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Syrian cultural heritage documentation and conservation

Maria Laura Moretti, Francesca Quenda

Syrian cultural heritage documentation and conservation.

Rel. Fulvio Rinaudo, Emanuele Morezzi, Minna Lonnqvist. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Per Il Restauro E Valorizzazione Del Patrimonio, 2016


More than five years of civil war, more than 500,000 dead, millions of refugees and displaced persons, the social and economic structure of a country is destroyed. This is the synthesis of the conflict devastating Syria and of which are still unable to see a conclusion as possible.

In this terrible conflict exists however also another victim, for now almost forgotten and ignored: the enormous archaeological and cultural heritage, that the country possesses and, in some way, protected.

The project to protect and save the tangible cultural heritage of Syria described in this thesis has its origins in a proposal made by some of the authors during the CIPA executive board meeting in

CIPA's current aim is to set up a platform for information sharing focused on sites and monuments to protect and preserve the cultural heritage of Syria.

The purpose of this thesis is to propose the communication of cultural heritage, through the perspective of the restoration, as a preferred language for more effective communication, with the aim of improving the development processes of heritage and conservation. The structure of the thesis aims to develop new perspectives in the field of cultural communication. More specifically, the research is oriented to investigating the role of issues of conservation as a matter of communication for the improvement of heritage safeguarding and protection.

Relators: Fulvio Rinaudo, Emanuele Morezzi, Minna Lonnqvist
Publication type: Printed
Subjects: G Geografia, Antropologia e Luoghi geografici > GE Geografia
R Restauro > RA Restauro Artchitettonico
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Per Il Restauro E Valorizzazione Del Patrimonio
Classe di laurea: UNSPECIFIED
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/4802



0.1 Framework of the Research


0.1 II quadro della ricerca


1. Recording and documentation

1.1 What are we talking about?

1.2 Why is recording indispensable?

1.3 Heritage information and heritage recording

2. The World Cultural Heritage

2.1 Why should be stored: protection and management

2.2 General guidelines of UNESCO

2.3 World Heritage List (WHL): Criteria and Inscriptions

2.4 Potential development deriving from the inscriptions of a site in the WHL: opportunities and problematic

2.5 The World Heritage in Danger

2.5.1 The List of World Heritage in Danger

3. The units responsible for the protection of World Cultural Heritage


3.1.1 ICOMOS: history and mission

3.1.2 CIPA: Heritage Documentation



4. Preserving the past: Syria and its history

4.1 Chronological table and chart of historical events

4.2 The prehistoric era (600.000 - 12.000 BC)

4.2.1 Main archeological sites: Damascus, Habuba Kebira, Tell Qannas, Mureybet Sheikh Hassan

4.3 From the Sumerians to the Amorites (3.100 - 2.600 BC)

4.3.1 Main archeological sites: Mari, Ebla and Aleppo (Tell Khuera)

4.4 The International Age (2.600 - 1.151 BC)

4.4.1 Main archeological sites: Emar, Qadesh e Ugarit

4.5 Great empires of the Orient (1.151 -500 BC)

4.5.1 Main archeological sites: Ayn Dara, Karkemish and Tell Sheikh Hamad

4.6 Greeks and Romans in Syria (500 BC - 350 AC)

4.6.1 Main archeological sites: Palmyra, Apamea, Bosra and Lattakia

4.7 Syria Byzantine and Umayyad (350 - 1070 AC)

4.7.1 Main archeological sites: Raqqa, Heraqla and Resafa

4.8 The Crusades (1070 - 1291)

4.8.1 Main archeological sites: Sahyun, Crac de Chavaliers and Hama

4.9 World War I (1914-1918)

4.10 The French Mandate

4.10.1 States created during the French Mandate

4.11 World War II (1939 - 1945) and Independence

4.12 After Independence: United Arab Republic

4.13 Neo-Baath dominance and the Assads era

5. Syrian Cultural Heritage in Danger

5.1 The actual situation

5.1.1 Parties in the conflict

5.2 The Syrian Cultural Sites inscribed on World Heritage List

5.3 Damage assessment

5.3.1 Status of religious monuments

5.3.2 Status of World Heritage sites

5.3.3 Status of museums and artefacts

5.3.4 Status of archaeological sites

6. Managing, Interpreting and Safeguarding Syrian Cultural Heritage

6.1 The units responsible for the protection of Syrian Cultural Heritage

6.1.1 The aims of national cultural policy

6.1.2 Cooperation with Local and International Authorities

6.2 Safeguarding Syrian Cultural Heritage

6.3 Laws, legislation and resolutions

6.3.1 Implemented

6.3.2 Proposed

6.4 Actions and initiatives: national and UNESCO initiatives

6.4.1 UNESCO initiatives

6.4.2 Initiatives by UNESCO Partners

6.4.3 Local and national initiatives

6.4.4 Conclusions


7. The CIPA Project Database For The Syrian Cultural Heritage

7.1 "Ground Zero": the heritage of a nation in conflict

7.2 Databases and their use for Protecting and Preserving the Tangible Heritage of Syria

8. Data and Metadata

8.1 What are we talking about?

8.2 Data prerequisites

8.3 Primary and Elaborated Data

8.4 Core Data

8.4.1 Additional Metadata

8.5 Site Glossary

9. The Hypertext

9.1 Home

9.2 Resources Page

9.3 Join Us

9.4 Site Map Page

10. Conclusion

10.1 Restoration: new problems, new solutions

10.1.1 The aesthetics of ruin

10.1.2 The practice of reconstruction in the restoration

10.1.3 The anastylosis

10.2 Strategies for restoration and reconstruction in Syria

10.3 Communicating Cultural Heritage


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