Making cultural heritage digitally accessible
The University of Birmingham participates in a Europe-wide partnership led by Kiel University for modern teaching in Classical Archaeology.
In October 2017, The Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham began a cooperation project in classical archaeology with the universities of Kiel, Aarhus, Bergen and Paris as well as the Open University of the Netherlands. The partnership project is funded with around €370,000 (of which UoB receives around €60,000) by the European Union (EU) as part of the ERASMUS+ programme and is headed by the Institute of Classics at Kiel University. The project is entitled “Ancient Cities. Creating a Digital Learning Environment on Cultural Heritage”. The Europe-wide cooperation project's goal is to digitally set up the cultural heritage using the ancient city as an example, during the three-year period. An innovative, pan-European, digital learning module is to be developed within this international teaching project’s three-year period. The project partners at each university are creating in collaboration with archaeology students a so-called Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), which is an open access film-based and interactive form of learning, in which those interested can participate from wherever they are via the Internet. In this way, the project participants will employ research on a variety of ancient cities in order to prepare contents on Classical Archaeology in a modern teaching format. A three-day launch meeting for the European cooperation project took place in mid-October at Kiel University (photo).
During the coming year, the first digital learning contents will be produced, which will be integrated into the archaeology and classics degree programmes of the participating universities. A joint Internet appearance is also planned alongside the project and in addition to MOOC. The successively produced learning media will initially be available to students at the cooperating universities, and will also be made publicly accessible in the next stage of the project. This enables the project leaders to fulfil the requirements for generally accessible and transparent ‘Open Science’.
The partner institutions want to use this unique European project to not only present their subject in a modern way, but also to qualify their students for the modern working world: students will gain archaeological knowledge and qualifications in media production as well as learn what it is like to work in an international academic team. To this end, two international spring/summer schools are planned in the context of this program, the first of which will take place in Paris from February 25 to March 3 2018. The Paris 2018 spring school will give students a comprehensive overview of current research in urban archaeology.
About the EU funding programme:
Erasmus+ is the European Union’s programme for education, young people and sports. It combines the previous EU programmes for life-long learning, young people and sports, as well as the European cooperation programmes in the university sector. Erasmus+ has a budget of around €14.8 billion. More than 4 million people will profit from these EU funds by 2020. The programme, which is designed to run for seven years, aims to improve skills and boost employability, as well as to help modernise the general and professional education systems and the children and youth welfare systems.
Christian Bech (Aarhus), Michael Blömer (Aarhus), James Leahy (Birmingham), Yannick Mahé (Paris), Stefan Feuser (Kiel), (back row, left to right) Alain Duplouy (Paris), Mantha Zarmakoupi (Birmingham), Alexa Gallo (Paris), (front row, left to right) attended the launch meeting at Kiel University. Photo: Christian Urban, Kiel University
Dr Mantha Zarmakoupi, Birmingham Fellow
Lecturer in Classical Archaeology
University of Birmingham
School of History and Cultures
Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Tel.: +44 121 414 9201
Strategic partnership (ERASMUS+)
“Ancient Cities. Creating a Digital Learning Environment on Cultural Heritage”: