The Living Museum of Umm Qais: Sustainable preservation, analysis and virtual reconstruction of Gadara's ancient site and village

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Civil Engineering

Abstract

Umm Qais (mkes) is located 120km north of Amman, and its vicinity to Yarmouk River and the Sea of Galilee granted the site a unique significance amongst other Roman Decapolis cities on their Eastern Mediterranean region. The Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans left their own marks there. Remains of the city still show theatres, baths, vaulted shops, tombs, cardo and documanus. However, Umm Qais tangible heritage continues to suffer existential threats from a number of factors that affect its archaeological, physical features and morphological transformations and risk its enduring presence on the long-term. These include natural and human-made, such as environmental changes, earthquakes, and new settlement patterns that see the site as more of irrelevant remains of invading foreign cultures than the archaeological heritage of their ancestors. Such antagonizing relationship between community and heritage resulted in lack of knowledge and appreciation of the site's history, archaeological importance, attempts to destroy its elements for economic gains and the lack of economic engagement with tourism that would otherwise benefit hundreds of poor and unemployed community members. Such an antagonist relationship also had its impact on long-term preservation plans and development what requires a critical action of engagement that put the community socio-economic welfare at the heart of the site's preservation and future development.
There is an international effort to implement a sustainable conservation strategy of the site. There is a need to document, record and analyse the multi-layered structures of Umm Qais by implementing an evidence-based strategy and action-plan to inform the sustainable preservation of the site using digital and virtual LiDAR technologies to accurately record its fragmented remains adding sub-layers of socio-cultural history, spatial and architectural transformations. The project will use archaeological and architectural research, state-of-the-art point-cloud laser scanning, virtual modelling, and crowdsourcing of social history to interrogate fragmented evidence of architectural remains and produce coherent narratives of the history of Umm Qais and its role as an important node of regional cultural and political routes. The project will produce a series of textual, visual and virtual outputs including publications, exhibitions, digitally - reconstructed history and virtual tours of the site to support public awareness and user engagement at the Jordan Museums and Umm Qais Museum and at international venues.
This project will widely support a multidisciplinary collaboration between Jordan and the UK. The research team collectively has extensive experience in delivering scholarly research outputs and engaging with government institutions, policymakers and stakeholders. This innovative project will gather new evidence on the archaeological history of the site, its spatial layout, overlapping structures and help building new modes of public engagement with local communities as essential partners in the preservation and development strategy in Jordan. It is designed to challenge the current underuse of the site and develop the heritage of Umm Qais into a living experience that focuses on visitor and user interpretation of history. The project will revive and activate the social role of the archaeological site and museum and work with communities to establish forums for creating a sustainable community asset.
The project will develop Integrated virtual environments that incorporate researched, archived and surveyed datasets to offer 3D & 4D interactive virtual environment supported by infographics, statistical data and Digitised archaeological database of the site. It will attempt to produce a credible layout of the Gadara's spatial structures, buildings' layout and infrastructure overlaying archaeological and spatial data and imaging of the site on a custom-designed ArcGIS model of the site.

Planned Impact

The proposed research programme is designed to bridge the disparate areas of largely isolated research disciplines, creative industry, skill training, and job creation in Jordan that is urgently needed. This programme identifies new territories for research, studies and courses focused on heritage preservation, through overlapping disciplines such as archaeology, architecture, computer science, virtual technology and laser scanning. Association with Hi-Tec Industry, research institutions and VR laboratories in the UK will offer long-term support for research centres and academic institutions, as well as to start-ups and SMEs that will shift research landscape in Jordan towards more applied and practice-led research. Moreover, it is anticipated that there will be an impact on research communities through engagement with organisations, universities and institutes on one side and research policy, decision makers and government agencies on the other. The workshops are designed to foster such engagement with stakeholders and beneficiaries to advance the discourse on the necessity, applications and market-driven technologies of virtual heritage.

