35 episodes

This album contains the podcasts recorded at the second Protecting the Past conference, co-organised by the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project of the University of Oxford with the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani and the University of Sulaimani. It was held in Sulaimani - Iraq on 30-31 October 2016. Participants discussed projects to monitor and protect cultural heritage in Iraq and the MENA region as whole. Podcasts are available in English, Arabic and Kurdish.

Protecting the Past 2 - Towards a better future with cultural heritage Oxford University

    • Education

This album contains the podcasts recorded at the second Protecting the Past conference, co-organised by the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project of the University of Oxford with the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani and the University of Sulaimani. It was held in Sulaimani - Iraq on 30-31 October 2016. Participants discussed projects to monitor and protect cultural heritage in Iraq and the MENA region as whole. Podcasts are available in English, Arabic and Kurdish.

    The Citadel of Kirkuk: Reconnaissance and assessment of its archaeological heritage (Kurdish translation)

    The Citadel of Kirkuk: Reconnaissance and assessment of its archaeological heritage (Kurdish translation)

    Dr Narmeen A. Muhammadameen talks about challenges for work at the Kirkuk Citadel and the importance of this site for local and community identities. The citadel at Kirkuk, the natural focal point of the city with almost one million inhabitants, represents a North Iraqi cultural and archaeological monument of great potential. The relics of the fortified, Late Ottoman town quarter are situated on the summit of an extremely large tell (15,8 ha), rising on the height about 20–30 m on the left bank of the Khasa Sou River. The tell appeared to be an élite residence and regional centre as late as in the Middle-Assyrian (Mitanni) Period (the 16th-14th centuries BC), as textual sources indicate. Although no archaeological data have been obtained from the area so far, much earlier origins of settlement of the tell are highly probable.

    The heritage area of the citadel witnessed an unprecedented, planned destruction, labelled euphemistically as a „beautification action“ and building of museum of architecture, in the late Saddam era (1997–1998). All three thousands of inhabitants of the citadel, mostly Kurdish and Turkoman, were moved out and the quarter (about 700–850 houses) was completely bulldozed, except of nine isolated monuments and nine small groups of „most valuable“ houses. Subsequently, a part of these structures underwent hard renovations by use of inapropriate methods and materials (in 1998–2003), the citadel area, however, remained unsettled till present and all the architectural remains, both renovated and authentic, are in ruins or seriously endangered.

    Even in ruins or remodelled, the preserved houses represent a unique specimen of regional, Late Ottoman town architecture, different from that in Baghdad or Arbil. The standing religious monuments (mainly Prophet Daniel Mosque. Great Mosque and Gog Kumbet Tomb) are famous sites of pilgrimage and worship both for Muslims and Christians. The site apparently sustains a not negligible potential for local turism, religious contacts and cultural exchange.

    The presented project comes from our previous experience in archaeological evaluation of Arbil citadel (2006–2009). It aims generally to 1. gather all available data about historical substance of the citadel building and its archaeological stratification, 2. structure that data to an project of information system of the citadel, and 3. prepare a complex documentation and assessment report about archaeology and architecure of the citadel. The project will mostly rely on non-invasive, intensive methods of archaeological research and recording (archaeological surface survey, collection of surface finds, historical building analysis, remote sensing) and will have following stages:

    1. collecting of data (old plans and photographs, satellite and aerial images, oral history, all types of archaeological survey and recording, photogrammetry, possibly geophysical survey)
    2. creation and feeding of the information database system based on a digital, three-dimensional model of the citadel (see a demo-version of similar database created for the Arbil citadel http://lfgm.fsv.cvut.cz/citadel/)
    3. analysis and interpretation of data in the form of an assessment report which should give a first reliable information about stratigraphy and architecture of the heritage area, as well as of its value and potential for future research. Some proposals for conservation and public presentation of the monuments have to be also a part of the report. Thus, the results could be integrated into the realization phase of the recent masterplan of the Kirkuk city.

    The proposed project will be carried out in close cooperation with the State Board of Antiquities at Baghdad, Directorate of Antiquities at Kirkuk, with specialist from Salahaddin University at Arbil, Department of Archaeology (Prof. Dr. Narmin A. M. Amin) and several Czec

    • 24 min
    The Citadel of Kirkuk: Reconnaissance and assessment of its archaeological heritage (English translation)

    The Citadel of Kirkuk: Reconnaissance and assessment of its archaeological heritage (English translation)

    Dr Narmeen A. Muhammadameen talks about challenges for work at the Kirkuk Citadel and the importance of this site for local and community identities. The citadel at Kirkuk, the natural focal point of the city with almost one million inhabitants, represents a North Iraqi cultural and archaeological monument of great potential. The relics of the fortified, Late Ottoman town quarter are situated on the summit of an extremely large tell (15,8 ha), rising on the height about 20–30 m on the left bank of the Khasa Sou River. The tell appeared to be an élite residence and regional centre as late as in the Middle-Assyrian (Mitanni) Period (the 16th-14th centuries BC), as textual sources indicate. Although no archaeological data have been obtained from the area so far, much earlier origins of settlement of the tell are highly probable.

