Tag Archives: featured

Ian Maybury publishes on imaging Armenian manuscripts in journal Heritage Science

SEAHA student Ian Maybury, alongside researchers David Howell, Melissa Terras and Heather Viles has published the paper ‘Comparing the effectiveness of hyperspectral imaging and Raman spectroscopy: a case study on Armenian manuscripts’ in journal Heritage Science.

Hyperspectral imaging was originally developed for remote sensing. It allows the characterisation of a scene by providing a reflectance spectrum for each pixel in an image and is commonly used to provide information on the geography of an area. In this study the efficacy of HSI for the identification of pigments in works of art was investigated. The study compared how well HSI between 400 and 1000 nm was able to differentiate between different pigments compared to an established technique (Raman spectroscopy) using illuminated Armenian manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries (Oxford University) as a case study to demonstrate the use of the equipment.

The two techniques worked very well together. Raman spectroscopy can identify pigments much more accurately than HSI. This is because a Raman spectrum has characteristic peaks, but a reflectance spectrum in this range has very few distinguishing features. However it takes much longer to sample on a point by point basis and to scan in large areas using Raman spectroscopy. HSI can scan a large area quicker than Raman spectroscopy, and can be used in conjunction with Raman spectroscopy to map different regions of colour within the artwork. In essence, the most effective approach is to use the identification accuracy provided by the Raman spectroscopy, combined with the mapping functionality of HSI, to map the occurrence of individual pigments across a large area. This is useful for feature detection, monitoring for conservation, and investigating an items’ provenance or history.

Read the full article here.

Ian Maybury is a SEAHA student based at the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Ian’s project investigates the use of hyperspectral imaging (HSI) in a heritage context learning how to best use the equipment to extract information such as hidden text, relief details, the presence of organic growth, and signs of deterioration. Ian is supported by partners the Bodleian Library and Headwall Photonics

SEAHA Conference Announced 1-3 April 2019

We are pleased to announce that the 2019 SEAHA Heritage Science Conference will take place 1-3 April 2019 at the University of Oxford. We welcome researchers, academics and heritage professionals to join us in discussing the latest research and issues in cultural heritage conservation.

Delegates will learn from peers via workshops and practical sessions, and experienced academics and practitioners providing valuable insights throughout. In addition to a range of keynote talks and student presentations, this year will feature a range of special interest group led workshops, exploring:

  • Science in the built heritage environment; the interface between technology and historic structures
  • Heritage science on the landscape scale
  • Artificial Intelligence in heritage science; developing new approaches in an emerging field
  • The application of digital imaging techniques to better understand sites and artefacts
  • Innovative approaches to monitoring and managing collections and artefacts

In the last three years, over 400 delegates have attended the SEAHA conferences held in Oxford, Brighton, and London, with overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Building on the past events, the upcoming conference will provide opportunities to network, learn, collaborate, and gain the insight that will help break down barriers and help push your research, conservation work, or site management further.

If you are an archaeology or heritage professional who works with, or are interested in the uses of scientific investigation in the field, then this is an event not to be missed.

This conference is organised and run by staff and research students at SEAHA, a centre for Doctoral Training funded by the EPSRC which hosts research projects at the University of Brighton, University College London, and the University of Oxford, in the field of Heritage Science.

Save the date and watch this space for further information!

If you have any questions about the event, please get in touch.

Application of new methodology developed from heritage building information modelling to address historic buildings needing maintenance or repair after earthquakes.

Book now: Built Heritage Public Lecture on BIM for earthquake damage

We are pleased to announce that the SEAHA Built Heritage Group and UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage are hosting a public lecture on the 19th September:

ARIM (Assessment Reconstruction Information Modelling): A BIM procedure to prevent and reconstruct earthquakes’ damages – Prof. Tommaso Empler and PhD student Adriana Caldarone, from Sapienza University of Rome.

Book your place here 

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) studies in the Forum of Nerva, Imperial Fora of Rome

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) studies in the Forum of Nerva, Imperial Fora of Rome

Lecture abstract

The Department of History, Representation and Restoration of Architecture, Sapienza University of Rome, with a research unit called “Urban Seismic Risk: Prevention and Reconstruction”, since 2016 is investigating a double BIM (Building Information Modelling) path connected to natural disasters: prevention and reconstruction. The focus is to investigate how small towns (villages) – made up of vernacular buildings – can join a BIM procedure. We are no longer speaking of HBIM (Historic Building Information Modelling), but of ARIM (Assessment Reconstruction Information Modeling). The main topic is linked to “data fusion”, where interdisciplinary skills meet up, ranging from historical sector, to surveying, urban planning, restoration, structures and design. How should data be organised? What are the local regulations? Where – and how – research and the professional world meet each other? These are the topics of a seminar where different cultures and different research fields can be compared to find some common denominators.

The Nervar App, reconstruction of the Imperial Fora of Rome


Prof. Tommaso Empler and PhD student Adriana Caldarone work in the Department of History, Representation and Restoration of Architecture (Italian acronym DSDRA) in the Architecture faculty of Sapienza University of Rome. The Department of History, Representation and Restoration of Architecture (Italian acronym DSDRA) was established on July 1, 2010 following a structural reorganisation of “Sapienza University of Rome”. Research objectives of the Department focus on: History of Architecture, including the study of historiographic theories and methods, single historical buildings, cities, smaller towns and landscape; Drawing, including representation methods, the history of representation, the latest architectural and territorial representation and survey techniques, graphics, and design; Restoration, including theories and methods of conservative restoration, the elaboration of conservation and restoration projects, the consolidation of surfaces, and structural consolidation.

Interdisciplinary researches topics are ICT, Seismic Risk, BIM-HBIM-ARIM.

Book your place here.

Header image: the ARIM procedure applied to the town of Grisciano (Accumoli). Grisciano is one of the towns that have been heavily damaged by the 2016 earthquake that hit Central Italy.