Cultural Heritage Through Time (CHT2)

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

Temporal studies are central to cultural heritage research for the investigation of change, from landscape to architectural scales. Temporal analyses and multi-temporal 3D reconstruction are fundamental for safeguarding and maintaining all forms of cultural heritage. Such studies form the basis for any kind of decision regarding intervention on cultural heritage, helping assess the risks and issues involved.
The aim of the CHT2 project is to fully integrate the fourth dimension (4D) into cultural heritage studies for analysing structures and landscapes through time. CHT2 will collect heterogeneous material (multi-temporal aerial and terrestrial photographs, maps, drawings, etc.) and combine it with contemporary 3D models. These geo-referenced and metric products will be the basis for quantitative analyses about territory transformations or architectural changes, visualization purposes, preservation policies, future planning or possible business applications. Therefore CHT2 will produce time-varying 3D products, from landscape to architectural scale, to envisage and analyse lost scenarios or visualize changes due to anthropic activities or intervention, pollution, wars, earthquakes or other natural hazards. For landscapes it will be possible to chronologically highlight transformations and investigate how urbanization influenced change. For cities, time-varying 3D models will allow the rediscovery of lost areas or buildings. Finally, for architecture or buildings, starting from a 3D model of the actual situation, changes will be highlighted and missing parts will be reconstructed based on historic information. The heterogeneous information necessary for the project's accomplishment will be sought from national museums and archives with the support of the associate partners. A final project exhibition is planned to show the time-varying 3D products generated for the different case studies.
The CHT2 project will rely on an interdisciplinary and international consortium in order to exploit leading expertise in the fields of 3D modelling, data integration, landscape archaeology, GIS, heritage conservation and preservation.

Planned Impact

The project outcomes will be valuable to researchers and non-academic stakeholders (e.g. public administrations,
heritage owners, SMEs, etc.). Outcomes will be replicable and have the potential to be used in other contexts or for
promising market applications. The CHT2 results (time-variant 3D reconstructions) will have strong
communicative and didactical potential and so could be used to valorise hidden or lost heritage sites with
multimedia exhibitions, totems around the cities or in museums, schools, internet or mobile apps, etc. Moreover,
CHT2 will support and raise the efforts that are currently undertaken by other Member States of the EU to present
and promote conservation and innovative documentation strategies for diverse Cultural Heritage in order to make
them easily accessible online and usable by a large community. This applies both to ancient structures left by past
civilizations that are now mixed with or hidden in modern environments, or more recent structures altered by
traumatic events (natural or man-made).

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Cultural Heritage Through Time (CHT2) aimed at integrating the temporal dimension, its management, and visualization, for studying and analysing Cultural Heritage structures and landscapes through time. The CHT2 partners were the University of Salamanca (USAL) from Spain, the University of Newcastle (NCL) from UK, the Stanislaw Staszic Scientific Association (SSSA) from Poland, and the Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) from Italy that served also as Project Leader. The project goals have been successfully reached with the development of diachronic 3D models (4D models) of four different sites located in the countries of the proposing institutions, and two on-line tools capable to make them accessible through the Internet. After the development of a reliable methodology and the collection of archival and real data on the last effort has been mainly devoted to the integration of data, the implementation of different forms of 4D representations and vibrant dissemination activities.

The USAL unit focused its efforts on historic walls of the city of Avila. In particular the 4D modelling was developed for the area around the Alcazar Gate, one of the main entrances in Avila through its majestic walls. USAL also created an independent 4D platform based on CesiumJS, an open-source JavaScript library for visualizing 3D globes and maps. It shows the 3D visualization of a three-dimensional model associated with a specific historical phase of the monument, giving the opportunity to the user to navigate the space in 3D and change historical period with a time-slider (http://tidop.usal.es/cht2/). The tool works under Microsoft Windows.

