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Gareth Beale is Research Fellow at the Department of Archaelogy at the University of York. He is based between the Department of Archaeology and the University of York's EPSRC/AHRC funded Digital Creativity Labs. His research interests include the use of digital technologies within archaeology and the archaeology of Britain during the 17th and 18th Centuries.
His research is strongly interdisciplinary and collaborative in character, bringing together expertise in archaeology, human computer interaction, game design and digital media arts. Information about current projects can be found in the 'Research' tab above.
Gareth completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Exeter in 2004 before moving to the University of Gothenburg in Sweden for a masters degree in Archaeological Computing. After graduating in 2005 I moved to the University of Southampton to pursue research relating to the theory and practice of digital imaging in archaeology. While at Southampton I completed an MSc in Archaeological Computing and I have recently submitted my PhD thesis.
My PhD Research was funded by the AHRC and carried out in collaboration with the Herculaneum Conservation Project. It focussed on the development of physically accurate 3D computer graphics techniques to visualise and interpret Roman sculptural polychromy.
Research Fellow at the Centre for Digital Heritage
Gareth's primary research interest is in the critical and creative use of technology for the documentation and representation of archaeology. His research in this area takes place at the intersection between the digital industries and archaeology and is motivated primarily by the desire to make technological innovation relevant and meaningful in a contemporary archaeological context. Knowledge transfer between disciplines and industries is central to his research and he is committed to the development of open source technologies.
Gareth is co-director of the DiNAR project an interdisciplinary collaboration to develop new forms of immersive experience for the heritage sector. The first DiNAR exhibition 'VikingVR' was installed as part of the York Museums Trust/British Museum 'Viking: Rediscover the Legend' and won the York Culture Award for Excellence in the Media Arts. The second collaboration with York Museums Trust 'Within the Walls of York Gaol' brings together Gareth's interests in 18th century archaeology and immersive technology and will develop new curatorial strategies for the prison cells at York Castle Museum. The project has been awarded funding from the AHRC as part of the Next Generation of Immersive Experiences programme and will be conducted in collaboration with the University of York's Department of Theatre, Film and Television.
In addition to research into immersive experiences Gareth is also involved in developing digital technologies for community archaeology. The Discovering England's Burial Spaces project has been funded by Historic England to develop recording and archiving tools for burial space research. Working with the Archaeology Data Service and the University of Liverpool the project works with community groups accross the UK to co-design new technologies for digital recording, data management and archving.
Gareth is co-director of the Basing House project which has, since 2012 conducted archaeological fieldwork investgating the siege and ultimate destruction of Basing House during the English Civil War. He has also worked on fieldwork projects in Italy (The Portus Project), Romania (Noviodunum Project) and Hungary (Százhalombatta Archaeology Project).
The Basing House project is a research excvation and summer school in Old Basing, Hampshire. The project is codirected by Nicole Beale and Chris Elmer (University of Southampton) and David Allen (Hampshire County Council). The project makes use of a full range of archaeological prospection, survey, imaging and excavation techniques in order to build a fuller picture of a complex multi-phase archaeological site. The project has a strong community focus with volunteers from Basingstoke Archaeological and Historical Society working alongside student and staff volunteers from a number of Universities.
Re-Reading the British Memorial
The Re-Reading the British Memorial Project is a community dcoumentation project co-directed with Nicole Beale. The project aims to develop and disseminate methodologies which allow local groups to document cemeteries, grave yards and church memorials using open source and free digital imaging techniques. The project has been run in coollaboration with the Churches Conservation Trust and Wessex Archaeology.