Τεχνολογίες Πολιτιστικής Κληρονομιάς

Cultural Technologies denote the applications of science and technology to the investigation, interpretation, conservation, access, management, presentation and dissemination of culture. The key research fields involved are Archaeology as a prime sector of Cultural Heritage that, at its core, represents the traditional approach to the cultural studies and Heritage Science that offers a new perspective and novel tools to support and enhance these studies. Heritage Science spans a variety of scientific activities and demands an interdisciplinary spectrum of fundamental scientific knowledge from Natural Sciences, Computer Sciences and Engineering. The aforementioned are complementary and collaborate merging their means and methods to enhance the interdisciplinary research in Cultural Technology.

Research in this domain at ILSP is primarily concentrated in archaeology (excavation data, pottery studies), museology, archaeometry (dating, provenance, manufacturing patterns, ancient technology) and multimedia (digitization with a focus on 3D digitization, virtual environments, cultural databases and innovative applications).

Archaeology has as major goal the reconstruction of the past and its presentation to the contemporary society [Renfrew & Bahn 2011; Muckle 2006; Trigger 2006]. For centuries, that was exclusively work of the archaeologists and the scholars in the fields of humanities (historians, philologists, art historians etc.). It was after the middle of the 20th century however, that the interdisciplinary approach to the archaeological work was introduced. The contribution of new technologies in Archaeology [Tsiafaki 2012a; Renfrew & Bahn 2011] is an important aspect in the current research. The employment of ITs in Archaeology has resulted to the creation of a new branch, that of the Digital Archaeology [Evans & Daly 2006; Lock 2003].

Pottery studies are of high priority in the field of Archaeology and have a longstanding tradition [Rouet 2001; Orton, Tyers & Vince 1993]. Pottery is found in numerous numbers in every excavation site and its contribution to the reconstruction of the Past is significant. Matters of private and public life, religion, death, organization of society, diet, economy, trade, and technology are among the most important areas that form a shape with the contribution of pottery. Pottery studies have employed ITs for the past decades primarily in the form of databases. The Beazley archive for the Attic pottery and the CORPUS VASORUM ANTIQUORUM series for the ancient Greek vases are important corpora examples for the pottery studies. They used to appear exclusively in printed formats but now they are also available in digital format and accessible also through the web (http://www.cvaonline.org, http://www.beazley.ox.ac.uk ). Electronic corpora is something that concerns the current research and they are gradually increased. Furthermore, several experimental software tools and methodologies, found in literature, attempt to enhance the archaeological research and study of pottery in the context of 3D technologies. Those can be organized in groups that use data derived from 2D profile images, complete or incomplete 3D vessel replicas and 3D shreds, including the reassembly problem of pots [Maiza et al. 2005, Maiza et al. 2006, Huang et al. 2006, Kampel et al. 2005, Mellado et al. 2010, Dezhi et al. 2005, Dezhi et al. 2006, Uppalapati et al. 2009, Hofer et al. 2005]. In general, shape description and shape matching of 3D cultural objects are two interlinked problems that many research domains can benefit from.

Digital recording is one of the primary applications of ITs in Archaeology and cultural heritage [Tsiafaki 2012a]. The aggregation and presentation of the European culture was a goal of the European Union with EUROPEANA (http://www.europeana.eu), the European digital library, which aims to collect and uniformly present European digital cultural content. Good practices and standards in archaeological documentation have been developed (CIDOC-CRM, Dublin core, etc) in order to ensure the interoperability of the digital cultural wealth that will be produced. To empower the adoption and extension of standards, networks of experts are being created to foster an interdisciplinary approach.

As one of the main scopes of cultural heritage 3D digitization is the dissemination of the cultural thesaurus, several of the produced 3D models have been published on the Internet. At present, a number of initiatives in the form of R&D projects are focused on enriching the content of cultural heritage digital libraries with 3D digital replicas of cultural objects and sites.

