Archaeological Heritage Preservation Center

The archaeological heritage of the world’s first cities is a priceless, nonrenewable resource and is at greater risk now than at any other time in human history. Looting and armed conflict have taken their toll in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the Middle East, but the biggest threat to many archaeological sites is agricultural and urban development.

To document, preserve, and protect these vital links to human history, the Oriental Institute will create the Chicago Center for Archaeological Heritage Preservation (CCAHP): the first effort of its kind to systematically map, catalog, and monitor at-risk archaeological sites in the Middle East and other regions. Using satellite photos and applying the expertise of OI scholars, the CCAHP will be able to monitor sites throughout the Middle East, including those that are inaccessible for geopolitical or other reasons. The resulting data can help organizations protect heritage sites and inform government decisions about where to pursue development. Centered in Chicago, the CCAHP will ultimately create a network of organizations. In the same way that international networks monitor earthquakes around the world, the CCAHP will keep watch and help prevent “archaeological earthquakes.”

Your gift to support the Archaeological Heritage Preservation Center will help to protect these treasure troves of history and culture for future generations to study and enjoy.