Yet another collaborative effort–analyzing Renaissance tombs in Suffolk


Another awesome collaborative effort, this time combining a group of specialists ranging from museology to space science.

Led by the University of Leicester, this innovative Heritage Science project draws together space scientists, art-historians, archaeologists and museologists from Leicester, with historians at Oxford and Yale, and and scientists from English Heritage.

An interdisciplinary research programme in Cultural Heritage, it is funded by a major award from the Science and Heritage Programme of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The award is for £497,000 and an additional three fully-funded PhD studentships.

Principal Investigator Dr Phillip Lindley, from the University of Leicester Department of History of Art and Film, said: “Key to this programme is the innovative employment of techniques borrowed from Space Science, principally three-dimensional scanning and non-destructive materials analysis, to solve a complex set of historical, archaeological and art-historical problems.”

The researchers will first analyse the great Renaissance monuments of Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk (d. 1554) and of Henry Fitzroy (d. 1539), Duke of Richmond, Henry VIII’s illegitimate son.

“We shall virtually disassemble the monuments and reconstruct their original forms for the first time in half a millennium, trying to integrate the excavated fragments in our virtual reconstructions. It is as if we have two (or more) three-dimensional jigsaws: we need first to sort the pieces out and then put them back together.”

With scanning and analytical techniques borrowed from Space Science, all this can be done virtually, without even touching the . Materials analysis (using XRF, RAMIN, and other non-destructive techniques) again developed for applications, will provide information about the original painted surfaces.

The project will function as a case study, adapting techniques for analysis, interpretation and display, to make them widely transferable, and to further the innovative deployment of science in the Sector.

Read the full article here.

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The Art of Counting is dedicated to the memory of Margery Meilleur, who first taught me to view history through the eyes of the images we create.