Fragmented Heritage

Fragmented Heritage, funded as a Theme Large Grant under the AHRC’s Digital Transformations Programme has served as both a ‘beacon’ and an enabling project to explore the potential of digital technologies and innovations to a range of multiscalar challenges in archaeology and heritage science. The introduction of new technology that dramatically improves the analysis of sites and fragmentary materials has been explored through a number of case studies and international collaborations, including:  

1) the use of surface metrology to analyse the world’s oldest shamanic headdress from ‘Star Carr’;  

2) revealing tool marks evidenced on metalwork in conjunction with the ‘ENTRANS’ project from Iron Age Europe;  

3) methods to automate refitting of fragmented objects such as lithic artefacts that spatially can explain past human or hominin activity as at ‘Boxgrove’;  

4) novel approaches to harness the involvement of citizen scientists for complex and remote landscapes, as with the Fossil Finder project which asked volunteers to interrogate high resolution imagery of palaeolandscapes from East Lake Turkana, Kenya; 

5) bringing access and new understanding to inaccessible sites, as with the ‘Sculptors/ Covesea Caves’ project; 

6) as a response to heritage at risk, in developing the ‘Curious Travellers’ methodology which repurposes web-scraped and crowd-sourced imagery to reconstruct heritage sites that have been damaged or destroyed; 

7) exploring the potential of 3D printing for visitor engagement, as with the ‘Happisburgh footprints’ displayed at Jersey Museum; 

8) the opportunity to draw from creative collaborations, such as the ‘Project code-named Humpty’.