Hellenic Ministry of Culture

Chaniá, Greece

Hellenic Ministry of Culture

Chaniá, Greece
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2009. | Award Amount: 3.63M | Year: 2009

The proposed project aims to develop an automatic early warning system to remotely monitor areas of archaeological and cultural interest from the risk of fire and extreme weather conditions. Since these areas have been treasured and tended for very long periods of time, they are usually surrounded by old and valuable vegetation or situated close to forest regions, which exposes them to an increased risk of fire. Additionally, extreme weather conditions (such as storms and floods) pose great risks for these sites. The proposed system will take advantage of recent advances in multi-sensor surveillance technologies, using a wireless sensor network capable of monitoring different modalities (e.g. temperature) andoptical and infrared cameras, as well as local weather stations on the deployment site. The signals collected from these sensors will be transmitted to a monitoring center, which will employ intelligent computer vision and pattern recognition algorithms as well as data fusion techniques to automatically analyze sensor information. The proposed system will be capable of generating automatic warning signals for local authorities whenever a dangerous situation arises. Detecting the starting position of a fire is only the first step in fire fighting. After detecting a wildfire, the main focus should be the estimation of the propagation direction and speed in order to help forest fire management. FIRESENSE will provide real-time information about the evolution of fire using wireless sensor network data. Furthermore, it will estimate the propagation of the fire based on the fuel model of the area and other important parameters such as wind speed, slope, and aspect of the ground surface. Finally, a 3-D Geographic Information System (GIS) environment will provide visualisation of the predicted fire propagation.Demonstrator deployments will be operated in selected sites in Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Italy.

Foley B.P.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Hansson M.C.,Lund University | Kourkoumelis D.P.,Hellenic Ministry of Culture | Theodoulou T.A.,Hellenic Ministry of Culture
Journal of Archaeological Science | Year: 2012

Ancient DNA trapped in the matrices of ceramic transport jars from Mediterranean shipwrecks can reveal the goods traded in the earliest markets. Scholars generally assume that the amphora cargoes of 5th-3rd century B.C. Greek shipwrecks contained wine, or to a much lesser extent olive oil. Remnant DNA inside empty amphoras allows us to test that assumption. We show that short ∼100 nucleotides of ancient DNA can be isolated and analyzed from inside the empty jars from either small amounts of physical scrapings or material captured with non-destructive swabs. Our study material is previously inaccessible Classical/Hellenistic Greek shipwreck amphoras archived at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities in Athens, Greece. Collected DNA samples reveal various combinations of olive, grape, Lamiaceae herbs (mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage), juniper, and terebinth/mastic (genus Pistacia). General DNA targeting analyses also reveal the presence of pine (Pinus), and DNA from Fabaceae (Legume family); Zingiberaceae (Ginger family); and Juglandaceae (Walnut family). Our results demonstrate that amphoras were much more than wine containers. DNA shows that these transport jars contained a wide range of goods, bringing into question long-standing assumptions about amphora use in ancient Greece. Ancient DNA investigations open new research avenues, and will allow accurate reconstruction of ancient diet, medicinal compounds, value-added products, goods brought to market, and food preservation methods. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2007. | Award Amount: 2.22M | Year: 2008

NET-HERITAGE is the first significant initiative ever attempting to coordinate national RTD programmes of European countries and support European RTD Programmes in the field of research applied to Protection for Tangible Cultural Heritage. It aims to exert a massive, positive impact through the following objectives: - provide an integrated picture of the state of the art of cultural heritage research in EUMember States and at the European level; -overcome the lack of a coordinated research structure in this specific and multidisciplinary sector, with programmes fostering integration between art-history-conservation-maintenance-restoration areas and architectural-chemical-physics-engineering areas; - limit fragmentation within and among national research programmes, identifying common strategic priorities for research and programmes; - create effective actions to stimulate the exploitation of research results, and underpin cooperation between researchers and cultural heritage institutions for the application of identified solutions; - face problems due to insufficient and dispersed funding, in terms of local level and size of funding, compared to other research sectors; - favour exchange between national and European work programmes, to avoid a single top-down approach. NET-HERITAGE intends to achieve the following main outcomes: - coordinating actions within the EU partnership; - favouring protection of moveable and immoveable tangible cultural heritage; - expanding the potential of the cultural heritage research sector; - enhancing dissemination of research results and news in the field of protection of tangible cultural heritage; - increasing the visibility of the socio-economic importance of this sector; - supporting educational and training programmes and activities in the sector; - developing a common framework of policies for improving cultural heritage protection; - favouring common actions to promote Cultural Heritage research outside EU

News Article | September 20, 2016
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

