex war deny access to the artifacts, preventing study and possible re-evaluation. This paper revisits a miniscule example from the collection in memory if not in fact” [author's abstract on p. 219].
[mDP – August 2020]
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Kelly-Buccellati, M.
1990a

“Three Seasons of Excavation at Tell Mozan,”
in S. Eichler, M. Wäfler, D. Warburton, Tall al-Hamidiya 2, Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis: Series Archaeologica 6, Freiburg, Schweiz and Göttingen: Universitatsverlag Freiburg and Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, pp. 119-132.
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Report of three excavation seasons at Tell Mozan (1984-1986): after a geographical description of Urkesh's landscape and position, the author defines the reason of the choice to excavate at Tell Mozan; then, she describes the city wall, the cylinder seal impressions found in the Royal Palace, the Temple BA, and the Outer City.
[mDP – November 2019]
1990b “A New Third Millennium Sculpture from Mozan,”
in A. Leonard and B. Williams (eds.), Essays in Ancient Civilization Presented to Helene J. Kantor , SAOC 47, Chicago: University Press, pp. 149-54, pl. 26.
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A small double-side stele is here presented, for sure one of the best sculptural objects from Tell Mozan, coming from Temple BA's area. The piece can be dated to EDIII or to the Akkadian period. After a remark about the naturalistic features of its representations, the author concludes declaring how “the Mozan stele can be placed in an intermediary position between those stylistic characteristics of EDIII art and those of the Akkadian period and as such present us with fresh and innovative aspects of northern Syrian art in the third millennium” (p. 154).
[mDP – November 2019]
1990c “Trade in Metals in the Third Millennium: Northeastern Syria and Eastern Anatolia,”
in P. Matthiae, M. Van Loon, and H. Weiss (eds.), Resurrecting the Past: A Joint Tribute to Adnan Bounni, Nederlands Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut, pp. 117-130.
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This paper explores trades in metals in the third millennium BC, focusing on the North-Eastern Syria, explaining the key-role of Urkesh within this framework; a paragraph reconstructs the trade patterns in the third millennium BC, from the Halaf period, throughout the Ubaid, the Uruk and the ED periods, stressing the Southern connections of Urkesh, underlining how “in Syro-Mesopotamia interregional exchange networks developed early” (p. 125), already in the fifth millennium BC with obsidian trade.
[mDP – November 2019]
1996a “Nuzi Viewed from Urkesh, Urkesh Viewed from Nuzi: Stock Elements and Framing Devices in Northern Syro-Mesopotamia,”
Studies on the Civilization and Culture of Nuzi and the Hurrians 8, pp. 247-268.
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The papers discusses Urkesh's glyptic material in comparison with other specimens coming from the later seals and sealings from Nuzi; the final section of the contribution is instead devoted to the question of Hurrian ethnicity of Urkesh's inhabitants, stressing how “attempting to attribute art, or indeed any aspect of material culture, to a specific ethnic group needs to be approached with a great deal of caution and with theoretical awareness” (p. 266).
[mDP – November 2019]
1996b “Seals in Ancient Mesopotamia and Seals of God in Revelation,”
Rivista della Facoltà di Teologia di Lugano 1, pp. 79-100.
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In this paper, the author presents specimens of seals from the fourth, the third and the second millennium BC, discussing their original function and purposes, mostly to guarantee the identity of a person within letters of legal transactions.
[mDP – November 2019]
1998 “The Workshops of Urkesh,”
in Giorgio Buccellati and Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati (eds.), Urkesh and the Hurrians, Urkesh/Mozan Studies 3, Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 26, Malibu: Undena Publications, pp. 35-50.
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This contribution is devoted to the analysis and of glyptic and stone materials from Urkesh, trying to define how, where and to what purpose they have been realized; a peculiar focus is given to Tell Mozan's workshops: “It is difficult to determine how many seal carvers would have been working for the Urkesh dynasts and their courtiers. [...] The artistic climate within some Urkesh workshops stimulated innovating thinking on the part of both artists and patrons. [...] The detail to which the artists went to convey the dynastic message is also impressive and must reflect the very real concerns of the patrons. [...] Evidence for this type of creativity and intense collaboration is otherwise rare in the ancient Near East” (pp. 49-50).
[mDP]
2002 “Ein hurritischer Gang in die Unterwelt,”
Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu Berlin 134, pp. 131-148.
