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Young Jordanian seeks to showcase Kingdom’s archaeological treasures with aid of technology

By Saeb Rawashdeh - Sep 24,2019 - Last updated at Sep 26,2019

AMMAN — A young Jordanian scholar recently went to a conference in Helsinki to present the link between visual displays of archaeological artefacts and modern technologies.

Modern technologies were developed around the world with Jordan hopping “on this train”, noted Safa Joudeh, who graduated in Architectural Engineering from the Hashemite University and is specialised in architectural history, ancient building techniques and heritage management.

“I decided to move from the theoretical to the practical knowledge,” Joudeh said, adding that she has had two months of training with Sela for Vocational Training and Protection of Cultural Heritage, where she learned about heritage practices at sites like Hisban, Madaba and Petra.

Autodesk modelling software, image-based technology and multimedia motion graphics footage are some of the technologies used to create 3-D digital model renderings representing the archaeological sites, Joudeh stated.

The Helsinki conference “Living Communities and Their Archaeology: from the Middle East to the Nordic Countries” took place from September 12 until September 14.

“I received a travel scholarship from the American Centre of Oriental Research through the USAID SCHEP programme,” Joudeh said.

In Helsinki, she highlighted the importance of fully documenting archaeological objects, studying the “mentality” of target audiences and choosing the necessary interactive presentation for a particular audience, noting that she conducted her first project in 2016 about an early 20th century house at Busayrah in Tafileh in southern Jordan.

“The second project was the Roman Eastern Baths of Jerash, “she said, adding that she was involved with restoration of the marble statues found from 2016 – 2018, directed by Professor Thomas Weber and the restorer Franco Sciorilli.

During the conference, participants could meet and network, she said, adding it was “a fruitful conference with great papers and discussions about communities, archaeology and protection of cultural heritage”.

“Hopefully, Jordanian academic institutions and museums will start moving forward and using these technologies,” she concluded.

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