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Contenuto archiviato il 2024-06-18

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR ARCHAEOLOGY AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

Final Report Summary - STACHEM (Science and technology for archaeology and cultural heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean)

The Eastern Mediterranean region, including Greece, Asia Minor, Cyprus and the Levant, is probably one of the richest areas of the world as far as archaeological heritage is concerned, and undoubtedly one of the most investigated. However, due to the scarcity of scientific and technological resources in the region, these analyses have occurred to a large extent in research institutions far removed from the origin of the artifacts. Similarly, the documentation in digital form of the cultural heritage of the region, which is immensely rich and diverse, lags significantly behind that performed in the more developed areas of the world. Moreover, scientific analysis of finds and documentation, preservation and communication services lack a regional strategy, and coordination and policies are indeed lacking.

This has several adverse effects, such as duplication of efforts, lack of interoperability at the data level, and in general missed opportunities for collaboration among research institutions. In addition there is, as mentioned above, a clear shortage of scientific and technical resources, such as laboratories of applied chemistry and physics for archaeology, multimedia communication centres, digital libraries, etc., so that analyses and data processing very often have to be carried out far away from the region. There is therefore a pressing need to make technical resources available for archaeology in the immediate proximity of the excavations themselves, and to properly document the cultural heritage of this key region.

The goal of the STACHEM project was to contribute to a regional strategic plan for research infrastructures devoted to archaeological sciences and digital heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean. The STACHEM project has been focusing on the following areas:
- natural and materials science approaches to the study of archaeological remains and sites
- technologies and infrastructure for underwater archaeology
- applications of information and communication technology to cultural heritage.

The STACHEM partnership has contributed to the elaboration of a strategic plan for research infrastructures in the fields of archaeological sciences and digital heritage, and to the incubation of a regional research cluster in which the partner institutions will be fully integrated.

Within the STACHEM project opportunities for synergies and coordination have been explored, and needs and requirements in the region assessed. The latter include suggestions for joint trans-national activities. In order to do so, STACHEM has built-up a community of users, and held periodic workshops for continuous monitoring and update.

In addition to its benefits on the European and regional scales, the project is anticipated to have an impact at the national levels for the medium and long-term strategy of the institutions involved in the project and their partners. Further, the STACHEM project has produced significant input for the archaeology and cultural heritage communities in the region, by its contributions to progress towards a regional strategic plan.

At the same time, the cooperation between first-class research institutions such as those present in the STACHEM partnership - and others with which links have been established through the STACHEM project - have succeeded in the formation of a regional research-intensive cluster with European and international outreach.
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