On November 23rd, the Syrian Heritage Initiative hosted a public Symposium at the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA. The more than 80 attendees included ASOR members, representatives of other groups working to safeguard Syrian heritage, area residents, scholars, students, and members of the press.
On the morning of the Symposium, Syrian Heritage Initiative team members met for breakfast with the ASOR Board of Directors for an opportunity to discuss the project’s goals and progress. Later that morning, advisors and colleagues joined the team members to discuss areas for collaboration, as well as the challenges facing cultural properties in Syria.
The public sessions began with a sold-out Luncheon featuring a well-received keynote lecture by Dr. Michael Danti “Looting by Islamic State and Other Groups in Areas of Conflict.” You can view his presentation below through ASORtv.
The afternoon session introduced the major activities being undertaken by the Syrian Heritage Initiative with presentations given by five team members. Dr. Abdalrazzaq Moaz provided an overview of the Initiative’s objectives and priorities. Dr. Jesse Casana explained the types of information that are observed using satellite imagery to remotely monitor archaeological sites. Dr. Scott Branting introduced the digital heritage inventory and map being produced by the Initiative, as well as some initial results of the satellite imagery monitoring. Dr. Danti discussed preliminary analysis of the impact of the armed conflict on cultural heritage based on data compiled by the project. Ms. LeeAnn Barnes Gordon summarized the project’s efforts to prepare for the cultural heritage needs of post-conflict Syria.
A lively question-and-answer period followed the talks, which provided audience members with the chance to engage with the team members and offer feedback. Stay up-to-date on current Syrian Heritage Initiative news and events by checking out the website and liking the Syrian Heritage Initiative Facebook page.
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