SEAHA – the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology – is about learning, discovering, innovating and forging new knowledge in the stimulating field of heritage science. Heritage science is about understanding, interpreting, conserving and managing cultural heritage.
SEAHA is unique. It brings together experts from University College London, University of Oxford and the University of Brighton to study in three subject areas vital to heritage science: materials, environment and digital technologies. But we are not working in an academic vacuum. The nature and importance of cultural heritage is hotly debated and presents many challenges that engage many disciplines beyond science and engineering. For example, what is the nature of material alteration? Is it just surfaces that change? What is the perception of public to change? Is it positive (i.e. are we wowed by the patina of age?) Is it negative (i.e. is all we see rust and things falling apart?) and does it therefore detract from an object? What if our opinion of decay is different from that of everyone else? What if decay is beautiful and appreciated by the public, what do we do? Can we resist leaving well alone? Who is the final decision maker on whether change is acceptable?
To help us answer these questions, we are working in partnership with the most important heritage organisations on the planet and with the most advanced and forward thinking industries that find cultural heritage in all its beauty and complexity as intriguing and challenging as we do. So, if you want to join us in this venture, or just want to find out more, please browse our website and do get in touch if you would like to be part of SEAHA!
May Cassar, SEAHA Director