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Fortress of Maiolo. Authors own photograph.

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MINERVA CULTURAL ASSOCIATION

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CULTURAL HERITAGE ONLINE

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he Minerva Cultural Association was founded in 2010 by a group of students, Dr. Tommaso Saccone (President), Dr. Roberta Vico (Vice President) and Dr. Cristiana Margherita (Treasurer), of the Faculty of Conservation of Cultural Heritage of Ravenna - Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, and aims to promote an actual culture of respect for nature, art, history and traditions of Italy and to protect our heritage that is not only a fundamental part of our roots and identity, but also one of the largest resource of our State (1).

fact, a platform which goes under this name was established: a beta version in which it’s possible to develop the many possibilities for the management and spreading of information, relating to cultural heritage.

Our association began by carrying out different projects of cultural valorization: the Fortress of Maiolo (RN), the Roman Villa of Lido Silvana (TA) and the town of Poggio San Marcello (AN); later on we set up a theatrical performance entitled “The penultimate dinner” at Novafeltria (RN), and we recently organized a 3D Laboratory course for Archaeology.

What is desired is a free format that can be used by any kind of organization, whether public or private, for the management of data related to the total assets. The same tool can then be used in the various stages that follow one another during the study and promotion of an archaeological excavation and its finds.

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By Dr. Cristiana Margherita and Dr. Tommaso Saccone

The project “Digital Archaeological Heritage” was born from the desire to promote the use of new technologies related to the use of GIS and the Internet, in the management and enhancement of the world’s cultural heritage, making sure that each page of the platform could be shared by users via the major and most common social networks.

The idea is based on sharing and promoting In recent times, however, our interest has archaeological, historical, artistic and culfirmly focused on the “Cultural Heritage” tural activities in general, as we believe that project (2). On the 20th November of 2012, in the work done by our nation, in promoting 3


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Above: Arc on the beach of Lido Silvana in Pulsano; Below: Tanks for cleaning the fish on the beach of Lido Silvana in Pulsano. Credit: Ivano Morelli.

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Above: The first parish church, in Poggio St. Marcello, dedicated to St. Marcello, now abandoned and desecrated; Below: Mustiola, one of the first medieval church of Poggio St. Marcello, now collapsed and no longer visible. Authors own photographs.

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Exercise of the 3D lab in archaeology: Teodorico’s Mausoleum. Authors own photograph.

cultural heritage and broadcasting scientific data is insufficient or precarious. In fact, the State and the Superintendence, which in Italy has the Constitutional duty to protect and enhance the heritage of the nation, seems too protectionist in the data collection; this approach leads to a very low chance in the search for reliable comparisons and thus to the impossibility to develop and promote cultural heritage.

the project for the “Valuation of Cultural Heritage of Poggio San Marcello (AN)” (3).

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Points of Interest relating to the heritage site of Poggio San Marcello, were placed on a satellite map and enriched with information about every historical building and archaeological evidence, thus sharing texts, but also photo galleries, surveying and all the documentation on ceramic materials found during the cleaning of the Cave of the The platform provides, in this early stage, Crypt of St. Nicolò of Bari and the Cave of three key challenges: the archaeological the Ex clinic. management, the historical-artistic one and the sustainable exploitation of architectural At the time, eight points of Interest are inworks. serted; each one is connected with an article containing: descriptions, graphics pads, The first test, currently underway, is the photo galleries and multimedia files. documentation acquired by the Minerva Cultural Association during the course of All these web pages will be accessible with 6


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Points of Interest of Poggio St. Marcello. Credit: Google Earth.

a Smart-Phone with QR codes that will be most exclusive areas of the Sultanate’s capiplaced outside of the buildings to which tal, not only from a tourism - residential they relate. point of view, but also from an environmental and archaeological interest. Thanks to the interest shown by Professor Maurizio Tosi, Professor of the University of The artefacts found during excavation Bologna, it was possible to take into account or preserved in museums and research the archaeological excavation of Ra’s al- institutions will be indexed in special Hamra (4), in the Sultanate of Oman, and to databases containing information relating consider the possibility of developing both to the type of material: size, weight, photothe archaeological and the historical-artistic. graphs, design and accessibility. In addition information about the studies performed on The Italian Archaeological Mission has been each material, any restoration work and the present in the Sultanate of Oman since 1970 name of the people engaged in these operaand aims to study the prehistoric cultures of tions will be reported in the database. the fishermen who had exploited the coastal environment of the Arabian Sea. In recent After completing the excavation and the years, thanks to the Ministry of Heritage and analysis of the documentation, through the Culture of Oman, researchers are bringing to platform it will be possible to create digital light the remains of the ancient settlement publications at low cost. and cemetery called RH-5 located in Ra’s alHamra (Muscat), dating from the end of the From this time on the income from these fifth to the end of the fourth millennium publications can be divided into four BCE. parts, equally distributed: one fourth to the authors, one fourth to the accredited The district of Qurum Muscat is one of the institution that developed the publication, 7


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The Cave of the Crypt of St. Nicolò of Bari in Poggio St. Marcello. Authors own photograph.


