Activities in the museums
Within the framework of museum’s activities, a wide section is devoted to the cataloguing and the training of local personnel in the three most relevant museums of the Iraqi Kurdistan, respectively located in Sulaymaniya, Erbil and Dohuk. Those activities are a direct continuation and implementation of the previous project Tutela del patrimonio culturale della Regione Curda in Iraq (2009/2010).
The Italian team, together with the staff of each museum, is committed in a cross-cataloguing involving in the specific the numismatic collections of the three institutions. More than 10.000 coins have been took in exam at a preliminary stage, each of them assigned within their proper chronological and geographical context. Furthermore, the analysis of the material led to an individuation and isolation of modern forgeries. A digital database, with a on-line usability (db.bradypus.net), has been prepared and used in order to record and to gather the acquired data. Training on the job, integral part of cataloguing activities, has been conceived with the objective of providing local staff suitable cataloguing methods and appropriate criteria of digital cataloguing but also the necessary skills for what concern the individuation of coins series and types.
Courses in Numismatics, lectures and practical lessons, have been organized with the aim to offer the museum’s personnel appropriate knowledge on the material of the museum’s collection (and, hopefully, on what could be soon emerge from new excavations) and a better understanding of the different historical contexts and monetary histories. Ancient Coinages, in the widest sense of the term, which have circulated in the region for nearly a millennium, from the Achaemenid to the Sasanian period, receiving variable contributions both from the West and the East, have been the subject for lectures and exercises. Furthermore, emphasis has been given to Islamic Coinage, (half of the 7th century to the modern era) due to the great historical, economic and cultural impact that issues of the several Islamic dynasties have had in the territory of today’s Iraq. Special attention has been devoted to the monetary productions prior to the 14th century and those local figural issues of Turkoman rulers realized during the centuries 12th and 13th. Practical exercises have been focused on the reading and the interpretation of coins’ legends, on the deciphering of Arabic kufic script and on the identification of some relevant Islamic series and types.
The commitment in the safeguard and in the enhancing of numismatic collections of each museum is even more evident throughout the creation of galleries displays, graphic elaborations for the exhibit and brochures for museum’s visitors. Arrangement for a proper preservation and storage of coins fall into this perspective too.