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Dates: 28 February – 03 March 2016

Place: ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE

Course Partners

  • ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah
  • UCL-Q: University College London, Qatar
  • Government of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Background and Aims

ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in partnership with UCL-Qatar has developed a short course series titled “Informed Conservation”, aimed at professionals who are looking to expand their working knowledge and experience in the field of cultural heritage conservation.

GIS can be a powerful tool for inventory purposes, as well as for assessing, examining, conserving and protecting cultural heritage. It can assist heritage managers in preventing and reducing the damages to cultural heritage affected by the current crises in the region, such as looting, illicit trafficking, environmental degradation, and illegal building activities.

This course introduces participants to the basic concepts of GIS and how it can be used as a research tool to acquire, analyse and display cultural heritage data. Furthermore it will demonstrate how GIS can be used to manage cultural heritage, by being used to conduct risk assessment and monitoring, as well as compile inventories. The course is divided into themes to familiarise participants with the different aspects of GIS, by providing different case studies. Participants will also work on exercises in order to practice the skills acquired in class.

Course Objectives and Expected Results

By the end of the course participants are expected to be able to:

  • Understand the basic principles of GIS.
  • Use the basic GIS tools for research and archaeological data analysis and management.
  • Use basic open source GIS tools.
  • Conduct risk analysis and monitoring with the help of GIS.
  • Present geo-referenced data in soft and hard versions according to different categories.

Course Structure

This five-day course which focuses on GIS applications in heritage site management, will take place in the premises of the newly established ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Centre in Sharjah, UAE.

Course instructors will discuss database design, data processing, and forming queries to extrapolate information. The course will consist of interactive, participatory sessions, both theoretical and practical in a classroom environment. The course will also include group work exercises for which participants will be required to work on in their free time to meet the course requirements. The topics discussed in the course are:

  • Day 1:  Introduction to GIS (structure, functions, operations)
  • Day 2:  GIS for archaeological research
  • Day 3:  GIS for conservation
  • Day 4:  GIS for heritage management
  • Day 5:  GIS for cultural heritage inventories

Through practical exercises in the course, participants will be given the opportunity to identify the needs of cultural heritage in their own countries and devise strategies for rescuing their endangered heritage.

Participants and Admission

The course is intended for 15-20 participants with backgrounds in relevant fields (archaeologists, architects, art historians, collections and site managers, conservators-restorers, conservation scientists, curators, directors of museums, galleries and archives, etc) from the Arab region. Priority will be given to those with field experience, and those who have basic knowledge of GIS. Admission to the course will be subject to selection criteria that include:

  1. Professional background: at least a BA in a relevant field.
  2. Letter of intent: candidates are requested to provide a letter stating clearly the reasons for applying to the course, what they hope to learn from it, and how it will benefit them and their institution, country, or future employer.
  3. Employment: priority is given to government employees or government affiliated professionals.
  4. Work experience: those who have already gained at least 3 years of practical or research experience in the field will have priority.
  5. Working languages: the working languages will be both Arabic and English. Proficiency in English will be required particularly for research work and reading of reference materials.
  6. Insurance: all participants should also have health and accident insurance. Upon selection, they should return to ICCROM-ATHAR a signed medical and accident participant’s release form.
  7. Applications: please use the application form available on this web site. Applications should be endorsed by the relevant ministry or entity in the candidate’s home country. The carefully completed forms should be to:

ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah

PO Box: 48777 Sharjah, UAE,

Tel: +971 (0)6  5552250 I  Fax: +971 (0) 6 5552213


Financial Resources / Support

A request for financial support, or the availability of other sources, should be indicated in the application form. ICCROM-ATHAR will provide a few scholarships only upon request (subject to evaluation), to cover accommodation, meals and travel during the course.

Course Fees: 450 US Dollars

Payments will be accepted in cash or bank transfer to ICCROM’s account details below:



F.A.O. Branch N. 06825 – Rome

Via delle Terme di Caracalla

00153 – Rome – Italy

Bank Coordinates (ABI) (C.A.B.): 03069 03356

Account #: 130109604345 in USD

Swift Code (BIC): BCITITMM

European Bank Coordinates (IBAN): IT14 N030 6903 3561 3010 9604 345

Application Deadline: 5 January 2016

Please note that any applications received after this deadline will not be considered in the selection process of candidates for this course.

SELECTED READINGS FROM ATHAR: Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Arab Region, Oct. 2013, series 1.


