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WikiLeaks: 2008-08-11: 08BAGHDAD2523: Ninewa: PRT and Military Colleagues Survey Key Cultural Heritage Site

by WikiLeaks. 08BAGHDAD2523: August 11, 2008.

Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013 at 04:39 PM UT


Viewing cable 08BAGHDAD2523, NINEWA: PRT AND MILITARY COLLEAGUES SURVEY KEY

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Reference ID Created Classification Origin
08BAGHDAD2523 2008-08-11 13:22 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO7877
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2523 2241322
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 111322Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8774
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 002523 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2018 
TAGS: PGOV SCUL EAIR PINR PREL MARR IZ
SUBJECT: NINEWA: PRT AND MILITARY COLLEAGUES SURVEY KEY 
CULTURAL HERITAGE SITE 
 
Classified By: Ninewa PRT Leader Alex Laskaris for reasons 1.4 (b&d) 
 
This is a Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team message. 
 
1. (SBU) Summary:  PRT Ninewa, with the technical expertise 
of the 156th Engineer Detachment, 94th Engineer Battalion, 
18th Engineer Brigade, completed the first engineered site 
survey of the Dair Mar Elia Chaldean Monastery.  This effort 
was supported by the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and 
Heritage (SBAH) in an effort to build the technological 
knowledge base of Iraq,s cultural heritage sites.  The 
results of the site survey are being shared with the State 
Board of Antiquities, the Ninewa Inspectorate, the Mosul 
Cultural Museum, Mosul University Archaeology Department and 
the Chaldean Christian Diocese.  End Summary. 
 
Site Has Unique Location 
------------------------ 
 
2. (C) Dair Mar Elia Chaldean Monastery is located within the 
confines of a military installation.  The State Board's local 
Inspectorate has not accessed the monastery ruins since the 
1970s.  Iraq,s Director General of Excavations, Mr. Qais 
Hussein Rashid, visited the site in May as part of a 
fact-finding mission of cultural heritage sites in Ninewa 
Province coordinated by PRT Ninewa in conjunction with 
Embassy Baghdad.  Mr. Rashid expressed interest in the 
monastery site's preservation and made recommendations for 
its stabilization and conservation. 
 
Coalition Forces Provide Unique Assistance 
------------------------------------------ 
 
3. (SBU) As part of the joint effort, the site was surveyed 
by a team of eight surveyors and one Engineer Captain from 
the US Army's 156th Detachment, 94th Engineer Battalion, 18th 
Engineer Brigade and  the process was monitored by the PRT's 
cultural preservation advisor and the PRT reconstruction 
section chief.  The engineers, survey results include 
baseline geographic information systems (GIS) topographic 
mapping; site and building sections and three-dimensional 
modeling; global positioning systems (GPS) longitude and 
latitude boundary points and elevations; Computer Aided 
Drafting and Design (CADD) surveys of site features, building 
elevations and room measurements; and representative 
photographic documentation of site and building features. 
The survey provides accurate and up-to-date information about 
a culturally significant site. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
4. (C) Cultural heritage sites inspected during the May visit 
of DG Rashid all indicated deterioration from years of 
neglect and exposure.  PRT staff members are working with the 
local inspectorate to prioritize projects in an attempt to 
stabilize significant sites.  Follow-up at Dair Mar Elia will 
include building material analyses, radiocarbon dating to 
determine the age of structures, and recommendations for 
structural stabilization.  In addition, PRT staff will 
encourage University of Mosul archaeology students to work at 
the monastery site to gain much-needed practical skills and 
field experience.  This is a key way for PRT staff to assist 
university representatives in their efforts to re-engage with 
the international community, with the monastery serving as an 
ideal field project.  End Comment. 
CROCKER

 



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