The Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA) is planning to send thousands of cheap 3D cameras to threatened areas in an effort to document historic sites so that exact replicas can be rebuilt in the case of destruction.

This initiative is a response to the relatively recent destruction of archaeological sites by fundamentalist groups. In 2001 the Taliban destroyed two Buddha statues that were carved into the hillsides at Bamiyam and in a more recent incident IS destroyed the Baal Shamin temple at Palmyra in Syria, after beheading Khaled Al-Assad for refusing to divulge the location of hidden artefacts. The IDA suggest that as many as 20 million images could be taken by 2017.