The last decades have witnessed marked achievements of STEM in understanding the remains of humans, animals, and plants from the past by analyzing different materials, both inorganic and organic. These developments have opened up the great potential for increasing our understanding of cultural heritage, and hence for developing better strategies for its protection and management. At the same time, the social and economic transformations since the 1990s have affected the sector of cultural heritage protection and management, inducing changes in its conceptual basis, scientific background, education, legislation, as well as the technological tools at its disposal. Among other, this led to the development of new forms of market-based heritage expert services.
HERISTEM strategic partnership is created with the aim to meet these challenges and to advance the university curricula in heritage disciplines by the systematic incorporation of STEM knowledge in education and research in heritage disciplines.
The core discipline in the project is archaeology. As the most interdisciplinary of all heritage disciplines, it deals with different material/physical aspects of various objects of heritage, ranging from small objects, architecture, objects of art, to cultural landscapes, thus covering most of the aspects of cultural heritage. In addition, it is the archaeological heritage which is today threatened the most by spatial development.
Today, there is no single department or institute in Europe which can effectively educate students in all domains of knowledge and methods needed in contemporary heritage research and protection, STEM topics included. By creating the higher education, museum and small business partnership, our project aims to provide effective transfer of knowledge, skills and good practices among various professional settings. The aim is to increase the skills and knoweldges of both professionals already in the field and students of heritage disciplines, thus increasing their capacities in job markets.