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Heritage, Volume 7, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 28 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The documentation and visualization of ephemeral CH, especially for World’s Fairs architecture, remains neglected globally. While 3D models are common in CH, WebGIS use is rare. When used, it communicates research output rather than aiding research. Procedural development, upgrading, and preservation are vital but overlooked. Through the Turin 1911 project, this paper outlines a WebGIS creation procedure, demonstrating design, implementation, testing, and maintenance. It introduces a 2D/3D WebGIS with a tailored spatial database, linked to a website for ongoing Turin 1911 International Exposition research updates. It highlights WebGIS's transformative role in sharing and conducting digital humanities studies in 3D environments. View this paper
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53 pages, 53475 KiB  
Article
Construction of a Gothic Church Tower: A 3D Visualisation Based on Drawn Sources and Contemporary Artefacts
by Zoltán Bereczki
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 1074-1122; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020052 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1182
Abstract
The construction of Gothic church towers with carved stone spires and often with significant height required the most advanced technology and financial support of their age, and the application of advanced machines was also inevitable for it. This article is an attempt to [...] Read more.
The construction of Gothic church towers with carved stone spires and often with significant height required the most advanced technology and financial support of their age, and the application of advanced machines was also inevitable for it. This article is an attempt to virtually reconstruct and visualise the process of a 15th-century tower construction, including the main auxiliary structures: scaffolding and machinery. A series of 3D models is created for that purpose, using the contemporary plans of the partly realised north tower of St. Stephen’s church in Vienna, the contemporary machine drawings of the Strasbourg-based master builder Hans Hammer, and contemporary and neo-Gothic drawings of scaffoldings together with survived exemplars as sources. An important question was whether medieval technical drawings contain enough data to model the structures or devices that they depict and if the construction process could be represented using them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage and 3D Assets Utilisation)
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31 pages, 23005 KiB  
Article
Deep Learning Enhanced Multisensor Data Fusion for Building Assessment Using Multispectral Voxels and Self-Organizing Maps
by Javier Raimundo, Serafin Lopez-Cuervo Medina, Julian Aguirre de Mata, Tomás Ramón Herrero-Tejedor and Enrique Priego-de-los-Santos
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 1043-1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020051 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 864
Abstract
Efforts in the domain of building studies involve the use of a diverse array of geomatic sensors, some providing invaluable information in the form of three-dimensional point clouds and associated registered properties. However, managing the vast amounts of data generated by these sensors [...] Read more.
Efforts in the domain of building studies involve the use of a diverse array of geomatic sensors, some providing invaluable information in the form of three-dimensional point clouds and associated registered properties. However, managing the vast amounts of data generated by these sensors presents significant challenges. To ensure the effective use of multisensor data in the context of cultural heritage preservation, it is imperative that multisensor data fusion methods be designed in such a way as to facilitate informed decision-making by curators and stakeholders. We propose a novel approach to multisensor data fusion using multispectral voxels, which enable the application of deep learning algorithms as the self-organizing maps to identify and exploit the relationships between the different sensor data. Our results indicate that this approach provides a comprehensive view of the building structure and its potential pathologies, and holds great promise for revolutionizing the study of historical buildings and their potential applications in the field of cultural heritage preservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Methodologies and Practices for Built Heritage)
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15 pages, 576 KiB  
Article
False Promise: World Heritage, Ecotourism, and the Local Community of Strahan, Tasmania
by Celmara Pocock, David Collett and Joan Knowles
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 1028-1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020050 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1017
Abstract
The inscription of properties on the World Heritage List often places restrictions on existing livelihoods. In these contexts, tourism is widely held to be a panacea for the economic and social wellbeing of local communities. Ecotourism, in particular, is regarded as addressing both [...] Read more.
The inscription of properties on the World Heritage List often places restrictions on existing livelihoods. In these contexts, tourism is widely held to be a panacea for the economic and social wellbeing of local communities. Ecotourism, in particular, is regarded as addressing both environmental and social needs of communities. However, existing research demonstrates that tourism seldom delivers benefits to Indigenous peoples or local communities in developing countries. This paper suggests that such limitations are equally problematic for local communities in developed nations such as Australia. Through ethnographic research including participant observation and interviews, this paper describes the impacts of tourism on the local community of Strahan, a small logging, fishing, and mining town that transformed into a tourism village following the World Heritage listing of Southwest Tasmania. We suggest that contrary to the widely held view that tourism created employment and economic growth in the town, locals experience diminished quality of life, limited opportunities, and reduced amenity and services. This suggests that ecotourism overlooks its responsibilities for local communities in developed countries, with profound consequences for social sustainability. Full article
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14 pages, 4081 KiB  
Article
Exploitation of Pigs during the Late Medieval and Early Modern Period in Croatia
by Kim Korpes, Aneta Piplica, Martina Đuras, Tajana Trbojević Vukičević and Magdalena Kolenc
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 1014-1027; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020049 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 954
Abstract
This study investigated the historical consumption of pork in Croatia through a comprehensive analysis of pig bones from six medieval archaeological sites, comprising three castles and three monasteries dating from the 13th to the 16th century A.D. Employing a detailed morphological analysis of [...] Read more.
