Planning the Archaeological Park

Acquisition of documentation. The first phase of the method- ological path consisted of the acquisition of the cartograph- ic documentation relating to the extensive archaeological complex and its monuments. In the absence of detailed maps of the region, it was necessary to use satellite imag- es for the collection of all the territorial and archaeological data. Pleiades images were employed for Khinis and Jerwan and World View 2 images for Maltai and Bandawai.
The documentation of reliefs, inscriptions and architectural structures was accomplished by laser scanner survey using a Faro Focus for small distances and a Zoller+Frölich Imager for larger distances, while a detailed survey of the archae- ological areas was conducted by means of UAV technology and accomplished with a Swinglet drone (elevation up to 600 m) and a Phantom drone (up to 200 m).
The production of georeferenced orthophotos allowed us to define the core and buffer zone of each site and the mesh models imported in JRC Reconstructor gave the contour lines representing the sites’ morphology.

Analysis of monuments and landscape. The second step in the process was to analyse the individual archaeological areas and the respective architectural and celebratory structures (rock reliefs, inscriptions) and their close relationship with the natural environment in which they were conceived. This analysis also involved assessment of the preservation state of both the structures and the landscape and the fore- casting of probable causes of further deterioration of the ar- chaeological complex and its natural landscape. The phase also involves a critical analysis of local protection and plan- ning instruments and the relative system for prevention.

Definition of objectives and strategies. This phase involved identifying the project’s aims and delineating strategies to achieve them. In this phase, the historical and structural uniqueness of the archaeological complex to be saved and protected was focussed upon and a strategy established to create a decision-making structure, the Archaeological En- vironmental Park, able to represent the various different problems and take on the task of solving them through the achievement of both short-term and long-term goals.
It was also necessary to determine the aspects that char- acterize the social and cultural identity of the territory, to evaluate the local cultural resources and define the relative hierarchies and therefore the positioning of the different elements on the design scheme. These were the intangible areas inside the park (Khinis and Jerwan), the path and the remains of the canal, the historical evidence in the Shif- ka Valley, the internal mobility routes, the intangible areas outside the park, and the public display and visualization modalities of the various archaeological areas and their re- lated landscape.

Definition of long and short-term goals. This phase comprised the definition of the objectives and operational strategies for a plan of intervention and actions to implement the gen- eral strategic directives. These constituted a hydraulic and hydrogeological study of the cliffs of Khinis and Maltai, a slope stability study of the Khinis cliff, and the definition of interventions to mitigate the inherent dangers – for both the reliefs and the tourists – in these places, in addition to a project for conservation treatment for the rock reliefs of Khinis and Maltai, the arrangement of an access path to the Maltai reliefs, and an archaeological trekking route for the historic testimonies of Bandawai.

GIS of the Archaeological Park
The various activities of the Archaeological Environmental Park, both the institutional ones concerning research, pub- lic information and teaching, and those related to energy supply and logistics, will be managed by means of a special information system.
The GIS model will contain in digital form all the graphics related to the Archaeological Environmental Park project, and will also form the basis of the management plan re- quested by UNESCO for each site belonging to the WHL.

Project leader:

Roberto Orazi

Project team:

Francesca Colosi, Eva Malinverni, Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, Roberto Orazi, Hasan Ahmed Qasim

Park GIS:

Francesca Colosi, Eva Malinverni

Photogrammetry, laser scanning:

Salvatore Barba, Carlo Alberto Bozzi, Roberto Gabrielli, Antonio Salvatori, Alberto Savioli


Carlo Alberto Bozzi

AutoCad and planning:

Elisa Fidenzi

AutoCad elaboration  :

Giovanna Cresciani, Luana D’Auria, Laura Mattioli

Data Processing :

Damiano Portarena

Conservation :

Isabella Finzi Contini

Logistics and administration :

Francesca Colosi , Luigi Turri



The first phase of the methodological path consisted of the acquisition of the cartographic documentation relating to the archaeological complex…




The project is aimed at the conservation of cultural heritage and the strengthening of the local economy through the creation of an Archaeological Environmental Park.




Sennacherib’s irrigation system was built by the Neo-Assyrian ruler to bring water to his new capital, Nineveh, and to irrigate its hinterland.


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