MAKING SITES AND OBJECTS TALK: EXPERIENCES IN ACADEMIC RESEARCH, NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
The identity and experience of past human societies has crystallized in the buildings that survive up to the present day, as architectural and archaeological heritage. The challenges of their study, management and communication are now in constant reshaping, as new technologies consistently bring new tools, opportunities and trials. Today, the values and meanings attached to this heritage by their communities are to be promoted by the strategies towards cultural heritage research, protection, enhancement, reuse or dissemination, as defined by the Faro Convention (CoE, 2005), but community involvement and interdisciplinarity are still goals often difficult to attain. In this contribution we aim to present two different case studies where strategies of state-of-the-art documentation and historical-archaeological assessment were brought together to address communities’ requests for heritage valorization while providing opportunities for interdisciplinary work, specialized education, and content creation. One is in the Finnish town of Hamina, a star-like fortress system which echoes the Renaissance urban ideals, achieved only in another place in Europe (Palma Nova, Italy), where an International Summer School took place to address the community’s requests for study and documentation. Another is in the Portuguese village of Muge, Salvaterra de Magos, where the need for scientific study and documentation addressed the owner’s goals for site musealization while providing interdisciplinary work and education to several undergrad and masters students in archaeology and architecture, while building contents for community engagement and outreach.