This study investigated the historical consumption of pork in Croatia through a comprehensive analysis of pig bones from six medieval archaeological sites, comprising three castles and three monasteries dating from the 13th to the 16th century A.D. Employing a detailed morphological analysis of pig bones and teeth, the study quantified the number of identified specimens (NISP) per site. On bones and teeth, identification of sex and age was performed, and butchery patterns were documented. The results revealed a significant presence of pork in the diet of castle and monastery inhabitants, with pig bones being the most abundant animal remains. Age analysis suggested a prevalence of juvenile pigs, predominantly males. The findings implied that from the 13th to the 16th century A.D., pork was a staple in the diet of castles and monasteries in continental Croatia, sourced from pig breeding outside these sites. Typically, male pigs aged under two years were delivered for consumption to these establishments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biological and Natural Heritage)
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17 pages, 6217 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Implementation of Energy Retrofits in Historic Buildings: A Demonstration of the Energy Conservation Potential and Lessons Learned for Upscaling
by Daniel Herrera-Avellanosa, Jørgen Rose, Kirsten Engelund Thomsen, Franziska Haas, Gustaf Leijonhufvud, Tor Brostrom and Alexandra Troi
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 997-1013; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020048 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1135
Abstract
This study presents an in-depth analysis of 69 case studies focusing on the energy retrofit of historic buildings, uncovering challenges, best practices, and lessons learned to balance energy efficiency improvements with heritage preservation. The findings highlight several challenges encountered during renovations, such as [...] Read more.
This study presents an in-depth analysis of 69 case studies focusing on the energy retrofit of historic buildings, uncovering challenges, best practices, and lessons learned to balance energy efficiency improvements with heritage preservation. The findings highlight several challenges encountered during renovations, such as complex heritage evaluations, restrictions on alterations, coordination issues with authorities, technical limitations, higher investment costs, and knowledge gaps. On the other hand, identifying factors promoting renovation, including demonstrating energy savings while respecting heritage, early collaboration between planners and authorities, and quantifying investments, could incentivize owners and authorities. The limitations of a still-limited sample size, occasional incomplete data, and potential sample bias call for cautious interpretation of the presented analysis. Despite these, the study provides valuable insights into successful projects, emphasizing the need for scalability, knowledge transfer from innovative policies, and targeted policy-making for successful replication. The study concludes with a call for further development of the HiBERatlas (Historic Building Energy Retrofit atlas), an extensive resource for historic building renovation, expanding its database, collaborating with agencies, and tailoring guidance for stakeholders to foster energy retrofits in heritage buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Comprehensive Energy Renovation of Heritage Buildings)
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14 pages, 7152 KiB  
Article
Polychrome Bronze Sculpture: A Multi-Analytical Approach to Unveil the Renaissance Gilded Eagles in the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte, Florence
by Emma Cantisani, Nicola Salvioli and Barbara Salvadori
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 983-996; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020047 - 14 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 989
Abstract
The gilded bronze eagles that stand upon the summit of the Tabernacle by Michelozzo in the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte, Florence (Italy) are an exquisite example of Italian Renaissance sculpture. Commissioned by Piero di Cosimo de Medici, the two eagles, representing [...] Read more.
The gilded bronze eagles that stand upon the summit of the Tabernacle by Michelozzo in the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte, Florence (Italy) are an exquisite example of Italian Renaissance sculpture. Commissioned by Piero di Cosimo de Medici, the two eagles, representing the ancient Arte di Calimala, were cast and decorated by Maso di Bartolomeo in the 1448–1449 period. A multi-analytical approach was set up to characterize the state of conservation, materials used, and artistic technique of the eagles. Non-invasive methods were used and integrated with micro-invasive analyses, such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry on powders (XRPD), scanning electron microscopy coupled with EDS (SEM-EDS), and metallographic investigation. The results depict shiny-looking eagles, suggesting the use of oil gilding on almost all surfaces and revealing the presence of polychromies, which is almost unusual in XV-century bronze statuary and is initially hidden by deposits and corrosion products. Indeed, the paws were originally painted with azurite, while the use of cinnabar imparted a vivid red color to the tongue. A black paint containing mercury was found on the eyes and talons. The bales of cloth were decorated with silver, which is now almost completely lost and whose remains are not visible due to being tarnished, while fine details in gold were detected on the lanyard. Full article
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18 pages, 30804 KiB  
Article
The Disappearing Technology and Products of Traditional Tibetan Village Blacksmiths
by Chandra L. Reedy
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 965-982; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020046 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1317
Abstract
Tibetans have a long history of iron mining, smelting, and forging. For centuries, craftsmen in major cities and large iron production centers made high-quality swords and suits of armor, as well as decorative iron ritual objects for monasteries and the elites, but blacksmithing [...] Read more.
Tibetans have a long history of iron mining, smelting, and forging. For centuries, craftsmen in major cities and large iron production centers made high-quality swords and suits of armor, as well as decorative iron ritual objects for monasteries and the elites, but blacksmithing workshops in small villages have always produced and repaired everyday objects for agricultural and home use. Modern political changes, along with greater availability of industrial objects in local markets, have greatly reduced the rank of the village blacksmith. Ethnographic fieldwork reported here from two Tibetan Bön villages in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, China (once part of traditional Amdo area of Tibet), highlights some of the threats to the continued existence of village blacksmiths. Both a part-time blacksmith in one village and a full-time blacksmith in another make only a marginal living from their work. Their descendants are unlikely to continue the business. Many of the village blacksmiths in the area have already stopped production and closed their workshops. It is likely that the village blacksmith tradition might soon disappear altogether in this region of the world without support. Preservation of this tradition could benefit both cultural and environmental sustainability goals. Full article
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17 pages, 289 KiB  
Article
Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions on the Use of Heritage in Secondary Education and Their Reception of Educational Materials from the Heritage and Museum Sector: A Case Study in Flanders (Belgium)
by Joris Van Doorsselaere
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 948-964; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020045 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 946
Abstract
There has been a growing policy interest in establishing connections between heritage and education. Nevertheless, there seems to be very little evaluation or critical reflection on what actually happens in practice, and it remains unclear how heritage education is employed in countries throughout [...] Read more.
