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Preserving Cultural Heritage in the Digital Age

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In late August 2015, international media outlets and cultural institutions reported that the Islamic State beheaded the Syrian scholar Khaled al-Asaad and destroyed the 1st-century CE Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria. The world was horrorstruck. Apart from the human tragedy, archaeologists and the international communities were shocked by the wanton destruction of ancient remains that had survived for millennia. However, warfare and ideological destruction contribute just a fraction of the ongoing devastation of our forebears' traces. This book brings attention to the magnitude of the silent loss of cultural heritage occurring worldwide and the even more insidious loss of knowledge due to the lack of publication and preservation of original data, notes, plans, and photographs of excavated archaeological sites. Highlighting a growing sense of urgency to intervene in whatever way possible, this book provides readers with a non-technical overview of how archaeologists and other stakeholders are increasingly turning to digital methods to mitigate some of the threats to at-risk cultural heritage. This volume is a gateway to enhancing the scale and reach of capturing, analyzing, managing, curating, and disseminating cultural heritage knowledge in sustainable ways and promoting collaboration among scholars and stakeholder communities.

Published: Feb 18, 2022

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
List of Figures and Tables Nicola Lercari, Willeke Wendrich, Benjamin Porter, Margie Burton, Thomas Levy
Preface Thomas Levy, Margie Burton
A Sense of Urgency Nicola Lercari, Willeke Wendrich
Chapter 1
At-Risk Cultural Heritage, Open Communication and Stealth Archaeology Willeke Wendrich
Chapter 2
Global Heritage, Knowledge Provenance, and Digital Preservation: Defining a Critical Approach Anaïs Guillem, Nicola Lercari
Chapter 3
Resolving Analog and Digital Records in Cultural Heritage Sites in Mexico: The Case of Cempoala Geneviève Lucet
Chapter 4
From the Field to the CAVE: A Workflow for Collecting, Storing, and Sharing Archaeological Data Thomas Levy, Brady Liss, Ho Jung Yoo, Ioannis Liritzis, Margie Burton
Chapter 5
A Diversified Approach to Earthen Architecture Conservation: Implementing Digital Monitoring and Spatial Analysis at Çatalhöyük Arianna Campiani, Ashley Lingle, Nicola Lercari
Chapter 6
Ancient Egyptian Coffins in 3D: Digital Analysis, Visualization, and Dissemination Rita Lucarelli, Kea Johnston
Chapter 7
The Digital Context of At-Risk Textual Archives Adam G. Anderson
Chapter 8
CAVEkiosk: Cultural Heritage Visualization and Dissemination Jürgen P. Schulze, Glynn Williams, Connor Smith, Philip P. Weber, Thomas Levy
Chapter 9
Data as At-Risk Cultural Heritage: The DIG Data Publication Initiative Deidre Brin
Chapter 10
At-Risk Worldwide: Archaeological and Cultural Heritage Digital Data Francis P. McManamon, Leigh Anne Ellison
Chapter 11
CollectionSpace at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology: A Strategic Information Platform Christopher R. Hoffman, Benjamin Porter, Michael T. Black
End Matter
Index Nicola Lercari, Willeke Wendrich, Benjamin Porter, Margie Burton, Thomas Levy