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Heritage, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2021) – 14 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Revisiting the Conditions of Authenticity for Built Heritage in Areas of Conflict
by , and
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 811-827; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020045 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 233
Abstract
This article examines the application of conditions of authenticity within the context of built heritage management in areas of political conflict, where heritage management can be seen as a political act rather than a means of protection. It focuses on values attributed to [...] Read more.
This article examines the application of conditions of authenticity within the context of built heritage management in areas of political conflict, where heritage management can be seen as a political act rather than a means of protection. It focuses on values attributed to built heritage that can be targeted or reinvented by the dominant power in areas of conflict with minorities being powerless to intervene. The argument is built around the Agios Synesios Church in North Cyprus, which continued to be used by the Greek Cypriot minority following the island division in 1974. Although their way of life has been compromised, they have embraced forced change through using the church to maintain their ritual and religious practices; by doing so, they negotiate their values towards their heritage. In this case, the study shows that the conditions of authenticity are difficult to meet, given the means through which heritage management can be manipulated. Accordingly, the article aims to contribute to general discussions on the vagueness and enigmatic conditions of authenticity in areas of conflict. Different buildings in areas of conflict around the world suffer because of the political nature of heritage management, which makes the criteria of authenticity unviable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Heritage of the Recent Past: A Global Perspective)
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Open AccessReview
Is There Such a Thing as Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology?
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 794-810; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020044 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 420
Abstract
This paper examines two related questions: firstly, whether there is a distinctive field of practice that might be called “hunter-gatherer archaeology” and which is different than other kinds of archaeology, and secondly, how such a claim might be justified. This question is considered [...] Read more.
This paper examines two related questions: firstly, whether there is a distinctive field of practice that might be called “hunter-gatherer archaeology” and which is different than other kinds of archaeology, and secondly, how such a claim might be justified. This question is considered through four prisms: (1) whether hunter-gatherers provide a unitary object of research; (2) whether hunter-gatherer archaeology is the same in different parts of the world; (3) whether hunter-gatherer archaeology is characterised by distinctive forms of archaeological record; and (4) whether there are distinctive themes within the field. None of these approaches provide a single unifying core, with any definition at best a constellation of “partially shared features” and with considerable difficulties surrounding the uncritical continued use of the concept of hunter-gatherers, which is linked to colonial ideologies and practices. Rather than provide a single unitary answer, it is proposed that the value and legitimacy of the concept of “hunter gatherer archaeology” requires consideration in the local contexts within which it might be used. In the European context within which I work, the broader social significance of the idea of the hunter-gatherer provides a significant opportunity for the development of a self-reflexive and publicly engaged hunter-gatherer archaeology committed to decoloniality. In this context, the potentials that the idea of a “hunter-gatherer archaeology” provides can, with caution, justify the continued use of the term. This answer will not characterise other locations, especially in colonised nations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology and Cultural Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle
Feature-Based Point Cloud-Based Assessment of Heritage Structures for Nondestructive and Noncontact Surface Damage Detection
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 775-793; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020043 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 255
Abstract
Assessment and evaluation of damage in cultural heritage structures are conducted primarily using nondestructive and noncontact methods. One common deployment is laser scanners or ground-based lidar scanners that produce a point cloud containing information at the centimeter to the millimeter level. This type [...] Read more.
Assessment and evaluation of damage in cultural heritage structures are conducted primarily using nondestructive and noncontact methods. One common deployment is laser scanners or ground-based lidar scanners that produce a point cloud containing information at the centimeter to the millimeter level. This type of data allows for detecting surface damage, defects, cracks, and other anomalies based only on geometric surface descriptors using a single dataset, which does not rely on a change detection approach. Moreover, geometric features are not influenced by color, which is essential for heritage structures because they are nonuniform in color due to anthropologic and environmental effects (e.g., painting or moisture). In this work, a damage detection method developed based on local geometric features is evaluated and expanded for crack detection within the example fresco walls of Sala degli Elementi in the Palazzo Vecchio. The workflow’s performance is then compared in a qualitative manner to that of manual crack mapping results identified using images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence in Heritage Science)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Tourism in the Time of Coronavirus. Fruition of the “Minor Heritage” through the Development of Bioarchaeological Sites—A Proposal
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 759-774; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020042 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 257
Abstract
The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are and will continue to be devastating for the tourism sector, especially for the cultural one. It is necessary to reflect on the new strategies to be adopted to deal with the heavy losses that the world [...] Read more.
