Help Preserve and Uncover Ancient Syrian Ruins


Target: Co-director of the Syrian Heritage Initiative Jesse Casana

Goal: Save the ancient ruins of Tell Mozan from destruction due to the Syrian Civil War.

Syria is in the midst of a civil war that began in the middle of an archaeological excavation of the Tell Mozan, which contains evidence of groundbreaking historical information. However, until the civil war is over, foreign archaeologists are forbidden from entering the excavation site or even the country of Syria. Help these crucial discoveries become historical fact by maintaining them during this time of war.

Giorgio Buccellati was one of the UCLA excavators that had been working on the site since the 1980’s. He left in late 2010 and was eager to return the following year after uncovering striking evidence of a unique urban society that formed in southern Mesopotamia. While it was previously believed that city life developed in southern Mesopotamia and moved north, the discoveries made at Tell Mozan suggest that the North had a competing idea of urban life.

However, while the country is in a time of war, the primary foreign archaeologists are unable to preserve the site and protect it from weather elements that could be devastating to these delicately ancient ruins and artifacts. Local excavators have continued to preserve the site the best they can by maintaining the mud walls that surround the site, but this material corrodes fast in open weather.

Action needs to be taken urgently to make sure these precious pieces of history are not lost forever. Sign our petition to urge the Syrian Heritage Initiative to do everything they can to assist the local group in their preservation efforts.


Dear Director of Site Databases and Remote Sensing Jesse Casana,

The Tell Mozan excavation site is in urgent need of preservation before the valuable history it holds is permanently gone. Recently a team of archaeologists discovered evidence of an alternate, competing idea of urban civilization in ancient northern Mesopotamia that counters the previous belief that city life originated in southern Mesopotamia and spread north.

However, just as they were beginning to uncover solid evidence, the non-Syrian excavators were banned from the country due to the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War. The village surrounding Tell Mozan remains quiet and has barely been effected by the war, however foreign archaeologists are still forbidden from returning. While crossfire is still a concern, it is nowhere near as much of a threat as the damage that outdoor weathering could cause.

Currently the area is being preserved by half a dozen local excavators, who are doing their best to secure the area and constantly maintain the fragile, mud-brick wall that makes up a majority of the site. But if the excavation remains open and vulnerable to the elements that surround it, then fifty years of work could be destroyed. Please help this group in any way you can to preserve the invaluable history that is yet to be uncovered at the Tell Mozan site.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: James Gordon

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