    The heritage area of the citadel witnessed an unprecedented, planned destruction, labelled euphemistically as a „beautification action“ and building of museum of architecture, in the late Saddam era (1997–1998). All three thousands of inhabitants of the citadel, mostly Kurdish and Turkoman, were moved out and the quarter (about 700–850 houses) was completely bulldozed, except of nine isolated monuments and nine small groups of „most valuable“ houses. Subsequently, a part of these structures underwent hard renovations by use of inapropriate methods and materials (in 1998–2003), the citadel area, however, remained unsettled till present and all the architectural remains, both renovated and authentic, are in ruins or seriously endangered.

    Even in ruins or remodelled, the preserved houses represent a unique specimen of regional, Late Ottoman town architecture, different from that in Baghdad or Arbil. The standing religious monuments (mainly Prophet Daniel Mosque. Great Mosque and Gog Kumbet Tomb) are famous sites of pilgrimage and worship both for Muslims and Christians. The site apparently sustains a not negligible potential for local turism, religious contacts and cultural exchange.

    The presented project comes from our previous experience in archaeological evaluation of Arbil citadel (2006–2009). It aims generally to 1. gather all available data about historical substance of the citadel building and its archaeological stratification, 2. structure that data to an project of information system of the citadel, and 3. prepare a complex documentation and assessment report about archaeology and architecure of the citadel. The project will mostly rely on non-invasive, intensive methods of archaeological research and recording (archaeological surface survey, collection of surface finds, historical building analysis, remote sensing) and will have following stages:

    1. collecting of data (old plans and photographs, satellite and aerial images, oral history, all types of archaeological survey and recording, photogrammetry, possibly geophysical survey)
    2. creation and feeding of the information database system based on a digital, three-dimensional model of the citadel (see a demo-version of similar database created for the Arbil citadel http://lfgm.fsv.cvut.cz/citadel/)
    3. analysis and interpretation of data in the form of an assessment report which should give a first reliable information about stratigraphy and architecture of the heritage area, as well as of its value and potential for future research. Some proposals for conservation and public presentation of the monuments have to be also a part of the report. Thus, the results could be integrated into the realization phase of the recent masterplan of the Kirkuk city.

    The proposed project will be carried out in close cooperation with the State Board of Antiquities at Baghdad, Directorate of Antiquities at Kirkuk, with specialist from Salahaddin University at Arbil, Department of Archaeology (Prof. Dr. Narmin A. M. Amin) and several Czec

    • 24 min
    The Citadel of Kirkuk: Reconnaissance and Assessment of Its Archaeological Heritage (Arabic)

    The Citadel of Kirkuk: Reconnaissance and Assessment of Its Archaeological Heritage (Arabic)

    Dr Narmeen A. Muhammadameen talks about challenges for work at the Kirkuk Citadel and the importance of this site for local and community identities. The citadel at Kirkuk, the natural focal point of the city with almost one million inhabitants, represents a North Iraqi cultural and archaeological monument of great potential. The relics of the fortified, Late Ottoman town quarter are situated on the summit of an extremely large tell (15,8 ha), rising on the height about 20–30 m on the left bank of the Khasa Sou River. The tell appeared to be an élite residence and regional centre as late as in the Middle-Assyrian (Mitanni) Period (the 16th-14th centuries BC), as textual sources indicate. Although no archaeological data have been obtained from the area so far, much earlier origins of settlement of the tell are highly probable.

    The heritage area of the citadel witnessed an unprecedented, planned destruction, labelled euphemistically as a „beautification action“ and building of museum of architecture, in the late Saddam era (1997–1998). All three thousands inhabitants of the citadel, mostly Kurdish and Turkoman, were moved out and the quarter (about 700–850 houses) was completely bulldozed, except of nine isolated monuments and nine small groups of „most valuable“ houses. Subsequently, a part of these structures underwent hard renovations by use of inapropriate methods and materials (in 1998–2003), the citadel area, however, remained unsettled till present and all the architectural remains, both renovated and authentic, are in ruins or seriously endangered.

    Even in ruins or remodelled, the preserved houses represent a unique specimen of regional, Late Ottoman town architecture, different from that in Baghdad or Arbil. The standing religious monuments (mainly Prophet Daniel Mosque. Great Mosque and Gog Kumbet Tomb) are famous sites of pilgrimage and worship both for Muslims and Christians. The site apparently sustains a not negligible potential for local turism, religious contacts and cultural exchange.