The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are and will continue to be devastating for the tourism sector, especially for the cultural one. It is necessary to reflect on the new strategies to be adopted to deal with the heavy losses that the world of cultural heritage is suffering. The great archaeological attractions will no longer be able to accommodate the prepandemic numbers and therefore we must also think of alternative routes to present the minor heritage of our country. In recent years, our experience has allowed us to realize an open-air museum project in bioarchaeological sites (archaeological cemetery areas characterized by the recovery of human remains) that are part of an archaeological heritage that is little known, but which reserve great dissemination and fruition potential. The design of an archaeological itinerary, even a virtual one, which includes the bioarchaeological sites that we are musealizing, could offer a new visiting experience, especially in this difficult moment for all of us. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers)
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Open AccessArticle
Risk and Resources: An Evaluation of the Ability of National Soil Datasets to Predict Post-Depositional Processes in Archaeological Sites and Heritage at Risk
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 725-758; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020041 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 311
Abstract
Previous studies have demonstrated the vast range of physical, chemical and biological processes that influence the preservation of archaeological sites, yet characterisation at the site-level remains largely unexplored. National datasets on soil type, land use and erosion modelling have the potential to predict [...] Read more.
Previous studies have demonstrated the vast range of physical, chemical and biological processes that influence the preservation of archaeological sites, yet characterisation at the site-level remains largely unexplored. National datasets on soil type, land use and erosion modelling have the potential to predict localised impacts but remain an untapped resource in the evaluation of heritage at risk. Using early medieval Scotland as a case study, this paper explores in detail some of the primary factors which have impacted the archaeological record and the degree to which site-based evidence contained in excavation reports compares with national datasets (Land Cover Map 2015, Soil Information for Scottish Soils and Soils of Scotland Topsoil pH) and coastal erosion models (Dynamic Coast National Coastal Change Assessment and Coastal Erosion Susceptibility Model). This provides valuable information on the preservation of Scotland’s early medieval settlement, as well as a methodology for using national datasets in the remote assessment of post-depositional factors across the broader archaeological landscape. Results indicate that agriculture, bioturbation and aggressive soil conditions are among the most significant factors impacting Scotland’s archaeological remains. While the national datasets examined have the potential to inform heritage management strategies on these processes, their use is limited by a number of theoretical and methodological issues. Moving forward, site-specific studies that characterise the preservation environment will be crucial in developing baseline assessments that will advance both local and global understandings of destructive factors and soil-mediated decay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Archaeological Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle
Temporal Lensing: An Interactive and Scalable Technique for Web3D/WebXR Applications in Cultural Heritage
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 710-724; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020040 - 30 Apr 2021
Viewed by 450
Abstract
Today, Web3D technologies and the rise of new standards, combined with faster browsers and better hardware integration, allow the creation of engaging and interactive web applications that target the field of cultural heritage. Functional, accessible, and expressive approaches to discovering the past starting [...] Read more.