The wreck of the famous Antikythera shipwreck was discovered more than a century ago, and artifacts from the large cargo ship have been pulled from the seafloor ever since. But a startling discovery was made on Aug. 31: a nearly complete set of bones from an occupant aboard the ancient ship, be they of a crewmember, passenger, or slave. The remains are in good enough condition to allow for potential DNA testing, according to a statement by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “Against all odds, the bones survived over 2,000 year at the bottom of the sea and they appear to be in fairly good condition, which is incredible,” said Hannes Schroeder, of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, who is assessing the DNA. The Wood Hole and Hellenic Ministry of Culture team dug up a skull that included the jawbone and teeth, the long bones of the arms and legs, and other fragments – although more remains embedded in the ocean floor. The experts said they hope sequencing the DNA would allow identifying the ethnicity and geographic origin of the deceased. The person went down with the ship around 65 B.C. The wreck was discovered in 1900 by sponge divers off the coast of Antikythera, in the Aegean Sea. Since then, marble and bronze sculptures have been brought to the surface – among the haul of thousands of artifacts that have been discovered. Perhaps the most famous is the Antikythera Mechanism, which calculate astrological phenomena and is sometimes referred to as the world’s first computer. Jacques Cousteau and his team explored and salvaged part of the wreck in 1976. The bones were unearthed amid a high-tech exploration of the bottom of the seafloor, which began in 2014. Using 3-D mapping and a water dredge powered by a submersible pump, they were able to cut a series of controlled trenches at the bottom unveiling new treasures.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REFLECTIVE-7-2014 | Award Amount: 3.06M | Year: 2015

DigiArt seeks to provide a new, cost efficient solution to the capture, processing and display of cultural artefacts. It offers innovative 3D capture systems and methodologies, including aerial capture via drones, automatic registration and modelling techniques to speed up post-capture processing (which is a major bottleneck), semantic image analysis to extract features from digital 3D representations, a story telling engine offering a pathway to a deeper understanding of art, and also augmented/virtual reality technologies offering advanced abilities for viewing, or interacting with the 3D models. The 3D data captured by the scanners and drones, using techniques such as laser detection and ranging (LIDAR), are processed through robust features that cope with imperfect data. Semantic analysis by automatic feature extraction is used to form hyper-links between artefacts. These links are employed to connect the artefacts in what the project terms the internet of historical things, available anywhere, at any time, on any web-enabled device. The contextual view of art is very much enhanced by the story telling engine that is developed within the project. The system presents the artefact, linked to its context, in an immersive display with virtual and/or with augmented reality. Linkages and information are superimposed over the view of the item itself. The major output of the project is the toolset that will be used by museums to create such a revolutionary way of viewing and experiencing artefacts. These tools leverage the interdisciplinary skill sets of the partners to cover the complete process, namely data capture, data processing, story building, 3D visualization and 3D interaction, offering new pathways to deeper understanding of European culture. Via its three demonstration activities, the project establishes the viability of the approach in three different museum settings, offering a range of artefacts posing different challenges to the system.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP-2007-4.0-6 | Award Amount: 3.37M | Year: 2008

STONECORE is a project dealing with the development and application of nano materials for consolidation and conservation of natural and artificial stone. Six SMEs, four universities, one public research organisation and one public body from seven countries have jointed together in order to find a new approach for refurbishment. The idea is to develop and test nano materials compatible to the components originally used during construction together with non destructive stone assessment methods. Colloidal sols of calcium hydroxide, calcium / barium carbonate, calcium sulphate or related compounds will be in the centre of interest. These materials will be used also as new, biozide free agents for mildew removal. The project will lead from laboratory investigations and small scale applications on trial areas to the use of the developed materials on selected real objects. It is a project that aims on knowledge based refurbishment of buildings as well as monuments of cultural heritage and that combines natural sciences and the art of conservation. Thus, main subjects of STONECORE are: The development of nano materials compatible to natural and artificial stone for refurbishment of buildings, monuments, fresco, plaster and mortar, The development and test of suitable technologies for their application and The development and test of non destructive assessment methods (such as georadar) in combination with traditional assessment methods (SEM, XRD, drilling resistance and other). The project will have duration of three years. The results will be presented to the public and interested companies in three workshops, in which interested parties are invited to test the developed materials and techniques on own objects. The project contributes to the EC objectives by the development of materials and technologies allowing a reduction of the material and energy consumption during refurbishment, creating new business opportunities for SMEs and protecting the cultural heritage.

