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Antiquities Circle Lecture – Virtual Karam: The digital afterlife of a Lebanese archaeological collection

December 12, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join us in-person or online for this Antiquities Circle Lecture presented by Dr. Davide Tanasi, Professor of Digital Humanities, Department of History and Director of the Institute for Digital Exploration, College of Arts and Sciences (IDEx www.usfidex.com)

Museums, archives and libraries are often perceived as repositories of relics, entrusted to preserve ancient material culture and knowledge in perpetuity but at the same time committed to making it accessible. Logistical issues and fear of deterioration often denies access or imposes limits on the interactions between visitors and artefacts. An emblematic example is the USF Libraries Farid Karam M.D. Lebanon Antiquities Collection, one of the largest collection of Lebanese archaeological artifacts in the U.S.. Prior to the launch of the exhibition Highlights from the Karam Collection at the Tampa Museum of Art in November, due to space and personnel restrictions, the collection was never exhibited and made fully available to the general public. Being unpublished, hardly accessible and poorly visible online, it basically did not exist. This presentation will focus on a 3D digitization and visualization project undertaken by the USF Institute for Digital Technologies to give a digital afterlife to the collection and that has become instrumental to bring it back to the public (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dPfuh1t-vM). The promising result of this project driven by the application of innovative digital technologies offers a new perspective on the practice of virtual mimesis of ancient artifacts as strategic educational tool both for people with visual impairments and cognitive disabilities, and for the general public which can learn more using the touch interaction.

Speaker: Davide Tanasi (PhD) is an Italian archaeologist born and raised in Sicily, specializing in Mediterranean Prehistory and Greek and Roman Archaeology of Sicily and Malta.  He is an archaeological scientist and digital archaeologist specialist of ancient Sicily and Malta with research areas of interest in pottery and glass technology, bio-archaeology, biomolecular archaeology, 3D digital imaging applied to archaeology and cultural heritage study. In those fields, he has authored and edited ten books and over a hundred fifty scientific publications with his discoveries highlighted  on mainstream media as National Geographic, The Smithsonian, Scientific American and The Guardian.

Lectures at the Tampa Museum of Art are free with the cost of Admission

  • Art+ Museum Members: Free
  • Not-Yet-Members: $20
  • Students with a valid college ID: Free


Not able to join us in-person?

Register to view this program via Zoom Webinar

Image: The Institute for Digital Explorations team scans objects from the Karam Collection for digitization.


December 12, 2021
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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Tampa Museum of Art
120 W Gasparilla Plaza
Tampa, FL 33602 United States
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