As a result of a successful network of museums formed by the AHRC funded BECAMI project 2016/17, the PI supported the establishment of innovative virtual heritage engagement activities and the production of virtual itineraries to link the museums for the first time, new award-winning virtual heritage start-ups resulted in increasing the number of visitors, and produced the first government policy document on managing cultural heritage in the digital age. The team collectively, through several AHRC projects, were able to influence the policy makers views on the significance of virtual technologies in building sustainable platforms for heritage conservation in Egypt. We anticipate that we will be able to apply this with the support of the DoA and academic partners in Jordan. In a continuation of that approach, this proposal designed a range of strategies to influence stakeholders' understanding of and investment in digital and virtual technologies that help alleviate many of the destructive implications of un-tested methods heritage preservation. Workshops with stakeholders would influence formal approach and policy decisions on sustainable tourism in Jordan as a consequence of preservation work.

The local community is a major beneficiary of this project's activities with planned impact on tourist accessibility to the site, either physically or virtually and the associated socio-economic impact. The establishment of a community-led "Friends of Umm Qais" charitable organisation will help sustain the project's impact on the tourism industry and associated services. It will also support the economy and business opportunities for low income and vulnerable groups. This will be achieved through training 140 local young people, university and school students on crowdsourcing data for online tourism information.

The virtual reality platform output will form the basis for new practices with the Jordan and Umm Qais museums in its initial phases. One version will be on display at the University in Leeds to reach out to the international and global audience. These materials will be on display to local communities and young people through educational packages, gaming and mobile apps.

The research programme will also contribute to the establishment of specialist Virtual Heritage Research Unit (VHRU) at JUST and training a group of 35 - 40 archaeologists, computer science, architects and software engineers, and 10 Ph.D./Masters students on the developed model and techniques for similar sites in Jordan. The project will involve graduate courses in Heritage Digitisation at Jordanian Universities and the University of Leeds, with 30-40 prospective graduates over a five-year period.
 
Title 2021 Exhibition Virtual Tour 
Description This ongoing online exhibition provided a virtual version of the Living Museum of Umm Qais research project's exhibition at the Umm Qais museum and visitor centre in August 2021. The virtual exhibition, available on the project's website, utilises 360-degree photography of the exhibition to create an interactive virtual exhibit that covers the project's work in Umm Qais, including the VR environment, Community engagement work, people of Umm Qais. The exhibition is enhanced by embedded links accessing online 3D models, videos and other digital outputs that could only be provided in the physical exhibition via QR codes. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact The provision of the exhibit extends the impact of the original exhibit beyond its limited timescale whilst also providing a mechanism to address the impact of the COVID19 pandemic, which otherwise limited international and domestic tourist numbers This virtual tour will drive greater public understanding of and engagement with the cultural heritage of Umm Qais / Gadara's site, increasing tourism appeal and having a direct impact on the sustainability of the tourism economy of Umm Qais. 
URL https://www.ummqaisheritage.com/exhibition2021-virtual-tour
 
Title 3D model of objects, Umm Qais, Jordan 
Description A series of 3D textured model of a objects from the ancient city of Gadara (modern Umm Qais) Jordan. Modelled using 3D photogrammetry by Living Museum of Umm Qais project volunteers from the local community of Umm Qais. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Developing the models and its raw data collection included community engagement, sustainable development and capacity building impact activity in the Cultural Heritage and creative sectors through knowledge transfer and collaborative skills development of volunteers and early career professionals from the local community of Umm Qais and nearby Irbid. We implemented a wider public engagement and impact by showcasing the digital output on social media platforms. The 3D model has also been made available to the public on the Sketchfab.com repository of 3D digital artefacts and is available for use by educators, digital artists, games designers etc. The public engagement impact activities continue to provide greater public awareness of location, community, and eco-tourism potential. Additionally, the creation of this 3D object provides impact showcasing the digital and cultural heritage skills of the local community in this LMI country and supporting the development of SMEs by the local community and ECRs. 
URL https://skfb.ly/6Tnqs
 
Title Architectural Images of the Archaeological Site of Umm Qais 
Description A research dataset of 10 large format images in an orthographic projection that documents and illustrates the facades and cardinal direction views of the archaeological monuments of Umm Qais. The images were rendered from the combined point clouds of the Terrestrial Laser Scan and Aerial Photogrammetry datasets used for the Virtual Reality environment and 3D model development within the project. 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact These images were featured within the exhibitions of the project work at the Umm Qais Museum in August 2021 and again in November 2021 and utilised in publication outputs and are contributing to the visual impact of the research. These images will be a key contribution to for the development of an arts and crafts centre in Umm Qais that was the subject of a successful follow-on research funding grant from AHRC and will support sustainable development of the local economy through the establishment of micro enterprises. 
 
