Threats to Heritage

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Threats to Heritage

We have collated a number of papers on types of threats to heritage. These papers provide some of the most recent work to complement our Threats to heritage page. Some of these papers provide country specific examples, but the threats can be generalised to other countries. If no link is provided, the paper is not open-access, and may require an academic library to access.


Image of report cover. Logos of Blue Shield Türkiye and Blue Shield International. Text reads Heritage Destruction and Collective Memory. - Blue Shield Türkiye and Blue Shield International
Find here the new research by Blue Shield International and Blue Shield Türkiye (2024) "Effects of War Trauma on Students from War Areas: Heritage Destruction and Collective Memory", containing:

  1. Introduction - Dr Zeynep Aygen
  2. Architectural Trauma In Urban Memory: The Case Of Gjakova And Prizren - Hadis Abdula
  3. The Impact of Long Wars on the Cultural Herıtage of Afghanıstan: The Herat Musalla Complex as a Case Study - Nasir Ahmad Yawar
  4. Revealing the Collective Memory in the Digital Reconstruction of the Lost Cultural Heritage – Example of Al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul - Sahar Riyadh Naser
  5. Colonial Destructions of Natural and Cultural Heritage: Tunisia’s and Algeria’s Cases During the French Colonisation - Asma Jemmali

You can download a copy below this.


For more on this topic see:
Inclusion does not indicate endorsement by the Blue Shield of the views and opinions in these papers.

  • Abdulkarim, M., L. Kutiefan and DGAM (2016). Syrian Archaeological Heritage. Five Years of Crisis 2011 - 2015 Damascus: Syrian Arab Republic, Ministry of Culture-Directorate General of Antiquities & Museums Available on the DGAM website.
  • Baker, R. W., S. T. Ismael and T. Y. Ismael, Eds. (2010). Cultural cleansing in Iraq: Why museums were looted, libraries burned and academics murdered. London: Macmillan, Pluto Press.
  • Bjørgo, E., M. Fiol, E. Cunliffe, W. Pederson, T. Jellison, C. Saslow and G. Boccardi (2014). Satellite-based Damage Assessment to Cultural Heritage Sites in Syria. [Online]: UNITAR, UNOSAT. Available on UNITAR's website.
  • Brosché, J., Legnér, M., Kreutz, J. & Ijla, A. 2017. Heritage under Attack: motives for targeting cultural property during armed conflict. International Journal of Heritage Studies (IJHS), 23(3), 248-260
  • Brodie, N. 2015. Syria and its Regional Neighbors: A Case of Cultural Property Protection Policy Failure? International Journal of Cultural Property 22(2-3): 317-335. DOI: doi:10.1017/S0940739115000144
  • Casana, J. 2015. Satellite Imagery-Based Analysis of Archaeological Looting in Syria. Near Eastern Archaeology 78(3): 142-152. DOI: 10.5615/neareastarch.78.3.0142
  • Casana, J. and E. J. Laugier. 2017. Satellite imagery-based monitoring of archaeological site damage in the Syrian civil war. PLOS ONE 12(11) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188589. Available on the PLOS ONE website.
  • Cunliffe, E. 2016. Sixty Years of Site Damage in the Carchemish Region. In: T. J. Wilkinson, E. Peltenburg and E. B. Wilkinson (eds). Carchemish in Context. Oxford: Oxbow: 203-214.
  • Danti, M. 2015. Ground-Based Observations of Cultural Heritage Incidents in Syria and Iraq. Near Eastern Archaeology 78(3): 132-141. DOI: 10.5615/neareastarch.78.3.0132
  • Danti, M.; Branting, S.; Penacho, S. The American Schools of Oriental Research Cultural Heritage Initiatives: Monitoring Cultural Heritage in Syria and Northern Iraq by Geospatial Imagery. Geosciences 2017, 7, 95. Available on the Geosciences website.
  • Emberling, G., Hanson, K., and Gibson, M. (Eds). 2008. Catastrophe!: the looting and destruction of Iraq's past. Chicago, IL: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Available on the Chicago Oriental Institute website.
  • Fradley, M. 2017. The difficulty of verifying heritage damage reports. EAMENA Blog
  • Frigerio, A. 2014. Heritage Under Attack: A Critical Analysis of the Reasons Behind the Destruction of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Aedon 2. Available online.
  • Isakhan, B. 2013. Heritage Destruction and Spikes in Violence: The Case of Iraq. Cultural Heritage in the Crosshairs. In: J. D. Kila and J. A. Zeidler (eds). Protecting Cultural Property During Conflict. Leiden, Boston: Brill: 219-248.
  • Isakhan, B. 2018. The Islamic State Attacks on Shia Holy Sites and the “Shrine Protection Narrative”: Threats to Sacred Space as a Mobilization Frame. Terrorism and Political Violence 1-25. DOI: 10.1080/09546553.2017.1398741.
  • Jones, C. W. 2018. Understanding ISIS's Destruction of Antiquities as a Rejection of Nationalism. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology & Heritage Studies 6(1-2): 31-58. DOI: 10.5325/jeasmedarcherstu.6.1-2.0031.
  • Melčák, M. and Beránek, O. 2017. ISIS’s Destruction of Mosul’s Historical Monuments: Between Media Spectacle and Religious Doctrine. International Journal of Islamic Architecture 6(2): 389-415(327). DOI:
  • Mol, L., M. Gomez-Heras, C. Brassey, O. Green and T. Blenkinsop. 2017. The benefit of a tough skin: bullet holes, weathering and the preservation of heritage. Royal Society Open Science 4(2). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160335. Available on the Royal Society website.
  • Newson, P. and Young, R. 2015. The archaeology of conflict-damaged sites: Hosn Niha in the Biqaʾ Valley, Lebanon. Antiquity 89(344): 449-463. DOI: doi:10.15184/aqy.2015.4.
  • Stone, P. G., and Farchakh-Bajjaly. J. (eds). 2008. The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Iraq. Woodbridge: Boydell Press
  • Stone, P. G. 2015. The Challenge of Protecting Heritage in Times of Armed Conflict. Museum International 67(1-4): 40-54. DOI: 10.1111/muse.12079.

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