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Statement of the International Association for Assyriology concerning the cultural heritage of Syria and Iraq (pdf)
إعلان للجمعية العالمية للدراسات الآشورية بخصوص الإرث الثقافي لسورية والعراق (pdf)
Aufruf der International Association for Assyriology zur Bewahrung des kulturellen Erbes Syriens und des Iraks (pdf)
Déclaration de International Association for Assyriology à propos de l’héritage culturel en Syrie et en Irak (pdf)
Dichiarazione dell’Associazione Internazionale per l’Assiriologia International Association for Assyriology riguardo ai Beni Culturali in Siria e in Iraq (pdf)
Declaración de la International Association for Assyriology acerca del patrimonio cultural de Siria y de Irak (pdf)
Deklaracja International Association for Assyriology na temat dziedzictwa kulturowego w Syrii i Iraku (pdf)
The International Association for Assyriology declares its grave concern about the ongoing and worsening situation in Syria and Iraq. Beyond the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Iraq since 1990 and in Syria since 2011, the cultural heritage of these two countries is in great danger. Irremediable damage is being caused to the legacy of ancient Mesopotamia, the cradle of human civilization. Museums have been plundered, and archaeological sites have been heavily damaged or destroyed.
In Iraq, sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List or submitted on the Tentative List are in danger or already much devastated: Assur (Qal’at Sherqat), Hatra, Samarra, Nineveh, Ur, Nimrud, Babylon, the Marshlands, etc. It is also the case with other important archaeological sites not recorded by UNESCO, such as Sippar, Larsa, Uruk, and many others. The Iraq Museum in Baghdad has been looted (2003).
In Syria as well, sites inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List or submitted on the Tentative List have suffered serious damage: Aleppo’s citadel, Bosra, the old city of Damascus, Palmyra, Ebla, Dura-Europos, Mari, Tell Sheikh Hamad, Apamea, Krak des Chevaliers, Hama, Homs. The museums of Raqqa, Hama, Deir ez-Zor and Idlib have been plundered.
The ancient civilisations of Syria and Iraq play a vital role in their modern identities. The devastation wrought in these countries strikes a heavy blow against the cultural life of the region, and against a significant part of mankind’s shared cultural heritage. Furthermore, the damage to monuments and museums threatens an important source of future tourist income that could help communities rebuild towards a brighter future.
The International Association for Assyriology, which gathers scholars from around the world working in Cuneiform Studies and Near Eastern Archaeology, makes a public appeal for the preservation and the protection of sites, monuments and museums of Syria and Iraq.
About the IAA
The IAA was founded during the general meeting at the 49th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale in London (7-11 July 2003). It is a non-profit organisation and a non-political institution.
The goals of the IAA are:
- To serve as a platform for scholars working in Cuneiform Studies, and Near Eastern Archaeology.
- To discuss all matters concerning these fields.
- To encourage and promote the study of these fields in all their aspects on an international basis.
It aims to further these goals by:
- To support and facilitate the organisation of a regular international congress of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archaeology, known as “Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale”.
- To stimulate collaboration between its own members, as well as between them and members in other fields and associations.
- For the Association to act as a representative body for the fields of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archaeology in relationship to national, international and private institutions and the general public.
- To encourage publications and disseminate information of interest to its members.
These goals are all to be understood in the widest sense of the words and include all that is connected with them or will contribute to them.
Prof. dr. Cécile Michel (president)
Prof. dr. Wilfred H. van Soldt (secretary)
Dr. Caroline Waerzeggers (treasurer)
The address of the IAA is:
International Association for Assyriology
c/o Prof. dr. W.H. van Soldt
LIAS – Assyriology
2300 RA Leiden
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