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Support research into ancient mosaics of the Ma’arat an-Noman Museum, Syrian Arab Republic

In 2014, given the impossibility since 2011 of implementing activities in Syria and continuing support activities for the management of the Ancient Villages of Northern Syria, inscribed on the World Heritage List, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement, offered to provide financial support for research into the mosaics of Northern Syria.

Given the need to document and consolidate knowledge of Syrian cultural heritage, particularly vulnerable in the context of war, it was important to support research and the sharing of knowledge on the ancient mosaics conserved in the Museum of Ma'arat an-Noman (Syria), which mostly originate from the Ancient Villages of Northern Syria, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2011.

More specifically, the project consisted of following up on work carried out as part of a doctoral dissertation on a corpus of 80 mosaics from the Byzantine era, prized for their fineness, the detail of the drawings and the remarkable execution, by updating the bibliography, to allow more in-depth study of the context of archaeological discovery, enriching the epigraphical features and providing an up-to-date transcription.

This project was developed in close collaboration with the Institut français du Proche-Orient and the École normale supérieure, in partnership with Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), the Laboratoire Orient et Méditerranée (Centre of Byzantine history and civilisation) and Archéologie et Sciences de l'Antiquité (Greek and Roman Archeology of the Middle East) and is supported by the Direction de la recherche et des échanges scientifiques, the Pôle du patrimoine mondial, Mission des échanges culturels et de l'audiovisuel, the Direction de la coopération culturelle, universitaire et de la recherche, and the Direction générale de la mondialisation, du développement et des partenariats of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This work was conducted at the Laboratoire Archéologies et Philologie d'Orient et d'Occident, which provided scientific guidance for the researcher at the École normale supérieure, in liaison with the specialist members of the other laboratories mentioned above, with the aim of providing the basis for a descriptive catalogue that will be published in the Bibliothèque archéologique et historique collection of the Institut français du Proche-Orient.