Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments presents a topographical survey of the standing historical monuments and architecture in the region from Iraqi Kurdistan and southeastern Anatolia (Turkey) to southern Iraq. A work in progress, this monument survey covers all historical periods from ancient to modern. It includes ancient Mesopotamian rock reliefs carved into the cliff faces of the mountains, early Christian churches and monasteries, and early Islamic, Ottoman-era and twentieth-century architecture and monuments. This database of images invites you to explore the multiple layers of the rich historical landscape of Mesopotamia. Envisioned and directed by Professor Zainab Bahrani, the basis of the survey is an ongoing field project that assesses the condition of monuments, maps their locations, and records them with digital techniques in order to provide a record and to facilitate future preservation work across this region.

The project began in 2012 and has been supported by a grant from the Columbia University President's Global Innovation Fund with additional support by the Chrest Foundation.


'Amadiya Citadel - View of the Citadel from the South

Our Team

Prof. Zainab Bahrani, Project Director
Prof. Bahrani is the Edith Porada Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University.
Dr. Matthew Peebles, Researcher and Content Manager
Matthew Peebles holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, where he studied both ancient Greek and ancient Near Eastern art and archaeology. His research, focusing on the codification and cross-cultural exchange of key gestural motifs in antiquity, has been complemented by several seasons of archaeological fieldwork at the Sanctuary of Poseidon in Onchestos, Greece. During the 2019–2020 academic year, he served as content manager for Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments. He continues to contribute to the site as a researcher.
Erhan Tamur, Archaeologist and Researcher
Erhan Tamur is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. He received his M.A. from Freie Universität Berlin, where he worked on the sculptural art of the Syro-Anatolian city-states in the Iron Age (ca. 12th to 7th centuries B.C.) with an emphasis on the theoretical and methodological drawbacks of correlating certain “styles” with certain “ethnicities.” His other research interests include Assyrian art and architecture, art-historical and archaeological theory & historiography, and theories of subjectivity. He is working as a researcher and content writer for the Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments project.
Gabriel Rodriguez, Head Photographer and Digital Curator
Gabriel Rodriguez is the Digital Curator at the Media Center for Art History, Columbia University.
Dr. Helen Malko, Archaeologist and Researcher
Helen Malko is a program manager at Columbia Global Centers | Amman, where she runs the Fellowship Program for Emerging Displaced Scholars. Prior to moving to Amman, Helen served as content manager for Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments. From 2014 to 2017, Dr. Malko was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Art History and Archaeology and the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University. She was awarded the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship to conduct research in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art, Metropolitan Museum, from 2012 to 2014. Helen holds a Ph.D. in archaeology and anthropology from Stony Brook University and a master’s degree in the archaeology of the ancient Near East from Baghdad University. She holds a diploma in historic preservation from Rutgers University. Her research combines archaeology, cultural heritage, and museum practices in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq. 
Dr. Serdar Yalcin, Archaeologist
Serdar Yalcin is the Assistant Professor of Ancient and Medieval Art at Macalester College. He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern art and archaeology from Columbia University in 2014. From 2014 to 2016, Dr. Yalcin was a postdoctoral teaching fellow at Parsons School of Design in New York. In addition to his work for the Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments Project, Dr. Yalcin has been an active member of the Tarsus-Gözlükule Project since 2003, participating in both the excavations and the analysis of the excavated archaeological material.
Dr. Turkan Pilavci, Archaeologist
Türkan Pilavcı completed her Ph.D. at Columbia University in 2017, specializing in the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. Her dissertation investigated the cult practices and ritual paraphernalia of Anatolia during the Hittite period. Türkan received her B.A. in Political Science and History from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, and completed her M.A. in the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean at K.U. Leuven. Having participated in numerous archaeological projects, since 2007 she has been active in the Tarsus-Gözlükule Excavation and Research Project, Turkey. She is currently teaching at Boğaziçi University.
Dr. Haider Almamori, Archaeologist
Haider Oraibi Almamori received his M.A. and Ph.D. Degrees in Archaeology from Kokushikan University in Japan. He has been an archaeologist with the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage in Babylon since 1999 and has served as the Director of the Umm al Agarib excavations in Iraq. He now teaches archaeology at the University of Babylon.
Dr. Yasmin al-Asadi, Archaeologist
Yasmin al-Asadi is a Lecturer in the College of Archaeology at Mosul University, Iraq. She holds a Ph.D. in the art and archaeology of the Ancient Near East from Mosul University and a master’s degree in archaeology from Baghdad University. Her research is focused on Mesopotamian art and archaeology especially during the Neo-Assyrian period. Yasmin has published several books and articles on various aspects of Mesopotamian art. Having taught various classes and supervised students at Mosul University since 2005, she is now the dean of its college of archaeology.