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From Erbil to Amman: a Comparative Study-Tour in Jordan

In March 2014 World Monuments Fund held a comparative study tour in Jordan for Dr. Abdullah Khorsheed, Director of the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Archaeology and Heritage in Erbil. The goal was to expose the director of an emerging research and conservation institution in Iraq to established institutions in Jordan. WMF was pleased that the American Center for Oriental Research could serve as a base. ACOR provided Dr. Abdullah with the chance to see the ways in which the organization serves as a center for scholarly exchange, has a resident research community, and interacts with the archaeological, academic, and cultural communities in Jordan. Dr. Abdullah holds a position as professor of archaeology at Salahaddin University in Erbil, and was also interested to meet faculty in Jordan and to observe management strategies employed at various archaeological sites throughout the country. During the week-long study tour, Dr. Abdullah, Gina Haney, and Alessandra Peruzzetto met colleagues from the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, the Jordan Museum, and the Institut Français du Proche Orient and spent time with professional colleagues around the country. Sites such as Mount Nebo, the Temple of the Winged Lions Cultural Resource Management Initiative and the Petra Archaeological Park, Qasr Hallabat, Qusayr ’Amra, and the Amman Citadel were visited. Conservation and management challenges were discussed with the heritage professionals working at the sites. Special attention was dedicated to the Qusayr ’Amra project. This unique Omayyad site, nominated to the World Monuments Watch in 2008, has been since 2009 the object of a comprehensive project encompassing research, technical analysis, conservation, site management, and planning for the visitor experience. This project is a joint activity of the Department of Antiquities, WMF and the Istituto Superiore Centrale del Restauro. WMF hopes that the professional interaction, field visits, and analysis that occurred during this study tour will benefit the Iraqi Institute for Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage as its programs expand and mature.