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The underground necromantic pit called ābi is investigated in detail in this paper, suggesting the possible function of such a structure, discovered in 1999 campaign in Area A12 of the Royal Palace AP, dating between 2300 BC and 2100 BC. The author strengths the interpretation of the structure as a Hurrian ābi, describing the possible nocturnal rituals that could take place within the pit, outlining the historical meaning of the rituals performed in the ābi. The alleged triple equation Area A12 = ābi = KASKAL.KUR (as a passage to the Netherworld') seems to be validated by both textual and archaeological evidence.
[mDP – November 2019]
2004 “Andirons at Urkesh: New Evidence for the Hurrian Identity of Early Trans-Caucasian Culture,”
in A. Sagona (ed.), A View from the Highlands: Archaeological Studies in Honour of Charles Burney, ANES Supplement 12, Herent: Peeters, pp. 67-89.
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At Urkesh some andirons (also called in literature 'firedogs') have been uncovered: these finds also strengthen the relationship between Urkesh and the Ealy Trans-Caucasian culture (ETC), extending in modern Georgia and Armenia. The possible ancient trade routes are reconstructed, also speculating about the system of control of these important zones (mostly the Mardin pass, just to the North of Tell Mozan): to strengthen the idea of contacts between Urkesh, Early Anatolia and ETC, sealings and seals decorations and motifs are compared, underlining communal way of carvings and of portraying images.
[mDP – November 2019]
2005a “Introduction to the Archaeo-zoology of the ābi,”
Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici 47, pp. 61-66.
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The well-known underground structure of the ābi, interpreted as a 'channel to the Netherworld', is here discussed for what concerns its archeo-zoological remains: after a description of the structure itself, the author describes its function on the base of archaeological and archeo-zoological evidence.
[mDP – November 2019]
2005b “Urkesh and the North: Recent Discoveries,”
Studies on the Civilization and Culture of the Nuzi and the Hurrians 15, General Studies and Excavations at Nuzi 11/1, pp. 3-28.
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This paper investigates the connection of Urkesh with Southern Mesopotamia and with the ETC in the North, in the light of archaeological evidences, mostly the glyptic material. Comparisons with other Anatolian and Mesopotamian seals and sealings strengthens the idea of such a connection.
[mDP – November 2019]
2006 “Gilgamesh at Urkesh? Literary Motifs and Iconographic Identification,”
in P. Butterlin et al. (eds.), Les espaces syro-mésopotamiens: dimensions de l'experience humaine au proche-orient ancien : volume d'hommage offert à Jean-Claude Margueron, Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 403-414.
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This contribution analyses in detail the possibility of a cultural presence of the epos of Gilgamesh at Urkesh, as attested by literary and iconographic motifs. Many glyptic or stone depictions form a pattern or a cluster of evidence clearly hinting to the epos of Gilgamesh. The author presents two important inferences: 1) “A significant thematic development that we know from the Old Babylonian Gilgamesh story would already have been so popular in the late third millennium as to have become the subject of a figurative representation and not in this case on cylinder seals but on a stone plaque” 2) “Arguments have been presented elsewhere for the specific ethnic nature of Urkesh as a Hurrian city. Since it seems likely that our plaque was carved in Urkesh, the presence of a Gilgamesh motif in this city attests to the third millennium Hurrian familiarity with these tales and their participation in the proliferation of these pan-Syro-Mesopotamian stories” (pp. 410-412).
[mDP – November 2019]
2010a “Mozan/Urkesh in the Late Chalcolithic Period,”
in J. Becker, R. Hempelmann, and E. Rehm (eds.), Kulturlandschaft Syrien - Zentrum und Peripherie - Festschrift für Jan-Waalke Meyer, AOAT 371, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, pp. 261-290.
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This paper explores the Late Chalcolithic Period at Mozan: evidences of LC pottery have been excavated since 2005, in a stratified context; the author presents the different contexts of the retrieval of LC material at Urkesh, namely the Temple BA, the Plaza JP, and the revetment wall in the central Terrace edge J3. Then, the author offers a general description of LC ceramic typologies and fabrics. In the end, the author underlines how climatic and geographical conditions allowed Urkesh to emerge in the framework of LC Northern Syria, mostly because of its peculiar position on the way towards Anatolia, where metal ores where situated. [mDP – November 2019]
2010b “Uqnitum and Tar’am-Agade, Patronage and Portraiture at Urkesh,”
in J.C. Fincke (ed.), Festschrift für Gernot Wilhelm, Dresden: ISLET, pp. 185-202.
