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Seminar & Workshop: Smart Heritage Preservation for Endangered Heritage Sites in the Middle East

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

Strategies, Virtual Technologies and Impact

2nd - 5th July 2019, Nottingham Trent University, UK.

As part of a 4 day seminar & workshop on preserving endangered heritage in the Middle East through virtual technologies, we presented our work on the Living Museum of Umm Qais project

Iconic heritage is globally threatened by terror, climate change, rampant commercialisation, and over exploitation by tourism; and in the case of the Middle East, significant disinvestment as well as armed conflict. Lack of preservation strategies, public policies or protection have caused unmitigated dereliction and irreversible damage to many heritage sites in the region. With the increasing rate of destruction of heritage sites, digital preservation of historic artifacts and cultural heritage has arisen as an international priority. There are strategies, practices, skills and technologies that can protect, develop and sustain heritage places, in other forms of reproduction; such as digital modelling, immersive virtual and augmented reality, and cinematography and Audio-visual archives.

The workshop explored how digitisation of both tangible and intangible heritage has become a central approach for the preservation of national and local identities and how protecting these identities is an effective tool in national strategies of undermining radical ideologies in marginalized communities.

We presented our work at Umm Qais and discussed how the use of online platforms, virtual exhibitions and the digitisation of heritage are developing as a essential tool to engage with distant and remote heritage locations, connect displaced communities and yet stretch audience outreach and contribute to online income generating activities.

The seminar and workshop brought together an international audience of young researchers, heritage professionals, policy makers, and entrepreneurs who are engaging with virtual heritage technologies for heritage sites in the Middle East.

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