AIA and ASOR Receive Grant for Two-Day Syrian Cultural Heritage Summit
October 8, 2015

Media Release

October 8, 2015

For Immediate Distribution

The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) announced today that they have jointly received a Chairman’s Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support a two-day invitational summit in Washington, D.C., on December 10–11, 2015. During the summit, representatives from organizations engaged in collecting data on the cultural heritage of Syria will explore ways to cooperate and reduce duplication of effort. NEH Chairman William “Bro” Adams will be in attendance for the public event to be held on Friday, December 11, at the National Geographic Society.

This is an urgent matter. Every day, sites and buildings in Syria are being damaged or destroyed by conflict, looting, and terrorism. Moreover, industrial-scale looting has resulted in the theft of artifacts that are then sold to support ISIL and other terrorist groups. Dozens of non-profit organizations and non-governmental organizations have responded to this crisis, and some of them have received significant funding from European countries, Canada, UNESCO, and the United States. In just the past three weeks, cultural heritage conferences held at the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Asia Society have called for all working on this problem to find ways to achieve a division of labor and greater collaboration. The goal of this summit is to do just that. ASOR and the AIA are pleased that NEH Chairman Adams has responded to this need by sponsoring this conference and agreeing to participate.

Details on the summit and the public symposium to be held at the National Geographic Society on Friday, December 11, will be announced in the coming weeks. For further information, please contact ASOR at 617-353-6570 or or the AIA at 617-353-9362 or



Image: By Wilhelms (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons


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