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The discoveries of sealings belonging to Uqnitum and to Tar’am-Agade allows us to speculate about concepts of 'patronage' and 'portraiture' at Urkesh. The author proposes the idea of a 'visual communication' displayed through glyptic materials, comparing the iconography of the seals of these two eminent women; she also stresses how messages related to a dynastic program aimed to encourage the power of the royal couple and the legitimate succession of their children, as openly communicated via specific iconographic features and gestures.
[mDP – November 2019]
2012 “Apprenticeship and Learning from the Ancestors: The Case of Ancient Urkesh,”
in W. Wendrich (ed.), Archaeology and apprenticeship: Body Knowledge, Identity and Communities of Practice, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, pp. 203-223.
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Apprenticeship and its mechanisms are the topic of this paper, focusing not only in Urkesh, but broadening the discussion also to ancient Mesopotamia and Syria as a whole discourse. This transmission of knowledge and consciousness is investigated in this paper both under a direct way (from teacher to student) and an indirect one, through emulation or experimentation. As far as archaeology concerns this discourse, the concept of 'broken tradition' emerges as a key-topic. Evidence for apprenticeship are investigated, analysing the role of scribes, of seal carvers and the function of ancient 'tablet houses' (ancient methods of apprenticeship are reported), mostly during the Old Babylonian period. As for Urkesh, the author recalls the founding at Urkesh of a school tablet, showing practice on the reverse. Reverence for traditional or ancient knowledge is exemplified by the practice of seal carving, whose training cannot be, unfortunately, better regained.
[mDP – November 2019]
2013 “Landscape and Spatial Organization: An Essay on Early Urban Settlement Patterns in Urkesh,”
in D. Bonatz and L. Martin (eds.), 100 Jahre archäeologische Feldforschungen in Nordost-Syrien, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp. 149-166.
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This papers analyses patterns of urban organization and the role of landscape for ancient Urkesh: “The site is located close to stone sources in nearby foothills, as well as other natural resources in the mountains such as wood and especially copper from the Ergani area. Notably it was important to be near but not too near the Mardin Pass” (p. 149). This strategic position of Tell Mozan represents one of its key-points in the relationships with both the Northern (Anatolian and Transcaucasian) and the Southern (Mesopotamian) milieus; this geographical space also shaped human thought and ancient space organization and the mythological background related to Urkesh guaranteed a clear meaning of the site as a cultic place and as an ancestral land (as the city of the god Kumarbi).
[mDP – November 2019]
2015 “Power and Identity Construction in ancient Urkesh,”
in P. Ciafardoni and D. Giannessi (eds.), From the Treasures of Syria, Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, pp. 111-130.
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This paper tries to reconstruct both the ancient political and personal identities of Urkesh and its inhabitants, analysing both an 'urban' and a 'personal' identity. After an introduction about the definition of the concept of 'identity', here perceived as both 'relational' and 'contextual', the author shows how these two features can be outlined thanks to Urkesh evidence and, above all, throughout its rich glyptic material.
[mDP – November 2019]
2016a “Women's Power and Work in Ancient Urkesh,”
in S.L. Budin and J.M. Turfa (eds.), Women in Antiquity: Real Women across the Ancient World, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 48-63.
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This contribution is devoted to an analysis of the role and figure of women in ancient Urkesh's society, as depicted via glyptic material and clay figurines. The author underlines the peculiarity of the women depictions at Urkesh: “From the immediacy of the Urkesh seal iconography, combined with the seal inscriptions, we can obtain a glimpse of the life of the women at that court. This is only the case of the Urkesh women-not the Urkesh men. The seal impressions we have for Tupkish himself [...] are realistic, but the male members of the court [...] all have heraldic scenes which do not reflect their 'work.' Even though these seal impressions all came from the same contexts as those of Uqnitum and her attendants, these male retainers have chosen to represent themselves only with more conventional designs” (p. 60).
[mDP – November 2019]
2016b “Urkesh: The Morphology and Cultural Landscape of the Hurrian Sacred,”
in P. Matthiae and M. D'Andrea (eds.), Ebla e la Siria dall'età del Bronzo all'età del Ferro, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei: Atti dei convegni Lincei 304, Roma: Bardi Edizioni, pp. 97-115.
