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Revealing the Invisible: a comparative analysis of the underwater heritage management in the Mediterranean context

De Vivo, Caterina (2012) Revealing the Invisible: a comparative analysis of the underwater heritage management in the Mediterranean context. Advisor: Catoni, Prof. Maria Luisa. Coadvisor: Griswold, Prof. Wendy . pp. 530. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

This work looks at the management of the underwater archaeological heritage in the Mediterranean context. Choosing two case studies from France (Marseille and Arles), Italy (Naples and Sicily), and Spain (Cartagena and Catalonia), we analyzed what underwater archaeological heritage is, how the underwater archaeological heritage is managed considering all the stakeholders involved in the construction of the heritage, its dissemination to the public, and, especially, how this heritage is perceived, if it is perceived, by society, bearing in mind that "cultural heritage" in general is not an objective and given concept. In the selection of the cases, both the sites where the underwater heritage is preserved in situ (which means under the surface of the water) and on land (e.g. in museums) were considered. At the beginning of the work we identified invisibility as the main problem related to the communication of the underwater heritage to the public. Nevertheless, it emerged that most cases were unsuccessful in generating awareness of the existence of underwater heritage in the public because of issues that may be related to management of the archaeological heritage in general. In some cases, however, a problem in the institutionalization of underwater archaeology as a discipline was registered, and we demonstrated that, at least in the three considered countries, the process of "heritagization" of the underwater archaeological remains is probably not completed. Clear narratives built around a clear interpretation of the archaeological data, and close collaboration between all the stakeholders involved in the heritage construction process, recorded both in Arles and Cartagena cases, proved to be fundamental factors for helping the public develop an excellent rapport with the heritage and for giving archaeological heritage a shared meaning. This work aims to enrich the Public Archaeology discourse on the importance of engaging local communities and visitors in the "heritage production" process, as well as on the need to find ever more and ever newer strategies to communicate the historical heritage to society. To develop this analysis a methodology borrowed from the Sociology of Culture was used. Griswold's Cultural Diamond and Schudson's dimensions in particular were used to explicate the relations between underwater heritage as a cultural object and society, and the power of underwater heritage as a cultural construct.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
PhD Course: Management and Development of Cultural Heritage
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/176
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2016 11:57
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/176

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