The use of 3D cultural content has dramatically increased over the last decade. At present, a number of initiatives in the form of R&D projects are focused on establishing 3D documentation as an affordable, practical and effective mechanism that allows the content enrichment of cultural heritage digital libraries with 3D digital replicas [CARARE, 3D-ICONS , 3D-COFORM]. Nowadays, 3D digitization is considered as a common practice in the cultural heritage domain [Koutsoudis et al. 2012]. Apart from what is mentioned so far, it should not be forgotten the 3D technologies contribute to the reconstruction of the Past [Hermon & Nikodem 2008]. The 3D models of monuments or of archaeological sites or even urban areas can be easily considered as collections of multiple 3D objects. It has already been discussed by researchers that annotating interesting portions of a 3D scene with metadata that describe thematic aspects and properties of the included entities (e.g. artefacts, statues, buildings, etc.) can be of great importance.

The application of GIS technologies in archaeology over the recent years has yielded important expertise [Renfrew & Bahn 2011; Conolly & Lake 2006] that can be successfully exploited by both archaeological research and cultural resource management. Combination of GIS, predictive modelling and archaeology is based on the fact that locational selection of human activity in the ancient times was related to environmental and geographical conditions. Through the application of GIS archaeological questions and problems are attempted to be answered [Balla et al. 2013], including the distribution of archaeological sites, trade routes, contacts, etc [Tsiafaki 2012a; Tsiafakis & Evangelidis 2006]. GIS technologies can be used very effectively in another field, cultural tourism for a better way of tourist product promotion. Cultural tourism, as a form of alternative tourism, refers to visits to archaeological sites, monuments and museums and to a need for discovering the way of life of people of the past and the present.

Museum collections is another key research field of cultural heritage. The digitization and documentation of museum collections takes place for several decades now and it still remains a current trend. A number of surveys and reviews regarding the usefulness of 3D virtual exhibitions and museums have demonstrated that real-life exhibitions accompanied by virtual, have a greater impact on their visitors and encourage more people to visit the actual exhibitions [Di Blas et al. 2005, Thomas et al. 2005]. Modern ICTs allow the enhancement of the user experience with technologies able to depict realistic 3D environments and support multimodality. Web-based virtual reality environments have already been utilized by several researchers for the visualization of texts, images, audio and 3D data [Pavlidis et al. 2006a] and several researchers have proposed the use of real time 3D graphics technologies for the implementation of Web-based virtual museums [Pavlidis et al. 2006b].

Current research in the field of cultural heritage also employs natural sciences to investigate several aspects of the archaeological research. Archaeometry, can be described as the ‘forensics’ in cultural investigations. The main questions that are usually called to answer are: Where, When, Who, and How. The information is extracted studying (measurement, analysis, interpretation) the materials of excavation findings. Ceramics (pottery) are probably the most significant material due to their variety in composition, resistance to erosion, many functions, easy transportability. Their manufacture indicates the level of technological development of a cultural system and reflects its direct interaction with its surrounding socio-cultural and natural environment [Rice 1987]. Matters of chronology and mainly of clay analysis concern the archaeologists in order to answer questions regarding the provenance, workshops, technology as well as economy, trade and social organization [Tsiafaki 2012a; Tsiafaki 2012b]. As a result, pottery analysis appears more and more often in the current research and bibliography in international and national level in order to contribute to the archaeological study and interpretation [Henderson 2000; Spoto 2003; Tite 2004; Rotroff 2006; Panti 2008; Akamatis 2012].

However, materials and techniques of the past are usually difficult to study and state-of-the-art techniques and methods need to be employed. In dating ceramics the primary methods are those based on Thermoluminesce (TL) [Aitken 1985] and the more recently introduced Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) [Aitken 1998]. These methods are also applicable to other geological materials with a polycrystalline structure offering potentially interesting alternatives in dating artifacts, structures and sites [Polymeris et al. 2010a, Subedi et al. 2010, Afouxenidis et al. 2007]. As methods depended on the micro-structure of the samples are also sensitive to its changes and as a result can be used to explore other characteristics of the sample materials suggesting certain treatment conditions which in the context of ancient technology are indicative of its level.

Analytical methods both destructive (primarily chemical) and non-destructive (usually based on radiation applications) are used to provide answers regarding provenance, technology and social patterns through the composition, the structure and the identification of the content of the original vessels (residue analysis). Elemental and mineralogical analyses of ceramic samples offer a fingerprint of the material, which is related to the place of origin and the technological level. Organic residue analysis utilizes analytical organic chemical techniques to identify the nature and origins of organic remains, which is associated with human activity (living conditions, dietary and social habits, burial customs etc.) [Evershed 2008].

Greek
Institutes: 
Ινστιτούτο Επεξεργασίας του Λόγου