Heritage conservation in China: why ‘Daughter of Dunhuang’ devoted her life to keeping Buddhist caves and relics alive (South China Morning Post)

South China Morning Post: Heritage conservation in China: why ‘Daughter of Dunhuang’ devoted her life to keeping Buddhist caves and relics alive . “Anyone with more than an ounce of interest in Dunhuang will have heard of Fan Jinshi. Now 81, the Chinese archaeologist who has spent more than half a century researching and preserving the caves at the heart of the ancient Silk Road in Gansu province is known as the ‘Daughter of Dunhuang’ in her field, though ‘protector’ is probably a more fitting description.”

Architect Magazine: Architecture Researchers Help Document First Amphitheater Discovered in Europe in 150 Years

Architect Magazine: Architecture Researchers Help Document First Amphitheater Discovered in Europe in 150 Years. “Going forward, the team will turn over the large point cloud data sets of this information to Volterra officials as the municipality undertakes a multiyear, multimillon dollar effort to excavate the structure. The digital maps may help archaeologists relocate roads and drainage to access the amphitheater and to ensure that shifting the existing sediment does not damage ancient walls. With excavation underway, the team plans to return in the fall to continue the digital archiving of the structure.”

Washington Post: Border fence construction could destroy archaeological sites, National Park Service finds

Washington Post: Border fence construction could destroy archaeological sites, National Park Service finds. “Bulldozers and excavators rushing to install President Trump’s border barrier could damage or destroy up to 22 archaeological sites within Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in coming months, according to an internal National Park Service report obtained by The Washington Post.”

Getty Iris: Getty Will Devote $100 Million to Preserve and Study Ancient Art and Sites around the World

The Getty Iris: Getty Will Devote $100 Million to Preserve and Study Ancient Art and Sites around the World. “Today, we at Getty are embarking on an unprecedented and ambitious $100 million global initiative, Ancient Worlds Now: A Future for the Past. Including far-reaching education, research, and conservation efforts unfolding through 2030 and beyond, the initiative seeks to promote a greater understanding of the world’s cultural heritage and its value to global society.”

BBC: Google lets destroyed Lion of Mosul roar again

BBC: Google lets destroyed Lion of Mosul roar again. “Google has recreated an ancient statue destroyed by the Islamic State group in 2015, using crowd-sourced pictures and 3D printing. The Lion of Mosul was a colossal Assyrian guardian lion which stood at the entrance of the Temple of Ishtar in Nimrud, Iraq.”

The Conversation: From Shark Bay seagrass to Stone Age Scotland, we can now assess climate risks to World Heritage

The Conversation: From Shark Bay seagrass to Stone Age Scotland, we can now assess climate risks to World Heritage. “Climate change is the fastest-growing global threat to World Heritage. However, no systematic approach to assess the climate vulnerability of each particular property has existed – until now. Our newly developed tool, the Climate Vulnerability Index, was showcased this week at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan. This CVI provides a systematic way to rapidly assess climate risks to all types of World Heritage properties – natural, cultural and mixed.”

The Getty Iris: An International Conservation Partnership Is Preserving Herculaneum, Ancient Roman Town Buried by Vesuvius

The Getty Iris: An International Conservation Partnership Is Preserving Herculaneum, Ancient Roman Town Buried by Vesuvius. “Herculaneum began to be formally excavated in 1738, mainly via tunnels in the volcanic tuff (rock made from ash and other debris from an eruption). In the late nineteenth century, open-air excavation began, followed by a more systematic approach from 1927 until 1961 led by archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri. In decades following, the site’s rapid deterioration and lack of resources for its maintenance had many crying in alarm. Historical images taken during Maiuri’s time at the site—compared with later conditions—clearly illustrate the disturbing rate of deterioration and loss.”