Title Co-produced Children's Trail Maps for Umm Qais 
Description In collaboration with project partner Jordan University of Science and Technology, groups of early career professionals co-produced 11 trail activity maps aimed at young children to help them explore and engage with the site of Umm Qais. Printed versions of the trail maps were given out freely to children visiting the site during the exhibition period proving popular with young site visitors. They remain available via the local site staff. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact The co-production development work for these trial maps featured as part of the exhibition at the site in August 2021 and again in November 2021. The trail maps were demonstrated to the Director of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, HRH Prince Ghazi of Jordan, (Chief Adviser on Religious and Cultural Affairs to the King of Jordan) and other senior policy makers in cultural heritage in Jordan who commented on their potential as a simple and easy way to engage with younger visitors to cultural heritage sites. 
 
Title Study of the archaeological and architectural visual character of Umm Qais, Jordan 
Description c.40 artistic works using line art to provide simplified images of the visual elements that characterise the archaeological, cultural and architectural heritage of the site of Umm Qais. The drawings record the artistic character of carved elements from the archaeological site and historic village, including carved stone embellishments, carved inscriptions and mosaic floors. Each artwork was produced using photographic sources and digitally created in AutoCAD in consultation between a digital artist, architect and archaeologist. The artworks are intended to provide simplified and stylised images emblematic of the site's identity providing a critical element for arts and crafts work developing products that can further support the local economy through micro-enterprises. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact This dataset is a primary resource for the development of an arts and crafts centre in Umm Qais that was the subject of a successful follow-on research funding grant from AHRC and will promote sustainable development of the local economy through the establishment of micro enterprises. 
 
Description Community engagement and Capacity Building with Early Career Professionals in Cultural Heritage in Jordan
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Within the project, volunteers and early career professionals at least four now have a professional career in Heritage conservation, including working within the Department of Antiquities in Jordan. These volunteers have specifically identified the knowledge and experience developed during the Umm Qais project as having a significant impact on their working practices leading to greater use of digital methodological approaches when working on other cultural heritage sites in Jordan. Additionally, through collaboration with the Department of Antiquities, the project's positive impact exemplifies how digital heritage practices paired with community engagement can positively impact heritage management, tourist visitor engagement, and economies around significant heritage sites. Through influencing local stakeholders, young professionals and national policymakers, the AHRC funded research has a significant positive impact on local and national policy for cultural heritage sites within Jordan. The influence on the new generation of heritage professionals represents an increase in capacity for digital skills and innovation within the Cultural Heritage sector in Jordan, directly attributable to the AHRC funded research project.
 
Description Creative Economies Through Youth- led Arts and Craft in Jordan (CEARC)
Amount £126,756 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/W006855/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2021 
End 01/2023
 
Title 3D laser scan model of Umm Qais 
Description 3D point cloud model of the site of Umm Qais, including the archaeological remains of ancient Gadara on the acropolis hill and the overlying Ottoman village of Umm Qais This model blends the raw data created using several 3D surveying methodologies, including Terrestrial Laser Scanning, Aerial drone-based 3D data and ground-based 3D photogrammetry data. The recorded data was completed in partnership between the UK and Jordanian researchers and aerial and laser survey specialists in Jordan for the Living Museum of Umm Qais project. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Derived 2D images have been published online on our website and are included in academic outputs accepted for publication. This model's raw data collection includes sustainable development and capacity building impact activity in the Cultural Heritage and Creative Industries in an LMI country through knowledge transfer and collaborative skills development partnerships between the UK and Jordanian academics and civil engineering laser scanning aerial survey SMEs. The impact is evidenced by disseminating the 3D point cloud model on social media platforms and the project website through screenshot stills and rendered film imagery. Additionally, the creation of this 3D point could provide impact showcasing the digital and cultural heritage skills of local SMEs in this LMI country, expanding their ability to record and preserve the Cultural Heritage at risk within the region. Further public engagement impact will be generated by integrating the 3D point cloud model in documentary films being developed by the project to explore the history and community of Umm Qais. Research impact: Discussion of the project's digital outputs and derived 2D images of the 3D Point cloud model are included in an academic journal article accepted for publication exemplifying the use of such 3D digital documentation methods within participatory and public engagement research in cultural heritage. 
 
Title 3D model of Central Octagonal Church, Umm Qais Jordan 
Description 3D textured mesh(.OBJ) model of the archaeological remains of the Byzantine Centralised Octagonal Church of the ancient city of Gadara (modern Umm Qais). The Centralised Octagonal church was built on the early Roman Terrace cut into the western slope of the acropolis. The church replaced the earlier Roman Market Basilica building on the terrace and reused many architectural elements, walls, and masonry. This model was created using terrestrial laser scans, 3D photogrammetry from drone imagery and photography recorded in collaboration with technical specialists in Jordan for the Living Museum of Umm Qais project. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact 3D textured mesh(.OBJ) model of the archaeological remains of the Byzantine Centralised Octagonal Church of the ancient city of Gadara (modern Umm Qais). The Centralised Octagonal church was built on the early Roman Terrace cut into the western slope of the acropolis. The church replaced the earlier Roman Market Basilica building on the terrace and reused many architectural elements, walls, and masonry. This model was created using terrestrial laser scans, 3D photogrammetry from drone imagery and photography recorded in collaboration with technical specialists in Jordan for the Living Museum of Umm Qais project. 
URL https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/umm-qais-byzantine-octagonal-church-97485a256f0f4319a357034b1464fa0a
 
Title Digital Archive of photographs of Umm Qais 
Description Combined archive of digital images that document the archaeological remains of the site and the traditional Ottoman village. The archive combines images collected by the research team during fieldwork to the site in 2019 and a copy of previous researchers' historical collections of photographs on the site provided in collaboration with the American Centre of Oriental Research in Amman. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The dataset will drive greater public understanding of and engagement with the cultural heritage of Umm Qais / Gadara's site, increasing tourism appeal and having a direct impact on the sustainability of the tourism economy of Umm Qais. 
URL https://www.ummqaisheritage.com/galleries
 
Title GIS archival research dataset 
Description Georeferenced GIS dataset of Gadara's multi-layered history, spatial structure, plans and layout. The dataset collates research, historic mapping, archive photography and records from archaeological investigation of the site, and other archival material into an ArcGIS database. The dataset provides the research context to inform ongoing heritage conservation whilst ensuring the historic research remains accessible to public and non-specialist users. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Wider public engagement impact: creation from this GIS dataset of map imagery and story-maps of the archaeological and historic physical heritage at Umm Qais on social media platforms, the project website and the ArcGIS online portal illustrate the site's ancient and recent history and derive greater public awareness of the cultural heritage importance of the site and it's community. Research impact: derived map imagery of the archaeological and historic physical heritage at Umm Qais are included in are included in an academic journal article accepted for publication exemplifying the use of such 3D digital documentation methods within participatory and public engagement research in cultural heritage. Impact on public policy: the dataset is used to provide heritage research information to the local community and the wider public in an accessible form ensuring the local community can participate in the ongoing heritage conservation decisions at the site and addressing the historic imbalance of focus on the physical heritage of ancient Gadara over the tangible and intangible heritage of Umm Qais. 
URL http://www.ummqaisheritage.com
 
Title Research dataset of points of heritage interest 
Description We geo-referenced the research dataset, which includes the architectural elements, artefacts, sculpture, and archaeological points of interest for the Umm Qais site. The dataset is informing the development of interactive Virtual Reality outputs. Additionally, the dataset is informing the creation of audio described information for site visitors, which will be linked to smartphone accessible triggers on the site initially in two languages (Arabic and English) 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The dataset will drive greater public understanding of and engagement with the cultural heritage of Umm Qais / Gadara's site, increasing tourism appeal and having a direct impact on the sustainability of the tourism economy of Umm Qais. 
 
Title 3D digital environment for Centralised Octagonal Church and Atrium on the Roman Terrace in Umm Qais 
Description Research dataset combining 3D terrestrial laser scan point cloud data and photogrammetry derived from an aerial survey using drones (UAVs) collected in collaboration with several project partners in Jordan. The model was generated from the point clouds from 151 terrestrial laser scans and c75,000 aerial survey images and then split into 60 segments rendered out to.OBJ format. Each of these was then retopologised, cleaned and textured by a collaboration of project researchers in the UK and Jordan. The processed and retopologised models were used to create a virtual reality environment onto which was added interactive elements with audio and textual descriptions in Arabic and English recorded by project staff. The interactive environment overlaid additional 3D models, video outputs from the project, allowing users to interactively explore the cultural heritage of Umm Qais in virtual reality. Whilst the Virtual Reality dataset is too large to stream online, the same data used to create the Virtual Reality environment was also rendered out to a lower resolution interactive 3D model has been made available to the public on the Sketchfab.com repository of 3D digital artefacts and is available for use by educators, digital artists, games designers etc. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact The Virtual Reality environment was showcased during the project's Exhibition at the Umm Qais Archaeological Museum and Visitor Centre in August 2021 with high uptake amongst exhibit visitors. The provision of information in both English and Arabic facilitated visitor engagement to both international and domestic visitors. The virtual reality environment was demonstrated to the Director of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, the Minister of Tourism of Jordan His Excellency Nayef Hamidi Mohammed Al-Fayez, and other senior policy makers in cultural heritage in Jordan as well as during the visit to the exhibition by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in November 2021. These high-profile interactions demonstrated the potential of Virtual Reality and digital tools for Cultural Heritage to senior policy makers and those at the highest levels of influence within Jordan whilst also engaging the wider public throughout the exhibitions. Additionally, the creation of this 3D data through collaborative work between UK and Jordanian researchers provided an opportunity for bilateral knowledge transfer and is enhancing the impact of the research by showcasing the digital and cultural heritage skills of local SMEs in this LMI country and expanding their ability to record and preserve Cultural Heritage within the region 
URL https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/umm-qais-byzantine-octagonal-church-97485a256f0f4319a357034b1464fa0a
 
Title Virtual Tour of Archaeological site of Umm Qais 
Description Georeferenced 360 photographic surveys of the archaeological site of Umm Qais, Jordan linked together in an online Javascript application embedded on the project's website provides an interactive pseudo 3D environment in which users can navigate between points to explore the site. The application allows the superimposition of archaeological and architectural points of interest, images, links to 3D models and film to the user. This dataset is made up of 33 360 degree photographs collected by the researchers during fieldwork to the site of Umm Qais and formed a basic tour to test the technology prior to wider implementation. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The Virtual Tour will drive greater public understanding of and engagement with the cultural heritage of Umm Qais / Gadara's site, increasing tourism appeal and having a direct impact on the sustainability of the tourism economy of Umm Qais. 
URL https://www.ummqaisheritage.com/virtual-tour
 
Title Virtual Tours of Museum Galleries of the Umm Qais Archaeological Museum 
Description Two virtual museum tours created through a georeferenced 360 photographic survey of the archaeological Museum at Umm Qais, Jordan covering the internal galleries and the external spaces (including sculpture and larger architectural artefacts) of the museum Each tour links together the 360 degree photographic images collected during two phases of photographic survey work by using an online Javascript application developed by the project researchers. The application is embedded on the project's website provides to provide interactive pseudo 3D environments in which users can navigate between points to explore the museum. The application allows the superimposition of archaeological and architectural points of interest, images, links to 3D models and film to the user. This dataset is made up of 126 360 degree photographs collected by a local project partner over two fieldwork sessions to the site of Umm Qais. Whilst this dataset appears as two separate virtual tours on the website to aid the project's specific dissemination requirements, this was achieved through a filter within the Javascript application on a combined dataset. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The Virtual Tour will drive greater public understanding of and engagement with the cultural heritage of Umm Qais / Gadara's site, increasing tourism appeal and having a direct impact on the sustainability of the tourism economy of Umm Qais. 
URL https://www.ummqaisheritage.com/museum-virtual-tour
 
Description Co-production outputs by Jordan University for Science and Technology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The series of sessions, in collaboration with international project partners at the Jordan University for Science and Technology, were run to co-design and co-produce a range of collaborative visual outputs for the wider project.
Fifteen final year postgraduate students, working collaboratively in groups of 3 or more developed a number of public engagement materials around the cultural heritage site of Umm Qais, Jordan. These included: Children's Trail Maps; People of Umm Qais (videos); Artistic artefacts for Umm Qais Architectural elements; Storytelling maps
An initial extended working brief identified four themes of working topics, which formed an initial starting point for each groups work. Some of the topics were already strongly structured, whilst others offered the opportunity for participants to explore innovative approaches to cultural heritage engagement.
During the course of the sessions participants developed their critically evaluation skills, and through a process of collaborative discussion between the postgraduate student's, course leaders and the UK research team members, the working brief and themes were further refined, leading to the identification and co-development of additional valuable outputs.
The sessions built capacity in community and public engagement and the presentation of cultural heritage amongst the those graduating into the cultural heritage profession within Jordan. The co-produced outputs from these sessions are being utilised for planned public engagement activities at local and national museums in Jordan and the UK during the second year of the funded project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Community Engagement and participation in international forum on research impact and engagement of the Newton Khalidi fund. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Event: Newton Khalidi Impact Event
Date: 16th August (Online)

The PI was invited to disseminate and showcase its community engagement and participation outcomes during the Newton Khalidi funded research. The PI and several of the project community volunteers presented their experiences and described the positive impacts the project had on their careers and lives. Some of the project volunteers discussed how the project led to a professional career in Heritage conservation and further work with the Department of Antiquities in Jordan. They discussed how the knowledge and experience developed during the Umm Qais project has changed their working practice to include digital methodological approaches when working on other cultural heritage sites in Jordan and generated greater awareness and public engagement at these sites.
The session was hosted by the Newton Khalidi Fund Manager Muna Zaqzaw and therefore influenced future policy and funding in international Development, youth Engagement and Cultural Heritage in Jordan.
Through the knowledge transfer workshops and community engagement, the AHRC funded research has significantly positively impacted local and national policy for cultural heritage sites within Jordan. It has built capacity for digital innovation within the Heritage sector through this new generation of heritage professionals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Cb3qMsU7s
 
Description Could arts and crafts help save the ancient marvel of Umm Qais? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Press release describing the research of the project, it's local community engagement and the launch of follow-on research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://medium.com/university-of-leeds/could-arts-and-crafts-help-save-the-ancient-marvel-of-umm-qai...
 
Description Creating the 'Living Museum' for Sustainable Development of the Past in Jordan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference presentation
Date: Friday 5th November (Online)
Presenters: Gehan Selim & Andrew Holland
Conference: Living Digital Heritage 2021: Integrating the Past into the Present and Future.
Venue: McQuarie University, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract: The rapid growth in digital technologies such as 3D photogrammetry, laser scanning
and virtual reality are bringing new modes of interaction to the public presentation of
Cultural Heritage. In this research, we will present the 'Living Museum of Umm Qais'
project, which aims to re-present the complex heritage of the ancient city of Gadara
in Jordan through interactive and integrated multi-layered virtual environments. We
implemented a proactive engagement approach with the local community to coproduce a sustainable living museum concept that can adapt to multiple narrative
perspectives. We consider the projects use of 3D tools such as photogrammetry to
capture individual objects imbued with memory and narratives of the site that
represent a layer of intangible heritage often overlooked. Our employed methodology
also builds on the community creation of heritage material and building capacity
using digital approaches. This also informed and initiated conversations with the
local community, collectively enriching our understanding of its lost history's untold
stories and narratives. The outcome is a variety of immersive content comprising
unique exemplars of Jordanian cultural heritage, storytelling and craft traditions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://az659834.vo.msecnd.net/eventsairaueprod/production-mq-public/9bf77066eb5a45a8a08011c177c065d...
 
Description Culture in Crisis website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The work of the AHRC funded research project is now featured on an international hub that highlights heritage under threat to the academics, national and international policy makers, the press and the public. The inclusion of the site highlights the threats of neglect, disassociation of local communities from their heritage and it's management and how the research is addressing these threats.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021,2022
URL Https://cultureincrisis.org/projects/the-living-museum-of-umm-qais-sustainable-preservation-analysis-and-virtual-reconstruction-of-gadaras-ancient-site-and-village?fbclid=IwAR16BzBj-5zkXWVRCkEzC97Z0JxvHfcrefKUk-YdVe8Lb935PLKq42wyMho
 
Description Digitizing Heritage as an Integrated Sustainable Tool for Informative Interpretation: The Case of Umm-Qais, Jordan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference Presentation
Conference: IASTE 2021 Virtual Traditions: The Transience of Tradition in Changing Geographies and Global Landscapes
Date: August 31st 2021
Presenters: Gehan Selim, Monther Jamhawi, Shouib Ma'bdeh, and Andrew Holland
Venue: Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham UK (Online)
Programme: https://iaste.org/5952-2/

The rapid growth in digital technologies such as 3D photogrammetry, laser scanning
and virtual reality are bringing new modes of interaction to the public presentation of
Cultural Heritage. In this research, we will present the 'Living Museum of Umm Qais'
project, which aims to re-present the complex heritage of the ancient city of Gadara
in Jordan through interactive and integrated multi-layered virtual environments. We
implemented a proactive engagement approach with the local community to coproduce a sustainable living museum concept that can adapt to multiple narrative
perspectives. We consider the projects use of 3D tools such as photogrammetry to
capture individual objects imbued with memory and narratives of the site that
represent a layer of intangible heritage often overlooked. Our employed methodology
also builds on the community creation of heritage material and building capacity
using digital approaches. This also informed and initiated conversations with the
local community, collectively enriching our understanding of its lost history's untold
stories and narratives. The outcome is a variety of immersive content comprising
unique exemplars of Jordanian cultural heritage, storytelling and craft traditions.

This conference presentation showcased the work of the project and its results to academic peers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL http://iaste.org/iaste-2020-virtual-traditions/
 
Description HRH Prince of Wales visit University of Leeds Pioneering Project and Exhibition in Jordan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Press release about the visit of HRH Prince Charles & the Duchess of Cornwall the view community engagement projects at the site of Umm Qais.
The press release highlighted the research of the project and it's local community engagement and raised the site's profile providing impact for the AHRC funded research through substantial local, national and international press coverage of the Prince of Wales' visit.
Within the UK, the press release contributed to coverage of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's visit in the major national newspapers including The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Standard, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The express as well as other media outlets such as ITV News, Sky News, Channel 4 News, Al Jazeera news, and the BBC.
Internationally, the press release contributed to coverage of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's visit in major online, broadcast and print news media within Jordan itself and throughout the Middle East, North America and Australasia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/faculty-engineering-physical-sciences/news/article/5771/hrh-prince-of-wales-...
 
Description International Workshop: Mapping the Multilayered Heritage of Umm Qais Sustainable preservation of Gadara's ancient site & Ottoman Village 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This workshop was designed to build capacity in Cultural Heritage skills amongst heritage professionals and the local Community at Umm Qais, Jordan. The workshop focussed on the development of suitable strategies and the needed practical methods to apply smart and digital technologies to research, record, document and analyses cultural heritage sites and their multilayered histories at Umm Qais's heritage site.
We provided professional training to c.35 early career researchers and heritage professionals on the purpose, use and strategies for analytical archaeological methods, public engagement and use of digital technologies to document and preserve heritage sites in Jordan. The training focused on the use of Point-Cloud laser scanning and software and semi-automated processing of archaeological and spatial datasets to generate digital models of heritage sites. In addition, academics and specialists from the UK and Jordan worked closely with local community members, residents and young people to develop an inclusive strategy for preservation in Umm Qais.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Local Community Workshop: Mapping the Multilayered Heritage of Umm Qais Sustainable preservation of Gadara's ancient site & Ottoman Village 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This workshop brought together UK academics and cultural heritage professionals with community members from Umm Qais, Jordan and local postgraduate students in cultural heritage to provide practical training on the application of digital approaches to record, analyse and promote cultural heritage sites.
The field bases practical sessions focussed on skills in photogrammetry, 360 degree photography and cultural heritage mapping. The workshop developed a foundation of practical skills within the local community volunteers, and enhanced their ability to independently promote their local cultural heritage as part of sustainable approaches to economic development within the local tourism economy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Museum Exhibition: The Living Museum of Umm Qais: Sustainable preservation, analysis and virtual reconstruction of Gadara's ancient site and Ottoman Village project 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Museum Exhibition
Location: Umm Qais Museum and Visitor Centre, Umm Qais, Irbid Governorate, Jordan.
Dates: 17th November 2021

This exhibition presented the local community, social and economic impact of the Living Museum of Umm Qais research project to Jordanian and International dignitaries during HRH Prince Charles & the Duchess of Cornwall visit to the view community engagement projects at the site of Umm Qais.
The community work in Umm Qais was presented by His Excellency Nayef Hamidi Mohammed Al-Fayez, who, as the Minister of Tourism of Jordan, provided the AHRC funded research with direct access and impact to policymakers and senior national stakeholders in cultural heritage in Jordan.
The exhibition raised the site's profile, its local community and the impact of the AHRC funded research through substantial local, national and international press coverage of the Prince of Wales' visit. Within the UK, the exhibition featured within coverage of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's visit in the major national newspapers including The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Standard, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The express as well as other media outlets such as ITV News, Sky News, Channel 4 News, Al Jazeera news, and the BBC.
Internationally, the exhibition featured within coverage of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's visit in major online, broadcast and print news media within Jordan itself and throughout the Middle East, North America and Australasia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Museum Exhibition: The Living Museum of Umm Qais: Sustainable preservation, analysis and virtual reconstruction of Gadara's ancient site and Ottoman Village project 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Museum Exhibition.
Location: Umm Qais Museum and Visitor Centre, Umm Qais, Irbid Governorate, Jordan.
Dates: 15th August 2021 - 1st September 2021
The exhibition presented the results of this research and showcased the local communities contributions to the project.
The exhibition launch was attended by national policy makers in cultural heritage including the Director of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. The exhibition provided positive impact on policy makers and national and local stakeholders providing a model for public engagement and digital innovation at other Cultural Heritage sites in Jordan.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Public talk: Heritage for Global Challenges, PRAXIS workshop - Arts and Humanities for Global Development 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The 3 days of workshops and presentations brought together an international group of delegates to examine the question of how AHRC-GCRF and Newton projects on heritage have shaped responses to global challenges in the past four years, and harness delegates' collective learning to address how projects should continue to do so in the future. The event was informed by conversations with project Principal Investigators and partners, and it championed an expanded and nuanced conceptualization of heritage that has emerged from within the AHRC-GCRF and Newton portfolios. The workshop included brief lightning talks by all delegates, group work, as well as a session at the end of each day for the collective writing of a briefing report that will emerge from the event and be co-authored by all those present.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Research Seminar, Practical Training: Smart Heritage Preservation for Endangered Heritage Sites in the Middle East Strategies, Virtual Technologies and Impact 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This workshop investigated suitable strategies and practical methods of utiilising smart and digital technologies to research, record, document and analyses cultural heritage sites, structures and their histories. It trained researchers and heritage professionals on the purpose, use and strategies for using digital technologies to preserve cultural heritage sites. It focused on the use of point-cloud terrestrial laser scanning and semi-automated processing of archaeological and spatial datasets to generate digital models of cultural heritage sites.
The workshop explored an inclusive understanding and appreciation of the possibilities of digital surveying, archiving and modelling of both cultural as well as physical heritage. Participants had direct access to innovative research methodologies and broad practical knowledge focussed around how to engage with digital technologies in the context of heritage preservation.
The workshop was aimed at supporting young researchers, heritage professionals, policy makers, and entrepreneurs to engage with virtual heritage technologies in the context of national and global heritage sites. The sessions brought together scholars and specialists alongside Early Career Researchers from the UK and the Middle East to present and debate current strategies already used in projects in the Middle East and across the globe and, informed by the breadth of experience, developed future approaches.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Umm Qais heritage Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Creation of an website for Umm Qais Heritage to promote public engagement with the site and community of Umm Qais in Jordan and to raise awareness of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism potential of the site.
The website acts as a engagement platform for volunteers, local community project participants whilst also promoting the results of the research to encourage utilisation of the methodologies used in the project more widely within Cultural Heritage management of heritage sites throughout Jordan and the wider region.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020,2021,2022
URL http://www.UmmQaisHeritage.com