Session Abstracts

Preservation of Heritage Values and Cultural Significance: Landscape Archaeology

Prof. Vassilis Ganiatsas,
Professor of Theory, Philosophy and Practice of Architectural/ Urban/Landscape Design, National Technical University of Athens.

Archaeological Cultural Landscapes constitute an extreme case in heritage conservation as they represent a double identity, cultural and natural.

As currently treated in conservation practices, are being treated as cultural objects of just a larger scale in comparison with other monuments. Yet, they considerably differ not in scale but basically in kind and subsequently they need a different conceptual framework for their proper protection, enhancement and management.

Archaeological cultural landscapes represent an inherent discontinuity between their cultural and natural attributes and thus they thus render difficult their merging in establishing an overall cultural significance that could guide their proper management.

  • As cultural constructs, they appear to be self-fulfilled and thus appealing to be appreciated for what they are, as ends in themselves. No matter how they are being conceptualized and culturally accommodated at different times by different stakeholders, their main characteristic resides in their maintaining a distinct and independent individuality.
  • As parts of the natural environment, they appear beyond the human cultural reach. No matter how they are being used, appropriated, interpreted and changed by cultural activities across time, they maintain a permanent externality as to all possible interpretations and cultural accommodations.

In this session we seek papers that will propose new ideas, concepts and methods of identifying values, establishing cultural significance and managing Archaeological Cultural Landscapes as a distinct case of heritage management. Contributions aiming at the articulation of a new approach could range from analysis of pertaining theoretical issues to showcasing of concrete examples.

Public Engagement in Heritage Studies:
Local Communities and Archaeology

Dr. Aris Anagnostopoulos & Dr. Lena Stefanou, HMO Public.

Community Archaeology already has an established record especially in the Americas and Australia. An ever-growing literature offers a variety of approaches, experiences and proposed blueprints for scholarly engagement with communities of stakeholders.

The practical application of community programs is however severely curtailed by institutional, legal and ideological (meaning local, nationalistic etc positions) considerations in areas such as Greece, where the ancient remains of the past are central to the grounding of the national state and the imagined national community.

Thus, many recommendations of good practice that may be valid for other settings become obsolete for small-scale projects that have neither the means nor the leverage to bypass serious institutional and social barriers to their goal of opening archaeology to the public. This is a two-way relationship that impinges on the knowledge, attitudes and political strategies of local communities, as well as the ideological and practical constitution of archaeology officials, archaeological teams and non-expert individuals working with them.

Aim of this session is to discuss a vision for public archaeology as it can develop in those very common places where remains of the ancient past are somewhat marginal to the heritage industry and unlikely to have a significant impact on the livelihoods of local populations. Moreover, it attempts to examine the impact of long-term engagement through archaeological ethnography towards the transformation of heritage management issues into a tool for civic engagement, collaborative work, sustainable development and community control of local knowledge.

Return of Cultural Treasures to Their Countries of Origin: Principles and Trends

Dr. Irini A. Stamatoudi,
Attorney at Law, Director of Intellectual Property Organization, Ministry of Culture and Sports/ Director of the Hellenic Copyright Organisation.

This session will examine issues pertaining to the return and restitution of cultural property to its countries of origin according to international treaties, EU or other regional legal instruments, national law, softlaw instruments, custom and practice. It will also examine cases of illegal removal of cultural property both in times of peace and in times of war. Discussion will also take place with regard to the main principles and trends as they stand today in cultural property law, the role of museums, collectors and auction houses, their responsibilities and role, as well as the mentalities in the area.

3D Digital Tools for Heritage Management

Dr. Evangelos Kyriakidis,
Kent, Senior Lecturer in Aegean Prehistory.

Digital tools for Heritage Managers. The heritage manager is no longer alone when it comes to recording a site. Ground penetrating technologies, 3D technologies, underwater technologies all can collaborate to create a mosaic of information that can be used for multiple purposes. However these technologies, besides their continuous improvement, are not always used as a standard practice, they are used in a patchy way, and are not mature enough to be used for many of the standard jobs of the heritage manager. This session hopes to bring to the fore such issues of interconnectivity, use and standardization of digital technologies aiming to help the heritage manager to navigate through a difficult, challenging yet most promising horizon.

 

Dr. Jackson David Cothren,
Associate Professor, Director of the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas.

Measuring the Face of the Past and Facing the Measurement

We are in the midst of major changes in the practice of archaeology and heritage studies. Technologies for high-precision, high-density measurement of objects, sites and landscapes coupled with computer-based methods for the visualization of these data and other (re)creations of the past are growing in use. These approaches have and will continue to fundamentally alter our field. The term “high density survey and measurement” (HDSM) covers methods such as airborne lidar, real time kinematic GNSS/GPS survey, robotic total stations, terrestrial “laser” scanning, structured light scanning and close range photogrammetry (CRP, also known as structure from motion—SfM) and UAV-based SfM/CRP and scanning. The analytical process that characterized our field before HDSM can be (over-) simplified to a sequence of observe, interpret/abstract, measure, record, and analyze. HDSM breaks us out of this process in that it pushes us toward a recursive and reflexive engagement with the data, in which we observe, record, measure, analyze, and abstract/interpret repeatedly, and in various orders. The growth in the use of HDSM methods is paralleled by increasing applications of computer-based visualization. Effective use of both requires attention to a scholarly digital ecosystem that addresses the archive and reuse of these digital objects and includes strategies to reuse these digital objects in other scholarly representations along with the tools for citation and other aspects of scholarly discourse.

Education and Heritage: Archaeological Education: A Dynamic Tool for Communicating Heritage Values

Mr. Mike Corbishley,
Honorary Senior Lecturer in Heritage Education University College London Institute of Archaeology, UK – Senior Lecturer MA Heritage Management, University of Kent-Athens University of Economics and Business, Elefsina, Greece

Education initiatives in many countries have concentrated on introducing archaeology to young people, mainly through activities in museums or on ancient monuments. This has been reflected in schools where it is generally linked to the curriculum. Now we need to encourage teachers to see archaeology as a means of supporting social values and create activities and resources which fit into curriculum areas such as social studies and citizenship.