Professor Ray Karl captures over £575,000 in collaborative grant success

Professor Ray Karl, who is Professor of Archaeology and Heritage at Bangor University, is joint leader of a project entitled 'Co-production of alternative views of lost heritage' which has secured a grant worth c. £575,000 under the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s ‘Connnected Communities’ call. 

Professor Karl will be leading the project with Dr Jonathan Roberts from the Bangor School of Computer Sciences, and they will be collaborating with the schools of Computer Science at Aberystwyth University, Archaeology at Manchester Metropolitan University and Gwynedd Archaeological Trust.  This builds on an ongoing AHRC £100,000 project led from Bangor: 'Alternative views of the lost heritage of Gwynedd', and follows another success earlier success this year with an AHRC research grant totalling £867,000 for the project 'Atlantic Europe and the Metal Ages (AMEA): questions of shared language', led by Prof John T. Koch at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth and co-directed by Prof Karl and Prof Sir Barry Cunliffe at Oxford University.'

The focus of the project will be on producing heritage data in conjunction with local communities.  Photographs of heritage artefacts and environments will be uploaded onto the website Archwilio, which stores the Historic Environment Records of the Welsh Archaeological Trusts.

Professor Karl said:  "We at Bangor's School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology are very happy to be part this project. It will give the community an opportunity to engage more directly with archaeological research and the management of their own heritage. By using technology that is as ubiquitous as the digital camera, and using the capabilities of modern information technology, everyone will be able to create metrical 3D-models of any heritage site or object they care for.

By collaborating with our local Historic Environment Record at Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, the data thus generated will be linked directly to the archaeological information held there, and will allow the community to learn more about their heritage, while improving heritage management and allowing to much more effectively monitor damage to or loss of substance of monuments. It will produce a step change in research collaboration between academia and the wider public and provide the public with a new way of meaningfully engage with their heritage."

The project will create a ‘Wikipedia’ style moderation structure for items, enabling the emergence of a cluster of ‘Heritage-pedians’.  It also aims to create an innovative multi-touch and interactive tabletop display of objects using 3D printing technology. This ‘tangible table’ will form the centrepiece of a project exhibition in Bangor's new Pontio development, which will enable the public to view and manipulate the information in a novel and exciting way, and enable researchers to discuss and explore different interpretations of the past.

For further information about the project please contact Professor Karl on r.karl@bangor.ac.uk. 

Publication date: 9 September 2013