Department of Cultural Heritage
Head: Tsiafaki Despoina
Research assistants: Michailidou Natasa
The department of Cultural Heritage of CETI was established
as a research center with primary goals the preservation, protection and diffusion
of cultural heritage through the application of modern technologies. Based on
its scientific personnel and the computing and multimedia equipment and facilities
of the CETI, the Cultural Heritage Unit directs its scholarly research in the
field of Humanities according to the modern needs and demands.
The monuments of art and literature dated from the Antiquity until the 20th century, is the major subject of interest. The application of the modern technologies to them is the focus of the Unit, with a particular emphasis in the development of multimedia databases, 3D reconstructions of objects and sites and GIS applications.
Another field of interest is the development of new
methods regarding the presentation of museums and collections in ways
that will attract, educate, and be conceived easily and fast by the
general public, whereas they will satisfy the scholarly demands.
Virtual Museums and Museums presented through the Internet for example, belong to this area (see e.g. the project "Ark of refugee heirloom" that makes accessible through the Internet more than 4000 objects).
The project "Traditional Wood Craftsmen and Trade in the Aegean, Thrace and Cyprus" is a characteristic example of an online cultural database that will provide a considerable amount of information regarding traditional objects and professions coming from the three mentioned geographical regions. The database will be accessible to everybody through the Internet. Similar is the role of the project "Study and Web-publishing of the dry stone wall structures of Thrace, The Aegean and Cyprus".
A combination of the earlier mentioned applications (databases, 3D, GIS, Internet) is used in the project "Karabournaki-Recording the Past". This is a project regarding the digitization and the presentation through the Internet, of the University excavations taken place in Karabournaki (Thessaloniki area) under the direction of prof. M. Tiverios and his associates Dr. E. Manakidou and Dr. D. Tsiafakis.
Introductory texts, photographs and
drawings will present the archaeological site and the excavation. A multimedia
database will contain the full amount of the archaeological findings.
Every object has three different types of records:
a) the archaeological record (e.g. category, date, material, dimensions, description etc.),
b) the conservation record, and
c) the archaeometrical record. Photographs and drawings are included in each record.
Here is also used the 3D reconstruction of fragmentary preserved objects. Photographs, architectural drawings and texts are used for the documentation and the presentation of the excavation trenches. Of great importance here is the application of GIS, because it enables the reconstruction of the site and the exploration of its geographical position in relation to the sites in the surrounding area.
A 3D reconstruction of the stratigraphy is applied in every trench. The same project includes also the digitization
of the excavation notebooks, with search abilities.
The last part of the project "Karabournaki-Recording the Past" regards
the Bibliography. This part includes not only the publications for Karabournaki
itself but also the basic bibliography on all the major categories of findings
revealed in the site.
This project as well as the rest of goals of the Cultural Heritage Unit are built and succeeded in close collaboration with the Multimedia Laboratory of CETI and the Archaeometry Laboratory. There is also close collaboration with the Educational Technology Department and the e-Learning Laboratory in order to be developed the Educational goals of the Cultural Heritage Unit. More specifically the latter is interested in the development of educational projects and seminars regarding the diffusion of the cultural heritage.
Among the educational goals of the Unit is the collaboration with undergraduate and graduate students through internships and projects.
Other activities of he Cultural Heritage Unit are the electronic publications and the presentation of its projects in international conferences (e.g. D. Tsiafakis, A. Tsompanopoulos, G. Pavlidis, N. Tsirliganis, V. Evangelidis, Chr. Chamzas, “Archiving Cultural Objects in the 21st century: Pottery from Karabournaki” in Common Ground: Archaeology, Art, Science and Humanities. XVI International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Harvard University, Boston 23-26 August 2003), journals, scientific volumes and exhibitions (see www.ceti.gr Announ-cements, Activities, Publications).
In order to achieve its purpose the Unit promotes and sustains collaborations with Universities (e.g. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Democritus University of Thrace, University of Cyprus), research centers and institutes (e.g. National Hellenic Research Foundation), museums (“Ethnological Museum of Thrace. Angela Giannakidou”, Pierides Museum of ancient Cypriot Art) and the archaeological service.