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University of Gothenburg
Renovation of the Ferris wheel at Liseberg in Gothenburg. A quarter of the circle is missing.
Renovation of the Ferris wheel at Liseberg in Gothenburg.
Photo: Jenny Högström Berntson

Heritage and Science

During the last 5-10 years we have witnessed a science turn within humanities and social sciences: the breakthrough of ancient DNA, the increasing importance of Big Data, e.g. digital humanities, as well as other new science based analytical methodologies, such as network analysis. Taken together it will likely have a profound effect upon future directions of research, and therefore should also be the subject of critical analysis.

Science in humanities and historical studies

Strand leader: Kristian Kristiansen
This strand focus on research on heritage, dna and archaeology. It is a collaboration with Mats Ahlgren from Swedish Society for personal DNA genealogies. 

Vienna Genes talk by Kristian Kristiansen

"Genes, diseases, and migrations: what relationship? Indo-European expansions reconsidered"

In this talk I attempt to define and interpret the driving forces behind the 3rd millennium migrations, based on a pastoral mode of production. Kinship system, traction technologies and diseases are evaluated, as well as Indo-European texts. Also a comparison with ethnographically known pastoral groups.

Film by Roy Keys, "Vienna talks".

Conversation on DNA, heritage and archaeology: Podcast Inside the Box

Kristian Kristiansen discussed DNA, heritage and archaeology with Karin Boijs and moderator Johanna Lundin autumn 2019. 

Science in conservation and heritage management

Strand leader: Stavroula Golfomitsou

This strand function as a platform to discuss objects and how deterioration, life events and conservation affects the way they are viewed and understood.

Activities focus on creating a dialogue on how recent scientific advances can inform the above-mentioned issues and the wider impact of conservation.

Conservation can facilitate understanding of objects; however if done inappropriately interventions can mislead or erase evidence related to the way an object was made and used. In addition, treatments can erase evidence of history and alter appearance because due to lack of suitable restoration methods. Advances in scientific fields such as analytical chemistry and applied physics and the application of novel methods and tools in conservation, archaeology and technical art history offer new ways to assess past and current practices.


The UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage The UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage delivers sustainable solutions to real world problems concerning cultural heritage, working with external partners on ground-breaking, cross-disciplinary research and innovative teaching for future heritage leaders. We are part of The Bartlett: UCL’s global faculty of the built environment.