Following several ATHAR Programm’s foundation courses in Byblos and Tripoli (Lebanon) in Amman (Jordan), and in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates), it was deemed necessary to put some of the experiences learned in the hands of a wider audience beyond the direct benefit of course participants. “Selected Readings from ATHAR” is a result of valuable contributions from scientific instructors who took part in the ATHAR core regional courses and who were invited to submit scientific material relevant to the topics they covered during the ATHAR courses. It is thanks to the Government of Sharjah and Italy and ALECSO who financially have supported the ATHAR Programme and this particular publication. The subjects included in this first series of “Selected Readings from ATHAR” range from theoretical approached to the conservation of cultural heritage sites to the implementation of techniques and management approaches for the safeguard of immovable heritage for future generations. It is our aim to disseminate this knowledge for the effective benefit of practitioners and educators working this specialist field and in the Arab Region.

− Zaki Aslan, Director, ATHAR Programme, ICCROM

Hard copy for sale in the bookshop


Introducing Young People to Heritage Site Management and Protection


It is a publication intended for primary school teachers to raise the awareness in the conservation of cultural heritage in the Arab Region.  It is a guide that offers principal notions on conservation practices and management of historical sites and cities. It also underlines the threats facing cultural heritage today. It contains information, ideas and practical activities to help teachers to introduce this theme in schools and school curricula. The aims of the guide are to make young people aware about the importance of the heritage situated in their region and to involve them in its protection and care.

Zaki ASLAN coordinates and manages ICCROM’s ATHĀR Programme, which aims to protect and promote the rich cultural heritage in the Arab region, and broaden access, appreciation and understanding of its past. To achieve this goal, the programme stresses the participation of young people in the process.

Monica ARDEMAGNI has collaborated with ICCROM since 1990 in the realisation of projects related to advocacy. She conceived several activities destined to school teachers and pupils in Italy, in Europe and in the Arab Region.

Soft copy in pdf (1.86 MB)
Hard copy for sale in the bookshop

Issue 2, May 2014. (pdf 45.0 MB)


• Introduction
»ATHAR at a glance
»Consolidating Partnerships

• Activities
»4th Core Regional Course Review Meeting
»ATHAR at the Egyptian Academy in Rome
»First Aid to Archaeological Finds Workshop in Bahrain
»Symposium on Conservation of Urban Heritage: Living Heritage in Islamic Cities
»Ad-Dour Project: Challenges and Solutions

• Highlights
»Final Touches to the ICCROM-ATHAR Premises
»Laboratories in the ICCROM-ATHAR Centre
»Recent Meeting:
»» IRCICA (Syria)
»» Workshop on Heritage Education in Doha
»» Cooperation with Bahrain
»» Saving the Rich Heritage of Egypt
»» Yemen: Integrating Heritage in University Curricula
»» Partnership in UNESCO-EU Project for Syria

• From ATHARnet
»Condition Assessment for Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, Egypt
»After ATHAR …. Projects by Former Participants
»» Documentation of the Cultural Heritage in Rosetta City
»»Conservation Project of the Grand Tower of Melah

• Coming Soon
»Master’s Degree in Cultural Heritage Conservation Management
»Invitation to the Official Opening


Issue 1, Oct. 2013. (pdf 18.3 MB)


• Introduction
»ATHAR at a glance

• Activities
»The Sharjah initiative
»WAC: Follow-up to the Sharjah initiative
»Regional course on the management and conservation of cultural heritage

• Highlights
»Higher diploma in conservation
»Building of the ATHAR centre
»Sharjah Archaeology museum celebrates its twentieth anniversary
»National Projects: Yemen and Libya
»The latest on world heritage in the Arab Region
»Training for protection cultural heritage in times of conflict

• From ATHARnet
»Assessment of Cultural Heritage status in Syria during the undergoing crisis
»After ATHAR: projects by former participants

The ATHAR program and ICCROM courses have taught me a lot regarding the preservation of monuments, especially mosaics. I participated in the course held in TYRE / LEBANON, and the result was that I was able to work in the maintenance of mosaics with greater confidence, thanks to the information and practical experience gained from these courses.
Mohannad Al Taweel – Swaida, Syria
During the course on Conservation and Management of Cultural Heritage: Sites and Museum Collections, we learned some new methods of management and planning for cultural heritage which can help us a lot in Sudan. Knowing more information about the digital documentation of heritage and about the international practices for protection and conservation of heritage sites has added a unique value to our knowledge, which, in turn, is the future of our heritage.
Fawzi Hassan Bakhiet – Khartoum, Sudan
ATHAR is a program which aims at encouraging Arab professionals to understand the best methodologies to protect and manage cultural heritage . It helps us diagnose problems, propose solutions and think more deeply about the future of heritage in the Arab region. Personally, the regional course on ‘Conservation and Management of Cultural Heritage: Sites and Museum Collections’ was an extraordinary experience which allowed me to fill gaps in my training in conservation and management of cultural heritage.
Hager Krimi – Tunis