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“Hurrian religious concepts differed notably from Mesopotamian ones. In the ancient city of Urkesh (modern Tell Mozan) we have found, through our excavations, evidence for the awareness and ritual adoption of both Hurrian and Mesopotamian religious practices. Most notable for Hurrian religion is the monumental abi constructed as an underground shaft lined with stones and containing a series of stratified magic circles. The abi rituals, known from Hurrian texts found in later Hittite archives, focus on calling up deities of the Netherworld. Mesopotamian religious practices are exemplified by an Akkadian period seal with a scene of the enactment of a sacrifice and by altanni vessels of which we have excavated one complete and a number of incomplete examples. The 4th millennium temple terrace had already constructed on it a niched building on a low platform, presumably a temple of a type known in the south. Temple BA and a stone revetment wall were built in Early Dynastic III. Serious efforts were made to protect the base of this wall. The Temple Plaza has a unique stratigraphy in that it was kept clean for over a thousand years. The explanation for this enigma connects Urkesh with the Kura-Araxes culture to the north” [author's abstract on p. 97].
[mDP – January 2020]
2016c “The Urkesh Ceramics Digital Book,”
in Paola Corò, Elena Devecchi, Nicla De Zorzi, and Massimo Maiocchi with the collaboration of Stefania Ermidoro and Erica Scarpa (eds.), Libiamo ne' lieti calici. Ancient Near Eastern Studies Presented to Lucio Milano on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday by Pupils, Colleagues and Friends
Alter Orient und Altes Testament, Vol. 436
Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2016. pp. 721-733.
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The paper describes the development of the project of digital publication of the corpus of ceramics found at Urkesh/Tell Mozan (see also the related webpage Urkesh Ceramic Analysis).
[mDP – February 2021]
2018a “Celebrating Life in Mesopotamia,”
Celebrating Archaeology. Tributes to Lloyd Cotsen.
Backdirt, Annual Review of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA
, December 2018, pp. 58-64.
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Full volume
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Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati discusses in this paper the role and the meaning of celebrations in ancient Mesopotamia, with a focus on the site of Urkesh (Tell-Mozan). Indeed, celebrations and festivals were not only perceived as mere “spare time”, but as “occasions to affirm connections among the people, their gods, and their city” (p. 58). Such as occasions (connected with religious festivals, weddings and funerals) are attested by mean of different architectonical, iconographical and textual sources: aside of public feasts, also personal celebrations are documented in evidences from three Syrian sites, namely Urkesh, Ebla, and Mari. Furthermore, the role of women within these celebrations is particularly stressed and analyzed, mostly for what regards the role played by the queen within the royal couple.
[mDP – November 2019]
2018b “Urkesh Insights into Kura-Araxes Social Interaction,”
in Attilla Batmaz, Giorgi Bedianashvili, Aleksandra Michalewicz and Abby Robinson (eds.), Context and Connection. Studies on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in Honour of Antonio Sagona, OLA 268, Peeters: Leuven, Paris, Bristol (CT), pp. 107-123.
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“The core values of the Kura-Araxes culture are seen as a fundamental driver for the long continuity of the culture and allowed them to successfully negotiate their interactions with new cultural environments and social groups. New data from the Mozan/ancient Urkesh excavations in the Khabur plains is interpreted as resulting from the presence in the city of Kura-Araxes groups. Their integration into the Urkesh urban culture is contrasted with their negative experience in Arslantepe. It is suggested that the contrast is due to the Kura-Araxes social and cultural affinities with the urbanised Hurrians in Urkesh. The Kura-Araxes long association with mountainous environments and emphasis on fire rituals show a strong identification with the volcanic nature of these mountains. The Kura-Araxes primordial memory of volcanic eruptions are reflected in the Hurrian myths of Kumarbi and his son Ullikummi” [author's abstract].
[mDP – December 2019]
2019a “Images of Work in Urkesh,”
in M. D'Andrea, M.G. Micale, D. Nadali, S. Pizzimenti and A. Vacca (eds.),
Pearls of the Past. Studies on Near Eastern Art and Archaeology in Honour of Frances Pinnock, marru, Studies in Near and Middle Eastern Archaeology 8, Münster: Zaphon, pp. 413-427.
