Capacity-building in the preservation of cultural heritage Project

Calendar & Events

December 2023


In its approach to preserving the cultural heritage in Syria, SIMAT is committed to build and enforce the capacities and skills of the archaeologists working in the protection of cultural heritage inside Syria. This capacity-building is provided through a set of online lectures and training courses for SIMAT’s team in Syria, their partners in the Idlib Antiquity Center and a number of volunteering archaeologists who seek to develop their academic knowledge and technical skills. The training was organized by Jen Baird, Professor of Archaeology at Birkbeck College and Shaker Al Shbib, researcher at Université Paris Nanterre and a founding member of SIMAT.

The project objectives and achievements


This project aims to build and develop the technical skills of the trainees in the fields of cultural heritage documentation, emergency intervention to protect endangered tangible cultural heritage, and monitoring the damage to cultural heritage. The participants receive training on cutting-edge technologies used worldwide in archaeological documentation. Additionally, this project introduces the trainees to the international law concerning the protection of cultural heritage in conflict zones and the safety and security guidelines for cultural heritage professionals in contested regions.

1. In cooperation with the Birkbeck, University of London, SIMAT organized an online training for its team inside Syria, the Idlib Antiquities Center, and a number of volunteers. The training was delivered through a number of lectures presented by international experts in the field of emergency protection of cultural heritage. The training focused on the following themes:

– Safeguarding of cultural heritage and the role of the local community in its protection during armed conflict. The lecture was presented by Dr. Will Wootton and Dr Hiba Alkhalaf – University of London.
– First aide intervention in times of emergencies. The lecture was presented by Dr. Alaa Al-Habashi – Cairo University.
– Risk assessment and management, and the principles and risks of emergency evacuation of artifacts, presented by Abdul Hamid Saleh.
– Engaging the local community in the protection of cultural heritage, presented by Heba Abdel-Gawad – University of London.
2. SIMAT has also organized further training for its team inside Syria on the projects that it undertakes. For example, as part of the Protection and Documentation of Qalaat Simon Project, the team was trained on using the Geographic Information System to map and document the site using ArcMap software. The team was also trained on using and analyzing aerial and satellite images, and the training was delivered by Youssef Anan – Free University of Aleppo.