G. Buccellati, 2002-2010.
L. Recht, 2013-2017.
M. De Pietri, 2018-.


     The full version of the following short articles or communications published by staff members is available on our website.
     Click on the date to see the printed copy in PDF format. If an online version is independently available, click on the appropariate link below the title.
     A short abstract is provided after each bibliographic entry.

1996 Giorgio Buccellati and Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati
“Una manciata di secoli,”
Bollettino dell'Associazione Archeologica Ticinese 6, pp. 16-23.
The quotation of famous verses of Italian poet E. Montale opens this paper, describing “una manciata di secoli [a handful of centuries]” (p. 17), namely around 43, hiding the materials of ancient Urkesh/Tell Mozan: here, more than 650 sealings have been discovered, presenting very peculiar style, with a strong characterization of personages. The paper described the activities during 1995 and 1996: the first one has been thought mainly as a study season, while during the latter year two more sealings were firstly found and later the storehouse (secondly recognized as the Royal Palace]) was investigated, presenting a monumental entrance (ca. 22 m in length). The identification of Tell Mozan with ancient Urkesh was indeed noteworthy, since it was a mythical city and the only Hurrian capital discovered, so far. The team of archaeologists was joined this year also by some scholars from the 'Associazione Archeologica Ticinense' and the 'Facoltà di Teologia di Lugano' (Swiss) and other institutions: in detail, P. Pozzi was in charge for the drawing of the materials; R. Hauser started the publication of the clay figurines from the Royal Palace (helped by C. Wettstein in the graphic documentation); A. Frigerio was responsible for the study of pottery; all the efforts aimed to better clarify many functions of the palatial areas and the subsequent abrupt abandonment. In a very short time, a thousand-year history (covered and hidden by earth) was unveiled.
[mDP – November 2019]
2002 Giorgio Buccellati
“Beyond Clay and Beyond Paper,”
Backdirt, Fall 2002/Winter 2003, pp. 4-5.
Original online version.
The paper describes how communication devices evolved during times: from clay to laptop and internet, asking how human mind reshape itself in approaching data. As an example, it is reported the case of Urkesh archaeological project, whose team aims to develop a new way in spreading knowledge about this ancient site: a volume published by S. Bonetti about conservation projects at Tell Mozan, for instance, was produced both in paper and digital version (on CD [and today available also online, see the abovementioned link]). Many advantages can be pointed out about this 'soft edition' of the book: firstly, the hard-cover edition costs around 25$, while the CD version can be afforded with just 5$; secondly, the digital version is much more searchable, presenting internal links. A question arises: “What is the conceptual dimension of such digital publishing?” (p. 4). For sure, scholars “are still solidly within the realm of paper” (p. 4) but the attempt to produce an 'Urkesh Global Record', based on a rigorous grammar, could allow to achieve a synthetic processing of the data. As ancient shepherds benefited of the use of writing on clay for counting purposes, similarly “computers [...] do infinitely more than simply providing greater efficiency in writing and publishing. [...] The Urkesh digital project is a small step along this road” (p. 5). – [About the methodology applied for this digital publication, see The Website and more in detail Digital thought].
[mDP – November 2019]
2003 Giorgio Buccellati and Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati
“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.
The object presented in this contribution is for sure one of the best pieces known from Urkesh, the two copper alloy, lion-shaped foundation pegs kept at the MET (48.180) and at the Louvre (AO 19937+19938), the latter also carrying a limestone tablet with a Hurrian cuneiform inscription of king (endan) Tish-atal of Urkesh [see on Urkesh website: Royal inscriptions, r2]. Despite they were both purchased on the antiquity market, their provenance from Tell Mozan is supported by the inscription directly quoting Urkesh, which has been definitely identified with Tell Mozan, a topic well exposed by Buccellati and Kelly-Buccellati in the pages following the description of the lions [pp. 224-227, “Tell Mozan (Ancient Urkesh)”]. This identification is particularly strengthened by the finding at Tell Mozan of many sealings quoting the name of the ancient city of Urkesh: two of them (belonging to queen Uqnitum and to Tar’am-Agade) are presented in this catalogue on pp. 226-227. – [For Uqnitum's sealings, see Seal legends: Uqnitum; for that of Tar’am-Agade, see Seal legends: Tar’am-Agade].
[mDP – November 2019]
2019 Giorgio Buccellati, Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati and Federico Buccellati
The Pride of Heritage. Archaeology for social developmentat Tell Mozan, ancient Urkesh, in Syria
Click here for the full text.

     An in-house report, it highlights thirteen major activities undertaken by the project durign the war years.
     «Archaeology remains at the core of what we do. Our special effort is to show the wider claim the past can have on us and on the communities that host this past, enshrined in their territory. So we do not report here about Urkesh B.C. It is the new face of Urkesh A.D. we are highlighting: all the pictures you see here are from these eight years of war (all but a few clearly indicated). They document our continued presence at the site, even as we could not be present there physically.»
     «Here you will find an overview of what went into making this possible. We re-main, we want to stress it, archaeologists but we found that research is not an abstraction. It can enkindle profound human responses, serving a need that goes beyond the acquisition of knowledge.»