OA undertook undertook a survey workshop at Erbil, in Northern Iraq, on behalf of UNESCO. The site is enormously significant and is a very large tel site, whose mound covers 10 hectares, and rises to 32m above the surrounding plain. It has some 620 buildings on the flat topped mound, some of which are set around the outside to form a defensive curtain wall to the citadel.

The site's remarkable claim to fame is that it has had the longest continuous occupation of any site in the world, which extends over 8000 years.

Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the local Kurdish population were seeking World Heritage Status for its most prestigious monuments, particularly Erbil, and to facilitate this process UNESCO funded a major programme of documentation for the site and its buildings. This needed to be undertaken by a local team, and OA was brought in to provide appropriate training.


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