On the 17th of June 2016, SEAHA doctoral student Hend Mahgoub will present her research  in a talk at the conference of the Institute of Conservation entitled “Turn and Face the Change: Conservation in the 21st Century” in Birmingham. Hend’s topic focuses on scientific characterization of materials properties of Islamic paper and she will present a new non-destructive spectroscopic technique for surveying of Islamic paper based on Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. This has shown the potential of developing evidence-based preservation policies tailored to Islamic libraries and archives. For more information in the event, please visit the conference website.

SEAHA Students to present their research at “Indoor air quality in heritage and historic environments” Conference

On the 3rd and 4th of March 2016, SEAHA doctoral students Sarah Hunt and Yun Liu will each present a research posters at a two day conference entitled: “Museum Pollution : Detection and Mitigation of Carbonylsheld in Birmingham. Topics include information on new trends in pollution monitoring, understanding the levels of risk to collections, cross disciplinary projects, the application of shared knowledge for mitigation, material emissions, building/demolition projects, putting research into practice and projects that have highlighted Heritage Science to the wider sector. Sarah will be presenting on Environmental monitoring at the Mary Rose Museum and Yun will be presenting on Modelling collections and their environment. For more information in the event, please visit the conference website.






EAC Student & Early Career Symposium on Digital Archaeology

Call for Papers: Abstract deadline 29 January 2016

16-17 March 2016, Brighton, United Kingdom.

The annual European Archaeological Council (EAC) Symposium focusing on Digital Archaeology will be held in March 2016 in Brighton, England. The aim of this year’s EAC symposium is to explore exciting developments in digital technologies and consider how they may become embedded in general archaeological policy and practice over the next few years. As ambassadors of the future, we want students and early career to provide their vision as input to the discussions about “Digital Archaeology” and the future of the field.

The Student & Early Career Symposium will last one and a half days (Wed16th March 10.00 – Thurs 17th March 12.30 GMT) and will feed into the main Symposium (Thurs 17th March 13.00 – Fri 18th March 17.30 GMT). The student and early career gathering will mirror the three general themes of the Symposium:

Measuring and Sensing. The aim of this session is to explore developments in how we perceive, identify and characterize archaeological landscapes, sites and artefacts. From hyperspectral satellite imagery through Structure from Motion photographic techniques to sub-millimetric laser scanning, our capacity to use vast processing power to visualize archaeology has developed dramatically over the last 20 years and led directly to wonderful new discoveries even on very well studied sites.

Data to Knowledge. Information technology is unlocking the way we create information from raw data. We can now mine vast datasets to find associations, perceive patterns or serve up rich Geographic Information systems for national heritage protection or sophisticated research, and we are learning how to organise, manage, and curate these priceless archives and how to represent our knowledge in open linked data sets that become accessible to other researchers to use. This session will explore new approaches being adopted by member states.

Visualising the Past. This session will review the ways in which we can and may in the future present archaeology and its interpretation to professionals and the wider public alike, ways which continue to develop at a breath-taking speed. 3D-printing, immersive technologies, Augmented Reality, and Haptics are just a few examples of the remarkable advances, which seem set to change the way people access, explore, and enjoy archaeological knowledge.

Please include the theme(s) you intend to address in your presentation. Given the fixed number of sessions, sessions are expected to involve presentations of 20 minutes long. Authors will be notified by the end of January and a preliminary programme will be circulated as soon as possible thereafter.

Please send abstracts to keats.webb@seaha-cdt.ac.uk by 29th January 2016. For further details, please visit: http://culturalinformatics.org.uk/serw.

NHSF Alastair McCapra

National Heritage Science Forum (NHSF) welcomes new Chair

On 16th December 50 people gathered at University College London for the National Heritage Science Forum’s second Members & Friends event. 

Attendees had the opportunity to visit the SEAHA Mobile Heritage Lab, a unique research and public engagement vehicle that is a joint initiative of UCL, University of Oxford and the University of Brighton, before hearing the evening’s talks which started with Simon Cane, Director of Public and Cultural Engagement at UCL, welcoming people to the event and speaking about the value of public engagement to heritage science and the role that heritage science plays in developing people’s understanding of culture and heritage. 

Nancy Bell, NHSF’s out-going Co-Chair reflected on the year’s achievements, highlighting the Kit-Catalogue that supports the sharing of equipment and strengthening of research partnerships between organisations She also pointed to current and future developments such as work to identify the gaps in research that remain five years on from the publication of the National Heritage Science Strategy.

The evening’s keynote speech was delivered by Alastair McCapra, NHSF’s newly appointed Chairman. Alastair spoke on the topic Cash for Data? He addressed the opportunities that may exist for generating income from heritage science but spoke convincingly of the benefits of open data, open access, open science. A lively question and answer session, chaired by Professor May Cassar, followed including questions about the fragmentation of the heritage science data set from Ewan Hyslop, Historic Environment Scotland, the impact of forthcoming requirements for open access to data on museums, libraries and archives from Edward Impey of Royal Armouries and the skills development needs of the heritage science sector from Gary Grubb of AHRC. You can view the full speech on the NHSF website.

