A Dive in History (2019-2020)

PI: Alexandre Monteiro. A significant part of the Portuguese cultural heritage is connected to the sea and the submerged cultural heritage along the Portuguese coasts is rich and spans a period of at least three millennia.

This project aims at mapping, inventorying, studying, and sharing the underwater cultural heritage of the Alentejo coast.

Dead Ships and Live Culture in Coastal Communities (A&M T3 Grant – 2018-2020)

PI: Richard Furuta. Shipwrecks are tangible reflections of the culture and technology of their time.  Culturally, they can be related to the narratives, myths, government, and bureaucracy of their time.  Spatially, their location reflects their routes, which in turn provides insight to economic and political alliances and disputes.  Technologically, the materials used and the methods also provide a window on the existing culture and its relationships.  We propose to develop a comprehensive geographic and archaeological resource that will support researchers, government agencies, and cultural agencies to better understand the relationships between society and ships, using tools and techniques from Digital Libraries, Geographic Information Systems, and Phylogenetics.  Initially we will focus on Portuguese shipwrecks, reflecting the rich and long maritime history of the country, as well as the accessibility of related data to our research group.

iMARECULTURE (2016-2020)

i-MareCulture is a European European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 727153. PI: Dimitrios Skarlatos.

Its “scope is to raise public awareness of European identity by focusing in maritime cultural heritage, which by default bridges different civilizations. In particular, i-MareCulture aims at bringing inherently unreachable underwater cultural heritage within digital reach of the wide public by implementing virtual visits, serious games with immersive technologies and underwater augmented reality. Scope of the project is to design, analyze, develop and validate pioneer applications and systems in the context of Virtual Museums through collaborative and innovative research from a diverse group of scientists, researchers, archaeologists, experts and museums.

GROPLAN (2013-2018)

Ontology and Photogrammetry – Generalizing Surveys in Underwater and Nautical Archaeology. PI: Pierre Drap.

The GROPLAN project is an Industrial Research project funded by ANR in the framework of “Contenus numériques et interactions” (CONTINT) 2013.
The main goal is to link photogrammetric underwater survey in underwater archaeology and naval archaeology context with archaeological knowledge formalized with ontology. The project started on April 1st 2014 and ended on March 30th 2018. “

ForSEAdiscovery (2013-2017)

Forest Resources for Iberian Empires: Ecology and Globalization in the Age of Discovery (Grant agreement no. 607545). PIs: Ana Crespo and Nigel Nayling.

In the Early Modern Age (16th-17th centuries) the construction of ocean-going ships was paramount to the development of cultural encounters in what became the Age of Discovery and European expansion. In the case of the Iberian Empires, the establishment of new trade routes brought up the need for armed merchantmen, galleons and smaller vessels, placing unprecedented demands on Iberian forests for the supply of construction timber. Forestry and sea power became inextricably linked, creating new geopolitical tensions, alliances and forest regulations. Key questions in this context are: could Iberian forest resources sustain the increasing demand of sound timber, or was the wood imported from elsewhere? If so, how were the trade networks organized? And did the lack of raw material force the technological changes occurred in shipbuilding in the 16th century, or were they a result of exchange between Mediterranean and Atlantic shipbuilding traditions? This project will address these questions through a multidisciplinary and innovative training research program to improve the understanding of our historical past, our cultural heritage, and our knowledge of the use of resources for shipbuilding. The prerequisite for such approach is combining knowledge derived from Humanities and Life Sciences.

The aims of the project are:

i) to consolidate a research line combining historical research, underwater archaeology, GIS and wood provenancing methods (dendrochronology, wood anatomy and geo/dendrochemistry);

ii) to increase the background and experience of trainees in the different research areas, by engaging the fellows in training courses and workshops aimed at developing their scientific, communication, and management skills; and

iii) to develop their transferable skills for future careers in academia or the private sector whilst advancing the research fields through the integration of research tools, development of reference datasets and new discoveries.