House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), both longtime advocates for the protection of global cultural heritage, jointly unveiled the IDA's reconstruction of Palmyra’s Triumphal Arch on the National Mall. As Mr Engel said during the 45 minute ceremony in front of the US Capitol: “When you look at this beautiful Arch, we are seeing through the eyes of ancient civilizations, and to have it right here, set against the classical columns of the Capitol, is really extraordinary.” Many thanks to Congressmen Royce and Engel for a memorable day.
To learn more about the IDA's recent UN installation, click here. Thanks again to the UK Permanent Mission.
The Institute for Digital Archaeology is proud to announce that its Preserving Syrian Heritage Project has been awarded a major three year grant from the British Council. Read more at www.britishcouncil.org
In addition, Oxford University has awarded the IDA's Dr. Alexy Karenowska and the Triumphal Arch Project its annual Vice-Chancellor's Prize for Public Engagement with Research. Read more here.
"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
"There has been a great deal of conflict in our region and many monuments and artifacts representing the achievements of golden eras in our past have been lost as a consequence. Many have been intentionally destroyed in an effort to erase the memory of a time when people of all faiths and origins worked together to create a golden age of scientific, cultural and social achievements. However, new technologies can literally roll back the clock and restore what the nihilists have damaged. It is a message to them: everything they are working to erase can be preserved. Their destruction is as futile as their ideology. We are delighted to be able to bring together so many people from around the world to collaborate on this important project of historical restoration and preservation."
- His Excellency Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, Dubai UAE & Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation
WHAT WE DO
Digital archaeology represents the natural evolution of classical archaeology, permitting researchers to look at ancient objects in entirely new ways -- to uncover hidden inscriptions, invisible paint lines, the faintest palimpsests -- and to share these discoveries with the world. Beyond that, digital technologies 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) was founded to promote, improve and expand these important new digital tools.
Consistent with this mission, the IDA, through projects like the Million Image Database, has created accessible digital archives that encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and the crowd-sourcing of research through partnerships with institutions across the globe.
In addition, through stakeholder-led initiatives like our Triumphal Arch project, we have demonstrated our capacity to provide high quality and meaningful reconstructions of objects and architecture lost to vandalism or natural disaster.
The IDA stands at the forefront of the development and use of digital imaging, 3D printing and robotic carving techniques for the cataloguing, conservation and reconstruction of treasured heritage materials. By expanding our programs to include more sites, additional technologies, and a greater range of local, national and international partners, the IDA aims to retain its status as a global leader in the field of cultural heritage preservation.