‘Archaeology for a young future’ (ITALY/SYRIA) is an online exchange programme that encourages school students in Italy and Syria to discover their own, local history through archaeology and to virtually exchange these histories with each other in creative ways.
For many of the schoolchildren who took part, this innovative, yet simple initiative was their first experience of international cultural exchange and a common understanding of shared heritage. The programme has led participants, aged 11 to 14, to realise the value of archaeology, discover new places and become more deeply connected to their own localities. The Associazione per la Valorizzazione dell’Archeologia e della Storia Antica (AVASA), in cooperation with the Tell Mozan / Urkesh Archaeological Project, initiated the programme with the financial support of the Steinmetz Family Foundation and the Cariplo Foundation.
Watch the project video
Interview with Stefania Ermidoro, Director of AVASA, project leader
1) What was the most difficult or challenging moment during this project?
The greatest challenge to our project in the past years has been the terrible war that raged in Syria, forcing our physical absence from the archaeological site and the local communities who live around it.
2) What was the most rewarding?
One of the most emotional moments has been seeing the images of the exceptional concert which the very young musicians of the Roj Ava Orchestra held on the monumental staircase of Tell Mozan. Many of these youngsters were children involved in our Project School, and they engaged their directors and friends in the discovery of ancient Urkesh, through the music.
3) What does the future of your project look like?
We had already begun a new exchange of schools between Italy and Greece, and we were about to put the European students in communication with Syrian peers, when the pandemic forced us to stop this project. However, we did not give up, and the school project is still ongoing, with a completely original approach: individual students in Italy, Syria, the US and now also China are communicating with each other, being tutored by educators and members of our staff, on a "one-on-one" basis.
Contact: Stefania Ermidoro, Director, AVASA, firstname.lastname@example.org; +39 3349460177