Security of Sites & Excavation Houses
As a priority, s h i r ī n advises the relevant international funding bodies to help the DGAM administration to pay the guardians of sites and excavation houses. This is because most of the archaeological missions concerned, in particular foreign projects, are no longer in receipt of the necessary financial support, and because financial transactions between Syria and most of the relevant countries are currently forbidden.
s h i r ī n has created a Damage Form that is intended to assess the damage to sites, buildings, excavation houses or material as reported by the directors of those excavations, that were active in Syria up to 2010. With the help of partners, these forms will be illustrated by recent satellite imagery, which will be regularly updated. Excavation directors will be asked to comment on that imagery and by so doing will provide us with the best reliable information about the nature of visible damage, or its absence.
(Project developed by M. Lebeau & F. Braemer)
Interactive Map of Syria
An interactive map of Syria will facilitate the recording of damage to sites, buildings, monuments, and museums, as instances are reported by official or non-governmental bodies in Syria and in the rest of the world, and by s h i r ī n informants. shirīn intends to develop procedures for checking and confirming cases of damage, to reduce the flow of biased or partisan information.
(Project developed by F. Braemer)
Monuments & Buildings Task Force
In order to document monuments and buildings of cultural or religious value that are currently at risk in the city centres and elsewhere, scholars, architects and experts in the medieval and later periods will create a special group, aimed to work in cooperation with UNESCO related agencies.
Sites & Monuments Record for Syria (SMRS)
This large database of Syrian cultural heritage, that currently comprises entries describing more than 15,000 archaeological sites, monuments and features throughout Syria will be augmented by the inclusion of further survey information (Euphrates Valley, parts of the Syrian Jezirah). The key tool provided by this platform is a unique identification system for sites and monuments. The SMRS database is the result of the merging of data created by two major research projects, the British Fragile Crescent Project and the French PaleoSYR/PaleoLIB, and will constitute a powerful tool in the present circumstances. This database will play a key role in the future monitoring and protection of heritage, and will offer potential research opportunities.
(Project developed by F. Braemer, G. Philip, B. Geyer, P. Butterlin, with the support of the University of Durham and the Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée, Lyon)
General Inventory of Artefacts in the Museums of Syria (GIAMS)
This project (in cooperation with the DGAM) aims to digitize the official registers of all the museums of Syria in a database and to standardize already initiated projects. In a second step this inventory will be complemented by those objects kept in the museums which have been turned in by the excavation missions but have not received ultimately a museum inventory number. In a third step the inventory will be complemented by archaeological mission find listings, often well maintained and illustrated. The final product is an illustrated list with standardized information for each item which will be accessible by various organizations on demand with secured admission. It aims identifying and tracing robbed items on the art market and will offer a tool to the Syrian officials and to the community of scholars when the emphasis shifts to restoration and reconstruction.
(Project developed by H. Kühne)
Expertise concerning Illicit Traffic in Antiquities
s h i r ī n will undertake to help international or national bodies examining artefacts or artwork that is suspected to have arisen through the illicit traffic in antiquities, or site looting. The board will receive from international bodies, information on possible instances of illegal trade and the pictures will be relayed to the best qualified colleagues for analysis.
(Monitored by the Board of Executives)
Contacts with the Art Market
In order to contribute to a reduction in the illicit traffic in antiquities, s h i r ī n will contact the main actors in the Art Market and all the national antiquarian trade associations to inform them about the current situation and possible legal issues. We seek to encourage a fruitful dialogue rather than unproductive confrontation.
(Monitored by H. Kühne, together with the heads of the s h i r ī n national committees)
Updates on Syrian Museums
s h i r ī n will monitor the situation which prevails in the Syrian museums and will regularly update the available information.
(Project developed by H. Kühne, S. Cluzan and L. Badre)
Creation of shirīn National Committees
The s h i r ī n board of executives encourages the creation of s h i r ī n national committees in order to relay the information, to extend our support and to advertise its initiatives. The national committees will constitute a precious stimulus and will collect all welcome suggestions from the archaeological missions and the related field colleagues.
(Monitored by M. Lebeau)
The shirīn Website
s h i r ī n will seek to maintain and develop its website in the best possible way, with the help of the world community of archaeologists, philologists, historians, art historians and architects. This website is intended to provide information, expertise and free discussion. We hope it will contribute to positive measures both now and in the future, when destruction and looting will give way to restoration and reconstruction.
(Project developed by M. Lebeau)
Restoration & Reconstruction
s h i r ī n intends to play a major role in the restoration and reconstruction of damaged antiquities, buildings and monuments of cultural value, museums and archaeological sites, when this becomes possible.
(Project developed by the International Committee)