News Article | April 18, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

A mass grave found outside of Athens may contain the burial of followers of Cylon, a tyrant who sought to take over the Acropolis in 632 B.C. A trove of shackled skeletons unearthed in a mass grave near Athens may have once belonged to the followers of a tyrant who sought to overthrow the leader of ancient Greece. "These might be the remains of people who were part of this coup in Athens in 632 [B.C.], the Coup of Cylon," said Kristina Killgrove, a bioarchaeologist at the University of West Florida, in Pensacola, who was not involved in the current study. The mass grave was uncovered as archaeologists were excavating a huge cemetery in the ancient port city of Phaleron, just 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) from Athens. Over the last several years, archaeologists led by Stella Chrysoulaki, of Greece's Department of Antiquities of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, have unearthed a huge complex filled with ancient skeletons dating to between the eighth and fifth centuries B.C. [8 Grisly Archaeological Discoveries] "For the most part they are anomalous burials — the shackled people and people buried facedown, but also a lot of kids and a lot of nonelite individuals," Killgrove said. Some of the graves at Phaleron, including those of shackled individuals, have been known for about a century, but in the last four years, newer excavations have uncovered a huge trove of additional bodies. All told, the burial site is about 1 acre (4,046 square meters) in area and holds at least 1,500 skeletons. "This is just a massive number of burials, which is absolutely fantastic," Killgrove told Live Science. Among the skeletons found were a group of about 80 people who were lined up in the mass grave, with 36 whose hands were bound with iron shackles, according to the Greek Ministry of Culture. A few pieces of pottery found near the skeletons suggest that these ancient prisoners died between 650 B.C. and 625 B.C., the Greek Ministry of Culture said in a statement. That date could tie the prisoners to an ancient coup. In 632 B.C., the former Olympic champion Cylon tried to take over the Acropolis in Athens. His revolt was put down, and though Cylon may have escaped, his followers were put to death, after an initial promise to let them live was broken, according to "The Date of Cylon: A Study in Early Athenian History" (Harvard University Press, 1982). However, it's not certain these ancient prisoners are in any way connected to Cylon, Killgrove said. "One of the problems is that historical records are really spotty for that century, so we really have no history and so it might be a stretch for them to connect these shackled skeletons with this coup," Killgrove said. Other skeletons at the site were buried in jars, in open pits, or in funeral pyres. The site even contains a horse burial, the researchers said. While the backstory of these doomed prisoners is fascinating, the site is also unique because of what it may reveal about the lives of the average Joe (or "Ioseph"?) in the centuries before the golden age of the Greek city-states, between the fifth and the third centuries B.C., Killgrove said. "We don't have information about people who aren't in historical records," Killgrove said. "Learning more about the lower social classes in Athens tells us a lot about the rise of the city-state in Athens." Copyright 2016 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bourbou C.,Hellenic Ministry of Culture
International Journal of Paleopathology | Year: 2014

Archaeological evidence of scurvy in Greece has previously included only a few cases. Recently, during the study of a Middle Byzantine (11th-12th centuries A.D.) Greek population from Crete, Greece, four non-adult skeletons were found to exhibit abnormal porosity and reactive new bone formation, mainly on the cranial and post-cranial bones, which vary in extent and severity. These lesions are similar to those reported in previous studies of juvenile scurvy, suggesting that most likely the individuals suffered from this condition at the time of death. Further, a biocultural approach is applied here in order to contextualize these findings, as well as to explore the reasons for the sporadic appearance of the disease. It is proposed that these cases are indicative of undernutrition and that the development of scurvy in this Middle Byzantine Greek population might be associated with weaning and the type/quality of solid foods introduced after cessation of breastfeeding. The reported cases are important because archaeological evidence of scurvy in this geographical area is relatively rare, and they contribute to the broader global understandings of the cultural variables that mediate the expression of skeletal manifestations of juvenile scurvy. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Papadopoulos K.,Hellenic Ministry of Culture | Vintzileou E.,National Technical University of Athens
International Journal of Architectural Heritage | Year: 2016

The columns of monumental buildings in ancient Greece were provided with a pair of timber “empolia” (plugs) and a “pole” (pin), at interfaces between stone members (drums, capital). In order to reinstate this connection system, in columns capitals that were repaired, during the ongoing restoration of the classical temple of Apollo Epikourios (Greece), new poles and empolia made of titanium were installed. The titanium elements were designed to have similar shape and shear strength to the estimated respective characteristics of the ancient poles and empolia. Moreover, their effect on the seismic behaviour of the temple columns was numerically investigated. The investigation showed that, within the range of strong earthquakes which are anticipated in the area of the monument, the installation of a single pole at the interface between the capital and the uppermost drum leads to limited reduction of the expected maximum and residual deformations of the column, without altering significantly the main characteristics of its rocking response. Furthermore, poles located at every column interface ensures significant limitation of the column residual deformations. Prior to implementation of the titanium poles and empolia, the main aspects of their design were verified through specially designed experiments. © 2016 Taylor & Francis.

Athanassiou A.,Hellenic Ministry of Culture
Quaternary International | Year: 2012

Fossil elephant remains were identified in Loussiká, NW Peloponnese, Southern Greece, when tusk fragments were recognized in a bulldozer backfill. An excavation carried out in 2001 and 2003 by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture revealed the partial skeleton of an adult male mammoth, referred to the Middle Pleistocene species Mammuthus trogontherii. The recovered material includes part of the skull, the complete mandible, several vertebrae and ribs, both scapulae, ulna, tibia, most carpal and tarsal bones, metapodials and phalanges. The metrical and anatomical study of the skeleton shows that the living individual was about 45 years old, stood about 3.80 m high and weighed about 8 t. M. trogontherii is a very rare species in Southern Europe. The Loussiká skeleton represents the first solid evidence of the species' presence in Southern Greece and considerably expands to the south its palaeobiogeographic range in the Balkan area. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

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