The Iraq school is in many ways in even a worse situation than the EES, as they are more reliant on Academy funding: of their total turnover of £100,000, some £60,000 comes from the British Academy: this is to be reduced to £30,000 for the next two years, and will then be cut completely.
The school is currently in a strange position in that they have had no-one in Iraq ever since the Kuwait war in 1991, but the school has actively supported research and fieldwork in neighbouring countries such as Syria, Turkey , Kuwait and Bahrain, as well as continuing with successful publication, lecture, and conference programmes.
The school premises, which were rented, have been given up, and the very valuable library – which was on open access to all Iraqi residents – is now crated up in the compound of the British Embassy.
The School’s main activity at present , entirely supported by non- Academy funds, is sponsoring two Iraqis a year to come over to Britain for a period of three months for training: recently they had a museum designer from the Baghdad museum, who spent three months with a top museum designer.
All this must cease unless alternative sources of funds can be located, as they have only 600 members of the school – as against 3,000 members for the EES. Perhaps they should look south, to the Gulf states, for support.
This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 22. Click here to subscribe