Archaeological practice and heritage protection
in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
This is an 18-month long project funded by the Cultural Protection Fund of the British Council which brings together a partnership of the University of Glasgow (lead organization), the Directorate of Antiquities of the Suleymaniyah Governorate in Iraq, the Department of Anthropology of Dartmouth College in USA and Inherit.
An international team of archaeologists and cultural heritage professionals, coordinated by Dr Claudia Glatz (University of Glasgow), brings together a range of research interests in the archaeology of north-east Iraq and expertise in working with communities in challenging cultural and ethnic contexts.
The project focuses on the Iraqi Kurdish region of Garmian/southern Suleymaniyah, an area of ca. 4000km2 that is home to hundreds of archaeological sites spanning more than 10,000 years of human history. It builds on the ongoing Sirwan Regional Project (SRP), an archaeological survey and excavation project, which has been investigating the archaeology of this area since 2013 and has identified over 600 archaeological features including settlement mounds, lithic scatters, rock reliefs, hydraulic works and standing structures.
Archaeological sites in the Garmian region are of immense historical significance, offering an untapped source of knowledge regarding key developments in human history: the emergence of sedentary agriculture, the development of the world’s first complex societies, and the cultural interactions that took place between imperial centres in Mesopotamia, Iran, and beyond. It is in this heritage that the current communities of Kurds, Arabs and minorities like Turkmen and Yazidis, take grade pride, while archaeology and heritage feature prominently in the local national identity and place-making narratives as well as in the political agenda of the region for tourism and economic development.
Inherit’s role in the project is to collaborate with the team and work closely with a range of local teachers and museums curators in order to develop two innovative education spaces in the archaeological museums of Suleymaniyah and Kalar. It will assist the local staff to design a number of culturally specific educational activities for children and young people and will contribute to the development of a Cultural Heritage Strategy document. The Strategy will be a framework for action for archaeological practice and heritage protection in the area and will draw on the experience and the ideas that will emerge during the engagement activities with local stakeholders, educators and heritage practitioners.
For more details about the project outline please visit the British Council’s webpage.