Phys .org: Virtual reality can bring ancient cities back to life and improve conservation. “Today Ugarit is a Bronze Age archaeological site in northwest Syria, first excavated in 1929. It can tell us a huge amount about the past, but Ugarit is also a place in its own right. The conservation of the site needs to help us understand the site’s history, as well as preserving and restoring what remains. Our work on virtual reality and reconstruction can meet both these goals.”
Condé Nast Traveler: Google’s New Tool Shows the Impact of Climate Change on World Heritage Sites. “The project, called ‘Heritage on the Edge,’ uses 3D mapping and other photo tools to capture images of World Heritage Sites that can be used for conservation support and raising awareness with tourists and the general public. Among the five heritage sites that were mapped are Rapa Nui (Easter Island); Kilwa Kisiwani on Tanzania’s Swahili Coast; the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, Scotland; Mosque City of Bagerhat in Bangladesh; and the ancient city of Chan Chan in Peru.”
CNN: More than 100 Uyghur graveyards demolished by Chinese authorities, satellite images show. “In a months’ long investigation, working with sources in the Uyghur community and analyzing hundreds of satellite images, CNN has found more than 100 cemeteries that have been destroyed, most in just the last two years. This reporting was backed up by dozens of official Chinese government notices announcing the ‘relocation’ of cemeteries.”
Phys .org: Laser scanning leads to 3-D rendering of Robber’s Cave . “As bits of Robber’s Cave history fade to folklore, the thousands of engravings that crowd its Dakota sandstone walls like graffiti are likewise disintegrating, imperceptibly but inevitably, into miniature dunes at the base of the walls…. A first-of-its-kind project funded by History Nebraska and coordinated by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Richard Wood is preserving those voices by digitally mapping every millimeter of the cave’s 5,000-plus square feet, engravings and all.” There are apparently many Robber’s Cave places. This is the one in Nebraska.
Phys .org: Scientists race to document Puerto Rico’s coastal heritage. “A group of U.S.-based scientists is rushing to document indigenous sites along Puerto Rico’s coast dating back a couple of thousand years before rising sea levels linked to climate change destroy a large chunk of the island’s heritage that is still being discovered.”
Museums+Heritage: V&A launches ‘world’s largest and most accessible’ cultural heritage preservation database. “Launched as part of the V&A’s ongoing Culture in Crisis programme, the Museum’s new free-to-access Culture in Crisis Portal is claimed to be the world’s largest and most accessible database of cultural heritage preservation projects.” The V&A in this case is the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Xinhua: Chinese restoration specialists help Nepal recover soul of Kathmandu Valley culture. “Forming thousands of jigsaw pieces into a picture might be a headache for many, but what Chinese restorer Zhou Jianguo and his team face in Nepal is far more challenging — numerous pieces of debris from a world cultural heritage site that was damaged in a 7.9-magnitude earthquake. The devastating earthquake jolted Kathmandu Valley in 2015, the heart of Nepal’s world cultural heritage sites, causing great damage to the historical building complexes, including the finest temples and towers in the renowned Kathmandu Durbar Square.”
Asbarez: ‘The Christian Architecture of the Levant’ Website Launched. “The initial 3,300 photographs, plans and maps of 118 sites presented on the Website are composed of secular, ecclesiastical and military construction within Turkey, from the Byzantine, Cilician Armenian and late Medieval periods. By exposing this material to the widest possible audience, the donors hope to encourage dialogue, provide documentation for publications, and facilitate efforts for the preservation of these endangered monuments.”
NBC29: Archaeologists Develop Interactive Map for Daughters of Zion Cemetery. “The interactive map uses a geographic information system to display information about more than 200 graves and markers at the site. Project Manager Steve Thompson has been working on the program for a little over a year and estimates there are thousands of unmarked graves.”
NC State University: Cape Lookout Research Could Help National Park Managers. “To help with long-term preservation decisions, researchers with North Carolina State University, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service collaborated on a decision support model for Cape Lookout. The Optimal Preservation Model (OptiPres) factors in the vulnerability and significance of historic and cultural resources, while allowing managers to adjust their plans based on varying funding levels, says Erin Seekamp, associate professor and tourism extension specialist with NC State’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.”
Google Blog: On World Heritage Day, explore historic sites in 3D. “In addition to bringing new heritage locations and their stories to Google Arts & Culture, this year Historic Environment Scotland and the University of South Florida—organizations with a shared commitment to opening their 3D datasets to the world—have also joined the Open Heritage project. Together, we’re launching Open Heritage 3D, a dedicated portal for sharing 3D cultural heritage data and its results with everyone.”
SBS News (Australia): ‘Flying blind’: Researchers call for national database of Indigenous sites. “Researchers have called for the development of a national database of historical and culturally significant Indigenous sites after findings that the lack of an up-to-date, national record has led to issues with the management of sites, including an inability to engage with threats such as climate change.”
Michigan Newswire: Tribal and state partners collaborate to digitally preserve petroglyphs in Michigan’s Thumb. “Tribal and state partners are working closer than ever to care for and preserve more than 100 petroglyphs carved into a large sandstone outcrop on the Cass River floodplain using laser technology. ‘We created digital models of the Sanilac Petroglyphs with harmless pulses of light that detect and measure the 3D world,’ said Stacy Tchorzynski, an archaeologist at the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and project manager for the Sanilac Petroglyphs. ‘This is an ambitious collaboration between SHPO and MDOT, in partnership with the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan and the Michigan History Center, DNR.'”
Salt Lake Tribune: 115 arches were left out of the reduced Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments. A University of Utah team is creating a digital archive to ‘preserve’ them.. “[Researchers] have mapped at least 115 natural rock arches — 37 in Grand Staircase and 78 in Bears Ears — that were left outside the monuments when they were drastically reduced in December 2017. The group started a digital archive to ‘preserve a sort of portrait’ of them all, said Jeff Moore, associate professor of geology and geophysics at the U.”