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The sealings found at Urkesh provide us with information not only about the royal couple and its courtiers, but also valuable data about working activities at the site. After a description of the main features of Urkesh's glyptics, the author presents sealings related to common people and describes craft production at Urkesh. The conclusions stress the importance of such an evidence in reconstructing ancient (palatial or not) crafting and service activitie at Urkesh, remarking the peculiar realism ed expressionism of these representations.
[mDP – November 2019]
2019b “Urkesh ceramic evidence for function,”
in A. Pieńkowska, D. Szeląg and I. Zych (eds.),
Stories told around the fountain. Papers offered to Piotr Bieliński on the occasion of his 70th birthday , Warsaw: University of Warsaw Press; PCMA UW., pp. 285-304.
DOI
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“A14 is a well defined stratigraphic space, adjacent to a ceremonial platform and to the abi, the underground passage to the Netherworld. Some significant ceramic assemblages were found there, and an analysis of their function suggests that they were used for storage of dry goods in function of events that would take place in connection with the ceremonial features nearby” [author's abstract].
[mDP – December 2019]
2019c “Emulation as a Strategy of Urkesh Potters and its Long Term Consequences,”
in Caucasian Mountains and Mesopotamian Steppe. On the Dawn of the Bronze Age. Festschrift in Honour of Rauf M. Munchaev's 90th Birthday
Moscow: ИАРАН, pp. 355-361.
DOI
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“The purpose of this article is the examination of the ceramics from Urkesh Phase 4 (dated to ca 2100–1900 B.C.) from the point of view of a fundamental aspect of the ceramic production in this time period, emulation and experimentation. This research leads to broader conclusions regarding the development of painted pottery first within the later part of Phase 4 and then continuing to emerge as the most important type of ceramic decoration throughout much of the second millennium. In other words I am reconstructing a situation within which the reemergence of painted ceramic decoration began in Phase 4b with an emulation of ceramics produced by ancient potters. This emulation conditioned the sensitivity of local potters and set the stage for them to take up the idea of painted ceramic decoration when it was reintroduced” [author's abstract].
[mDP – Febraury 2021]
2020a “The Urkesh Mittani Horizon: Ceramic Evidence,”
in Michele Cammarosano, Elena Devecchi and Maurizio Viano (eds.), talugaeš witteš. Ancient Near Eastern Studies Presented to Stefano de Martino on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, Kasion. Publikationen zur ostmediterranen Antike/Publications on Eastern Mediterranean Antiquity 2, Münster: Zaphon, pp. 237-256.
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This contribution, presented on the occasion of the 65th birthday of Stefano de Martino, describes the ceramic evidence at Urkesh related to the Mittani period; the author mostly focuses on pottery found on the Temple Terrace, triyng to reconstruct the Mittanian occupation at Urkesh, by analyzing ceramic samples with typical Mittanian shape, decoration, and ware types.
[mDP – May 2020]
2020b “Continuity and Innovation at Urkesh in the ED III Period,”
in Maria Elena Balza, Paola Cotticelli-Kurras, Lorenzo d’Alfonso, Mauro Giorgieri, Federico Giusfredi e Alfredo Rizza (eds.),Città e Parole, Argilla e Pietra. Studi offerti a Clelia Mora da allievi, colleghi e amici,
Biblioteca di Athenaeum 65, Bari: EDIPUGLIA, pp. 296-310.
ISBN 9788872289389 / ISSN 1721-3274
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This contribution, presented within the Festschrift for Clelia Mora, describes (through the analysis of the ceramic evidence), the continuity of culture at Urkesh/TellMozan in the ED III Period, specifically on the area of the Temple Terrace.
[mDP – December 2020]
2020c “To Sift or Not to Sift... Research on the Effectiveness of Sifting,”
in Nadja Cholidis, Elisabeth Katzy, and Sabina Kulemann-Ossen (eds.),
Zwischen Ausgrabung und Ausstellung. Beiträge zur Archäologie Vorderasiens. Festschrift für Lutz Martin, marru: Studien zur Vorderasiatischen Archäologie, Vol. 9, Münster: Zaphon, pp. 259-265.