The SSSA based his study on the Krakow Fortress, a complex of about 50 defence structures, focusing specifically on three of them: Fort Kosciuszko, Fort Lysa Gora, and Fort Sudol. In the first two years, SSSA collected historical data for these Fortresses. In the same period, SSSA gathered field measurements with laser scanning and other geomatic techniques for documenting the current status of the monuments. These are relatively young, so the time comparison was based on two stages: the ideal shape after construction reconstructed by the blueprints, and the current form attainable by 3D scans. At the same time, the SSSA team tested five different approaches for visualizing 4D models using web tools. Finally, the free web module CityEngine (ESRI) was chosen as an optimal solution for analysing polygonal 3D models through time, as well as the free package 3DHOP for point clouds. In this last year, the models and selected point clouds of all project units (USAL, SSSA, NCL and POLIMI) have been published though such multi-platform visualizers on a dedicated website.

The NCL unit focused his work on three specific sites of the Hadrian Wall: Beckfoot, Corbridge, and Birdoswald, where a natural erosion of the terrain risks to put in danger this critical heritage asset. Here, several historical data have been collected, and in particular, old aerial images that have been reprocessed with modern photogrammetric techniques and compared with recent airborne photogrammetry campaigns to give an estimation of the time evolution of this possible threat.

The POLIMI unit studied the evolution in time of the Roman Circus of Milan, a very massive building not anymore existing, located in what is nowadays a very central area of the city, full of public buildings, offices, and private houses. Here the challenge was represented by identifying enough clues of the current state of the monument, characterised by several remains hidden in modern buildings, often in their underground and sometimes integrated with them in a more organic way. Such study - never done before - revealed novel pieces of archaeological evidence, shedding light on this large and hidden monument of the city.
Exploitation Route The developed geo-referenced and metric products are the basis for quantitative analyses about territory transformations or architectural changes, visualization purposes, preservation policies and future planning by the stakeholders of the project, represented by the institutions in charge of managing and conserving the studied sites, that actively participated to the development of the 4D models.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://cht2-project.eu
 
Description CASE funding for NERC studentship
Amount £3,500 (GBP)
Organisation Historic England 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 04/2021
 
Description NERC IAPETUS DTP STUDENTSHIP
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 03/2021
 
Description Collaboration with Historic England and English Heritage 
Organisation English Heritage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The project outpus i.e. data generated from archival photographs such as orthomosaics, digital terrain models, field survey at Beckfoot and overal ArcGIS databases for Beckfoot, Corbridge and Birdoswald sites have been shared with Historic England/English. Historic England/English Heritage collaborators are included in the authors list on publications.
Collaborator Contribution Paul Bryan (Historic England), Mike Collins (Historic England) and Mark Douglas (English Heritage) has been providing support to the project by being on the advisory team and providing archival data on Hadrian's Wall (Beckfoot, Birdoswald and Corbridge). English Heritage Trust sponsored digitisation of archival air photographs held by Historic England Archives.
Impact Orthomosaics, digital terrain models and overal ArcGIS for each of three studied sites; field survey at Beckfoot; Conference pulication.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Collaboration with Historic England and English Heritage 
Organisation Historic England
Department Scientific Dating Team
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The project outpus i.e. data generated from archival photographs such as orthomosaics, digital terrain models, field survey at Beckfoot and overal ArcGIS databases for Beckfoot, Corbridge and Birdoswald sites have been shared with Historic England/English. Historic England/English Heritage collaborators are included in the authors list on publications.
Collaborator Contribution Paul Bryan (Historic England), Mike Collins (Historic England) and Mark Douglas (English Heritage) has been providing support to the project by being on the advisory team and providing archival data on Hadrian's Wall (Beckfoot, Birdoswald and Corbridge). English Heritage Trust sponsored digitisation of archival air photographs held by Historic England Archives.
Impact Orthomosaics, digital terrain models and overal ArcGIS for each of three studied sites; field survey at Beckfoot; Conference pulication.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Appearance in Massive Online Open Course 'Hadrian's Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of dissemination of the project outcomes the information about CHT2 project was included in 'Hadrian's Wall:Life on the Roman Frontier' Massive Online Open Course in one of the videos entitled 'New perspecives from the air' https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/hadrians-wall/4/steps/126199
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/hadrians-wall/4/steps/126199
 
