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University awarded £1.9 million grant for its work in Digital Transformations

18 September 13

A team of archaeologists from the University of Bradford have been selected to receive £1.9 million in funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to study 'Fragmented Heritage.'

Led by Dr Randolph Donahue, Dr Andrew Wilson and Dr Adrian Evans the team are supported by Professor Hassan Ugail also from the University and Dr Nick Ashton of the British Museum. Together they aim to revolutionise landscape, site and artefact analyses by bringing new transformative digital recording methods and computed analysis to fields that are traditionally labour intensive.

The project centres on the development of new technologies that will enable faster analysis of artefact fragments and complex surface scatters, which can then be automatically reconstructed using new computer software. This will allow the further exploration of archaeological remains on an unprecedented scale and lead to a better understanding of prehistoric behaviour and human evolution.

In collaboration with the Citizen Science Alliance, the team will also launch a new interactive website, home to a library of unique aerial imagery from the Turkana basin in unexplored areas of Kenya. This will open many opportunities for the public to use the resource in their search for the skeletal remains and artefacts of our evolutionary ancestors.

Dr Randolph Donahue from the University of Bradford said: “Our whole team is most appreciative to the AHRC for their support of our project. The technology we are developing will greatly enhance the abilities of archaeologists to interpret their sites and improve understanding of Stone Age technologies, economies and society.”

Theme Leadership Fellow for Digital Transformation Professor Andrew Prescott added: “The recently announced large grants under the Digital Transformations theme each reflect in their different ways how engagement with digital technologies is changing research in the arts and humanities and offering researchers many new possibilities. The most striking thing about all these projects is that while they will develop and deploy innovative technologies, they will use these methods to explore the human condition: the way we developed, our creative impulses, and the social structures we have created.”

The team are joined by acclaimed international co-investigators and the project is partnered with Historic Scotland, Science Museums Group, the Home Office’s Centre for Applied Science and Technology and the National Physical Laboratory. These groups will assist with the development of technology and will be beneficiaries of project outputs.

18 September 13

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Out of office hours call 07879 437996. Alternatively, e-mail or fax on (01274) 236280.