The heritage is sensitive, changeable and under a constant threat.

(Ивона Тричковска и Кристина Бицева [превод] Прирачник за водење инвентар и документирање на културното наследство, Културно наследство - програма за техничка соработка и консултации [Скопје: Министерство за култура на Република Македонија - Управа за заштита на културното наследство, 2007], 22)

For realization of the Vision for an advanced treatment of the archaeological cultural heritage, serious activities are required as part of specific programs. Accordingly, the following list of priorities is absolutely complementary to the National development strategies in the cultural sector.

The very first step is creation of a visually user-friendly and preferably GIS (Geographic Information System) and an Internet-oriented platform for immovable cultural heritage (a model for this is the realization of DIENDICURE). This platform should be the place where the archaeological sites and discovered buildings, together with the protection zones and the level of protection, should be integrated with the GIS portal of the Agency for Real Estate Cadastre. (https://ossp.katastar.gov.mk/OSSP/). This ensures long-term and stable control of the construction activities in the protected areas, and thus prevention of damage and protection of the cultural heritage. Additionally, this system is a practical tool for planning of the future steps in the urban and the spatial planning and development. This platform should be linked, or better, to be part of the database of the Central Register of the Cultural Heritage and integrated with the movable cultural heritage through the location where it is found. In separate digital forms, a record of the entire history of analyses, measures of protection and conservation with the proper photo and technical documentation can be continuously stored. The proposed model implies a higher level of the organization throughout the use of user accounts with different privileges. Of course, the privileged approach to adding and modifying data should be enabled exclusively for persons directly responsible for the protection and preservation of cultural heritage, and double checked by system administrators. They should be able to upgrade and change the data directly from the offices at the local institutions, and the access to selected resources from the database should be available to different categories of users. Experience shows that the need for graduated levels of access to selected data, depending on the personal, professional and scientific competencies of the institution from which it is accessed. If the system includes the documentation of the immovable heritage and the complete field documentation of the contemporary research, a database of invaluable significance will be constantly upgraded. This undoubtedly contributes to raising of the level of protection of cultural heritage through the process of constant digitization and data backup in several places due to the potential danger of natural disasters or accidents caused by human nature. It is necessary to be Internet (cloud) implementation. Through this, the software and the databases will be located on one place, on the servers at the Directorate for protection of cultural heritage, and a copy of the data will be kept in another relatively distant but secure location. This will not only avoid the cost of decentralized equipping with expensive equipment of each institution separately, but would also stimulate the researchers to publish the results more dynamically, because of automated opening of access to the stored data after the expiration of the legally prescribed deadline (the right to first data publication to the project manager). This system would absolutely respect both rights of first publication of the finds and author copyrights. With this set of priorities, it would be finally „brought to the surface “an important part of the cultural heritage, for its professional and scientific valorization and evaluation. Is there greater promotion, democratization, de-monopolization, de-concentration, decentralization and greater transparency if an adequate part of the resources of such a system is made available to everyone via the Internet. The resources of this system can be part of various educational programs (internet schools), an inspiration for many contemporary cultural activities, but also a place where people with mobility problems will get familiar with cultural heritage in a friendly virtual environment. This system is the basis for future virtual visits to museums and archaeological sites. Not to discuss the speed and efficiency with which future re-evaluations of cultural heritage would be possible if each item possesses a unique digital identifier (bar-code or QR code). The promotion and availability of cultural heritage is the basis of this system, but the data deriving from the number and interests of the users of this system from the aspect of their age, gender, professional structure can be used as a resource for creating new policies, strategies, and actions that will target specific groups and actions. The process of initial data filling will contribute to identification of potential problems and stimulate improvement and development of the system itself. Some of the tools proposed above are already available through the Central Register of the Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Macedonia, but as mentioned above, its real potential is still not fully engaged.

The creation of a unique and unified system for inventory of movable cultural heritage as part of the base of the Central Register of the Cultural Heritage (Data model for the information system of the cultural heritage of the Republic of Macedonia, National inventory of cultural heritage), publicly available on [http://www.niskn.gov.mk/Impresum.aspx] with more information on [http://uzkn.gov.mk/aktivnosti.html] is the basic essential element necessary for a high level of treatment that meets modern standards. This system should be built on the principles of consultation workgroups of specialists in the research, preservation, and protection of specific classes, groups and types of cultural heritage (pottery, coins, small finds etc.) and necessarily with the presence of specialists with experience in working with such systems, representatives from the IT sector as an inseparable part of the inventory system. These groups should help in building separate digital forms, as digital file dossiers with the possibilities to insert various data related to the heritage nature. The same approach can also be used in building the forms for the above discussed, immovable cultural heritage. Through these forms the database should be constantly upgraded by trained specialists (documentarists) employed in the local institutions.

