SEAHA Centre for Doctoral Training


Sterling Mackinnon

Aligned student, University of Oxford

Project Title 

Digital archaeologies and heritage landscapes: Re-assembling objects, sites, and knowledges

Background & Summary of Project

This project concerns the production of digital heritage and the proliferation of digital heritage objects. It addresses the need it identifies within both geographical scholarship--and the social sciences, more broadly--for new conceptual tools to better understand digital articulations of heritage. The importance of this research, then, is couched in its consideration of the epistemic and ontological consequences of commuting the "archaeological record"--ie, the "material" components of human history-- into digital contexts. Screens in classrooms, museums, and galleries are gradually filling up with digital heritage objects, yet we still lack the means to accurately discuss what they are, and how they're made. This becomes particularly important in contexts or applications where digital models and replicas are used to replace or preserve destroyed, eroding, and "lost" heritage sites/artefacts. As such, the aim of this research is to enrich existing scholarship on digital culture by specifically attending to digital visual articulations of heritage sites and landscapes. This research takes as its case study the Cherish Project, a collaborative, EU-funded research initiative which uses an array of sophisticated digitisation and visualisation methods to monitor and make assessments on the erosion of coastal heritage sites in both Ireland and Wales.