Iraq Cultural Heritage Conservation Initiative
 
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The remains and reconstructions of Babylon's Ishtar Gate, original parts of which are now in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Babylon was the most famous city of the Near East in antiquity and capital of two of the period's most famous kings—Hammurabi (18th century BC), who established the world's first code of law, and Nebuchadnezzar (6th century BC), who created the Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Photo: Courtesy of John Russell.

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The ziggurat of Aqar Kuf, founded in the 14th century BC under the Kassite kingdom. Erosion has left only its mudbrick core. The modern construction at its base interprets the original extent of the ziggurat. Photo: Courtesy of John Russell.

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A view of the city of Hatra. The city, fortified and most prominent under the the Parthian Empire, withstood multiple invasions by the Romans in the 2nd century AD, thanks to its strong fortificatons.The city's remnants, such as the Maran Temple seen here, blend Hellenistic and Roman architectural influences. Photo: Courtesy of Joanne Farchakh-Bajjaly.

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The ancient Sumerian city of Isin in southern Iraq, shown in 2004 following wide scale looting. Isin had its own kingship and was most prominent in the early 3rd and late 2nd millennia BC. Photo: Courtesy of John Russell.

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Looters holes mar the ancient city of Mashkan Shapir in southern Iraq, which was the second capital of the kingdom of Larsa and at its height around 2000 BC. Photo: Courtesy of John Russell.

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Temple facade at the ancient site of Umma (Tell Jokha) in southern Iraq, destroyed in the spring of 2003 by looters looking for inscribed bricks. Photo: Courtesy of Joanne Farchakh-Bajjaly.

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Training in archaeological site typology and feature description at the Temple of Hercules of the Amman Citadel, Jordan, led by Dr. Zeidan Kafafi of Yarmouk University. Photo: David Myers, GCI.

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Training Iraq SBAH personnel in metric survey in 2004 in Amman, Jordan, assisted by experts from English Heritage. Photo: Mario Santana Quintero.

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Training course participants assess conditions at the Bronze and Iron Ages site of Tall Al-Umayri, Jordan, in 2005. Photo: David Myers, GCI.

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At the fall 2005 training course in Amman, instructors and SBAH participants discuss methods for documentation and assessment of sites. Photo: Rand Eppich, GCI.

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View inside the Palace of Sennacherib at the ancient site of Nineveh in northern Iraq showing damaged relief slabs exposed to the elements after looters removed protective roofing in 2003. Nineveh was the royal capital of the Assyrian Empire in the 7th century BC. Photo: Courtesy of Joanne Farchakh-Bajjaly.

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View of the Palace of Sennacherib with protective roofing restored in 2004 through a grant provided by the GCI-WMF Iraq Initiative. Photo: Courtesy of John Russell.