Archaeology and the Development of
an Eco-Archaeological Park at Tell Mozan, Syria

Giorgio Buccellati and Caitlin Chaves Yates

A paper to be presented at
the 2012 annual meeting of ASOR
in the section devoted to
Cultural heritage management:
Methods, practices, and case studies

     The creation of an Eco-Archaeological Park at Tell Mozan, Syria provides a unique case study for the interaction of archaeology and cultural heritage. The Park is centered on the site of Mozan, ancient Urkesh, a site that has been under continued excavation since 1984. The Park includes an area of 54 square kilometers suggestive of the sustaining hinterlands of the ancient city.
      Development of the Park presents unique challenges and opportunities for the archaeological investigation, because it is undertaken in close correlation with continued excavations at the site itself.
     Extensive research has already been done in connection with the project, and this paper will focus on 3 main aspects. (1) The study of ancient hinterlands becomes much more significant when based both on surveys and on plans for systematic excavations of sites presumed to be the satellite villages of the ancient city. (2) The 22 villages contained within the perimeter of the Park will be developed as elements of a large cultural cluster, where each village will have a display area devoted to an aspect of ancient life (e.g., ceramics, botany, writing) as well as its modern counterpart. (3) This will take place in concomitance with the expansion of the major program of conservation and site presentation at the central site of Urkesh, which will be developed as the pivot of the larger cultural cluster represented by the Park. Thus while decentering by adding additional points of interests we will in fact enhance the value and significance of the core.