Alfred Deakin Institute
The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI) is a leading humanities and social sciences research institute based at Deakin University, Australia. Our researchers aim to understand the complex meanings of citizenship, social inclusion and globalisation, and investigate the imp


Measuring Cultural Property Destruction in Iraq and Syria

This project sets out to document and interpret the heritage destruction which has occurred in Iraq and Syria, following the Iraq War of 2003, the ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011 and particularly since the rise of the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’ (ISIS).

Each of these events have triggered mass humanitarian tragedies and also proved fatal for many of the world’s most invaluable cultural heritage sites.

The project seeks to measure and interpret this heritage destruction over two distinct phases. The first phase concerns the period of US occupation in Iraq from 2003-2011. It documents the heritage destruction done not only by occupational forces but also by various terrorist groups and sectarian militias.

The second phase focuses on both Iraq and Syria after the onset of the Syrian civil war and the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, both in 2011. While several key actors have conducted large scale heritage destruction, the primary focus will be on the havoc unleashed by ISIS on various heritage sites.

Project team

Chief Investigator
A/Prof. Ben Isakhan


PhD Candidates
Diane Siebrandt
Sofya Shahab


Research Assistants
Dr Ahmed Hassin
Wael Elhabrouk
Pete Mulherin


Project Funding

This project is funded by the Australian Research Council and the Australian Department of Defence