The canalization network built by the Assyrian king Sennacherib to bring water to Nineveh and the surrounding territory in around 700 BC is perhaps the most significant example of monumental cultural heritage in northern Iraqi Kurdistan. Canals, imposing stone aqueducts, rock reliefs and commemorative inscriptions are scattered over a territory covering almost three thousand square km in the Duhok region, but they all belong to the same impressive undertaking. The first volume of the Italian Archaeological Mission to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (IAMKRI) series is entirely devoted to the recording, conservation, protection and enhancement of Sennacherib’s irrigation system and the presentation of the project for the creation of a related archaeological and environmental park. The book focuses on the two most important sites of Khinis and Jerwan, which represent the core of the park project, but preserves the general unity of the Assyrian system of canals and rock reliefs by including also the reliefs of Maltai and Shiru Malikhta. Modern multimedia technologies will allow all the sites to be managed and visualized both in their specific locations and in relation to the entire complex. The abundant architectural documentation gathered in the field together with the management plan of the Assyrian monuments and the recognition of their outstanding universal value have led to the drafting of a proposal for their inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List, which will enable the better protection of this unique complex and the wider local and international dissemination of public awareness of it.
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