Planned activities

2010-2011 academic year

The center's main activities are centered on the following four operations:

Support for Field Projects 
The Research Center for West Asian Civilizations supports field projects underway by center researchers.  These include: the study of the dispersal of modern humans in southern Iran; focus on research and analysis of the changes in Neolithic social systems in Turkey (July – August); clarification of the process involved in urban development and city formation in Syria (July – August); deciphering of cuneiform clay tablets of the second millennium BC (August – September).

Rescue & Assistance for Sites and Historical Resources
Through co-operation and consultation with government officials in local and national governments the Center plans to provide cultural heritage support for sites and heritage objects under threat. This includes the conservation of clay cuneiform tablets from Tell Taban in Syria as part of a larger project on the conservation of unfired clay artifacts from Western Asia. Planning is also underway to conserve and protect the monuments and murals of the rock hewn churches of Cappadocia, Turkey. The scientific and chemical analysis of archaeological material recovered from sites in West Asia is also ongoing.

Conferences and workshops on West Asian Civilizations 
The Research Center for West Asian Civilizations hosted an international colloquium on Assyrian philology on the 9 – 10 October at the Tsukuba International Conference Centre.  In addition, an international symposium on Neolithic research in West Asia was held at the University of Tsukuba on 12 December with a follow up public lecture in Tokyo on 18 December hosted by the Ancient Orient Museum. The research seminar series of the center began in November 2010 with subsequent seminars being held in January and February 2011. The aim of this series is to disseminate research undertaken by center researchers in the fields of archaeology, history and the natural and physical sciences and facilitate cooperation amongst researchers as well as to integrate the results from various projects and develop a new integrated research approach combining science and the humanities.

Education Programs 
Each field work project including the archaeological surveys in Syria and Turkey provides graduate students with field experience and technical and research ‘know how’ to conduct their own research in the future. The educational program includes lectures aimed at graduate students as well giving students the opportunity to hone their own research and presentation skills.

2011-2012 academic year

The Center's activities remain the same as the previous year and will focus on the aim of advancing scientific knowledge of ancient West Asian civilizations.

Support for Field Projects: 
The Center will continue its support for field projects scheduled for Iran, Syria and Turkey during the summer (July - August).

Rescue & Assistance for Sites and Historical Resources
On the basis of research undertaken the previous year new projects are being considered for assistance.  Candidate sites currently include those in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and Lebanon.

Conferences on West Asian Civilizations 
The regular seminar series re-commences with the 4th seminar to be held in October followed by the 5th and 6th seminar to be held by March 2012. These will be held in collaboration with experts from the fields of environmental science and analytical chemistry including invitations for overseas researchers to attend.

Education Programs 
Implementation of field education and center programs.

2012-2013 academic year

By the end of the year the Center hopes to collate the results of three years research and co-operation amongst staff and submit the final proposal to establish the Research Center for West Asian Civilizations as a Center for Excellence.

Support for Field Projects 
As in the previous year summer field projects will be undertaken in Iran, Syria and Turkey.

Rescue & Assistance for Sites and Historical Resources
An important initiative of the Research Center for West Asian Civilization is the selection and implementation of assistance for sites and cultural heritage objects at risk. This program which was expanded in 2011 will continue in 2012.

Conferences on West Asian Civilizations 
The regular seminar series re-commences with the 7th seminar to be held in October and the 8th scheduled for January 2013. The seminar in October will focus on presentations from the field projects and larger studies on the theme of civilization in West Asia and will include invited speakers from overseas. Presenters at the January seminar will be limited to university researchers reporting on the overall results of the Pre – Strategic Initiative during the previous three years.

Education Programs 
The field education program and other education programs will be conducted as usual.

As it will be three years since the establishment of the Pre – Strategic Initiative of the Research Center for West Asian Civilization the center hopes to publish a report detailing its activities and results. This will not only include research results and activities but also the organization and direction for the establishment of the Research Center for West Asian Civilizations as  a Center for Excellence at the University of Tsukuba.

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