3D mapping of the Ksar Said palace. ©

The Virtual Experience Company

From a detailed and interactive 3D model of a historically important palace in Tunis to heritage professionals receiving training in various documentation techniques, there have been three projects in relation to Tunisia including one 10-month project which is running until 2021. 

Find out more about the projects:

The Digital Documentation of the Ksar Said Palace

The Virtual Experience Company awarded £93,125 to provide a 3D educational model of a historically important palace in Tunis, which has been closed for the last 50 years. This project is delivered in partnership with The Rambourg Foundation and Cambridge University Technical Services Limited.

During this six month project, The Virtual Experience Company produced a detailed and interactive 3D model of the Ksar Said Palace using laser scanning, photography and photogrammetry. The model is now available online to explore in real-time and access detailed information on the many architectural features of the palace. 

Training in Endangered Archaeology Methodology

£2,161,054 awarded to a consortium of three UK higher education institutions (University of Oxford, University of Leicester, and University of Durham) with the University of Oxford acting as the lead applicant, to train archaeologists from eight countries in the use of an open-source aerial recording methodology, designed for conflict zones and other areas where access to the ground is restricted. This project is delivered in partnership with the Department of Antiquities, Jordan; Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Palestine; General Organisation of Antiquities and Museums, Yemen; Department of Antiquities, Libya; Directorate General of Antiquities, Lebanon; Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunisia; State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Iraq; Ministry of State of Antiquities, Egypt; and Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt.

To date, 170 archaeologists have been trained in the use of an open-source recording methodology designed for conflict zones and areas with restricted ground access. Additionally, the project has contributed to enhancing records by supporting the creation of national databases.

10-month project for 2020-21

An additional £749,790 has been awarded following the Impact round in order to capitalise on previous work. This involves extending the use of the database, better management of archaeological sites and by training professionals in local countries on new techniques in heritage management. 

Training in Action

£963,825 awarded to the University of Durham to train 40 staff from Libyan and Tunisian national heritage organisations in documentation techniques, preventative conservation and heritage management. This project is delivered in partnership with the Institute National du Partimone de Tunisie, the Department of Antiquities, Libya and the Society of Libyan Studies. There is also involvement from scholars resident at Kings College London and the University College London.

Heritage professionals have now received training in various documentation techniques such as geographic information system and survey techniques, and site, monument and object recording through the use of drones, photogrammetry and large-scale 3D. Additionally, they have also had training in preventive conservation and heritage management on-site and in museums conservation ethics and management of cultural heritage. The trainees undertook their own additional mini-projects supported by micro-grants, which allowed the trainees to practise the various skills that they had developed.

Additionally, select participants have received further advanced training in an object recording app (HeDAP) which has been developed to record quickly and effectively archaeological and movable materials from museums and open sites. The data is then fed into national databases and the intention is that both countries will create specialised units who communicate with Interpol to deter looting.

Find out more about the project in our interview with Durham University's Dr Anna Leone