"The documentation of cultural heritage in areas affected by conflict or natural disasters, including through the use of new digital technologies, is a critical step to preserve the memory of our past and mitigate the risk of possible damage or loss of precious cultural assets. Initiatives such as the Million Image Database project by the Institute for Digital Archaeology, which is based on the support of numerous volunteers on the ground, also testify to the importance attributed to their cultural heritage by local communities."
Francesco Bandarin, Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO
"Recently, the safeguarding, protection, and appreciation of the remains of the past has gained a powerful tool: the possibility of immersive visualization and 3D reconstruction of archaeological sites and finds. We are glad and thankful to explore this technology with the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA), an organization that promotes the use of digital imaging and 3D printing in archaeology and conservation. The IDA’s Arch of Triumph of Palmyra serves as a model for how, together, we will bring life back to Palmyra and restore the site as a message of peace against terrorism, and will further collaborate in this way on other heritage sites in Syria."
Prof. Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Director-General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM), Syria
Digital archaeology represents the natural evolution of classical archaeology, permitting researchers to look at ancient objects in a whole new way, to uncover hidden inscriptions, invisible paint lines, the faintest palimpsests. . . and to share these discoveries with the world. Beyond that, as the Million Image Database demonstrates, it can put these crucially important repositories of our cultural identity and shared history forever beyond the reach of those who would destroy them.
The Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) is a joint venture between Harvard University, the University of Oxford and Dubai Future Foundation that promotes the development and use of digital imaging and 3D printing techniques in archaeology, epigraphy, art history and museum conservation.
Further, through partnerships with institutions across the globe, the IDA creates accessible digital archives that encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and the crowd-sourcing of research.
Whether searching the rubble of Herculaneum or the dark corners of the Vatican Library, the IDA has the tools and human resources to help record and preserve new discoveries. Finally, through its pioneering use of large-scale 3D printing technology, the IDA carries out meticulous and culturally sensitive restorations of objects and architecture destroyed by conflict or natural disaster.
The Institute for Digital Archaeology
57 Woodstock Road
Oxford OX2 6HJ
+44 (0) 7480 198789
P.O Box 380233
Cambridge, MA 02238