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Decision : 27 COM 8C.45
Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Inscribes Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat), Iraq, on the World Heritage List on the basis of cultural criteria (iii) and (iv):

Criterion (iii): Founded in the 3rd millennium BCE, the most important role of Ashur was from the 14th to 9th century BCE when it was the first capital of the Assyrian empire. Ashur was also the religious capital of Assyrians, and the place for crowning and burial of its kings;

Criterion (iv): The excavated remains of the public and residential buildings of Ashur provide an outstanding record of the evolution of building practice from the Sumerian and Akkadian period through the Assyrian Eempire, as well as including the short revival during the Parthian period;

2. Requests the Iraqi authorities to provide the Environmental Impact Assessment and original feasibility study;

3. Considering the costs of remedial measures already proposed by the Engineering Report, 

4. Considering the pause in construction activity occasioned by the war,

5. Taking into consideration that the original proposal for the dam, while necessary, may not have been planned with consideration of all aspects of the problem,;

6. Requests the Centre and ICOMOS to continue assisting the responsible Iraqi authorities in the definition of possible alternative locations for the dam and the most appropriate protection measures for the property, including a comprehensive management plan;

7.   Invites UNESCO, should the dam project be resumed, to launch an appeal to the international community and archaeological  missions to help the Iraqi Department of Antiquities in conducting rescue excavations and documentation in the area affected by the future reservoir.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
Focal Point: ARB
States Parties: Iraq
Year: 2003
Decision Code: 27 COM 8C.45