Wednesday, September 15, 2021 - 17:15
American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) and the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH) of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities of the Republic of Iraq announced in a signing ceremony today the start of a five-year partnership to document heritage affected by the construction of the Makhool Dam in Kirkuk and Salahaddin governorates.
AUIS’s Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (CACHE), led by Dr. Tobin Hartnell, will be tasked with documenting, preserving, protecting, and restoring cultural heritage found at the dam sites, in cooperation with Iraqi public authorities. The SBAH will assist in the organization and completion of field surveys to document threatened heritage.
“The Makhool Dam poses a significant threat to Iraq’s cultural heritage,” said Dr. Hartnell. “CACHE, AUIS, and the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage are committed to responding to this threat, and after the initial phase, we will coordinate a series of interventions to preserve the historical memory of Iraq for future generations.”
The first phase of the project will rely on cutting-edge technology including use of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced 3D visualization to identify and document heritage affected by the dam, as well as damage inflicted by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) through looting and destruction, with the ultimate goal of creating a virtual museum of the heritage sites that are submerged.