Today, Web3D technologies and the rise of new standards, combined with faster browsers and better hardware integration, allow the creation of engaging and interactive web applications that target the field of cultural heritage. Functional, accessible, and expressive approaches to discovering the past starting from the present (or vice-versa) are generally a strong requirement. Cultural heritage artifacts, decorated walls, etc. can be considered as palimpsests with a stratification of different actions over time (modifications, restorations, or even reconstruction of the original artifact). The details of such an articulated cultural record can be difficult to distinguish and communicate visually, while entire archaeological sites often exhibit profound changes in terms of shape and function due to human activities over time. The web offers an incredible opportunity to present and communicate enriched 3D content using common web browsers, although it raises additional challenges. We present an interactive 4D technique called “Temporal Lensing”, which is suitable for online multi-temporal virtual environments and offers an expressive, accessible, and effective way to locally peek into the past (or into the future) by targeting interactive Web3D applications, including those leveraging recent standards, such as WebXR (immersive VR on the web). This technique extends previous approaches and presents different contributions, including (1) a volumetric, temporal, and interactive lens approach; (2) complete decoupling of the involved 3D representations from the runtime perspective; (3) a wide range applications in terms of size (from small artifacts to entire archaeological sites); (4) cross-device scalability of the interaction model (mobile devices, multi-touch screens, kiosks, and immersive VR); and (5) simplicity of use. We implemented and developed the described technique on top of an open-source framework for interactive 3D presentation of CH content on the web. We show and discuss applications and results related to three case studies, as well as integrations of the temporal lensing with different input interfaces for dynamically interacting with its parameters. We also assessed the technique within a public event where a remote web application was deployed on tablets and smartphones, without any installation required by visitors. We discuss the implications of temporal lensing, its scalability from small to large virtual contexts, and its versatility for a wide range of interactive 3D applications. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Exploring the Effects of “Smart City” in the Inner-City Fabric of the Mediterranean Metropolis: Towards a Bio-Cultural Sonic Diversity?
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 690-709; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020039 - 24 Apr 2021
Viewed by 676
Abstract
“Smart city”, driven by digital technology is not only a technological but also a social, cultural and political project. A socially and culturally significant new urban ideal is born. This research paper is based on the narrative that the city appears as a [...] Read more.
“Smart city”, driven by digital technology is not only a technological but also a social, cultural and political project. A socially and culturally significant new urban ideal is born. This research paper is based on the narrative that the city appears as a palimpsest of interventions of all natures. History and shared memory, composition and superimposition, coherence and divergence are fundamental for its evolution. It is thus evident that ”Smart city” as a rather new urban ideal, but also as a disruptive innovation process, cannot be conceived nor implemented all at once; it must follow analogous processes of buildup and stratification. On the other hand, sounds are part of cities, of their sensory landscape, of their identity. They are one of the urban markers, along with the visual landscape. In this context, the paper focuses on the sound identity of the inner-city areas of the Mediterranean metropolis, posing the following research question: What are the transformations that “Smart city” can cause to the sound identity of a city? In dense urban fabric with high-rise buildings, high rates of exploitation, frequent transgressions of the legal construction and least free space in private plots, what can be the prospects of using “smart transport”, for enriching the city with positive soundscapes, thus improving its environmental quality? Following the metaphor of urban and acoustic palimpsest, we examine narratives of replacement of conventional cars with autonomous vehicles (AVs) and of private cars with car-pooling systems. The article concludes that spatialized intelligence can substantially and positively transform the sound identity of the Mediterranean metropolis and be the spearhead for an increase in bio-cultural sonic diversity. At least during the era when the city still appears as a palimpsest of interpositions, evoking the historic time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Heritage: Current Threats and Opportunities)
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Open AccessArticle
Is Architecture Connected with Intangible Cultural Heritage? Reflections from Architectural Digital Documentation and Interactive Application Design in Three Aegean Islands
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 664-689; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020038 - 21 Apr 2021
Viewed by 398
Abstract
The research project “Mouseion Topos” (in English: “Museums Place”), focusing on traditional local settlements situated at three Aegean islands, aims to contribute to the promotion of their physiognomy and intangible cultural heritage by connecting regional museums with each settlement. The present article, part [...] Read more.
The research project “Mouseion Topos” (in English: “Museums Place”), focusing on traditional local settlements situated at three Aegean islands, aims to contribute to the promotion of their physiognomy and intangible cultural heritage by connecting regional museums with each settlement. The present article, part of the project’s initial phase, via the application of the HERMeS methodology (version 1 and 2) and the development of the associate digital documentation tools, identifies and records the architectural and urban elements influenced by each settlement’s intangible cultural heritage as listed by UNESCO and presented by their corresponding museums. The research findings revealed connections between the museums’ content and the documented tangible heritage based on the formulated conceptual and heatmaps, which can be used at the early design stages of the current project’s interactive applications, especially in mobile tours. Finally, the research findings verify that despite the limitations and issues for further research, the introduced HERMeS methodology and digital tools are reliable and contribute to the respective field’s theory. The paper also provides beneficial deliberation on digital architectural heritage documentation methods and interactive technologies, highlighting points and areas of interest that the tourist industry, technology designers, museum curators, and architects can employ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle
The Social Experiences and Uses of Post-War Modernist Urban Heritage Conservation and Regeneration: London’s Southbank Centre
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 641-663; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020037 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 481
Abstract
Since the 1960s, post-war modernist heritage has been largely criticised and victimised by the public opinion because of its material failures and elitist social projects. Despite these critiques, post-war modernist heritage is being reassessed, revalued and in some places successfully rehabilitated. There is [...] Read more.
