Project Summary

Umm Qais Heritage was established as part of the Living Museum of Umm Qais project led by the University of Leeds, UK.

 

Working with the local community the project is building a greater understanding of the heritage of this unique site. 

Our 3D laser scanning, satellite imagery and digital survey creates a virtual heritage landscape onto which young people and local community members are embedding the socio-cultural histories and living stories of their community in Umm Qais, building capacity in cultural heritage skills which can support the local economy.

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Rationale

Umm Qais is a town in Northern Jordan which includes the archaeological remains of the ancient Decapolis city of Gadara. The town has a distinctive and significant archaeological and cultural heritage, important to the local community's identity and which is at risk from physical deterioration and insecurity. 

​The Living Museum of Umm Qais project is a collaboration between the local community and heritage professionals in Jordan and the UK using innovative digital approaches to record and present this unique site to the public. Through this collaboration the project is building capacity and cultural heritage expertise within Umm Qais and Jordan that can drive greater public awareness of Umm Qais, enhance the local tourism economy and preserve the site’s unique cultural heritage.

Methodology

The Living Museum of Umm Qais project is a collaboration between the local community to build a comprehensive understanding of Umm Qais' architectural and spatial structures and it's archaeological remains.

We are using 3D terrestrial laser scanning, satellite imagery, photogrammetry and digital survey techniques to produce a credible spatial layout of both ancient Gadara and the overlying later Ottoman houses. We are combining these digital approaches to develop a virtual heritage experience and knowledge platform for Umm Qais.

Collaborative work with young people and local community members is identifying and documenting the socio-cultural histories and stories of Umm Qais. and integrating them into the virtual heritage experience to present living histories of the site.

 

The virtual heritage experience will include interactive visualisation, educational infographics and virtual trials of both settlements to raise the awareness of the site’s significance as a critical part of a sustainable tourism strategy.

 

Through a series of workshops and focus groups within the local community of Umm Qais, we are developing the expertise in these digital approaches to cultural heritage within the local community and heritage professionals. 

Working with master’s students at several local universities the project is developing resources to promote and present the heritage of Umm Qais, enhancing the cultural heritage skills of the next generation of cultural heritage professionals.

The work of the project, our local community volunteers and students will be showcased through museum exhibitions in Umm Qais, Amman and in the UK.