The Unveiling

"We are here in a spirit of defiance, defiance of the barbarians who destroyed the original." - Boris Johnson MP

On Tuesday, April 19th at 13:00, London Mayor Boris Johnson, Roger Michel and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai publicly unveiled the Institute for Digital Archaeology's replica of the Triumphal Arch of Palmyra. At the unveiling, which was attended by members of local and national government, representatives from multiple embassies and over 1000 members of the public, Mayor Johnson delivered a speech urging the people of London, and the world, to join together in celebrating our shared cultural heritage. The arch, he said, was a symbol of solidarity with the people of Syria. 

See the Guardian's coverage of the event HERE

Million Image Database

Along with the unveiling of the Triumphal Arch of Palmyra, the IDA also officially opened the Million Image Database. The database hosts open access images, both 2D and 3D, of sites from around the world. Currently, the database holds roughly 275,000 images from sites in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. It is constantly expanding, and the IDA is always accepting crowd-sourced photographs of high quality. 

Visit the Million Image Database HERE. 

The Million image database is unveiled on trafalgar square by sheikh Mohammed bin rashid al maktoum

The Million image database is unveiled on trafalgar square by sheikh Mohammed bin rashid al maktoum


With its partners, the IDA is committed to promoting the study of classics, ancient history, and ancient languages in schools. We believe that children of all ages and backgrounds should be given the opportunity to share in the excitement which comes from acquiring an understanding of the role of cultural history in shaping our modern lives. In collaboration with Classics for AllMagdalen College, OxfordSnap Theatre, and colleagues in the Middle East, the Gateways programme targets the cultural education of primary and secondary school children in the UK and the Middle East. Gateways connects children though shared activities exploring themes in culture, language, and ancient history.

The Storytiles Project, aimed at 7–11, year olds explores the shared cultural heritage of Western Europe and the Middle East through the creation of mosaic tiles. The first tile was displayed on Trafalgar Square while visitors could contribute to the second tile. 

Lesson plans and educational packs will be available here soon. For further information email

The Trading Places Poetry Project, aimed at 15–18, year olds explores our relationship with the theme of “place” and how this relationship has evolved over the last 2,000 years. We explore how poets through the ages have attempted to capture the sense of identity that comes from the built environment around us, and produce creative responses to our own experiences of “place”.

The Trading Places Picture Project, aimed at 7–16 year olds connects children and young people in the Middle East with those in the UK through the exchange of drawings and paintings with the theme of “place”. By exchanging pictures showing their local environment and their relationship with it, those participating learn not only about each other’s culture, but about the power of non-verbal communication, and the shared language of art.

Lesson plans and educational packs will be available here soon. For further information email

Snap Theatre

Snap Theatre ran a taster workshops from series to be rolled out in schools over the next 12 months in the UK and Syria itself. Created by teacher,theatre director and writer Andy Graham who has worked extensively in Rwanda, Romania and Bangladesh, the interactive workshops allowed children explore the stories of how the arc came to be, the significance of Palmyra and even do some creative building of their own using some very special creative techniques.Professional actors and storytellers will inspire the children to want to read and research, to communicate their stories of hidden treasures far and wide.

IMG_4683 (2).jpg
MID 14.jpg
Kashi Arch Watermark.jpg