Since the 1960s, post-war modernist heritage has been largely criticised and victimised by the public opinion because of its material failures and elitist social projects. Despite these critiques, post-war modernist heritage is being reassessed, revalued and in some places successfully rehabilitated. There is a growing recognition that most of the critiques have often been the result of subjective and biased value and taste judgments or incomplete assessments that neither considered the urban design nor the users’ experiences. This paper aims to contribute to these reassessments of post-war modernist urban heritage legacies. To do so, it places the user’s social experiences and uses, and the urban design at the centre of the analysis, by using a combination of ethnographic methods and urban design analysis and focusing on the public spaces of Southbank Centre in London, the UK’s largest and most iconic and contested post-war modernist ensemble with a long history of conservation and regeneration projects. Taken together, the findings demonstrate the importance of including the users’ social experiences and uses in the conservation and regeneration agendas if we want to achieve more objective and inclusive assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Architectural Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle
Representation and Presentation of Culinary Tradition as Cultural Heritage
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 612-640; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020036 - 12 Apr 2021
Viewed by 438
Abstract
This paper presents a knowledge representation framework and provides tools to allow the representation and presentation of the tangible and intangible dimensions of culinary tradition as cultural heritage including the socio-historic context of its evolution. The representation framework adheres to and extends the [...] Read more.
This paper presents a knowledge representation framework and provides tools to allow the representation and presentation of the tangible and intangible dimensions of culinary tradition as cultural heritage including the socio-historic context of its evolution. The representation framework adheres to and extends the knowledge representation standards for the Cultural Heritage (CH) domain while providing a widely accessible web-based authoring environment to facilitate the representation activities. In strong collaboration with social sciences and humanities, this work allows the exploitation of ethnographic research outcomes by providing a systematic approach for the representation of culinary tradition in the form of recipes, both in an abstract form for their preservation and in a semantic representation of their execution captured on-site during ethnographic research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Heritage: Current Threats and Opportunities)
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Geometric and Material Survey for the Conservation of Heritage Masonry Structures
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 585-611; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020035 - 12 Apr 2021
Viewed by 477
Abstract
This paper reports the knowledge process and the analyses performed to assess the seismic behavior of a heritage masonry building. The case study is a three-story masonry building that was the house of the Renaissance architect and painter Giorgio Vasari (the Vasari’s House [...] Read more.
This paper reports the knowledge process and the analyses performed to assess the seismic behavior of a heritage masonry building. The case study is a three-story masonry building that was the house of the Renaissance architect and painter Giorgio Vasari (the Vasari’s House museum). An interdisciplinary approach was adopted, following the Italian “Guidelines for the assessment and mitigation of the seismic risk of the cultural heritage”. This document proposes a methodology of investigation and analysis based on three evaluation levels (EL1, analysis at territorial level; EL2, local analysis and EL3, global analysis), according to an increasing level of knowledge on the building. A comprehensive knowledge process, composed by a 3D survey by Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) and experimental in situ tests, allowed us to identify the basic structural geometry and to assess the value of mechanical parameters subsequently needed to perform a reliable structural assessment. The museum represents a typology of masonry building extremely diffused in the Italian territory, and the assessment of its seismic behavior was performed by investigating its global behavior through the EL1 and the EL3 analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Vulnerability Assessment for Heritage Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle
Accessibility, Natural User Interfaces and Interactions in Museums: The IntARSI Project
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 567-584; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020034 - 04 Apr 2021
Viewed by 544
Abstract
In a museum context, people have specific needs in terms of physical, cognitive, and social accessibility that cannot be ignored. Therefore, we need to find a way to make art and culture accessible to them through the aid of Universal Design principles, advanced [...] Read more.