Also, the process of innovation during the creation of this system, as well as the awareness of a wider social and socio-cultural responsibility should not be neglected. Additionally, the work of each institution will be transparent through the realized database additions, and the system can also be used simultaneously for an overall evaluation of the institution and its employees. The resources of the system can be used by professional and scientific staff, as well as by cultural and tourist operators in creating touristic and educational paths for the potentially targeted users with specific interests. If this system is based on modules for the other categories of cultural heritage (ethnological, historical, literary, etc.), its potentials are immeasurable from today's point of view. The independent tourist visits, where the visitor can manage site visit just through the use of its location and the data inside the system, by scanning the codes attached to the exhibition showcases or on the buildings on the archaeological sites. By this, the necessary information stored in the database can be available on his personal device (smartphone or tablet).

For achieving a higher quality in the creation of primary documentation of the cultural heritage, due to its protection and rescue, it is necessary to purchase GPS instruments, total stations and electronic levels for each institution separately. Other tools that slowly become an indispensable part of the documenting process are UAV`s, and equipment such as geo-radar, laser scanner, a 3D scanner for movable finds, the use of LIDAR technology and, of course, proper software and computer systems for data processing. All these technologies are used for easier identification and mapping of protection zones based on specific data. All this requires education and employment of staff who will conduct surveys and research and who will support the equipment.

Given the complexity of the overall natural and social contexts where todays cultural heritage once existed, its understanding and consistent protection cannot be realized without a wide interdisciplinary approach and application of the most recent exact physical and chemical analyses. A very important step is the cohesion and calibration of the archaeological data through the use of the methods of climatology, physical anthropology, genetics, geology, geophysics (consequences of earthquakes and volcanoes), volcanology, biology, bacteriology, epidemiology, botany, zoology, Only through such an interdisciplinary approach, will be possible to correct and "exactify" the results from the earlier research, performed primarily with the dominant application of the cultural-historical method. Exactly for this purpose, it is necessary to create highly equipped laboratories, staff training for the building of teams of professionals and the delivery of proper hardware and software for the analysis of the results. Research and analysis should be held by teams of young professionals who would be educated and trained in their fields of interest through interdisciplinary studies, each finding the place in the teams and under the mentorship of prominent specialists from the country or abroad. Laboratory analysis of cultural heritage contributes to a higher level of protection by obtaining a larger amount of exact data necessary for the process of its effective protection.

In order to manage the heritage effectively, it is first necessary to be fully familiar with it.

(Myriam Goblet, “Comparative Summary of Documentation Systems - RPSEE Countries,” in Integrated Management Tools in the Heritage of South-East Europe, ed. Robert Palmer and Robert Pickard [Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2008], 147)

The project "DIGITAL ENVIRONMENTS FOR DIGITAL CULTURAL REALITIES (DIENDICURE)" - Spatial GIS-based platform for advanced level of management and analytics on the data of the Central Register of the Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Macedonia –“ is financed by the Delegation of the European Union in Skopje and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia, and implemented by the PSI Institute of Old Slavic Culture - Prilep, with Mr. Hristijan Talevski (assistant researcher) as project manager. The project is funded under the Program „European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018“, and the Program „Projects of National Interest in Culture“ of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia

Globally, the cultural heritage is a strong and attractive factor, and throughout the use of the Geographic Information Systems, it is possible to activate a new dynamic for sustainable development and rational use of the available resources. The new technologies used in the digital humanities offer unlimited possibilities for protection and presentation through innovation and creativity in the use of computer technologies for the treatment of cultural heritage through: providing a higher level of protection, preservation, accessibility and diffusion of relevant information; correct answers to questions asked about conservation, management and promotion; new approaches in knowledge elaboration, with an emphasis on encouraging the perception of a common European identity in a wider context.

The Geographic Information System (GIS) is a very effective tool that offers unlimited possibilities for adaptation to the users’ needs. It is also well known that GIS is a system for connecting alphanumeric and multimedia data in a user-friendly manner, in a form very suitable for presentation. It allows a large amount of typologically various information, compatible with different software to be easily accessible, easy to upgrade, modify and present. By using innovative GIS advanced and best practices for digital implementation in an interactive and contextual environment, DIENDICURE is a multi-purpose and innovative product located in virtual space. Innovative in the aspect of the visual, aesthetic and creative experiences from using the platform. In recent years, we have witnessed a steadily growing trend in the use of digital and quantitative methods for the study of the development of ancient settlements and their surroundings. The free access to a large amount of data related to the archaeological cultural heritage is increasing daily, generally because of advances in the use of computer technologies interacted with the interdisciplinary approach in the archaeology. These databases are often excellent in the diversity and the potentials they offer. Spatial data, often acquired with advanced geophysical and aerial data capture methods, offer a comprehensive image of archaeological sites not only on a regional level but also on their entire complexity in wider geographical contexts as well as in the context of the complex networks they existed.

