Towards a better future with cultural heritage

Sulaimani, Iraq, autumn 2016

The second Protecting the Past conference (entitled ‘Towards a Better Future with Cultural Heritage’) was held in Sulaimani (KRG, Iraq) in autumn 2016. A conference field trip to the Erbil Citadel also took place prior to the conference. This event was co-organised by EAMENA, the Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (CACHE) at the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani (AUIS) and the Department of Archaeology of the University of Sulaimani. It coincided with AUIS’ 2nd Annual Iraq and Kurdistan Region Cultural Heritage Symposium.

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With this conference, we intended to move beyond the description of the threats facing cultural heritage in the region, and focus instead on the new approaches and projects aiming at heritage monitoring, protection and preservation. The conference examined projects in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region, with particular emphasis placed on newly-launched projects for Iraq such as the British Museum Emergency Heritage Management Project.

Up to 30 local, regional, and international speakers took the floor to discuss themes such as remote sensing and cultural heritage protection, the digitisation of museums, the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles to record endangered heritage, and emergency training initiatives.

Immediately following the conference, EAMENA provided a training workshop on remote sensing, GIS and archaeological inventories. This workshop, which was aimed at Iraqi archaeologists, practitioners and a restricted number of AUIS students, was open to invited participants only. Our goal was to go beyond discussion and provide practical skills for managing cultural heritage in the region in the future.

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Structure & venue

The conference took place in the lecture hall of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. Attendance was free.

The training session taking place after the conference was opened to invited participants only.

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