Saturday, 6 July 2013

Looted Suffolk and Digital Heritage

Dig Venturers gather for DVIP lecture
at Leiston Abbey © David Gill
On Thursday evening I was invited to be the DVIP at the Dig Venturers Excavation at Leiston Abbey. It was a glorious summer evening and we were able to sit outside the barn. My starting point was the looting of the Icklingham bronzes and I showed that one of the pieces features on the back cover of the standard work on Roman Suffolk. I took along the Harvard exhibition catalogue with one of the heads. This volume provides information about the "provenance" and its link to Suffolk. I also showed the Shelby White / Leon Levy Metropolitan Museum of Art catalogue and explained how some of this material has been returned to Greece and Italy (and, indeed, to Turkey) as a result of photographic recognitions.

Will Shelby White be returning this significant finds to Suffolk for display in the Ipswich Museum?

The discussion branched into the encyclopedic museum (including the nature of "the British Museum"), excavations in war-time (including Gallipoli [of interest to one of the Australian Dig Venturers]), where the Sutton Hoo finds should be displayed, and digital heritage. We explored how we could use Web 2.0 technologies to crowd-source the interpretation of a site.

So, thank you, Dig Venturers, for a wonderful evening.

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