There has been a growing policy interest in establishing connections between heritage and education. Nevertheless, there seems to be very little evaluation or critical reflection on what actually happens in practice, and it remains unclear how heritage education is employed in countries throughout Europe. The aim of this paper is to assess the current status of heritage education in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium) via a literature review and an exploratory case study. The perceptions and opinions of pre-service teachers (n = 17) were investigated using three instruments: a questionnaire, document analysis, and the think aloud method. The results show that the pre-service teachers had a traditional interpretation of heritage, mainly relying on well-known and monumental examples and following a rather historical–artistic conception. However, it was found that their opinions were positive towards the use of heritage as an educational resource, and their evaluations of educational materials from the heritage and museum sector provided detailed information concerning teachers’ desires and needs in this regard. The implications of this study should encourage initial teacher training in Flanders to further consider the epistemological and methodological challenges in the emerging field of heritage education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research in Heritage Education: Transdisciplinary Approaches)
35 pages, 39244 KiB  
Article
3D WebGIS for Ephemeral Architecture Documentation and Studies in the Humanities
by Alessandra Spreafico and Filiberto Chiabrando
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 913-947; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020044 - 11 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1193
Abstract
The documentation and visualization of ephemeral CH, especially for World’s Fairs architecture, remains a neglected endeavor on the global scale. While digital products like 3D models find extensive application in CH, the use of a WebGIS has scarcely been explored in this domain. [...] Read more.
The documentation and visualization of ephemeral CH, especially for World’s Fairs architecture, remains a neglected endeavor on the global scale. While digital products like 3D models find extensive application in CH, the use of a WebGIS has scarcely been explored in this domain. When a WebGIS is used for CH, it serves to communicate the output of research, not as a tool to support the development of the research itself. Moreover, aspects like procedural development for the creation of a WebGIS platform, its upgrading, and its long-term preservation are key factors for the maintenance of the digital tool, but they have scarcely been considered in the literature. Through the Turin 1911 project, this paper defines a procedure for the creation of a WebGIS for ephemeral architectural documentation, showing how a WebGIS platform can be designed, implemented, tested, and maintained. The novelty of this study lies in the creation of a 2D/3D WebGIS based on a tailored spatial database; the WebGIS is coupled with a dedicated website for the constant updating of the research data documenting the Turin 1911 International Exposition. The discussion emphasizes the transformative role of a WebGIS in not only sharing information but also serving as a dynamic platform for conducting digital humanities studies in 3D environments. Full article
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17 pages, 5579 KiB  
Article
Compatibility Assessment in the Replacement of Damaged Sandstone Used in the Cathedral of Huesca (Spain)
by María Pilar Lapuente Mercadal, José Antonio Cuchí Oterino and Luis Francisco Auqué Sanz
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 896-912; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020043 - 11 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1239
Abstract
In order to manage problems arising from rainwater/rock interaction in Miocene sandstones (calcareous litharenites) widely used in various monuments of the Ebro Valley (NE of Spain), a survey has been conducted with particular application to the building and architectural decorative materials of the [...] Read more.
In order to manage problems arising from rainwater/rock interaction in Miocene sandstones (calcareous litharenites) widely used in various monuments of the Ebro Valley (NE of Spain), a survey has been conducted with particular application to the building and architectural decorative materials of the Cathedral of Huesca. Once the current state of decay was diagnosed and the processes of alteration (enhanced by certain intrinsic factors and their particular exposure to the environmental conditions) were detected, a pre-restoration experimental assay was conducted. On the one hand, to propose the best stone replacement, this study evaluates the compatibility of the available sandstones in the local market based on their intrinsic features, especially those related to hydric behaviour. Once the most suitable sandstone was selected, pore size distributions were determined along with accelerated ageing cycles to show the importance of selecting properly the potential replacement sandstone. In a second step, to determine the effectiveness and long-term efficacy of four water-repellent products, several on-site and laboratory tests were performed. From the experimental results obtained, remedial works have been proposed which will be useful not only for the restoration programme of this monument, but also for other emblematic architectural Heritage in the Ebro Valley. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Geoheritage and Heritage Stones Conservation)
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23 pages, 1947 KiB  
Article
Domesticating Colour in the Early Modern Age: Dyeing Wool in Black in Portugal
by Luís Gonçalves Ferreira
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 873-895; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020042 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Mastering a colour—as such, its ‘domestication’—involves a weft of technological and symbolic relationships encompassed in the human ability to reproduce a visible colour using the techniques of textile dyeing. The Regimento dos panos or Regimento dos trapeiros (‘regulation of fabrics’ or ‘regulation of [...] Read more.
Mastering a colour—as such, its ‘domestication’—involves a weft of technological and symbolic relationships encompassed in the human ability to reproduce a visible colour using the techniques of textile dyeing. The Regimento dos panos or Regimento dos trapeiros (‘regulation of fabrics’ or ‘regulation of drapers’), published in 1573 and expanded in 1690, is a document made up of 107 chapters aiming to standardise the various stages of the production chain of woollen goods in Portugal. In the sections relating to the finishing of fabrics, the regulation carefully details the dyeing of the colour black. The main aim of this text is to discuss the four recipes presented in that document. The system presupposed a phase exogenous to the rules, since the fabrics had to be previously dyed blue (‘celestial blues’) by means of successive immersions of the cloth in a vat with indigo. The dyeing itself was achieved by mixing mordants and auxiliaries (alum, tartar, iron sulphate, and tannins) with a red dye (madder). The main conclusion is that the formulae presented do not constitute, in their general principles, a characteristic Portuguese methodology. In addition, the article includes an inventory of the raw materials used for dyeing in the Early Modern Age, produced, through a qualitative method, through cross-reference with other manuscript and printed sources, as well as an interpretation of their social and economic importance, and a systematisation of the types of Portuguese wools. Full article
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29 pages, 54429 KiB  
Article
Preserving the Values of Mediterranean Enclosed Fields with Dry Stone Walls, an Example of Vulnerable Natural and Rural Heritage
by Nieves López-Estébanez, Pedro Molina-Holgado and Fernando Allende Álvarez
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 844-872; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020041 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1002
Abstract
In the continental Mediterranean mountains of the Iberian Peninsula is located a landscape characterized by the presence of enclosed land parcels delimited by dry stone walls or vegetation, or by both these elements. This landscape has been included, since 2018, in UNESCO’s Representative [...] Read more.
