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Department of Archaeology



I am the training manager for the Mapping Archaeological Heritage in South Asia (MAHSA) project. Before joining MAHSA at Cambridge, I was the training manager for Jordan and Palestine for the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project at the University of Oxford. With EAMENA I delivered and organized trainings on remote sensing, condition assessment and the EAMENA/Arches database. Prior to this I worked at UNESCO and the Getty Conservation Institute on different heritage conservation and management projects in Jordan and Iraq. I have also consulted on different projects and initiatives on techniques and methods of site recording and assessment, use of geodatabases, and heritage conservation in the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia. I have taken part in excavation and survey projects in Jordan, Lebanon, and Iran.  


I am also currently completing my PhD at Durham University, Institute of Archaeology. I have an MA in Managing Archaeological Sites from University College London, Institute of Archaeology (2007) and a BA in Anthropology (Archaeology focus) from the Université de Montréal.


I am an archaeologist with a specialisation on archaeological and heritage conservation and management. My main areas of work and research include use of geospatial databases for protection and management of heritage, methods of on-site and remote condition and risk assessment, and archaeological survey and remote sensing techniques. A key component of my work is working closely with local heritage authorities to develop sustainable approaches of inventory, documenting, and monitoring of archaeological sites. 

My PhD research focuses on developing systematic and deployable methodologies and use of geospatial databases as tools for remote and on-the-ground recording and monitoring of damaged and at risk sites and monuments in post-disaster and post-conflict contexts. This research has been partly implemented within the EAMENA database/methodology. I have been specifically studying archaeological data modelling and the use of CIDOC-CRM ontology to model condition and risk assessment data.  


Key Publications

Key publications: 
Vafadari, A., Philip, G., & Jennings, R. (2019). A tool and methodology for rapid assessment and monitoring of heritage places in a disaster and post-disaster context: Syria as a case study. In M. Dawson, E. James & M. Nevell (eds.), Heritage Under Pressure – Threats and Solutions: Studies of Agency and Soft Power in the Historic Environment. Oxford: Oxbow Books, pp. 87-100.

Vafadari, A., Philip, G., and Jennings, R. Damage Assessment and Monitoring of Cultural Heritage Places in a Disaster and Post-Disaster Event – A Case Study of Syria. (2017) In ISPRS - The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Volume XLII-2/W5, pp. 695-701.

Santana Quintero, M., Vafadari, A., Cesaro, G., Vileikis, O., Van Balen, K., Paolini, A., Fakhoury, L(2014). Development of a Risk Management Framework for Protecting Heritage Sites: A Case Study for Petra. Tangible Risks, Intangible Opportunities: Long-term Risk Preparedness and Responses for Threats to Cultural Heritage. In: Proceedings of the ICOMOS Scientific Symposium: Reducing Risks to Cultural Heritage from Natural and Human-Caused Disasters’ pp. 97-107.

Paolini A., Vafadari, A., Cesaro G., Santana Quintero M., Van Balen K., Vileikis O., and Fakhoury L. (2012) Risk Management at Heritage Sites: a Case Study of the Petra World Heritage Site, Amman, UNESCO publication.

Vileikis O., Cesaro G., Santana Quintero M., Van Balen K., Paolini A., Vafadari, A. Documentation in World Heritage conservation - towards managing and mitigating change: The case studies of Petra and the Silk Roads. Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development (JCHMSD), Emerald, Vol. 2, Issue 2, 2012, pp. 130-152.

Vafadari, A. Visitor Management, the Development of Sustainable Cultural Tourism and Local Community Participation at Chogha Zanbil, Iran. Journal of Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, Vol.10, Number 3, 2008, pp. 264-304.


Job Titles

Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Heritage Management
Cultural Heritage

Contact Details

av604 [at]


Person keywords: 
Cultural Heritage Conservation and Protection, Inventory and Database, Remote Sensing, Risk Management and Post-Conflict Rehabilitation
Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Geographical areas: 
Mesopotamia and the Near East
South Asia