ISBN 978-3-96327-108-3 (Book) / ISBN 978-3-96327-109-0 (E-Book)
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This contribution discusses about the importance of sifting soil on an archaeological excavation, this case Urkesh, in order to ensure that any small find, specifically unbaked seal impressions at Urkesh, can be correctly recognised and collected. A specific method has been applied: “We decided to conduct an experiment whereby all the soil from a small locus was first processed by using our usual methods. These usual methods mean that in every locus the objects are recorded individually and boxed separately. The other items (ceramics, lithics and bones) are collected in their entirety and stored separately. These groups are given q-lot numbers with a designation indicating their content. The letter q in this case stands for 'quantity', that is objects collected in quantity and triangulated within a relatively small matrix [...]. The excavator of a given feature collects the material in separate bags labeled with the q-lot numbers pertinent to that feature. Each bag is used for only one type of object [...]. In a second step we sifted the excavated dirt to see what had been missed. In addition to the information we received on what was missed, our sifting experiments gave us an insight into how long it takes to sift a given amount (with our mechanized system [...] a relatively short period of time) and the manpower needed to do this.” (p. 259).
[mDP – December 2020]
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Kelly-Buccellati, M.
Omar, J.
2004-2005


“Urkesh Ceramics from the Palace Area,”
Les annales archéologiques arabes syriennes: revue d'archéologie et d'histoire [Damascus: Ministère de la Culture, Direction Générale des Antiqués et des Musées] 47-48 (2004-2005), pp. 45-61.
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Kharobi, Arwa
2018

“Les vivants et les morts d'Urkesh (nord de la Syrie) : les différents modes d'inhumation au bronze moyen,”
Meded. Zitt. K. Acad. Overzeese Wet/Bull. Séanc. Acad. R. Sci. Outre-Mer 64/2, pp. 201-226.
[DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4066520]
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“Discovered between 1998 and 2004, the funerary area of Tell Mozan, located in the upper town of Urkesh (the Hurrian's political and economic capital), has delivered a hundred graves dating from the early second millennium BC and remained until now unpublished. The archaeo-anthropological study that I carried out on this remarkable ensemble aimed, at first, to shed light on new funerary practices for this period in this Mesopotamian region, then in a second time, to present a complete vision funerary conceptions and the relation to death in the ancient society of Urkesh. This study relies, on the one hand, on the archaeo-thanatological data (setting up deposits and analysis of the environment of the tomb), and on the other hand, on the biological data (age, sex and condition health of the deceased). While the majority of Urkesh burial sites fall within the funerary norms of the period and the region, others are more atypical, such as the disposition of the corpse and the number of associated objects. In addition, fire structures and deposits of animal remains associated with the graves seem to be related to the biological identity of the deceased. In addition, the study of the organization of the funeral space highlights groupings according to the age and sex of the deceased. Finally, there seems to be an evolution of funerary practices between the two phases of use of the necropolis that reflects changes in social organization during this transition” [author's abstract].
[mDP – February 2021]
Kharobi, A.,
Buccellati, G.,
Courtaud, P.,
Duday, H.
2014




“Le Feu et la Mort: Des Structures de Combustion Associées à des Sépultures à Tell Mozan (Nord-Est de la Syrie) au Bronze Moyen,”
in P. Bieliński, M. Gawlikowski, R. Kolinski, D. Lawecka, A. Soltysiak and Z. Wygnanska (eds.), Proceedings of the 8th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East. 30 April-4 May 2012,University of Warsaw. Volume 2. Excavation and Progress Reports, Posters, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, pp. 667-675.
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This paper investigates the connection between some combustion structures (the tannurs and the andirons) found nearby tombs, on the High Mound of Tell Mozan. After an introduction about the site and the different burial practices of the Middle Bronze age in Syria, the authors describe Mozan as far as its burial areas. In sum, 8 tombs clearly presented traces of fire: the position of the tombs just above the firing places and their proximity to high temperature caused by fire could explain the traces of burning on the human skeletons (it is important to remember that the matrix of the soil all around the graves is mostly composed of clay, a material that conducts heat very well). Another possibility is to consider the firing structures as a landmark denoting the presence of tombs of important people nearby.
[mDP – November 2019]
Kharobi, A.,
Courtaud, P.,
Duday, H.
2014



“The Place of Children in the Ancient Society of Urkesh (Tell Mozan, Northeastern Syria) in the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1600 BC): An Archeothanatological Approach,”
Paléorient 40.1, pp. 135-147.
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The present paper presents a discussion about children's burial at Urkesh, dating to the Khabur Ware period (ca. 2000-1600 BC). The osteological observation of these human remains “has provided evidence of age-related characteristics. Indeed, the funerary treatment of the children has proven to have been different from that of the adults” (p. 59, abstract). After an introduction about Urkesh itself, the authors move to describe the two main burial strategies of children, i.e. the 'jar burials', and the 'earth pits'.
