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Nyaz Azeez Awmar

Koya Civilization Museum

Director & Archaeologist

Country: Kurdistan

ITP Year: 2019


As Director of the Koya Civilization Museum, Nyaz is responsible for the general management of the institution and its employees. Nyaz also leads the museum’s archaeological team and spends much of the year completing field surveys and excavation campaigns, working with national and international teams. Nyaz’s specialization is in pottery, which the Koya Civilization Museum has a large archaeological collection of, and much effort is put in to collecting, registering, and using preventive conservation methods into collection. Nyaz previously worked as a researcher at the Koya Civilization Museum, where he was responsible for collections management, cataloguing and completing object inventories.

Nyaz obtained a master’s degree in archaeology from the University of Valencia in Spain. As a student assistant he participated in the excavation at Tell Qasra in Ankwa, north of Erbil. Later on, he worked as a pottery specialist for the Antiquity Service of the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq on the Archaeological Survey of Koya (ASK) Project (University of Innsbruck, Austria).

From May to June 2010, Nyaz participated as a representative of the Antiquity Service of the Kurdish Regional Government at the excavations at Tell Satu Qala, located east of Taq Taq. This project was in cooperation between the Salahaddin University and the Universities of Leiden (Netherlands) and Leipzig (Germany). Nyaz returned to participate in these excavations in September and October of 2011.

At the British Museum
During his time on the International Training Programme Nyaz was based in the Middle East Department and spent his partner placement at The Collection: Art and Archaeology in Lincolnshire and Nottingham University Museum.

In 2019 participants were asked to plan and propose a temporary exhibition around an object from the Museum’s collection working within the theme of journeys.  Nyaz worked with Buket Babatas Aydin (Turkey) and Abdelrahman Sedeeg (Sudan) on his Object in focus project. Their exhibition proposal was titled Journey Towards Belief.

Nyaz’s place on the International Training Programme was generously supported by the Thriplow Charitable Trust.