Bio-bibliography + Videoclip

Italy and USA

Giorgio Buccellati and Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati

2021 Balzan Prize for Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East

For their achievements in the study of Hurrian culture and for highlighting its importance as the foundation of a great urban civilization, among the most flourishing in the ancient Near East in the third millennium BCE; for promoting a digital approach to the study of archaeology; for enhancing theoretical reflection on the nature of this discipline.

Biographical and Bibliographical Data

Giorgio Buccellati was born in Milan in 1937. He studied ancient history at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, (PhD in History in 1959), at the University of Innsbruck and at Fordham, New York (MA in philosophy in 1961) and earned his PhD in Oriental Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 1965.
He is Research Professor in the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and in the Department of History at UCLA. He founded the Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, of which he served as first director from 1973 until 1983 and where he is now Director of the Mesopotamian Lab. He is currently Director of the International Institute for Mesopotamian Area Studies (IIMAS) and of the Associazione per la Valorizzazione dell’Archeologia e della Storia Antica (AVASA).

Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati was born in Morristown, New Jersey, in 1939. She studied Oriental Languages and Civilizations at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, where she earned her PhD in 1974. From 1973 until her appointment as Emerita (2003), she taught in the Department of Art at California State University, Los Angeles. Since 2003 she has continued her research at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Selected publications

G.B., The Amorites of the Ur III Period. Ricerche, Volume I. Napoli: Istituto Orientale, 1966, pp. XVIII-380, Plates XIV.

G.B., Cities and Nations of Ancient Syria. Studi Semitici, 26. Roma: Istituto di Studi del Vicino Oriente, 1967, pp. 264.

G.B. (editor), Approaches to the Study of the Ancient Near East: Gelb Volume. Roma: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1973, pp. 338, Plates II.

M.K.B. (editor), Insight Through Images: Studies in Honor of Edith Porada, Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 21, 1986, 268 pp. and 64 pls. (in collaboration with P. Matthiae and M. Van Loon).

G.B and M.K.B, Mozan 1. The Soundings of the First Two Seasons. Malibu: Undena Publications. “Bibliotheca Mesopotamica, 20”, 1988, pp. 158, pl. XXIV.

“The Royal Palace of Urkesh. Report on the 12th Season at Tell Mozan/Urkesh: Excavations in Area AA, June-October 1999,” Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu Berlin 132, pp. 133-183.
G.B., A Structural Grammar of Babylonian. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1996, pp. xxxiv, 512; 2nd ed. 2012.
G.B., «Quando in alto i cieli…». La spiritualità mesopotamica a confronto con quella biblica. Milano: Jaca Book, 2012, pp. XXVI-323.

G.B., Alle origini della politica. La formazione e la crescita dello stato in Siro-Mesopotamia. Milano: Jaca Book, 2013, pp. xxviii-354; Spanish and English translations.

G.B. and M.K.B., Dal profondo del tempo. All’origine della comunicazione e della comunità nell’antica Siria. Firenze: Società Editrice Fiorentina, 2014.

M.K.B., Georgia. Paese d’oro e di fede. Identita` e alterita` nella storia di un popolo, Firenze: Società Editrice Fiorentina, 2016.

G.B., A Critique of Archaeological Reason. Structural, Digital and Philosophical Aspects of the Excavated Record. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017, pp. xviii-392.

M.K.B., Urkesh Ceramic Analysis, 2017 (digital book:

G.B., I millenni per l’oggi. L’archeologia contro la guerra: Urkesh di ieri nella Siria di oggi. Firenze: Società Editrice Fiorentina, 2018, (with Stefania Ermidoro and Yasmine Mahmoud); Arabic and English translations, 2019.

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