In the continental Mediterranean mountains of the Iberian Peninsula is located a landscape characterized by the presence of enclosed land parcels delimited by dry stone walls or vegetation, or by both these elements. This landscape has been included, since 2018, in UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity under the name of Art of dry stone walling, knowledge and techniques. However, today’s territorial dynamics jeopardize the maintenance of this landscape heritage. This work set out to understand their origins, dynamics, and evolution from the 11th century (Middle Ages) to the present using historical documentation from different sources and diachronic cartography from aerial photographs. The fieldwork was designed to identify natural, cultural features and recent dynamics, in particular those related to urbanization changes of the last 70 years. Finally, we delved into the new dynamics of exploitation that were based on extensification and a loss of productive diversity. The results obtained lead us to consider that the loss of this agro-landscape must be prevented, with a reasonable livestock grazing criteria and a rational management of its heritage features. This requires regional, national, and European policies that recognize the enclosed landscape as a heritage ecosystem in which biodiversity and agriculture are closely linked. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biological and Natural Heritage)
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15 pages, 2696 KiB  
Article
Indigenous Knowledge in Post-Pandemic Cultural Tourism: Discussion from Arauco Territories, Chile
by Noelia Carrasco Henríquez, Beatriz Cid Aguayo, Camila Neves Guzmán and Juanita Orellana Ojeda
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 829-843; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020040 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1155
Abstract
In the last two decades, cultural tourism has transformed the aesthetics and the relationship between the actors of the Arauco territories. In the post-COVID context, these transformations could be reinforced, especially considering the actual legal scenario about indigenous rights and the global ecological [...] Read more.
In the last two decades, cultural tourism has transformed the aesthetics and the relationship between the actors of the Arauco territories. In the post-COVID context, these transformations could be reinforced, especially considering the actual legal scenario about indigenous rights and the global ecological crisis. In most cases, the indigenous people, with cultural tourism initiatives, highlight their world vision, including the relations with nature. For this reason, we propose to study this scientific problem from the relational ontology perspective. In this study, we describe the situation of cultural tourism in Arauco Province, Chile, where Mapuche people, the Chilean State, and the international market coexist in permanent friction. The main objective is to analyze how the pandemic influenced Mapuche cultural tourism, from the Mapuche cultural perspective and the global conditions for their development. The methods of research mixed historical and ethnographic approaches with a sample of key actors of Mapuche cultural tourism. As results, we can show the Mapuche way of understanding cultural tourism and the new conditions derived from the pandemic and post-pandemic contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism and Cultural Heritage in the Post-COVID Period)
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12 pages, 6082 KiB  
Article
From Oblivion to Life: The Recovery of Intangible Cultural Heritage through the Anti-Aircraft Shelters of the Spanish Civil War
by Pablo Rosser and Seila Soler
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 817-828; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020039 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1075
Abstract
This article examines the rehabilitation of anti-aircraft shelters from the Spanish Civil War in Alicante, Spain. Funded by European resources and managed by local public administration, these shelters have been restored as cultural and tourist attractions. This study aims to analyze their role [...] Read more.
This article examines the rehabilitation of anti-aircraft shelters from the Spanish Civil War in Alicante, Spain. Funded by European resources and managed by local public administration, these shelters have been restored as cultural and tourist attractions. This study aims to analyze their role in preserving and promoting intangible cultural heritage, with a focus on their significance as tangible remnants of a historical period and their reflection on survival practices during the war. This research investigates the impact of public management in rehabilitating these shelters and in disseminating their history and culture. It explores decision-making processes, community engagement, and strategies for promoting cultural tourism. Employing a mixed methodology, this study gathers primary data through interviews with individuals who witnessed the war and secondary data from documentary and bibliographic sources. Findings suggest that the rehabilitation of these shelters has been pivotal in preserving Alicante’s historical memory and cultural heritage. Making the shelters accessible to the public facilitates knowledge transmission about the Spanish Civil War, promotes cultural tourism, and engages the local community in the dissemination of history and culture. This study’s results and conclusions are relevant for academics, professionals, and cultural heritage managers at both national and international levels, offering insights into the effective preservation and promotion of historical sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heritage Tourism and Sustainable City Dynamics)
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23 pages, 4853 KiB  
Review
Artificial Intelligence for Digital Heritage Innovation: Setting up a R&D Agenda for Europe
by Sander Münster, Ferdinand Maiwald, Isabella di Lenardo, Juha Henriksson, Antoine Isaac, Manuela Milica Graf, Clemens Beck and Johan Oomen
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 794-816; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020038 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 2441
Abstract
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a game changer in many fields, including cultural heritage. It supports the planning and preservation of heritage sites and cities, enables the creation of virtual experiences to enrich cultural tourism and engagement, supports research, and increases access and understanding [...] Read more.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a game changer in many fields, including cultural heritage. It supports the planning and preservation of heritage sites and cities, enables the creation of virtual experiences to enrich cultural tourism and engagement, supports research, and increases access and understanding of heritage objects. Despite some impressive examples, the full potential of AI for economic, social, and cultural change is not yet fully visible. Against this background, this article aims to (a) highlight the scope of AI in the field of cultural heritage and innovation, (b) highlight the state of the art of AI technologies for cultural heritage, (c) highlight challenges and opportunities, and (d) outline an agenda for AI, cultural heritage, and innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue XR and Artificial Intelligence for Heritage)
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36 pages, 14281 KiB  
Article
Safeguarding Our Heritage—The TRIQUETRA Project Approach
by Charalabos Ioannidis, Styliani Verykokou, Sofia Soile, Denis Istrati, Constantine Spyrakos, Apostolos Sarris, Dimitris Akritidis, Haralambos Feidas, Aristeidis K. Georgoulias, Efstathia Tringa, Prodromos Zanis, Charalampos Georgiadis, Salvatore Martino, Federico Feliziani, Gian Marco Marmoni, Daniele Cerra, Marco Ottinger, Felix Bachofer, Anastasia Anastasiou, Vasiliki (Betty) Charalampopoulou, Patrick Krebs, Boris Mizaikoff, Jean-Christophe Roulet, Xavier Bulliard, Gabriela Dudnik and George C. Anyfantisadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 758-793; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020037 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1550
Abstract
Cultural heritage (CH) sites are frequently exposed to natural elements, and their exposure becomes particularly precarious with the onset of climate change. This increased vulnerability places these sites at risk of deterioration or complete destruction. Risks such as land deformation, floods, acid rain, [...] Read more.
