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Syria between Destruction and Preservation

Exhibition in the Campus Library of Freie Universität Berlin until September 3, 2017 / One-hour Guided Tours Available

№ 198/2017 from Jul 12, 2017

"Syria between Destruction and Preservation − The Excavation of Tell Sheikh Hamad" is the title of an exhibition on display in the Campus Library of Freie Universität until September 3, 2017. Curated by archaeology students and including paintings by Rolf Brockschmidt, it presents materials from the archives of the excavation of Tell Sheikh Hamad, Syria. It demonstrates how the Syrian cultural heritage is being preserved at many institutions in the world outside of Syria. There is no charge for admission. The exhibition may be viewed during the opening hours of the library, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Several one-hour guided tours for groups of persons up to ten have been scheduled. Advance registration is requested by email to ausstellung@schechhamad.de . More information on the website: www.schechhamad.de.

Six years of war in Syria, endless human suffering, destruction of registered world heritage sites, theft, looting, and more destruction – how is it possible to speak of preservation? "What at first glance seems to serve only the scholars involved in researching and presenting the development of our civilization has in recent years become the repository of material and immaterial values of the culture of Syria," says Prof. em. Dr. Hartmut W. Kuehne from the Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology at Freie Universität. One example is the research unit "Archaeology of Syria" at Freie Universität Berlin. It has potential to one day effectively support reconstruction in Syria as well as to help Syria regain its identity.

For 35 years, until 2010, within the project "Excavation in Tell Sheikh Hamad" archaeologists conducted basic archaeological research on the lower Khabur River (Syria), with particular emphasis on the Assyrian culture of the Middle, Neo-, and post-Assyrian periods (13th to 6th century BC). "The researchers identified the modern location with the Assyrian city of Dur-Katlimmu, which began carrying the second name of "Magdalu" as of the 7th century BC," explained Prof. Kuehne. Modified slightly to "Magdala," the city retained the name during the Parthian-Roman period until the settlement was abandoned in the 3rd century AD.

The project is based at the Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology at Freie Universität Berlin. It was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) until the end of 2014.

Time and Location of the Exhibition

  • Sunday, June 25, 2017, to Sunday, September 3, 2017: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Campus Library, Fabeckstraße 23/25, 14195 Berlin; subway station: Dahlem-Dorf (U3)

Dates of the Guided Tours

Meeting point for the guided tours: entrance to the building at Fabeckstr. 23-25 from Fabeck Strasse

  • Sunday, July 23, 2017, 11:30 a.m.: Hartmut Kühne
  • Friday, July 28, 2017, 2 p.m.: Jens Rohde
  • Saturday, July 29, 2017, 2 p.m.: Jens Rohde
  • Saturday, August 05, 2017, 4 p.m.: Dean Mahmoud
  • Sunday, August 06, 2017, 11 a.m.: Dean Mahmoud
  • Monday, August 07, 2017, 7 p.m.: Hartmut Kühne
  • Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 6 p.m.: Janoscha Kreppner

Out of consideration for the library patrons, guided tours of the exhibition can only be offered for small groups of up to 10 persons. Please register for the guided tour of your choice by sending an email to ausstellung@schechhamad.de. The tours take about one hour.


Prof. em. Dr. Hartmut W. Kuehne, Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-59185, Email: hartmut.kuehne@fu-berlin.de

Link to More Information about the Project and the Guided Tours

"Excavation of Tell Sheikh Hamad" Project: www.schechhamad.de/