Twitter Essays

Following the success of the last Twitter conferences on public archaeology (PATC), a good opportunity to gather again a well engaged digital community with image-based presentations.

15:00 (WEST) // 16:00 (CEST; EET) // 17:00 (EEST, TRT, IDT)

16:00 CEST

#TheDig(s): the changing relationship between archaeologists & amateurs in Italy and the UK from the 20th c. on

Francesca Benetti @f_ben87

The movie #TheDig (available on Netflix) tells the story of the discovery of Sutton Hoo. Archaeology provides in fact a perfect means to deliver the main message of the movie: the fragility of humans and the link between lives through history. Among the many themes of the movie, one is related to the relationship between amateurs and archaeologists. This paper will briefly examine examples of collaboration before and after the widespread ‘professionalisation’ of archaeology in Italy and the UK, and explore the current debate. The latter topic will be analysed also through the reception of the movie by archaeologists in the two countries.

16:20 CEST

The presentation of our Cultural Heritage: Reconnect – Rebuild – Rethink

Maria Dimitrakarakou @dimitrakarakou

Before photography, drawings were the only evidence of many destroyed works of art. That’s why they are valuable tools for archaeology, as it is the only way to see how a piece of art looked like before suffering damage or destruction. For example, French artist Carrey made several drawings of the Parthenon and its sculptures before their partial destruction by Venetian artillery in 1687.
Pictures and 3D models offer a new experience to cultural heritage. Technology not only reconstructs a statue, scattered in two different museums, into a single work of art e.g. the IV west metope of the Parthenon (the main sculpture is exhibited in the British Museum and the heads are in the National Museum of Denmark), but also it can rebuild something that no longer exists in its original form e.g. the Palmyra site in Syria, destroyed by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2015.
Social media creates a participatory online landscape as it offers two-way communication with archaeologists and experts; they open cultural heritage discussion to a wider audience. The arrival of Web 3.0 makes digital cultural artefacts accessible from every place as long as someone has a computer and an Internet connection. Never before it was easier to reach, share or even create digital archaeological content. People can learn – study history, visit museums, archaeological sites, etc. Knowledge is a powerful tool; people can understand artefacts’ meaning to the local population and they can perceive their importance to the world cultural heritage. Can social media play a key role in the protection of cultural heritage from further damage or destruction?

16:40 CEST

When tourism buries archaeological heritage. The case of Seville

Guido Cimadomo @Guido_Cimadomo

The city of Seville could be considered one of the richest sites in the Mediterranean area: Tartessians, Phoenicians and Romans had a relevant centre in Seville, as Muslims did from the 8th Century —after a declining period with Visigoths—, becoming the most important harbour for the Crown of Castille later on.
All these civilizations left innumerable remains of their culture in the city, which have been found during the past centuries. Despite the obvious protection plans developed to put into value this rich heritage, a look at the archaeological itinerary published by the City Council in 2008 shows the asymmetry between the official discourse to protect these sites and their real situation.
A photographic tour of the main archaeological elements in Seville will show the decay and practical absence of conservation, which is paradoxical with the interest to attract cultural tourism. It could be argued that the same pressure of tourist flows, and the need for new infrastructure to host them, is at the base of the poor attention given to the archaeological remains of the city (exception made for the most relevant monuments).

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