The Cyprus Institute’s Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Centre (STARC) welcomed a delegation of archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) on the 1st and 2nd of March, 2017, lead by its Director of Excavations, Surveys and Research and his deputy. With the aim of strengthening the scientific cooperation between the two institutions in the field of applied sciences and technologies to the research and management of archaeological and cultural heritage assets the group spent two full days in a “full immersion” scientific environment, benefiting also from the renewed laboratories of STARC and its state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation. The training component of the visit consisted of a whole range of innovative methodologies and analytical measurements for the documentation and characterisation of tangible heritage assets and archaeological material.
Deputy Director of Research and Excavation at IAA, Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily, highlighted the importance of science and technology for archaeology, and lauded the STARC approach, based on multi-disciplinary cooperation and integrated laboratories offering a complete pipeline, covering 3D documentation, technical imaging, chemical – physical analytical measurements and bioarchaeology investigation. Khalaily added “we are far from what we are usually doing, it is very important for us to be here”,
Dr Jon Seligman, Director of Excavations, Surveys and Research Department at the Israel Antiquities Authority, described that the interaction with CyI is a means to set IAA in an international context.
STARC’s experience in creating cultural heritage digital libraries and applying 3D as a research tool in archaeology were cited by the Israeli researchers as particularly impressive. The Israel Antiquities Authority team also appreciated the opportunity to de-contextualise from their daily routine work, and to discover new technologies and and scientific approaches.
The training was followed by a brainstorming on possible scientific cooperation topics, improvement of the training session and the setting of joint heritage management projects and with a decision to continue such events also next year, with an open invitation to CyI staff to exchange the visit in Israel.