Cluster Three: Heritage and Science

This cluster includes the fields of environmental science and biology, nuclear physics and engineering to place quantitative results of material analysis in conversation with existing archaeological, anthropological and historical narratives of heritage. It also explicitly analyzes the natural landscape, and, through interdisciplinary and multilayered methodologies, examines how humans interact with their environment. Analysis of the use of elements in the natural environment and landscape produces high level data on cultural development, migration and adaptation to environmental contexts. Comparative analytical data sets produced by both the hard and soft sciences create opportunities to examine heritage process both as functions of society and as functions of scientific fact.

This cluster aims to offer analytic research techniques which are non-destructive–and potentially portable. It caters to the needs of researchers in the field of tangible cultural heritage. It will enhance the ways in which archaeological data is analyzed and increase the possibilities of on-site materials research and data acquisition, which will benefit local institutions such as Louvre Abu Dhabi.

This cluster applies materials science to determining the provenance and composition of heritage objects, especially where invaluable artworks or artefacts are the focus of research.

The analysis of objects and sites in the Heritage Landscape of the UAE and Landscapes of Connectivity establishes the frameworks through which sites and narratives can be understood and contextualized. By answering questions surrounding authenticity, origin and construction, this cluster contributes towards richer analysis. Furthermore, the outputs of this cluster inform heritage management and engagement policies and protocols.

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