In a museum context, people have specific needs in terms of physical, cognitive, and social accessibility that cannot be ignored. Therefore, we need to find a way to make art and culture accessible to them through the aid of Universal Design principles, advanced technologies, and suitable interfaces and contents. Integration of such factors is a priority of the Museums General Direction of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, within the wider strategy of museum exploitation. In accordance with this issue, the IntARSI project, publicly funded, consists of a pre-evaluation and a report of technical specifications for a new concept of museology applied to the new Museum of Civilization in Rome (MuCIV). It relates to planning of multimedia, virtual, and mixed reality applications based on the concept of “augmented” and multisensory experience, innovative tangible user interfaces, and storytelling techniques. An inclusive approach is applied, taking into account the needs and attitudes of a wide audience with different ages, cultural interests, skills, and expectations, as well as cognitive and physical abilities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hybridity and Ethnic Invisibility of the “Chitty” Heritage Community of Melaka
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 554-566; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020033 - 25 Mar 2021
Viewed by 376
Abstract
Migration has produced many ethnic minority communities worldwide owing to sea-borne trade, religious evangelicalism, and colonialism. For centuries, these communities have existed alongside other cultures, creating multiethnic societies. However, changes in political, economic, and sociocultural conditions have caused these communities, typically with varying [...] Read more.
Migration has produced many ethnic minority communities worldwide owing to sea-borne trade, religious evangelicalism, and colonialism. For centuries, these communities have existed alongside other cultures, creating multiethnic societies. However, changes in political, economic, and sociocultural conditions have caused these communities, typically with varying degrees of social alignment and sociocultural adaptation, to re-strategize their inter-ethnic interactions. One such minority community is the “Chitty” of Melaka, a distinct Tamil community that migrated to Melaka, a coastal port city that has flourished in trade and commerce since the late 14th century. This paper investigates the historiography, its hybridity and adaptation, and the concerns of ethnic invisibility faced by this community throughout its 700-year history. Through historical analysis and ethnographic observations, the study finds that the Chitty community has contributed significantly to the sociocultural, economic, and political fabrics of Melaka in different periods of history. Secondly, the Chitty’s hybridity nature enabled them greater dexterity to socioculturally adapt to the changing surroundings and dynamics in Melaka for the last seven centuries. Thirdly, the study finds that due to their marginality in numbers and the mass arrival of new Indian migrants, the ethnic visibility of the Chitty has diminished in the new Malaysian demographic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cultural Heritage)
Open AccessArticle
Synthetic 3D Recording of a Shipwreck Embedded in Seafloor Sediments: Distinguishing Internal Details
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 541-553; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4020032 - 24 Mar 2021
Viewed by 414
Abstract
3D recording of shipwrecks completely buried in seafloor sediments has great potential as an important aspect of maritime archaeological surveys and management. Buried shipwrecks have been recorded directly with seismic 3D Chirp sub-bottom profilers on an experimental basis. This method is, however, expensive, [...] Read more.
3D recording of shipwrecks completely buried in seafloor sediments has great potential as an important aspect of maritime archaeological surveys and management. Buried shipwrecks have been recorded directly with seismic 3D Chirp sub-bottom profilers on an experimental basis. This method is, however, expensive, time-consuming and complicated. This article outlines the application of a faster, cheaper, and less complicated method of synthetic 3D recording, which is also less sensitive to weather conditions. It involves the acquisition of a larger number of seismic 2D high-resolution sub-bottom profiles in a dense grid that does not need to be regular. The method is based on the results of survey work conducted in the Akko Harbour area, on the Carmel coast of Israel, which shows that the shape of the hull of a shipwreck can be precisely determined, and that the sedimentary units bounding it can be outlined and interpreted. Based on an interpretation of the shape of the hull, the depth of the structure was measured, and a 3D image of the shipwreck was subsequently generated. Samples of the sub-seafloor were obtained across the area, and the sample located within the area of the mapped shipwreck was found to contain wood fragments and a piece of rope. This article demonstrates that 2D surveying is a viable and cost-effective alternative to 3D surveying that is able to produce good results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shipwreck Archaeology)
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