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Geophysics and cultural heritage: a living field of research for Italian geophysicistsNormal access

Authors: S. Piro, S. Negri, T.A.M. Quarta, M. Pipan, E. Forte, M. Ciminale, E. Cardarelli, P. Capizzi and L. Sambuelli
Journal name: First Break
Issue: Vol 33, No 8, August 2015 pp. 43 - 54
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 4.06Mb )
Price: € 30

If one reads the World Heritage List 2002/2003, (http:// whc.unesco.org/archive/WHList02-ENG.pdf), a datum comes out with evidence: 12 countries have 253 World Heritage Sites (WHS) and all the 125 member countries have 586 WHS. Within these 12 countries Italy has 35 WHS corresponding to about 6% of the whole, followed by Spain, 5.8%, France, 4.6%, and the tenth has less than 2% of WHS. Cultural heritage is one of the greatest riches of Italy. Europe, with China, is the land which has the most stratified history in the world, and Italy is likely to still have undiscovered settlements dating from the prehistoric age to the 18th century. Some areas are totally unexplored, others have been only partially dug and there is clear evidence that archaeological remains extend around the discovered areas. Geophysical methods for archaeological exploration, in Italy, date back to the Fifties with the pioneering work of Fondazione Lerici, and still many surveys are carried out to find new sites or to plan the future activity in an open archaeological excavation. The conservation of the cultural heritage, art, crafts or buildings, involves constant restora¬tion works. High resolution geophysics and micro geophysics techniques may contribute to facilitate the restoration of artworks or historical building elements. With respect to the management of a museum, micro geophysics techniques can contribute to evaluating the possibility and the precau¬tions that have to be taken when moving artefacts either for a museum reorganization or for temporarily lending a masterpiece to an exhibition.

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