1: G. Buccellati, November 2002

Syria Shell Petroleum Development

You can dowload here a Folio in English and Arabic prepared especially for Shell.

     Archaeology is, you might say, a concrete science. In the first place, we deal with the very tangible reality of an ancient material culture embedded in the ground. But in addition, we conduct our research in a specific cultural and economic milieu. In our case, this milieu is modern Syria.
     The two images below are emblematic in this respect – on the left, the corner of our Royal Palace, on the right the corner of the entrance of the National Museum in Der ez-Zor where the objects from Mozan are currently housed.

     There is more in common between the two buildings than the visual angle they share in these pictures. The best objects from Urkesh are now housed in this Museum. And both our project and the Museum have benefitted from the support of Shell.
     This is another aspect of the “concreteness” of archaeology – the correlation between our scholarly aims and those of the forces that drive contemporary society in the world in which we live. Shell is the largest foreign concern operating in Syria. And they have provided enlightened support for the cultural growth of the country, a goal to which we are committed as well. In the particular case of archaeology, Shell has supported several excavations across the country and the construction of the new museum of Der ez-Zor. The Mozan/Urkesh Archaeological Project has been a beneficiary of both programs.

     We are fond of another image that links symbolically our two efforts.
     As the many tells of Syria encase the mysteries of the world’s earliest strides towards civilization, as cities lie hidden under the towering profile of tells like Urkesh at Tell Mozan, as we archaeologists treasure the soil for what it holds of our human past – so Syria Shell looks at the geological soil for its yield of mineral resources that are an essential share of modern Syria's economic growth.