Giorgio and Marilyn Kelly Buccellati

In 1990 the Buccellatis began uncovering a substantial building at the foot of the western end of the tell. After several seasons of work they could identify the building as a palace, largely because of the numerous seal impressions they found scattered on the building’s floor. (All of the seal impressions from Tell Mozan were made by rolling a cylindrical seal, probably carved of semiprecious stone, over a lump of moist clay, thus sealing a document or a shipment of goods.) The impressions excavated at the palace are all royal; they show various activities performed at court, from gatherings of the royal family to the preparation of royal meals. Some of the impressions have inscriptions in Hurrian—including references to the king, the queen and, most important of all for the identification of the site, the city itself: Urkesh.