Nicola Lercari

2017 Hellman Fellow

Assistant Professor, World Heritage
UC Merced

Project Title: Digital Maya Heritage: A new approach to digital heritage documentation and dissemination in under-documented areas of Southern Mexico

Project Summary:
The purpose of the Digital Maya Heritage project is to define a new approach to the study and preservation of Maya archaeological heritage that is able to promote digital documentation methods of heritage sites and disseminate results in under-documented areas of Southern Mexico. To achieve these goals, the project will establish national and international research collaborations with the following on-going archaeological excavation projects: 1) Proyecto Regional Palenque (Palenque Regional Project- PREP), developed by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and UC Berkeley. To test the proposed methodology and assess its impact on local communities and project partners, my team and I will conduct fieldwork and train Mexican graduate and undergraduate students and local staff at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Palenque in the State of Chiapas. The project will also experiment with new methodologies of online data curation and dissemination based on open access, 3D visualization, and high-speed networks. Thus, the project will use the Pacific Research Platform (PRP), the new UC big data freeway system, to share and co-locate Big Cultural Heritage Data (BCHD) over this high-speed network to be distributed in state-of-the-art 3D visualization platforms, such as the UC Merced Wide-Area Visualization Environment (WAVE)[1], connecting partner UC campuses.