CBR: University of Bradford Uses HPC System to Build 3D Models of Lost Heritage Sites

CBR: University of Bradford Uses HPC System to Build 3D Models of Lost Heritage Sites. “Archaeology researchers at the University of Bradford are using a combination of crowd sourcing and its first high performance computing (HPC) system to create 3D models of historical landmarks which have been severely damaged or completely destroyed.”

BBC: Antiquities looted in Syria and Iraq are sold on Facebook

BBC: Antiquities looted in Syria and Iraq are sold on Facebook. “Facebook is being used by networks of traffickers to buy and sell looted antiquities, the BBC has learned. Private groups also discuss how to illegally excavate ancient tombs, according to research by academics. Facebook says it has removed 49 groups following the BBC’s investigation.”

Ars Technica: Declassified photos from U2 planes are helping archaeologists unlock the past

Ars Technica: Declassified photos from U2 planes are helping archaeologists unlock the past. “During the 1950s and 1960s, US spy planes made regular flights across Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, photographing the terrain to track military targets. A chunk of the Middle Eastern photographs were declassified in 1997, and now those airborne images are helping archaeologists track changing features in the landscape that in many cases are no longer visible today, according to a new paper published in Advances in Archaeological Practice.”

Archaeological Institute of America: Launch of New Website for Cultural Property Protection Groups

Archaeological Institute of America: Launch of New Website for Cultural Property Protection Groups . “The new website of the Cultural Heritage by Archaeology and the Military Panel (CHAMP) is now active! CHAMP’s sister organization, Military Cultural Heritage Advisory Group (MilCHAG), is now sharing the website. MilCHAG has the same overall goal of protecting endangered cultural heritage, but the group focuses on directly helping military personnel plan, train, and operate to protect cultural property in areas in conflict.”

Al-Fanar Media: In Jordan, Antiquities Sites Enlist Nearby Communities as Partners

Al-Fanar Media: In Jordan, Antiquities Sites Enlist Nearby Communities as Partners. “A prominent theme among presentations scheduled for a major international conference on the archaeology of Jordan, being held in Florence, Italy, this month, is the growth of projects that engage local communities in the preservation of ancient sites.”

Ecns: Drones increasingly used to protect Great Wall

Ecns: Drones increasingly used to protect Great Wall. “The use of drones helps human inspectors gain a precise understanding of the preservation of the Great Wall at delicate levels and reveals more information on areas difficult for people to access. Yanqing has the most extensive Great Wall elements in the capital city as well as a complete preservation system. Authorities said drones, satellite images and other new technologies will provide the most comprehensive, accurate data on the Great Wall to create a digital archive platform.”

Ars Technica: Satellites watch over the graves of ancient steppe nomads

Ars Technica: Satellites watch over the graves of ancient steppe nomads. “University of Sydney archaeologist Gino Caspari and his colleagues searched for Scythian burial mounds, or kurgans, in high-resolution satellite images of a 110 square kilometer (68.4 square mile) area of the Xinjiang province in northwestern China. They mapped their findings and noted how many of the burial mounds looked like they’d been disturbed by looters. When looters dig up the contents of the grave pit, the center of the mound usually collapses. Observers who know what they’re looking for can spot that from above; imagine looking at a sheet of bubble wrap to see which ones have been popped. Although the satellite images weren’t as precise as a detailed ground survey, they offered a pretty accurate estimate of the general situation on the ground—and the news wasn’t good.”

Bloomberg: New Digital Archive Preserves Memories of London’s Greatest Archaeological Discovery

Bloomberg: New Digital Archive Preserves Memories of London’s Greatest Archaeological Discovery. “In 1954, the chance discovery of the remains of a Roman temple to the God Mithras in the rubble of post-war London captured public imagination, with tens of thousands of visitors flocking to the site to marvel at the remains. Today – one year after the restored temple was re-opened to the public at London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE – a new digital archive published by Bloomberg and MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) invites the public to explore first-hand accounts of what it was like to be part of London’s greatest archaeological discovery.”