Archaeology of the future

7 June 2018

Prof. Peter Akkermans studying two clay tablets from Tell Sabi Prof. Peter Akkermans studying two clay tablets from Tell Sabi
Nauras Al-Mohammed with clay tabletNauras Al-Mohammed with clay tablet

Archaeologists team up with engineers in the Scanning for Syria project to look for ways to digital preserve damaged and lost cultural heritage. On the occasion of this project, Delft University of Technology, Leiden Universitythe Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Global Heritage and Development and the National Museum of Antiquities organize the Archaeology of the Future symposium to discuss a number of techniques to safeguard cultural heritage and to benefit archaeological science.

See the reconstruction of a tablet from Tell Sabi Abyad in Northern Syria made from a mould cast by Leiden archaeologists in this video.

  • date: Thursday 7 June 2018
  • time: starting 10.30 hours (doors open at 10.00)
  • location: Leemanszaal, National Museum of Antiquities (address and route)
  • language: English
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  • entrance fee: Participants should possess a valued ticket (€ 12,50) for the National Museum of Antiquities. (students have free entrance on presentation of a valid student card)

Archaeology of the future

Among the speakers will be specialists on digital preservation, cuneiform specialists and Syrian archaeologists. The final programme can soon be viewed here. The day will be closed with a reception.

Programme morning session

In the morning session experts will share their know-how in digitally preserving all sorts of small size archaeological artefacts (pots, vases, ornaments, statutes, weapons, fabrics, etc). They will disclose novel concepts for the re-use of virtual replicas by a multitude of stakeholders ranging from scholars and museums to the gaming and creative industries.

Programme afternoon session

In the afternoon, focus will be on the safeguarding of a very special collection of clay tablets stolen in Raqqa during the fog of the Syrian Civil war. The significance of the tablets and their wedge scripts will be highlighted as well as the long term Dutch Syrian collaboration in Syrian archaeology.

Pop-up exhibition

At the end of the symposium a special pop-up exhibition Scanning for Syria will be opened by the director of the museum, Mr Wim Weijland. This exhibition will inform the public on recent advances in innovative methods for artefact reproduction. It will draw attention to ongoing initiatives to safeguard important Syrian archaeological heritage, taking as example the remains uncovered by archaeologists from the National Museum of Antiquities and Leiden University at Tell Sabi Abyad from 1996 till the start of the war in Syria.

The symposium and exhibition are organized jointly by TU Delft and its Leiden based-partners: the Faculty of Archaeology, the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Global Heritage and Development, and the National Museum of Antiquities. They take place within the framework of a KIEM-Creative Industry project, funded by NWO

Program Archaeology of the future

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