Driving Engagement in Heritage Sites Using Personal Mobile Technology




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Archaeopress Publishing Ltd



Peer reviewed



In a recent UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project researchers from De Montfort University, the University of Nottingham and the University of Durham have collaborated with two community heritage groups to produce two innovative new mobile apps. The project and the apps are intended to address particular issues surrounding the use of mobile digital technologies for co-production of community heritage interpretation in community archaeology and to examine how the explanatory and interrogatory potential of mobile device software can be used to build community led interpretive paradigms for post excavation analysis, presentation and education in community archaeology projects. The use of smartphone and tablet devices has been growing significantly over the past five years and is now becoming more common in heritage and museum settings. The aim is often to further develop public engagement with tangible and intangible cultural heritage, explain and explore existing information about artefacts, sites and cultures and present new information in engaging, accessible and meaningful ways to a range of audiences. Community archaeology groups are becoming alert to this trend and wish to engage with it too, particularly for 3D exploration of built archaeology and the artefacts associated with it. This poses a number of challenges to these aims that differ from those for artefacts and documents in museum settings alone. It also poses contextual challenges in relation to specific and highly engaged user groups like community archaeologists. This paper describes the completed apps which have been designed to address some of these unique challenges of interpreting and exploring 3D digitally reconstructed historic buildings on mobile platforms for community archaeology and heritage groups. Concepts underlying the design and implementation of the apps are addressed and examples of their use in two specific archaeological projects in England are described; a Roman bath house in Northumberland and an historic urban fabric in Southwell, Nottinghamshire. The paper focusses upon paradigms adopted for visualisation and exploration and also upon the web-based management methods.


Principal Investigator Dr. Douglas Cawthorne, Digital Building Heritage Group, De Montfort University Co-Investigators: Mr. Thom Corah, Facuty of Technology, De Montfort University Dr. David Petts, Department of Archaeology, University of Durham Dr. Chris King, Department of Archaeology, University of Nottingham


Archaeology, Roman, Architecture, Mobile Device, Community, Heritage, History, Visualisation


Corah, T., Cawthorne D. (2016) Driving Engagement in Heritage Sites Using Personal Mobile Technology. CAA2015-Keep the Revolution Going. Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology 30th March – 4th April 2015, Sienna Italy. Archaeopress Publishing Ltd., Oxford, I(Open Access e-Pdf), Edited by Stefano Campana, Roberto Scopigno, Gabriella Carpentiero and Marianna Cirillo. Published 25 March 2016, Vol 1, pp.191-200


Research Institute