Devastating Memory: Nimrud and the Influence of Its Destruction on the Cultural Memory of Iraq

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During the last decade, the Islamic State has held the Middle-East and to a lesser extent, the world, in its grip. While the main loss under the Islamic State occupation is that of human lives, there has been an exceptional loss of cultural and material heritage as well. One of the destructed sites is the historical and archaeological site of Nimrud in Iraq that was looted and partially destroyed in 2015. Besides a loss of material culture, the destruction of this site can be viewed as the loss of an anchor that binds one to their culture, shared history, and memory. By building on theories on cultural memory and by investigating different tactics of heritage preservation, this thesis strives to answer the following question: “How do the destruction and concomitant looting of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud by the Islamic State in 2015 influence the cultural memory of Iraq?”
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