THE MILLENNIA FOR TODAY. Archeaology against War: Yesterday’s Urkesh in today’s Syria

Curated by Giorgio and Marilyn Buccellati, Stefania Ermidoro, Yasmine Mahmoud


Archeology against the war: yesterday’s Urkesh in today’s Syria
Curated by Giorgio and Marilyn Buccellati, Stefania Ermidoro, Yasmine Mahmoud

Can archeology be considered as a young science, capable of engaging in a communication with local communities and their territory? Can it also dramatically involve young people in a war-torn nation? These questions are answered by the exhibition “The millennia for today”, starting from the specific case of archaeological research at the site of Tell Mozan, ancient Urkesh, in Syria, which has made a strong contribution to the formation of a solid self-consciousness of local communities during the war and now contributing to the search for a new cohesion in what will hopefully be the beginning of the post-war period.

The case of Tell Mozan shows the profound value of history, a value that rises to a dimension that is more felt , the more it is endangered by those who want to eradicate this history: the so-called Islamic state. Two antithetical ways of conceiving identity: starting from ephemeral, instrumental or even perverse proclamations, or from true and shared values. Around the excavations, in fact, unexpected harmonies appeared, the greater the distances and the strong disintegrating pressures, the more it was felt.

There were cooperation between local communities of different ethnic and religious backgrounds; the cooperation between the rural population and the foreigners who were interested in their world of rich simple authenticity ; the cooperation between young Syrians and not (especially Italians), at all levels, from elementary to university; the harmonies between scholars and the public, capable of giving rise to innovative forms of interaction with the territory; the teamwork between Syrian and Italian entrepreneurs that shows the fundamental question of the relationship between productive commitment and social responsibility; the cooperation between different mentalities and intergenerational ways of feeling, as in the invitation to immerse oneself in silent reflection, escaping the haunting rhythm of sensorial stimuli.

Archaeologists, historians, linguists, have not taught them something strange. Together they revisited findings that everyone can touch and provoke; together they have rebuilt a past that feeds everyone, speaking languages in which lurk concepts and feelings that unite us to people that have been silent for some time. “The forces that move history are the same that make man happy” also means that the Syrian population can give new meaning to their past, even very remote, infusing new light from the present. Paradoxically, it is the present that nourishes the past, at the very moment in which it discovers there the humus of which they nourish their roots.


19 Agosto 2018 - 25 Agosto 2018




Piazza B3
Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions