6D Colour and Space in Cultural Heritage: Interdisciplinary connections

Anna Bentkowska-Kafel 

The COST Trans-domain Action “Colour and Space in Cultural Heritage” is conveying an open interdisciplinary session to address some questions pertinent to documentation of material cultural heritage based on spatial and spectral technologies.

We will present our work and discuss some key interdisciplinary questions – scientific and technological, theoretical and practical – concerning the development and use of optical measuring techniques and electronic imaging, applied to documentation and presentation of artefacts, as identified through our activities to date. Colour and Space in Cultural Heritage is a trans-domain European Action (TD1201) in the area of Materials, Physics and Nanosciences (MPNS). COSCH networking activities have been supported by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology,  since 2013. Some 125 international researchers and professionals, including archaeologists, conservators and museum professionals, art historians, architects, digital humanities scholars, alongside scientists and technology specialists, participate in COSCH. Our activities have been organised around six main subjects: (1) spectral object documentation; (2) spatial object documentation; (3) algorithms and procedures; (4) analysis and restoration of cultural heritage surfaces and objects; (5) visualisation of cultural heritage objects and its dissemination; and (6) COSCH Knowledge Representation using semantic technologies. In spite of considerable earlier research in each of these areas, many questions still remain, in particular the integration of existing techniques, standards, data formats and protocols. Many will be familiar with the challenge of reaching a common, cross-disciplinary understanding of key, sometimes basic concepts (such as documentation, visualisation and reconstruction). A wide, cross-disciplinary adoption of specialist applications of technology to documentation, conservation, scholarship and popular appreciation of cultural heritage remains equally challenging.

The session is an opportunity to note interdisciplinary connections, voice concerns and propose practical solutions. It will consist of several papers and presentations by COSCH members and other speakers, with the aim of engaging the CAA community in a constructive discussion. We are particularly keen on discussing the connections between heritage science and digital humanities, and the intellectual and methodological transparency of electronic, spatial and spectral documentation of historical materials.

We are inviting papers and posters from those who participate in COSCH and from non-members alike. An interdisciplinary perspective is required.

Keywords: cultural heritage, 3D documentation, optical measurement, multispectral imaging, visualisation, content representation, interdisciplinary collaboration

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