UNESCO seeks to put in place a technical platform that will facilitate the generation of an inventory of archaeological sites and monuments within Syria, that will facilitate the recording of damage and thus support the preservation and restoration of Syrian patrimony.

In the current circumstances, it makes sense to think in terms of constructing tools that will facilitate access to information and documentation and their transmission and exchange. Such tools should be able to integrate and relate heterogeneous data, for example by type of information, date of incorporation, spatial location, state of conservation, and that has been created in different languages, etc.

The basic tool needed for these platforms will be a unique identification system for sites and monuments that will serve as the point of access to information and its analysis, and the point at which new evidence, on damage, looting or preventative measures can be added.

A pilot project funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Durham University has facilitated the merging of information from two existing research databases (Fragile Crescent Project, University of Durham, and Paleosyr/Paleolib, Universities of Lyon and Nice) to create the unified database that will form the basis of a Historic Environment Record of National Sites and Monuments for Syria (HRNSMS).

A prototype produced in late November 2014 as feasibility study includes data on more than 15,000 georeferenced sites.