Cultural heritage (CH) sites are frequently exposed to natural elements, and their exposure becomes particularly precarious with the onset of climate change. This increased vulnerability places these sites at risk of deterioration or complete destruction. Risks such as land deformation, floods, acid rain, and erosion significantly threaten historic monuments, while water-related hazards, significantly influenced by both climate change and human activities, present a particularly grave risk to these invaluable sites. Considerable research efforts have focused on safeguarding CH sites. However, there remains a deficiency in systemic approaches towards identifying and mitigating risks for CH sites. The TRIQUETRA project proposes a technological toolbox and a methodological framework for tackling climate change risks and natural hazards threatening CH in the most efficient way possible. It aims at creating an evidence-based assessment platform allowing precise risk stratification as well as a database of available mitigation measures and strategies, acting as a Decision Support System (DSS) towards efficient risk mitigation and site remediation. TRIQUETRA is a European project that brings together a diverse group of researchers with varied expertise, encompassing university research groups, research institutes, public entities, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. In this article, TRIQUETRAs overall methodology is presented, and preliminary results concerning risk identification, TRIQUETRAs knowledge base, as well as novel sensors and coatings, are discussed. Full article
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21 pages, 8463 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Stewardship of Egypt’s Iconic Heritage Sites: Balancing Heritage Preservation, Visitors’ Well-Being, and Environmental Responsibility
by Thowayeb H. Hassan, Muhanna Yousef Almakhayitah and Mahmoud I. Saleh
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 737-757; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020036 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1307
Abstract
While sustainability is widely recognized as necessary for managing heritage sites, balancing preservation demands with tourism development pressures presents significant challenges. A critical gap in the existing research relates to understanding the recurring issues that undermine the long-term sustainability of prominent archaeological destinations [...] Read more.
While sustainability is widely recognized as necessary for managing heritage sites, balancing preservation demands with tourism development pressures presents significant challenges. A critical gap in the existing research relates to understanding the recurring issues that undermine the long-term sustainability of prominent archaeological destinations in Egypt and visitor well-being. Specifically, more research is needed to identify the specific sustainability and visitor experience problems that persist across Egypt’s major archaeological sites despite ongoing management efforts. Addressing this knowledge gap could help inform strategies for these destinations to balance conservation priorities with tourism in a more sustainable manner that enhances visitors’ cultural exploration. This study contributes a novel multisite content analysis of over 4423 online reviews from TripAdvisor pertaining to three of Egypt’s premier archaeological destinations—Giza Pyramids, Al Mu’izz Street, and Saqqara. Using established text mining methodologies and algorithms within Voyant Tools, critical challenges were identified through word frequency, concept network, and trend analyses. Recurring issues documented included uncontrolled commercialization undermining the ambiance of historic locales, environmental degradation from inadequate waste management and tourism overflows, and overcrowding compromising visitor comfort, health and safety. Deficiencies in signage, transportation, and other tourist services were also prominent themes. The holistic evaluation of cross-cutting concerns faced at the diverse yet interrelated sites advanced the theoretical knowledge on cooperative governance models and competencies necessary for integrative heritage management. The recommendations center on collaborative stakeholder partnerships to reform commercial practices through licensing and enforcement, upgrading aging infrastructure to support sustainable tourism volumes, and implementing zoning and carrying capacity policies tailored to local community contexts. The proposed solutions aim to safeguard Egypt’s irreplaceable cultural treasures by addressing recurrent problems that undermine environmental, economic and socio-cultural sustainability if left unresolved, positioning its archaeological wonders for appreciation and study by present and future generations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Heritage, Tourism and Communication: Theory and Practice)
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40 pages, 7053 KiB  
Review
Mapping and Assessing Cultural Ecosystem Services to Inform Maritime Spatial Planning: A Systematic Review
by Marina Banela, Stella Sofia Kyvelou and Dimitra Kitsiou
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 697-736; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020035 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1997
Abstract
Socio-cultural dimensions and values in maritime spatial planning (MSP) are gaining momentum worldwide and especially in the European Union (EU), since it is acknowledged that they are the “missing layer” of maritime spatial plans (MSPlans). These values are partly explored through cultural ecosystem [...] Read more.
