Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Syrian Heritage Archive Project

Syrian Heritage Archive Project
Syrian Heritage Archive Project
النسخة العربية
Zur deutschen Version

Implementation of a digital cultural heritage register for Syria ("Erstellung digitaler Kulturgüterregister für Syrien")

For more than four years, the ongoing civil war in Syria has not only led to a humanitarian disaster of alarming nature, but has also threatened or already destroyed countless cultural assets in the country.
With regard to density and the historical importance of its heritage sites, Syria’s cultural landscape belongs to the world’s most exceptional regions. As Syria today looks back on a human occupation through archaeological and historical sites dating from about one million years ago right up to the Ottoman Period, it harbours one of the world’s most comprehensive and long-lasting cultural heritage records, which in large parts yet remains to be explored by scholarly research. The destruction of historic city centres such as Aleppo or Homs and the widespread looting at major archaeological sites reveal the dynamics of a process, which leads to the irreversible loss of the county’s chief historic and cultural properties.
In view of these dramatic developments, the Syrian Heritage Archive Project, launched by the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute and the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin, intends to provide a basis for the future creation of a national register of Syrian cultural heritage. Both institutions hold very large data bases established from long-lasting research in Syria. Because digital data processing in archaeology by and large only began towards the end of the 1990’s, today much of that data is only accessible in analog form. A comprehensive digitisation of the older databases is therefore essential to their prospective utilisation as well as their operative integration to larger database projects. As a cooperation project between the DAI and the Museum of Islamic Art, the digital assessment of these important information resources is therefore promoted by the Federal Foreign Office as part of the cultural preservation program since 2013.
Two Syrian-German teams are carrying out the task of large-scale sighting, digitising and archiving of the research data into the digital research environment of the DAI ( iDAI.welt), where it is managed in a standardized manner - and thus saved for the long term. Beyond the primary objective of a long-term preservation of this knowledge and its accessibility, the resulting pool of information can be the starting point for applications of different objectives: In an effort to safeguard cultural heritage, relevant data sets are, for example, prepared for damage assessment and later use in connection with rehabilitation measures. In addition, a basis is created to monitor the art market, which could be used as a tool within the frame of the automated detection of objects in the fight against the illicit trafficking of artefacts from illegal excavations or thefts.
The data flow between the various components of DAI data centre ensures effective use of the research data. The basic information (photos, drawings, texts) in the image database iDAI.objects, the bibliographic database iDAI.bibliography and cartographical works in the iDAI.geoserver are connected via the geodatabase iDAI.gazetteer – and may thereby be addressed. Extensive data flow is not only possible within the system. Via internationally standardised interfaces this monuments register can be cross-linked internationally with similar projects developing durable documentation bases on Syria’s cultural heritage. Thereby it can contribute to the establishment of a most comprehensive and unified national register of archaeological and historical sites in Syria.
As of now (06/2018) more than 100,000 digitized images could be made avaible. They are publicly accessible via various thematic and geographic entry points.

Browse project content

Abu Jarash, Syrien (10)
Akrad, Syrien (7)
Aleppo, Syrien (171)
Altstadt von Damaskus, Syrien (1479)
Antiklinalgewölbe Jebel Sinjar, Syrien (1)
Apameia am Orontes, Syrien (94)
Arwad, Syrien (121)
Bab Brid, Syrien (78)
Bab Musalla, Syrien (4)
Bab Srija, Syrien (13)
Bab Tuma, Syrien (119)
Bab al-Jabiya, Syrien (5)
Bab as-Salam, Syrien (11)
Bahsa-Sanjaqdar, Syrien (32)
Bahsita Nachbarschaft, Syrien (33)
Baniyas, Syrien (4)
Basaltgebiete im Westen, Syrien (4028)
Basaltlandschaften Südsyriens, Syrien (45)
Bayt Rashid, Syrien (9)
Baʿuda, Syrien (7)

Browse original folder structure

SYRHER (119740)
NULL (4)

Additional information

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