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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Research Postgraduates

Ms Azadeh Vafadari

Contact Ms Azadeh Vafadari (email at azadeh.vafadari@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

After my BA in Anthropology (Archaeology focus) at the Université de Montréal, I completed my MA in Managing Archaeological Sites at University College London, Institute of Archaeology.

In addition to excavation experience in the Middle East, I have worked on different heritage conservation and capacity building projects. Following my MA I worked at the Getty Conservation Institute and subsequently UNESCO (Amman Office) on conservation and management projects in the Middle East. More recently I consulted for UNESCO on the monitoring and assessment of the condition of monuments in Bagan, Myanmar and on post-disaster response in Nepal. A key component of my work has been to work closely with local heritage authorities to safeguard sites and monuments through building capacity and implementing sustainable methods of inventory, monitoring, preservation and conservation practices.

I am currently a Postgraduate Researcher at Durham University, Institute of Archaeology and an Affiliated Researcher on the Endanger Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project. My PhD is kindly funded by the Maney Publishing Studentship.

Funding

2016: Maney Publishing Studentship

Research Topic

Assessment and Management of Damage of Archaeological Sites and Monuments and Identification and Prioritization of Responses in a Disaster (conflict) and Post-disaster (post-conflict) Context

Abstract

In recent decades and in response to numerous disastrous events impacting heritage properties, from armed conflict to natural events, there is a need for methodologies and approaches to better manage the effects of disaster on heritage places. In order for decision makers to address these challenges and make effective response decisions, access to relevant information, improved tools and mechanisms are essential. In this context, existing heritage inventory and management systems need to be evaluated and adapted.

This project looks at the issue of documentation, assessment and management of archaeological sites and monuments in a disaster and post-disaster context, with a focus on adapting geospatial information systems as tools for on-the-ground recording and monitoring. The initial target for application of this work is Syria. The aim is to integrate within the system a methodology to assess the severity and impact of the disaster by identifying and recording damage and threats, assessing magnitude and measuring the significance and value of the cultural heritage places. This will create a recording and assessment methodology and tool that helps to identify and prioritize the most needed emergency responses and intervention activities for the sites most in need, in order to direct limited resources to where they are most needed.