Research Programs: Public Scholars

Period of Performance

7/1/2021 - 6/30/2022

Funding Totals

$60,000.00 (approved)
$60,000.00 (awarded)

City of 1001 Churches: Architecture, Destruction, and Preservation at a World Heritage Site

FAIN: FZ-272163-20

Heghnar Watenpaugh, PhD
Regents of the University of California, Davis (Davis, CA 95618-6153)

Research and writing of a book on Ani, a medieval Armenian ghost city and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

My book project tells the global history of a place: the medieval ghost city of Ani, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the border between Armenia and Turkey. Its ruins, celebrated as masterpieces of world architecture, have long been endangered. Over the last 150 years, Ani has been excavated and preserved by imperial powers, looted and destroyed by a nation-state during genocide, and recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ani’s past of violence and destruction as well as its present as a focus of global cultural heritage raise critical questions about human rights and culture, the cultural rights of persecuted groups, and contemporary global heritage. The book aims at weaving these questions into a readable narrative of the ghost city that features the captivating personalities of the creators of its astonishing architecture, archaeologists, pilgrims, vandals, cultural heritage professionals and activists, as well as poets and artists – all drawn to this crossroads of history.