Event: VIRTUAL PIZZA TALK: Cultural Heritage? A Personal Tale from Tell Mozan in Syria

Date & Time

February 24, 2021 - 12:00pm
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Contact Information

Sumiji Takahashi



Event Type

Pizza Talk

Event Details

Dr. Giorgio Buccellati, Research Professor and Director, Mesopotamian Lab, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA
Dr. Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati, Visiting Professor, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA
Wednesday February 24th, 12:00pm (PT)

Urkesh was one of the first cities in history, dating back to the fourth millennium. It is, today, a large cultural hill, known as Tell Mozan, in northeastern Syria, an area ravaged by war.

The Mesopotamians  were already aware  of the history hidden in the tells which, even then, dotted the countryside. Here is a Sumerian text:

Where is Gilgameš, who, like (his ancestor) Ziusudra, sought  (eternal) life? Where are those great kings who came long before our own days? Above there are the houses where they dwelt, but it is below that there are the houses that last forever.

And here is a Babylonian text:

Go up any of the ancient tells and walk about see the skulls of people from ages past and from yesteryear: can you tell the difference?

Even the word for "tell" is still the same today as it was then. We may see here, four millennia ago, the beginning of community archaeology. It is the awareness of a life hidden in the ground where our roots sink deeply.

This will be both a personal tale and one about theory. Personal, because we want to share how we have  come gradually  to feel more and more the impact of what the question mark in the title of our talk implies. And yet theoretical, because we have always questioned this growing awareness of ours for conservation and heritage, trying to see why community archaeology  is in fact, as it must be, simply and purely "better" archaeology.

Register for this Cotsen Virtual Pizza Talk here! You will receive instructions on viewing the talk after registering.