Dr Birgit Mershen is a researcher in Oriental and Islamic studies with a focus on ethnographic, social history, and ethnoarchaeological research in the Near East.
Dr Birgit Mershen
Independent Heritage Consultant
Birgit has widely worked on the vernacular built environment in Oman. Recent projects included research and documentation work in several listed historic settlement quarters in Al Batinah region.
Being strongly committed toward preserving the Omani heritage and keeping local knowledge, expertise and values alive as a socio-cultural and economic resource for future generations she strives toward creating awareness through heritage documentation, interpretation and presentation to the public, and developing strategies for adaptive re-use of Oman’s built heritage. Her experience in those fields is based on numerous documentation and research projects and on conceptualizing and planning cultural and natural heritage museums and exhibitions.
With the ArCHIAM team she worked in the old quarter of Misfat Al-Abriyin, and in Harat Al Minzafa in Ibra where she did the ethnographic and social history investigations.
Research, scholarly and professional interests
- Arabian vernacular built environment
- Social history
- Material culture
- Local communities
- Participatory approaches for heritage management
- WS Atkins International, Muscat – Oman
- Ministry of Heritage and Culture – Oman
- Sultan Qaboos University – Oman
- Yarmouk University – Jordan
Areas of expertise
- Cultural heritage of Oman
- Water resources