Jasmin SCHEIFINGER | Barbara RANKL | Iulian GANCIU
(Austrian Archaeological Institute/Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Conservation and Restoration/University of Applied Arts, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, Vienna, Austria)

Keywords: Geophysical prospection, Restoration, UNESCO-World Heritage site, Ephesos

This presentation will provide an insight into a research project funded by the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The project is carried out as cooperation between three research institutes in Vienna: The Austrian Archaeological Institute, the Institute of Conservation and Restoration at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology.
The ruins of Ephesos were never completely covered by soil, and since their rediscovery extensive research and rebuilding activities have been carried out. The UNESCO-World Heritage Site not only attracts millions of visitors every year but also represents an important centre of archaeological, conservation scientific and heritage study research.
The current study deals with overarching research questions from the perspectives of archaeology, conservation science and cultural heritage studies. Three doctoral studies interlinked to one interdisciplinary project will interpret the image of Ephesos as it is presented today and show how and why it changed over the course of its long period of research.
The archaeological study focusses on the archaeological interpretation of geophysical prospection data. By digitizing the data, a new analysis and visualisation of the urbanistic development of the ancient city shall be carried out.
The conservation scientific study deals with the history of restoration and the rebuilding activities in Ephesos. This part of the interdisciplinary project will investigate the transformation of the city from a natural landscape with ancient ruins to an archaeological park utilized by mass tourism.
The cultural heritage study will examine the impact of a world heritage site on the daily life of the local community. It explores the effects of cultural heritage on processes of local identity formation and on the meanings attributed by local people to the site’s cultural heritage.

Relevance for the conference: The project focusses on the visualisation of hidden remains underneath the earth and its joint interpretation with the visible heritage in Ephesos.
Relevance for the session: Within the session we would have the opportunity to present and dicuss our topic with a broader audience and experts of different fields.
Innovation: The output of this interdisciplinary project is able to fill in a gap in understanding the construct and agency of Ephesos, this way the ancient life history of this ancient site will no longer be disconnected from that of the archaeological park, but rather be understood as an artistic synthesis.