Fighting illicit trade in antiquities with digital technology

Arianna Traviglia, direttrice del Center for Cultural Heritage Technolgies dell’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia di Venezia, e Riccardo Giovanelli, assegnista del Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici dell’Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia, nell’ambito del progetto finanziato dall’Unione Europea H2020 NETCHER, hanno promosso una edizione speciale del Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology.

La call for abstract della pubblicazione, interamente dedicata alle tecnologie applicate alla lotta contro il traffico illegale di antichità, intitolata “Fighting illicit trade in antiquities with digital technology“, sarà aperta fino al 15 Novembre 2019.

Obbiettivo della pubblicazione è quello di raccogliere “pratiche digitali che cerchino di comprendere e combattere il fenomeno del saccheggio e del traffico illecito di oggetti archeologici”. Gli stessi editori avevano già diretto una sessione dedicata a questo tema durante la scorsa edizione della conferenza internazionale CAA tenutasi a Cracovia nel 2019, di cui avevamo pubblicato la call qui.

Come descritto nel bando della call, negli ultimi anni abbiamo assistito alla nascita di iniziative tecnologiche promosse da diverse tipologie di attori coinvolti nella protezione del patrimonio culturale in pericolo: fra gli esempi sono citati il telerlevamento, il monitoraggio di vendite on-line (attraverso social-media, forum, deep web), lo studio di network criminali attraverso l’applicazione di machine learning e la blockchain.

Di seguito il testo integrale della call:

Fighting illicit trade in antiquities with digital technology

Open for abstract submissions from the 15th September 2019 until the 15th November 2019

Editors: Arianna Traviglia and Riccardo Giovanelli

The aim of this JCAA special issue is to bring together ongoing digital practices attempting to understand and fight the phenomena of pillage and illicit trade of archaeological objects, in order to boost the discussion and define a set of good practices. In recent years, in fact, despite the 1970 “UNESCO convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property”, plundering and illicit trade of archaeological objects have been on the rise and becoming a global-scale phenomenon, further exacerbated by the turmoil stemmed from the crisis in the MENA regions.

As a consequence of this upsurge, we are assisting the widening of digitally enhanced initiatives, promoted by diverse actors engaged in the protection of endangered cultural heritage and in halting illicit trade, which increasingly rely on technological and digital advances. Remote sensing is being used to detect and monitor illicit excavations, exploring new ways to automate looting recognition methods; Illicit online sales, social media, online forums, the deep web and trafficking networks are being investigated with the support of machine learning, delivering quantitative and content data; 3D imagery-fed blockchain technologies are currently being investigated to customise this emerging technology to immutably trace provenances records and create a record of assets that cannot be tampered with.

We seek contributions discussing different digital approaches like (but not limited to):

  • Remote sensing for detection of looting activities
  • Network analysis for modelling illicit antiquities trade
  • Local or global databases of lootable or looted items
  • Quantitative and statistical analysis
  • Predictive modelling
  • Data mining
  • Deep learning
  • Blockchain technologies applied to data storage and cultural heritage protection
  • Social media

Potential contributors will submit abstracts of about 500 words between the 15th September 2019 and the 15th November 2019 to both Arianna Traviglia (arianna.traviglia@iit.it) and Riccardo Giovanelli (riccardo.giovanelli@unive.it). The submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the editorial team and a selection of abstracts will be made to ensure content relevance and consistency. The authors of selected abstracts will be contacted to submit full manuscripts. Full manuscripts are expected to be completed and submitted for review at the JCAA by April 30th, 2020. The submission and review of full manuscripts will follow the guidelines of the JCAA.

This special issue is promoted within the framework of the H2020 Netcher project (NETwork and digital platform for Cultural Heritage Enhancing and Rebuilding) that aims at creating a structured network of actors engaged in fighting archaeological property pillage: https://netcher.eu/

Da https://journal.caa-international.org/about/special-collections 

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