The cultural heritage has an innovation potential together with an expansive and sustainable development perspective. The activities that were realized as a pilot project led to a product that should be developed and constantly improved, to enable proper treatment of the diverse and rich cultural heritage of the Republic of Macedonia. The product should be taken into consideration regarding the possible future upgrade of the existing Central Register of the Cultural Heritage. Also, the incorporation of the spatial data should be considered for the Register of Movable Cultural Heritage. This is possible because the database to be used is complementary with one of the Directorate for Protection of Cultural Heritage. The implementation of this project offered a specific innovative approach (not unique) in the protection and promotion of cultural heritage. Also, two relatively neglected aspects of cultural heritage are considered, its strong educational and economic potential. The proposed platform is the least that can be done at this stage considering the activities consistent with the National Strategy for the Development in Culture, more precisely in the field of archaeological cultural heritage. The realization of this project is just one small step in achieving a clear vision for raising awareness of the use of modern computer technologies and methodologies for the appropriate contemporary treatment of archaeological cultural heritage with a non-invasive methodology.

The Product is a spatial visualization of several selected landscapes and environments, stratified over the centuries, and based on the available relevant data for the immovable archaeological cultural heritage. With a rigorous approach to data processing through the use of free software and information on the terrain of the Republic of Macedonia, the data is available in a virtual environment authentic to the natural. In this environment, detailed spatial information about the sites in the focus of the project activities is available. Detailed information includes geographical and spatial information of each type, including data on the chronology of the development of the buildings and the entire settlements, their location, the degree of protection, preservation level and potential risks to the heritage. On this data, filtering, measurements and analyses can be performed on several levels. The GIS platform as a defined set of methods, software, and technologies developed specifically for storage, mapping, geological, hydrological and spatial analysis will offer the full potential for an integrated approach that can be used for research and promotion. The biggest achievement is the availability of free internet access to some of the resources embedded in the system for research and promotion of this small part of the cultural heritage of the Republic of Macedonia.

The prevention from destruction and monitoring of the cultural heritage through the use of modern digital technologies are the true protection of cultural heritage. This project is based on applied international standards, new technologies and methods and best-established practices in the promotion and the protection of the cultural heritage. Simultaneously, this product will be used for its presentation and popularization. By the opening of the access to the data, a higher level in the positive use of the cultural heritage is achieved, regarding its self-sustainability. This is our commitment, and the support and further development of the system will be a strong stimulus in the management of cultural resources, and strengthening of the basis for adequate development, protection and valorisation of the monuments of culture, but also, for development of the existing towards sustainable tourism in future. We hope that the gained experience during the development of the system, together with the developed method will find its place in the practical realization of the strategies of the Directorate for Protection of Cultural Heritage and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia.

Creation of a geographic information system, management and general project coordination

Hristijan Talevski, MA in Archaeology, an assistant researcher at PSI Institute of Old Slavic Culture - Prilep

WebGIS and website

Gjore Milevski, software engineer and GIS technician (Center for Prehistoric Research)

Detailed terrain modelling and digital elevation models

prof. Ivica Milevski, Ph.D., Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Institute of Geography

Topographic data management

Monika Andreeska, BA in Geography – group for Geographic information systems

Primary digitization of archaeological material

Kire Paleski, BA in Computer Sciences, IT at PSI Institute of Old Slavic Culture - Prilep

License

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

• Talevski, Hristijan, Vasilija Chali, Nita Mucha, and Emanuele Brienza. “Report on the GIS Pilot-Project on the Archaeological Site Stobi.” Arheološki Informator I (2017): 175–87.

• Талевски, Христијан. “Проучувањето на населбите и третманот на археолошкото културно наследство во Република Македонија, приод, истражување, заштита и публикување.” Balcanoslavica 40–44 (2015): 185–95.

PSI Institute of Old Slavic Culture – Prilep

address: Kichevsko Dzade bb, 7500 Prilep, Republic of Macedonia

phone: +389 48 412 715

contact: contact@diendicure.mk