Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments

Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments is part of the larger group of projects that first started with Stephen Murray’s (Lisa and Bernard Selz Professor of Medieval Art History and Director of Art Humanities at Columbia University) Mapping Gothic France. This project established the methods and system we can now apply to monuments in Iraq. This project, focused on Iraq and led by Zainab Bahrani, Edith Porada Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology, will include the additional facets of assessing the conservation and preservation needs for each monument. These studies could then be taken up by other universities, non-governmental agencies and the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage itself. In the future, Bahrani hopes that Columbia University might consider taking on one conservation project itself.

While many universities are opting to open new excavations, Bahrani and her team feel that this is the time to preserve and conserve what is already exposed to the natural elements and to the damages of war. The goal of this project is to map and document the monuments of Iraq and Kurdistan. The first step of the project is to document the standing monuments and rock reliefs, their state of preservation and condition for historical and conservational purposes. The second step is to record and archive digitally the monuments, and make them available for scholarly and for public use, and for use by the State Board of Antiquities locally.

Our fieldwork team of collaborators includes:

  • Haider Oraibi Almamori, Archaeologist
  • Helen Malko, Archaeologist
  • Serdar Yalcin, Archaeologist and Art Historian
  • Pamela Gerome, Preservation Architect

The project is also partially funded by Artstor and by The Mellon Foundation, under the Columbia University Archmap project, headed by Professor Stephen Murray. Professor Bahrani has alredy made one trip to Iraq/Kurdistan in October/November 2013.

External links:

Principal Investigator

Zainab Bahrani
Edith Porada Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology

Professor Bahrani specializes in Ancient Near Eastern and East Mediterranean Art and Archaeology, Art Theory, Historiography, and Philosophies of Representation. Zainab Bahrani studied the History of Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University where she earned her MA and PhD degrees in a joint program of Ancient Near Eastern and Greek art and archaeology. Prior to her appointment as the Edith Porada Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, Bahrani taught at the University of Vienna in Austria, and at the State University of New York, at Stony Brook, New York.  MORE