Whether it’s through the steady encroachment of the modern world or the wilful destruction of groups such as ISIS, the buildings and beauty of ancient civilisations at sites including Mecca and Palmyra are steadily being wiped from the surface of the Earth.

Dr John Curtis is CEO of the Iran Heritage Foundation and specialises in the archaeology and history of Iran and Iraq from 1000 BC to 330 BC. He has travelled and excavated extensively in both countries and is joined in conversation by the author, broadcaster and Anglican Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, to talk about the loss of our cultural and architectural heritage and what it means for society as a whole.


John Curtis

Dr John Curtis is Chief Executive Officer of the Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF) and IHF America. He has written or edited more than 20 books and more than 100 scholarly articles and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003. A corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute and the Archaeological Institute of America, he was given special awards by the Iran Heritage Foundation in 2005 and 2013.

The Iran Heritage Foundation

The Iran Heritage Foundation, a UK registered charity, is the leading supporter of Iranian studies in the UK. It promotes academic research through fellowships, grants scholarships and publications. In association with museums and leading universities the IHF organises exhibitions and convenes conferences on the history and contemporary culture of Iran.