Inscriptions from cultural heritage sites in Iraq are are being saved into an online database.
“Between 1997 and 2014, [Amir] Harrak made several trips to cultural heritage sites throughout Iraq, cleaning and recording engraved inscriptions that date between the seventh and 20th centuries. During a trip to Mosul in 2014, he recorded inscriptions and art at the monastery of Mar Behnam. Islamic State fighters captured the city and monastery in June 2014, but Harrak managed to leave before they arrived. Since then, the militant grouphas destroyed the monastery along with many sites in Mosul and other parts of Iraq…. Because of this destruction, the photographs he took during these trips (about 700 in total) have become scientifically irreplaceable. He’s now working with the Canadian Centre for Epigraphic Documents (CCED) to create an online database of all the inscriptions, which will allow new research on them and, despite the destruction, allow more people to see them than ever before.”