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, early Islamic, Ottoman 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 on-going 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. Helen Malko, Content Manager
Helen Malko is a Program Manager at Columbia University. She holds a Ph.D. in archaeology and anthropology from Stony Brook University, and a Master’s degree in archaeology of the Ancient Near East from Baghdad University. She holds a diploma in Historic Preservation from Rutgers University. Her current research is focused on the ongoing deliberate destruction of monuments and historical landscapes in Iraq and Syria, and the related changes in the rhetoric of heritage studies and archaeological ethics that have accompanied this destruction.
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 is an active member of the Tarsus-Gözlükule Project since 2003, participating in both the excavations and the analysis of the excavated archaeological material.
Erhan Tamur, Archaeologist & 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. 12 th to 7 th 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.
Turkan Pilavci, Archaeologist
Türkan Pilavcı is a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University, Art History and Archaeology Department, specializing on the art and archaeology of the Near East. She is currently writing her dissertation on the cult practices and ritual paraphernalia of the Hittite period Anatolia. Türkan received her B.A. in Political Science and History from Boğazici University, Istanbul and completed her M.A. in the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean in K.U. Leuven. Having participated in numerous archaeological projects, since 2007 she has been a part of the Tarsus-Gözlükule Excavation and Research Project, Turkey.
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 is currently the Director of the Umm al Agarib excavations in Iraq.
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 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, and has taught various classes and supervised students at Mosul University since 2005.


Media Center for Art History, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University.

Sarah Fey, Graphic Designer


Erhan Tamur