Issam BALLOUZ | Karin PÜTT | Rania ABDELLATIF | Alaa HADDAD
(Syrian Heritage Archive Project, Berlin, Germany)
Keywords: Syrian Heritage, Archive, Damage Assessment
From archive to as-is-condition
After the Syrian Heritage Archive Project (SHAP), a joint initiative by the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and the Museum for Islamic Art in Berlin, has started with its archival efforts, a growing disaster with severe destruction on Syrian sites and monuments demanded another scope of interest in parallel: to document those damages. Therefore, we have designed a database for digital documentation of built heritage in Syria. This new module should connect between historical – archaeological research and conservation practice. Main aspects of this work were a unified methodology, accessibility for different contributors and devices and a multi-level documentation from rapid to detailed. Goal is to prepare files with an element documentation and assessment, summarized with a recommendation class for best practice first measurements, in preparation of a further rehabilitation. The transfer of methods and producing building documentation files are of same value in this regard.
A strong commitment to Syrians, colleagues and public, shall be a way to ensure the effectiveness of SHAP’s approach.
Hot spots of data & micro projects
In the present phase of SHAP (2017), implementation solutions of its data, along with knowledge sharing and capacity building became more important.
New headlines are just started projects, like the spin out project for Aleppo and the cooperation with UNITAR, or are already running like the safeguarding of Syrian photographic collections with UNESCO, and merging of inventories with ASOR (Boston). Micro projects, planned in direct collaboration with Syrian colleagues, will be a good tool to fulfill project goals in data production, knowledge transfer and capacity building at once.
The “Aleppo Built Heritage Documentation Project” has two main focal tasks, as to produce documentation files for chosen monuments in preparation of rehabilitation, and an art-historical evaluation of their importance. The scope of project activities from a Syrian team, trained on the job in Berlin, along with internships of Syrian multipliers, training workshops, and in situ documentation with Syrian partners, shall ensure the highest grade of sustainability.
SHAP’s software & method can be useful in other regions than Syria, and for a civil society driven heritage management.
After armed conflicts, a lack of professional capacity, can be substituted by greater involvement of professionals and civil society.
Multi-level, multi devices, standardized, and collaborative for built heritage