The National Heritage Science Forum’s role as an enabler of collaboration and a uniting force for heritage science was evident. Its future challenges include building capacity for heritage science, championing the development of a robust infrastructure to capitalise on the achievements of the last 10 years, and supporting a continuing move to openness that will enable wide public engagement with heritage science with associated benefits in terms of public understanding of, and responsibility for, cultural heritage. More details



SEAHA students visit the Wren Library in St.Paul’s

Last week, our first-year students visited the Wren Library in the monumental St.Paul’s Cathedral in London. The visit was part of Module 2 of the MRes Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology, and we were warmly welcomed by the Librarian Joseph Wisdom, and the Collections Care Manager Simon Carter. We are very grateful to them for having discussed environmental and visitor management strategies with us.

On the basis of the visit, and on the basis of the collected environmental monitoring data, the MRes students developed a case study: an environmental management plan for the Library as part of the Module.

SEAHA Students launch the Heritage Science Research Network (HSRN)

SEAHA is delighted to announce the launch of the Heritage Science Research Network (HSRN), a SEAHA student led initiative which aims to connect heritage scientists and researchers in pursuing the conservation, interpretation and management of our heritage.

The Heritage Science Research Network aims to:

Provide a platform for gathering and engaging heritage science and related researchers, professionals and practitioners for the discussion of innovative research being conducted in the cross-disciplinary field.

Connect and stimulate the dialogue between practitioners and academics involved in heritage science and in cultural heritage broadly.

Share new knowledge in best practice addressing the scientific and engineering research needs of the arts, heritage and archaeology sectors.

SEAHA Director, Professor May Cassar observed, “The prosperity of heritage science lies in the hands of the next generation of heritage scientists. HSRN, conceived by the first cohort of SEAHA students, will succeed because of their energy and enthusiasm for heritage science which is evidenced by the creation of this network.”

To access the HSRN please visit: https://heritagescienceresearch.wordpress.com/


SEAHA Residential 2015

SEAHA Students Group Pic_resized

On the 13th and 14th October 2015, SEAHA welcomed a group of 30 students, project supervisors and colleagues to Brighton for the Annual SEAHA Residential. Over the course of the two days in Brighton, students received a detailed overview of the SEAHA Programme, met with project supervisors to discuss their projects and visited the Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museum. In addition, students were up early on the 14th to partake in a SEAHA photo shoot with the Mobile Heritage Lab (MHL). Professor David Arnold, SEAHA Co Director (Brighton) said: “It was a delight to host the residential and to meet the new SEAHA intake. I hope they were as inspired by the conversations and the heritage that Brighton has to offer as we were by talking to them and seeing their enthusiasm for their proposed research.”

On the 15th October it was back to London for the annual meeting of the SEAHA Advisory Board, chaired by Sir Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief, Nature. The new students impressed the Advisory Board with presentations on their research projects, in addition to a display and discussion of Research Posters by the first cohort of SEAHA students, now in Year 2.

To see pictures from the Residential and of the Mobile Heritage Lab, please visit the SEAHA Twitter page, @seahaCDT.

Mobile Heritage Lab takes part in Hampton Court 500 celebrations

Science behind Henry VIII’s tapestries

MHL at Hampton Court Palace 500This year Historic Royal Palaces celebrates the Hampton Court Palace 500 year anniversary. As part of this programme, the Science Team at the Conservation and Collections Care Department organised an “Ask the Conservator event” on Heritage Science, held on Friday 18 September 2015. The SEAHA Mobile Lab went to Hampton Court Palace to take part on this event to promote the fascinating outcomes of the collaborative research between the ISH and HRP on the environmental protection of Hampton’s Court magnificent Tudor tapestries. The Mobile Lab was used to display experiments on analysis of fibers, FTIR, microscopy and the use of UV light for the study of artifacts, as well as the monitoring of environmental risks to the tapestries. The Mobile Heritage Lab is a unique offering provided by the Centre For Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA), it is a joint venture between University College London, the University of Oxford and the University of Brighton, and is funded by EPSRC. For more information on the Mobile Heritage Lab, please visit: www.seaha-cdt.ac.uk/mobile-heritage-lab/.

SEAHA Conference 2015 – “The Future of Heritage Science” – Round Table Discussion

Following a successful first International Conference, SEAHA is delighted to present the recording of the Round Table Discussion entitled “The Future of Heritage Science”. Featured panellists include:

Professor May Cassar (University College of London), Professor Heather Viles (University of Oxford), Prof. David Arnold (University of Brighton), Kate Frame (Historic Royal Palaces), Robin Higgons (QI3), Scott A. Orr (SEAHA student representative) and Moderator: Professor Matija Strlic (University College of London).

Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts Heritage and Archaeology