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Built Heritage Documentation – Damage Mapping

This side-project arose out of the work of the Syrian Heritage Archive Project and became a second track of its archival work. The Damage Assessment Database augments historical data by adding information about destruction of architectural and archaeological Syrian cultural heritage caused by the present war.

Data on, among other things, the administration, history and location of buildings is being collected via regularly updated photographs and sound and film recordings. The team uses this data to prepare status reports with a quick assessment of the most important damage and an urgency assessment, together with recommendations for securing the buildings. The damage assessment is methodically based on an in-depth analysis of the European standard EN 16096 for the assessment of the condition of built cultural heritage - and thus on the empirical knowledge of monument conservation. UNESCO questionnaires for urgent damage assessment (rapid assessment) are a model and their content is adopted. The aim of the project is to gather detailed knowledge that can be used to plan reconstruction.


Project director: Issam Ballouz
Research associates: Rami Alafandi, Eva Al-Habib Nmeir, Alaa Haddad
Partner organisations: Museum für Islamische Kunst Berlin, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut
Responsible bodies: Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut
Sponsor organisation: Gerda Henkel Stiftung
Duration: July 2017 to July 2020