Juan Aguilar received a BA in Assyriology and Religious Studies from Heidelberg University and a Master’s degree in Anthropology of the Americas at the University of Bonn. During his training as a philologist, he has excavated in Syria and Iraq, later specialised in excavation photography, terrestrial and drone-based photogrammetry, and LiDAR scanning, working for archaeological projects in Iraq, Mexico, Iran, Nicaragua, and Italy. In addition to his studies, he has been active as an independent filmmaker and has completed several film projects which have been selected for film festivals around the world.
He is currently pursuing a PhD with the University of Luxembourg and Heidelberg University. His PhD research project aims at virtually recovering and investigating lost cultural heritage on Tell Nebi Yunus, an archaeological site and Muslim place of worship in Mosul, Iraq which has been severely damaged by the so-called IS in 2014, hence the working title ‘(Re)Building Tell Nebi Yunus’. His ‘Nebi Yunus Digital Archaeological Project’ (NYDAP) is adopting, among others, digital archaeological and computational mechanical methods to reconstruct as much as possible of the site’s last 2,700 years of building history. The NYDAP is the core component of the interdisciplinary IAS-funded ‘Archaeological Digital Forensics’ project under the supervision of Prof Andrea Binsfeld and Prof Stéphane Bordas.