Heritage Science Case Studies
What is heritage science and how does it benefit society?
Heritage science refers to all technological and scientific work to improve our understanding of and ability to care for heritage, including both tangible (e.g. artefacts, buildings, monuments, landscapes) and intangible (e.g. oral traditions, performing arts, knowledge, traditional craft skills) heritage.
This broad definition means that heritage science stretches across many disciplines, including the physical sciences, conservation science, archaeology, engineering, and the humanities.
Heritage science is not just beneficial for the heritage sector but also for broader society. The research that heritage scientists carry out can have significant implications for the greatest challenges our world is facing such as climate change, health and wellbeing, and economic stability.
Below you will find a number of case studies that illustrate just how valuable heritage science research can be. This is the kind of work that will be supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council's (AHRC) Research Infrastructure for Conservation and Heritage Science (RICHeS) scheme, which will be an £80 million investment into heritage and conservation science infrastructure to analyse, conserve, archive and provide access to the UK's national treasures.
For additional case studies, see our work to address five societal challenges.
If you have case studies to contribute, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Photo by Koen Emmers on Unsplash.
Repurposing heritage science technology for neonatal intensive care
Technology designed for old master paintings has been used for rapid detection of biofilms in neonatal feed tubes.
Solving a 12,000-year-old medical mystery
Heritage science sheds light on three mysterious stones found in a 12,000-year-old human skeleton.
Exploring protected shipwrecks
Using 3D mapping and digitisation technology to create virtual dive trails for historic shipwreck sites.
Advanced spectroscopic imaging techniques reveal a completely different drawing underneath Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Virgin of the Rocks'.