Socio-cultural dimensions and values in maritime spatial planning (MSP) are gaining momentum worldwide and especially in the European Union (EU), since it is acknowledged that they are the “missing layer” of maritime spatial plans (MSPlans). These values are partly explored through cultural ecosystem services (CES). Coastal and marine CES refer to the benefits that humans derive from the coastal and marine environments in recreational, artistic, spiritual, and educational terms. They reflect the ways in which coastal and marine ecosystems contribute to human well-being, cultural identity, and interactions with nature. The research question is how to map and assess coastal/marine ecosystem services and to integrate them in the MSPlans. Thus, this systematic review sheds light on methodological and technical issues with CES mapping and assessment and provides guidance on how to incorporate CES in MSP for future research. Publications dealing with the spatial aspects of CES were examined with an extra focus on participatory mapping approaches. Initially, 199 articles were identified, and 50 articles were ultimately eligible for the analysis. Papers were concentrated in the European Atlantic, whilst their scope was either local or regional. A large number of articles consider the contribution of CES to efficient marine management rather than to achieving an integrated and coordinated MSP. Social and mixed mapping approaches were met with the most often, especially participatory mapping approaches. Also, non-monetary valuation was prevailing, and a multitude of techniques, tools, and statistical software were used. In most of the cases, the distribution of values in relation to environmental, socio-economic, and demographic factors was examined. This article concludes that an effective integration of CES into MSP is crucial for creating prospects of a more sustainable and inclusive approach to coastal/marine planning and for the well-being of ecosystems and communities both currently and for future generations. This knowledge should become “property” of the maritime spatial planners. Full article
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0 pages, 3652 KiB  
Review
New Frontiers in the Digital Restoration of Hidden Texts in Manuscripts: A Review of the Technical Approaches
by Michela Perino, Lucilla Pronti, Candida Moffa, Michela Rosellini and Anna Candida Felici
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 683-696; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020034 - 03 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1377
Abstract
The digital restoration of historical manuscripts centers on deciphering hidden writings, made imperceptible to the naked eye due to factors such as erasure, fading, carbonization, and aging effects. Recent advancements in modern technologies have significantly improved our ability to unveil and interpret such [...] Read more.
The digital restoration of historical manuscripts centers on deciphering hidden writings, made imperceptible to the naked eye due to factors such as erasure, fading, carbonization, and aging effects. Recent advancements in modern technologies have significantly improved our ability to unveil and interpret such written cultural heritage that, for centuries, had remained inaccessible to contemporary understanding. This paper aims to present a critical overview of state-of-the-art technologies, engaging in discussions about perspectives and limitations, and anticipating future applications. Serving as a practical guide, this work seeks to assist in the selection of techniques for digitally restoring ancient writings. Additionally, potential and challenges associated with integrating these techniques with advanced machine-learning approaches are also outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-invasive Technologies Applied in Cultural Heritage)
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16 pages, 5746 KiB  
Article
New Contributions Regarding the Barniz de Pasto Collection at the Museo de América, Madrid
by Ana Zabía de la Mata
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 667-682; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020033 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1014
Abstract
This article describes the objects in the barniz de Pasto collection at the Museo de América, Madrid. The barniz de Pasto technique will be described, as well as the historical documentary sources that have previously discussed this varnish. The article will also mention [...] Read more.
This article describes the objects in the barniz de Pasto collection at the Museo de América, Madrid. The barniz de Pasto technique will be described, as well as the historical documentary sources that have previously discussed this varnish. The article will also mention the historical reasons why Spain is the European country in which the greatest number of objects decorated with varnish have been found, in both religious and private collections. The main body of the article discusses all the barniz de Pasto objects held in the Museum collection, focuses on the history of their arrival at the Museum, and investigates their possible origin, with the help of ample photographs. The final section examines the Museum’s three most recent acquisitions, completed in the second half of 2022, in detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lacquer in the Americas)
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15 pages, 10989 KiB  
Article
The Role of Aerial Prospection for Monitoring and Preserving Cultural Heritage in Northeastern Africa
by David Laguna-Palma, Maurizio Toscano and Carlos Rodríguez-Rellán
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 652-666; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020032 - 31 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1191
Abstract
Anthropogenic and environmental processes present unique challenges for preserving cultural heritage in North Africa. Large parts of this region are characterised by unfavourable arid and semi-arid conditions and rapid changes to the landscapes caused by heightened regional development (e.g., urban expansion, road building, [...] Read more.
Anthropogenic and environmental processes present unique challenges for preserving cultural heritage in North Africa. Large parts of this region are characterised by unfavourable arid and semi-arid conditions and rapid changes to the landscapes caused by heightened regional development (e.g., urban expansion, road building, agricultural intensification, and socio-political conflicts). As a result, we are facing a fast-paced disappearance of heritage sites in regions that are still poorly understood. Following this, the utilisation of Earth observation data through aerial photographs and satellite imagery has emerged as an unmatched tool in the exploration of endangered archaeological heritage. Drawing on this context, this paper underscores the critical significance of incorporating digital research methods, such as remote sensing, GIS, or cartographic analysis, to ensure the evaluation and (digital) preservation of the historical sites along these vulnerable areas. Furthermore, our study seeks to provide new insights into data management and dissemination, fostering open research practices within North African archaeological research. Full article
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14 pages, 6361 KiB  
Article
Natural Cement in Portugal: Context in Cement Production and Architectural Use
by Ana Velosa, Slavka Andrejkovičová, Clara Pimenta do Vale and Fernando Rocha
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 638-651; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020031 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1277
Abstract
Natural cement, also known as “Roman cement”, was used across Europe during a historic period, mainly in many building facades, due to its hydraulic properties and aesthetic qualities. In Portugal, the use of natural cement occurred in buildings from the second half of [...] Read more.