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The Cave of the Ex clinic in Poggio St. Marcello . Authors own photograph.

one fourth to support the platform itself each data that was analyzed had different and the last fourth will be invested to create characteristics. new useful work for the same institution. The target to which the project addresses to In this way publishing will be affordable and is primarily made up of experts in the field worthwhile again and it may be possible to of cultural heritage, who, through the use of overcome the contemporary state of pub- the platform “Cultural Heritage� will increase lishers’ speculation and monopoly. the quality and possibilities of research: finding new and more effective option in the The structure of the computing platform has management of documentation and, using been designed with CSM through which the digital publications, will produce a constant various accredited institutions will be able to return of image. add and edit information about new works of cultural heritage management or cultural Secondly, the platform is intended for all related events. those visiting a city, willing to have the opportunity to learn in detail what they We made a different database for each type are seeing: the platform will allow them to of information (stratigraphic units, individu- access a range of digital contents such as als, material, fauna, museum collections) as Virtual Tours, audio guides and catalogs in 9


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high definition accessible using a standard able to put them in relation to other user’s smart-phone. databases, and through the use of common databases it will be possible to identify similar In order to reach the international commu- characteristics between each site rising new nity, databases related to the archaeological possibility of research and investigation. field, are compiled and displayed in English, while databases regarding historical-artistic Also this administration system will be availmaterial and information as well as the able for any organization that wishes to use development of architectural works, will be it for the management of archaeological displayed both in English and Italian. information. It was possible to introduce, within the platform, the personal archives of Professor Maurizio Tosi, composed of all the archaeological and cultural information that he has been collecting in the course of his career. The archive is essentially composed of three nucleus: the extracts, the documentation of the excavation, the stock of photographs and archaeological papers (5).

The third core is built around the photographic and archaeological papers acquired during the mission study and excavation in the Sultanate of Oman, the Indian subcontinent and the Arabian Peninsula in general. The aim is to relate each group of photos with the location where they were taken, using google maps as a cartographic base, getting as many points of interest as you have in the recognitions and excavations. The scanning of the photographs were acquired in good quality, 1600 DPI, and then reduced. So a new page for each point of interest is created and shared, each page enriched not only by photographic material but also by report and any digging or multimedia material that has been collected over time.

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The nucleus of the extract was subjected to a first division between originals and copies. The first, the orginals, about 1000, will be soon acquired in a digital format, and organized in a database containing all the information for the search: Author, Title, Year of Publication, Retrieved from and theme, that will be created in the upcoming weeks. Through the use of digital systems it will be able to eliminate the “papery” cost of traThe second group of works has been set ditional archiving, a first step to reduce the following the archaeological record of Ra’s high costs of traditional archiving. al Hamra (RH5) and the Burnt Palace Shahr-i Sokhta (SIS-BB). The platform “Cultural Heritage” has also been designed for the museums, where it’s The archaeological record is displayed us- possible to create catalogs in high definiing Web GIS systems, which will allow us tion, entering galleries, presenting descripto relate to each other’s topographic data, tive work, comparisons, bibliography and descriptive ones, those photographers. any 3D reconstruction. Once the data of all the archaeological work, Thanks to the possibilities offered by 3D carried out by Professor Maurizio Tosi, will modelling and Virtual Tours, museums could be inserted into the system, the user will be expand their showcase consistently: this 10


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At this moment in the platform, there is a specific page about the work of the Minerva Cultural Association, in which all the material related to 3D Modelling Laboratory for Archaeology was added (6), while the rest of the material above descripted is, little by little, being acquired.

(4) http://heritageonline.altervista.org/it/archiviotosi/archivio-prof-tosi-fotografie-e-papersarcheologici/oman/lisola-archeologica-di-ras-alhamra/

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With regard to the promotion of the architectural works we have designed a format, accessible to any accredited municipality or local authority which will bring about a real journey through the sights of the city, where every building will be put in relation with a QR code, so that visitors can access with any device enabled and can connect directly to the web page of the platform “Cultural Heritage”.

(3) The Project Valuation of Cultural Heritage of Poggio San Marcello (AN) was founded in 2012 by the Cultural Association Minerva, under the scientific direction of Dr. Enrico Ravaioli and sponsored by the town of Poggio San Marcello and the Diocese of Jesi (http://heritageonline.altervista. org/progetti/poggio-san-marcello-an/).

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Through the platform “Cultural Heritage” accredited museums will be allowed to sell their catalogs and tickets and also to offer commercial discounts.

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will give visitors the opportunity to access Notes/References objects and works of art that for whatever (1) http://asscultminerva.altervista.org/ reason are not accessible and the museum (2) http://www.heritageonline.it/ would get a very important image.

(5) http://heritageonline.altervista.org/it/archiviotosi/ (6) The Laboratory of 3D Modeling for Archaeology is a project started in November 2012. The course is taught by Dr. Massimiliano Montanari and was built under the patronage of the Municipality of Ravenna and the seat Arci the same city (http:// heritageonline.altervista.org/progetti/laboratorio3d/). ***

The development of the platform was not intended for a specific place or institution, but specifically designed for the types of data that, in 2013, characterize the communication of cultural heritage. This tool is so versatile that it can be used all over the world. ***

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CULTURAL HERITAGE ONLINE  

Articolo edito sulla rivista on line Ancient Planet

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