    The presented project comes from our previous experience in archaeological evaluation of Arbil citadel (2006–2009). It aims generally to 1. gather all available data about historical substance of the citadel building and its archaeological stratification, 2. structure that data to an project of information system of the citadel, and 3. prepare a complex documentation and assessment report about archaeology and architecure of the citadel. The project will mostly rely on non-invasive, intensive methods of archaeological research and recording (archaeological surface survey, collection of surface finds, historical building analysis, remote sensing) and will have following stages:

    1. collecting of data (old plans and photographs, satellite and aerial images, oral history, all types of archaeological survey and recording, photogrammetry, possibly geophysical survey)
    2. creation and feeding of the information database system based on a digital, three-dimensional model of the citadel (see a demo-version of similar database created for the Arbil citadel http://lfgm.fsv.cvut.cz/citadel/)
    3. analysis and interpretation of data in the form of an assessment report which should give a first reliable information about stratigraphy and architecture of the heritage area, as well as of its value and potential for future research. Some proposals for conservation and public presentation of the monuments have to be also a part of the report. Thus, the results could be integrated into the realization phase of the recent masterplan of the Kirkuk city.

    The proposed project will be carried out in close cooperation with the State Board of Antiquities at Baghdad, Directorate of Antiquities at Kirkuk, with specialist from Salahaddin University at Arbil, Department of Archaeology (Prof. Dr. Narmin A. M. Amin) and several Czech s

    • 24 min
    Site Destruction in the Iraqi Jazirah: a satellite imagery assessment (English)

    Site Destruction in the Iraqi Jazirah: a satellite imagery assessment (English)

    Dr Emma Cunliffe brings our attention to the importance of considering the significant damage caused by agriculture, development, irrigation and infrastructure protects to less visible sites and features, such as holloways. The Northern Jazira in Iraq is an area with a long, rich settlement history that includes small early settlements, multi-period tell sites, and a wide variety of later settlement and off-site features. In particular, the region is notable for its network of hollow ways – an extensive network of well-preserved routes connecting the ancient settlements. Some are estimated to be at least 5000 years old, and yet despite substantial landscape change are still visible today.

    However, over the last 60 years the archaeology of the region has come under increasing threat. Problems include dam inundation and the associated irrigation networks, the intensified farming that follows it, and expanding urbanisation and its accompanying infrastructure. Although some rescue work has been conducted in advance of some infrastructure projects, the extent of the damage these have caused has never been assessed. This paper will review 60 years of landscape change in the area around Tell al-Hawa, using early CORONA satellite imagery and recent Digital Globe imagery. Although we will never have a ‘complete’ record of the past to study, by examining the effects of modern development on the archaeology of the region, it is possible to assess its loss. This paper will conclude by considering the impact this has – and will continue to have – on the study of the history of Iraq, and its implications for heritage management.

    • 25 min
    Using Digital Technologies to Document the Endangered Archaeological Heritage of the Bazyan Basin in Slemani (English)

    Using Digital Technologies to Document the Endangered Archaeological Heritage of the Bazyan Basin in Slemani (English)

    Using case studies from his work in the Bazyan Basin, Ricardo Cabral outlines the digital technologies that can be used to survey and explore sites threatened by agriculture, development and industry in Iraq. Recent developments in the field of 3D technologies, including access to low cost volumetric surveys, virtual reality systems and 3D printing, have been gradually transforming the traditional modes of recording, research and dissemination of archaeological heritage. The application of these digital technologies has opened a wide range of possibilities and solutions in the preservation and dissemination of archaeological sites, playing an especially important role in unstable socio-political contexts.

    It is in this context that the Kani Shaie Archaeological Project, which takes place in Iraqi Kurdistan, has, since 2013, adopted a multi-scale 3D scanning methodology, combining Unmanned Air Vehicles, photogrammetry, GIS and handheld laser scanners for the documentation and preservation of the site and its archaeological remains.

    The use of these digital tools proved to be not only a solution for the remote analysis of archaeological data, providing greater insight into the archaeological contexts and artifacts, but simultaneously allowed us to develop a virtual reality application that provides an interactive approach to the dissemination of the archaeological heritage to the public. The application of these technologies will assist in the coming years to document in a digital format the threatened and rapidly disappearing cultural heritage of the Bazyan valley.

    • 23 min
    Capacity Building for Cultural Heritage in the KRG (Kurdish translation)

    Capacity Building for Cultural Heritage in the KRG (Kurdish translation)

    Dr Tobin Hartnell argues that three key ‘gaps’ are threatening cultural heritage: an interest gap, a caring gap, and a skills gap. He suggests that expanding cultural heritage studies beyond universities is a key priority for the future. After decades of neglect, there is a very active research program for archaeology in the KRG largely led by foreigners. Amongst these foreign projects, there are a few that are specifically designed to strengthen the capacity of existing cultural professionals in the museum and archaeology space. What is missing is support for the next generation of professionals. Traditionally, national and regional governments have supported students financially to gain their education in foreign universities, yet the most effective forms of capacity building will reverse that to emphasize local skills building initiatives and partnerships to bring qualified professionals into the region. This talk will discuss successful models of in-sourcing and consider what has, is, and can be done to support capacity development in the local universities.

    • 16 min

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