Natural cement, also known as “Roman cement”, was used across Europe during a historic period, mainly in many building facades, due to its hydraulic properties and aesthetic qualities. In Portugal, the use of natural cement occurred in buildings from the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, a period during which the use of lime binders decreased and before the massive use of Portland cement. Recent conservation and rehabilitation actions resulting from necessary interventions in heritage buildings from this period have played an important role in revealing evidence of the use of natural cement and clarifying the lacunae of information about this material. Due to the inadequate use of reparation materials in previous conservation and rehabilitation interventions, this study summarizes the historical production, study, and use of natural cement in Portugal. Natural cement results from the calcination of clay-rich limestone (marlstone) without any compositional changes after extraction, distinguishing itself from hydraulic lime due to its higher clay content and allowing for the formation of higher quantities of hydraulic reactive phases without free lime. Although this topic has been approached at a European level, mainly focusing on the production and use of natural cement in Central Europe, in Portugal, it is still necessary to produce and disseminate information on this specific subject. Therefore, this study focuses on the evolution of cement production in Portugal and an analysis of the existing knowledge of the binders used in architectural heritage based on the scientific and historical bibliography. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decay and Conservation Studies of Building Mortars and Stones)
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17 pages, 22444 KiB  
Article
Provenance of Neolithic Stone Artefacts through Minimally Invasive or Absolutely Non-Destructive Petroarchaeometric Investigations: Some Cases from Calabria (Southern Italy)
by Pasquale Acquafredda, Vincenzo Festa, Francesca Micheletti and Annamaria Fornelli
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 621-637; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020030 - 28 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1271
Abstract
In the present work, more than one hundred and thirty lithic artefacts rediscovered in several archaeological sites dating from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Middle Ages from Calabria (Southern Italy) were petroarchaeometrically characterised through minimally invasive techniques. In more detail, 110 specimens were [...] Read more.
In the present work, more than one hundred and thirty lithic artefacts rediscovered in several archaeological sites dating from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Middle Ages from Calabria (Southern Italy) were petroarchaeometrically characterised through minimally invasive techniques. In more detail, 110 specimens were found in the Grotta della Monaca site (Sant’Agata di Esaro), and the other 23 belong to a collection kept in the Museo Nazionale Preistorico ed Etnografico “Luigi Pigorini” (Roma), coming from several localities (Longobucco, Spezzano della Sila, Cicala, Gimigliano, Roccaforte del Greco, and Bova). For preservation needs, 2 small axes in polished stone and 2 obsidians collected from Grotta della Monaca were analysed by absolutely non-destructive techniques. Optical and electron microscopic investigations, sometimes integrated with wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction spectrometry, allowed us to ascertain that the source area of all the lithic tools was in Calabria, except for obsidians, which come from the island of Lipari (Messina, Southern Italy). For a small number of particularly favourable cases, it was possible to define with great precision the outcrop area of the used rocks given their textural and mineralogical features. The specific source area contained a pickaxe originating from Cetraro–Fuscaldo metabasalt (lawsonite–albite facies) outcrops and two small axes in polished stone, one derived from migmatitic metapelites from Palmi and the other from meta-ultramafic rocks from Curinga. The choice of the used lithologies, harder or softer, had to be linked to the use that humans had to make of the lithic artefacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Geoheritage and Heritage Stones Conservation)
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13 pages, 5171 KiB  
Article
Siliceous Sandstones Used in Local Khmer Temples in Battambang, Ta Keo, and Kampong Cham Provinces, Cambodia
by Etsuo Uchida and Yoshimitsu Kobayashi
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 608-620; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020029 - 27 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1041
Abstract
Siliceous sandstones used in Khmer temples such as the Prasat Basset, Wat Ek Phnom, and Phnom Banan temples in Battambang Province, Phnom Chisor and Ta Prohm temples in Ta Keo Province, and Wat Nokor Bachey temple in Kampong Cham Province in Cambodia were [...] Read more.
Siliceous sandstones used in Khmer temples such as the Prasat Basset, Wat Ek Phnom, and Phnom Banan temples in Battambang Province, Phnom Chisor and Ta Prohm temples in Ta Keo Province, and Wat Nokor Bachey temple in Kampong Cham Province in Cambodia were investigated in this study to determine the supply source of the siliceous sandstones used in these temples. Chemical composition analyses and magnetic susceptibility measurements were conducted for the sandstone blocks used in these temples. Siliceous sandstone is the primary construction material in the investigated temples, except for the Phnon Chisor (bricks). Two types of siliceous sandstone, pale brown and red, were found. Pale brown siliceous sandstone was used for the construction of all the investigated temples. In contrast, red siliceous sandstone was found only in the Wat Ek Phnom, Prasat Basset, and Phnom Banan temples. It is suggested that the pale brown siliceous sandstone originated from the Phra Wihan Formation within the Khorat Group. Based on the chemical composition analysis, the pale brown siliceous sandstone in the Ta Prohm temple at Tonle Bati and the Wat Nokor Bachey temple may have been sourced from the lower level of the Phra Wihan Formation. In contrast, the pale brown siliceous sandstone used in the Prasat Basset, Wat Ek Phnom, Phnom Banan, and Phnom Chisor temples was likely sourced from the upper level. The origin of the red siliceous sandstone is proposed to be from the Sao Khua Formation, which is situated above the Phra Wihan Formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Geoheritage and Heritage Stones Conservation)
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23 pages, 12702 KiB  
Article
Preventing Glass Misting in Indoor Showcases with Burial Remains at Al Ain, UAE
by Dario Camuffo, Roberta Giorio, Antonio della Valle, Francesco Rizzi, Patrizia Barucco, Marivita Suma, Jalal Ahmed, Amel Chabbi, Ola Shaker and Peter Sheehan
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 585-607; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020028 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1106
Abstract
The historic house of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa, Al Ain (Abu Dhabi, UAE) belongs to the World Heritage Cultural Sites. The courtyard and two rooms include mudbrick archaeological remains that are preserved in showcases for public display. The building lies in a hot [...] Read more.
