The purpose of this paper is to present a concurrent implementation of sustainable inventory for the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn in the interior of Oman.
A digital heritage inventory (DHI) was developed through an action research to realize demands of the local agent and to co-design the solution. The Ministry of Heritage and Culture of Oman, the local agent, demanded to have archaeological information of the sites shared with foreign expeditions, which had worked at the sites for decades, for efficient heritage management, scientific research, outreach, and education. To this end, the Bat Digital Heritage Inventory (BatDHI) was implemented by a combination of network-access-ready database application, open source geographical information systems, and a web-based map service to incorporate and visualize previous works, which were concurrently cross-checked and updated by ground-truth surveys.
The online inventory made it possible to update information during archaeological fieldwork in real time and accelerated the decision-making process in heritage management by prompt data updates and visualization.
The DHI is extendable for other sites or regions. It should also be considered to install Arches, an open-source suite of digital heritage inventories.
The BatDHI was implemented through the action research mentioned in the design/methodology/approach section and yielded the implications mentioned in the findings section.
This paper is a challenging application of transdisciplinary approach to the sustainable heritage management, in which researchers and societal stakeholders collaborate for co-design of research agendas, co-production of knowledge, and co-dissemination of outcomes.
This research was conducted under the auspices of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture (MHC), the Sultanate of Oman. The authors would like to thank Sultan bin Saif Al-Bakri, Assistant Director-General of Archaeology and Museums and the former Director of Excavations and Archaeological Studies, and all staff members of the Department for their supports for the mission. The authors are also grateful to local staff members working at Bat, particularly to the representatives of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture Sulaiman Al-Jabri, Ismail Al-Matrafi, and Badr Ali Al-Moqbali for their tireless support in fieldwork and logistics. This research was financially supported by both MHC and scientific grants-in-aids of the JSPS KAKENHI 11J00130, KuritaWater and Environment Foundation Grant No. 13C005, Japan Geographic Data Center Grant, and the RIHN Discretionary Budget for Early Career Researchers to YK, as well as JSPS KAKENHI 22101005 to TO. The authors would like to thank Tara Beuzen-Waller, Charlotte M. Cable, Stéphane Desruelles, Éric Fouache, Atsushi Noguchi, and Christopher P. Thornton for their comments on the research. The earlier version of this paper was published in ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences (Kondo et al., 2015) as a conference paper for the 25th International Symposium of CIPA held at Taipei in 2015.
Kondo, Y., Miki, T., Kuronuma, T., Hayakawa, Y., Kataoka, K. and Oguchi, T. (2016), "Concurrent and sustainable development of a local-scale digital heritage inventory through action research at Bat, Oman", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 195-212. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCHMSD-01-2016-0005Download as .RIS
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