[mDP – November 2019]
Kharobi, A.,
Buccellati, G.
2017


“The Dignity of the Dead. The Case of Ancient Urkesh and Modern Tell Mozan, Syria (2000-1600 BC),”
Paléorient 43/2, pp. 165-175.
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After a discussion of the concept of 'ancient perception', i.e. the way through which ancient people perceived and considered themselves and their life experiences, the topic of this paper moves directly on graves at Urkesh. Human burials are considered within a 'territorial legacy', i.e., also today, when excavating a tomb, archaeologists have to face the problem of been dealing with human remains (i.e. men or women) of people who settled at Urkesh many centuries ago. A final discussion deals with the comparison between archaeological and anthropological observations and 'funeral' texts from second- and first-millennium Mesopotamia.
[mDP – November 2019]
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Mahmoud, Y.
2019

“Through the Eyes of the Ancients. The Perception of Beauty in 3rd Millennium Syria,”
in SANEM 3, pp. 255-261.
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“The archaeological record is a channel that leads to the understanding of ancient life and the evolution of thought, in this case through the corpus of human representations from the cities of Ebla, Mari and Urkesh. We take a look through their eyes, and see what they deemed as beautiful” [author's abstract on p. 255].
[mDP – August 2020]
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Maiocchi, M.
2011

“A Hurrian Administrative Tablet from Third Millennium Urkesh,”
Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 101, pp. 191-203.
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A small Hurrian tablet found in 1997 at Tell Mozan is fully published in this paper. The tablet, labelled as A7.341, is well preserved and can be dated to the third millennium BC (on the base of both palaeography and stratigraphy). The author also includes a palaeographical comparison with other documents from Southern Mesopotamia and with two other tablets found at Urkesh. Further sections deal with the description of the stylus used to write the inscription, the sign alignment and the analysis of some noteworthy signs.
[mDP – November 2019]
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Recht, L.
2014a

“Perfume, women and the underworld in Urkesh: exploring female roles through aromatic substances in the Bronze Age Near East,”
Journal of Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Archaeology 1, pp. 11-24.
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After a general introduction on Urkesh, the author discusses the necromantic pit known as ābi and its connection with a 'lady', represented by a small ceramic anthropomorphic vessel (A12.108) portraying a female figure. The author describes the item in detail and then moves to interpretation of its function: as already proposed by M. Kelly-Buccellati, “this anthropomorphic vessel [...] has suggested contained perfumed oil used during rituals taking place in the ābi”. In conclusion, “the ancient texts make it clear that aromatic substances existed and were used in a variety of contexts beyond modern cosmetic usage [...]. This must also have been the case at ancient Urkesh and the broader region of northeastern Syria. The most likely vessels that may have contained such liquids or ointments come from cult contexts, including the monumental channel to contact the deities of the netherworld. The perfumes may have had not only cosmetic uses, but also have been appreciated for their medicinal properties and therefore part of healing rituals” (p. 21).
[mDP – November 2019]
2014b “Tell Mozan ceramics: Munsell colours,”
Frankfurter elektronische Rundschau zur Altertumskunde 24, pp. 12-46.
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In this paper, the ceramics found at Tell Mozan are analysed on the basis of the 'Munsell Soil Color Charts'. The specific procedure applied at Tell Mozan is explicated and some specimens of actual analysis are then provided, offering statistics about Tell Mozan's ceramic exterior colours and the relationship (of equivalence or diverging) between exterior and interior colours, also connecting shapes and ware types with respective colours. Furthermore, pottery is compared (as regards the colour) with other fire clay objects from Tell Mozan (i.e., miniature wheels, discs, sealings, sling balls, plaques, human and animal figurines).
[mDP – November 2019]
2015 “Identifying sacrifice in Bronze Age Near Eastern iconography,”
in Nicola Laneri (ed.), Defining the Sacred, Oxford and Philadelphia: Oxbow Books, pp. 24-37.