The historic house of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa, Al Ain (Abu Dhabi, UAE) belongs to the World Heritage Cultural Sites. The courtyard and two rooms include mudbrick archaeological remains that are preserved in showcases for public display. The building lies in a hot desert climate and needs air conditioning to be comfortable. This paper is concerned with indoor showcases and their compatibility with the indoor climate. Sometimes, misting for condensation is generated on the glass panes for the temperature and humidity contrast between the room climate and the showcases that are embedded in the floor. When misting occurs, the remains cannot be viewed. This paper investigates indoor glass misting, the exchanges of heat and moisture between archaeological remains, showcases and rooms, and the results after a year of environmental monitoring. An aim is to assess the potential risks for the preservation of the remains, recognizing the frequency and severity of the conditions for condensation. Another aim is to discuss mitigation methodologies to avoid glass misting, e.g., (i) reducing the room cooling; (ii) raising the glass pane temperature with electrical devices; (iii) increasing air exchanges between showcases and rooms; (iv) adopting a combination of these methodologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges to Heritage Conservation under Climate Change)
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9 pages, 2277 KiB  
Communication
Related in Death? Further Insights on the Curious Case of Bishop Peder Winstrup and His Grandchild’s Burial
by Maja Krzewińska, Ricardo Rodríguez-Varela, Reyhan Yaka, Mário Vicente, Göran Runfeldt, Michael Sager, Caroline Ahlström Arcini, Torbjörn Ahlström, Niklas Hertzman, Jan Storå and Anders Götherström
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 576-584; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020027 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 2914
Abstract
In 2021, we published the results of genomic analyses carried out on the famous bishop of Lund, Peder Winstrup, and the mummified remains of a 5–6-month-old fetus discovered in the same burial. We concluded that the two individuals were second-degree relatives and explored [...] Read more.
In 2021, we published the results of genomic analyses carried out on the famous bishop of Lund, Peder Winstrup, and the mummified remains of a 5–6-month-old fetus discovered in the same burial. We concluded that the two individuals were second-degree relatives and explored the genealogy of Peder Winstrup to further understand the possible relation between them. Through this analysis, we found that the boy was most probably Winstrup’s grandson and that the two were equally likely related either through Winstrup’s son, Peder, or his daughter, Anna Maria von Böhnen. To further resolve the specific kinship relation, we generated more genomic data from both Winstrup and the boy and implemented more recently published analytical tools in detailed Y chromosome- and X chromosome-based kinship analyses to distinguish between the competing hypotheses regarding maternal and paternal relatedness. We found that the individuals’ Y chromosome lineages belonged to different sub-lineages and that the X-chromosomal kinship coefficient calculated between the two individuals were elevated, suggesting a grandparent–grandchild relation through a female, i.e., Anna Maria von Böhnen. Finally, we also performed metagenomic analyses, which did not identify any pathogens that could be unambiguously associated with the fatalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Archaeology and Anthropology of the Ancient World)
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0 pages, 994 KiB  
Article
Radical Left Culture and Heritage, the Politics of Preservation and Memorialisation, and the Promise of the Metaverse
by Daniel H. Mutibwa
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 537-575; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020026 - 24 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1151
Abstract
Radical left culture and heritage—understood as incarnations of leftist artefacts and praxis both past and present—have taken risks in challenging hegemonic machinations often when it is unpopular to do so. To the ire of hegemons, leftist projects across the globe have marshalled places, [...] Read more.
Radical left culture and heritage—understood as incarnations of leftist artefacts and praxis both past and present—have taken risks in challenging hegemonic machinations often when it is unpopular to do so. To the ire of hegemons, leftist projects across the globe have marshalled places, spaces, and technologies into sites of empowerment and struggle utilising ‘small’ and ‘big’ acts of resistance and critical interventions to champion social justice—sometimes successfully, and at other times, less so. However, the preservation of projects’ artefacts, praxis, and memory work has been anything but straightforward, owing primarily to institutional politics and infrastructural and resourcing issues. Taking The Freedom Archives (FA) as a case study, this article explores how FA is preserving the distinctive political education programme that underpinned the iconic liberation struggle in Guinea-Bissau that kickstarted the seismic, global decolonisation project in the late 1950s. The article argues that FA could substantially enhance the preservation and memorialisation of that programme in the Metaverse—if this materialises as a fully open, interoperable, and highly immersive space (1) unfettered by hegemonic regulation, and (2) characterised by ‘strategic witnessing’, ‘radical recordkeeping’, and user agency. In doing so, FA would serve as an exemplar for leftist projects globally. Full article
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20 pages, 17190 KiB  
Article
An Open-Source Web Platform for 3D Documentation and Storytelling of Hidden Cultural Heritage
by Federica Gaspari, Federico Barbieri, Rebecca Fascia, Francesco Ioli and Livio Pinto
Heritage 2024, 7(2), 517-536; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage7020025 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1539
Abstract
The rapid evolution of the urban landscape highlights the need to digitally document the state and historical transformations of heritage sites in densely urbanised areas through the combination of different geomatics survey approaches. Moreover, it is necessary to raise awareness of sites by [...] Read more.
The rapid evolution of the urban landscape highlights the need to digitally document the state and historical transformations of heritage sites in densely urbanised areas through the combination of different geomatics survey approaches. Moreover, it is necessary to raise awareness of sites by developing strategies for their dissemination to a diverse audience through engaging, interactive, and accessible 3D web platforms. This work illustrates a methodology for the digital documentation and narration of a cultural heritage site through the implementation of a lightweight and replicable 3D navigation platform based on open-source technologies. Such a solution aims to be an easy-to-implement low-cost approach. The methodology is applied to the case study of the Farnese Castle in Piacenza (Italy), describing the data collection and documentation carried out with an in situ survey and illustrating how the resulting products were integrated into the web platform. The exploration functionalities of the platform and its potential for different types of audiences, from experts to users not familiar with 3D objects and geomatics products, were evaluated and documented on a ReadTheDocs website, allowing interested users to reproduce the project for other applications thanks to the template code available on GitHub. Full article
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