Description Emerging Tech in Aerospace System: Current trends and future prospects for geospatial EO technologies: 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact ERDF funded GX programme established as part of the Great Exhibition of the North. Event held at Durham University on 12 Sept 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://getnorth2018.com/previous-events/emerging-tech-in-aerospace-ecosystems/
 
Description Lunchtime presentation as part of the "Inspired by" series, run by Newcastle University as part of the 2018 Great Exhibition of the North 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Towns and cities across the North of England can get involved in the biggest event in England this year by putting forward events, experiences and performances inspired by Great Exhibition of the North, which takes place from 22 June - 09 September in NewcastleGateshead.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ncl.ac.uk/events/noticeboard/item/culturalheritagethroughtime.html
 
Description NEWCASTLE UNIVERISTY - HERITAGE SHOWCASE Wednesday 24 January 2018, 1.00-5.00pm Clore Suite, Great North Museum: Hancock 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Newcastle has a very strong tradition of pioneering, intellectually significant, and impactful work in heritage, ranging over many academic disciplines and in collaboration with many different sorts of partners. The aim of this event was to highlight some of these long-standing strengths in heritage research and practice, and to discuss with a range of stakeholders how we can best work together in the future. The event was an important opportunity to allow researchers from across disciplines to come together with current and prospective partners to shape the future direction and 'identity' of heritage work at Newcastle.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Poster given at Newcastle University, School of Engineering PGR conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact An updated poster presented on coastal change at Beckfoot Roman Fort at the Newcastle University, School of Engineering PGR conference. This conference is an opportunity for Post-graduate students to present their work to fellow researchers. The poster focused on a GIS analysis of shoreline change from Ordnance Survey Historic Maps using Digital Shoreline Analysis System.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Poster presented at IAPETUS Student Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A poster presented on coastal change at Beckfoot Roman Fort at the IAPETUS Student Conference in Belfast during May 2018. This conference is an opportunity for Post-graduate students to present their work to fellow researchers. The poster focused on a GIS analysis of shoreline change from Ordnance Survey Historic Maps using Digital Shoreline Analysis System.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation given to the Royal Archaeological Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A talk given to the Royal Archaeological Institute in London, November 2018. This was an opportunity for early career researchers to introduce their work to interested members of the public. The talk focused on an introduction to the three case studies (Corbridge Roman Town, Birdoswald Roman Fort and Beckfoot Roman Fort) and the data types (historic maps, archived aerial photographs and airborne/UAV lidar) used to look at geomorphic change.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation on coastal erosion at Beckfoot Roman Fort given at the Landscape Archaeology Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A presentation given session 18B Climate, Heritage and Environments: collaborative approaches to the study of climate change
impacts on the historic environment of the Landscape Archaeology Conference in Newcastle, September 2018. The purpose of the session was to showcase collaborative and innovative research and fieldwork approaches,which aim is to raise knowledge and awareness of the impacts of climate change on heritage sites and landscapes.
The talk focused on a GIS analysis of shoreline change from Ordnance Survey Historic Maps using Digital Shoreline Analysis System.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk about "The Future of Cultural Heritage: Technologies for preserving the past" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This talk was part of Newcastle University's 'Inspired by' Great Exhibition of the North program 'pop-up' Cafe Scientifique series. The event is shown in the website as follows:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-future-of-cultural-heritage-technologies-for-preserving-the-past-tickets-47162914547#
Cultural heritage has large historical, social, and anthropological value and is an important enabler of sustainable development. A 4-minute video included in the talk describes how researchers at Newcastle University explored technologies, such as remote sensing and 3D printing, to safeguard the world's cultural heritage for future generations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://youtu.be/nDlpEl-8J2Y