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This paper deals with the identification and reconstruction of ancient sacrificial practices in the ancient Near East and at specifically at Urkesh, using as main sources the archaeological and glyptic evidence from Tell Mozan: “Careful criteria sensitive to the wide array of religious practices in the ancient Near East can be set up to identify sacrifice in the iconography, and combined with other ancient material such as written sources and archaeological contexts, and theories proposed by modern scholars, these can be used to suggest further depictions and references to sacrificial rituals and their individual elements. Once carefully identified, we can begin to make inferences about the content of the practices of sacrifice in the ancient Near East - occasion, manner of killing, equipment used, participants (both animal and human), functions and locations” (p. 34).
[mDP – November 2019]
2018 “'Asses were buried with him': Equids as markers of sacred space in the third and second millennia BC in the Eastern Mediterranean,”
in Louis Nebelsick et al. (eds.), Sacred space: Contributions to the archaeology of belief, Warsaw: Institute of Archaeology, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, pp. 65-94.
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Alternative online version (Academia.edu)
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The paper focuses on the sacrifice and deposition of asses or equids together with an important deceased (as in the case, e.g., of Ur-Nammu's burial). After an introduction devoted to the story of the introduction and diffusion on equids in the Mediterranean, the author devotes two paragraphs to the analysis of the different species attested by archaeological samples and to the identification of equid remains according to osteological analyses. The concept of 'liminality' of equid burials is then analysed, describing this peculiar burial system connected to specific tombs at Urkesh. An appendix reports a catalogue including equids in graves in the Aegean and in the Near East.
[mDP – November 2019]
2019 “Animals as social actors: Cases of equid resistance in the ancient Near East,”
Cambridge Archaeological Journal 29/4 (November), pp. 1-14.
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DOI
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After a general introduction to the topic, the author analyses the relationship between humans and other animals, the 'danger of animal', the concept of a 'social actor' at Urkesh. Afterwards, she investigates the presence of equids in the Bronze Age Near East, pushing back in time their encounter with human beings, mentioning terracotta equid figurines from Tell Mozan, together with other figurines (or depictions) from Mary, Ur, Nippur and Egypt.
[mDP – November 2019]
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Twair, Pat and Samir
1997

“The Kingdom of the Lion,”
Aramco World 2.
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A brief but insightfull discussion about Urkesh's sealings, in the paths of the reconstruction of the Hurrian presence at Tell Mozan.
[mDP – April 2020]
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van Ginneken, P.
2000

“De Hurrieten van Tell Mozan,”
Spiegel Historiael 6, Issue 35, pp. 262-269.
In this paper (in Dutch) the author summarizes in detail the paths of the excavations at Tell Mozan/Urkesh, undertaken by Buccellati and Kelly-Buccellati, starting from 1984 onwards.
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After a general introduction, sketching the academic and archaeological profiles of the excavators (including their previous works at Terqa and Amuda), the paper retraces the beginning of the survey in the area of Tell Mozan toward its identification with Urkesh. A brief note is also devoted to recall the importance of the Tiš-atal lion and inscription kept at the Louvre Museum (AO 19937-19938). The paper continues in telling the history of the Mittanian kingdom, exposing its relationship with the Hittites and Egypt during the second millennium BC and ends with some 'latest news' regarding the recent (at the time of the publication) excavation season in 1999.
[mDP – November 2019]
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Zarins, J.,
Hauser, R.
2014


The Domestication of Equidae in Third-Millennium BCE Mesopotamia.
Bethesda (Maryland): CDL Press.
[NB: the hyperlink provided here above refers to an author's summary; a PDF version is not available, so far. A review of this paper, by Benjamin Arbuckle, can be read in “JNES” 75/1 (2016), pp. 174-176].
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Authors' abstract
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This book presents a comprehensive discussion of the philological, historical, and archaeological evidence for the range of equidae known now from much of Western Asia after a century of intense study and excavation. The study provides a unique perspective from the viewpoint of field archaeologists on the complex issues associated with the physical study of the remains of equidae and their associated terminology in cuneiform sources as well as their artistic representation. The study integrates diverse and recently excavated data, which reflect a wide geographical and chronological range, with cuneiform sources and new artistic finds to create a synthesis that will serve as a basis for all future research on the subject. The volume includes numerous illustrations, photos, and charts that enhance the presentation of the data: equid representations recovered in Royal Storehouse AK at Urkesh are as well included in this catalogue. - [Summary adapted by mDP from authors' abstract].
[mDP – November 2019]
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NOTE
As for Giorgio Buccellati's publications, see in detail his personal webpage at this link.