The Gulfsands Urkesh Exploration Fund is a prestigious mechanism that provides ongoing financial support to a distinctive scholarly enterprise. A high level of funding ensures continuity to the archaeological endeavor, and grafts not only the name of Gulfsands Petroleum, but also its sense of purpose, onto the project.
We celebrate the partnership with a few images that highlight some of the main finds from Urkesh. It is this partnership in discovery that makes possible the results we have achieved.
The focal point of social life, the king and his family project an image of security and harmony. These faces are marked with the distinctiveness of portraiture.
As we free a civilization from the grip of the soil, we recover values, passions and ambitions. These faces and gestures speak volumes – the queen securing the succession for her son, the son showing submission and familiarity toward his father, the father solemnly legitimizing the joint efforts of wife and son.
Through the toil of scholarship, their names resound on our lips once more their faces are profiled for us anew – Tupkish, Uqnitum, etc.
Gulfsands Petroleum helps us listen to voices silent no more and look at faces no longer hidden.
Urkesh was at the wellspring
of an original ancient Syrian culture,
that of the Hurrians.
In this city, a new artistic style was developed,
sparkling in its realism and yet
daunting in its expressionism.
Like an ancient Mona Lisa,
this female statue still smiles
her mysterious smile
and elicits the same emotions from us
that it did from the ancient Syrians
some four millennia ago.
An image of power,
the lion is the preferred symbol of the Urkesh kings.
At home in the mountains,
the lion tells how these ancient Hurrian kings of Syria
controlled and ruled
their rich hinterland to the north,
whence came the metal and the stone.
The bronze lions assert their power
through the written word guarded by their paws.