Valentina Vassalo | Interview

Valentina Vassallo

PhD candidate/Research assistant

Can you tell us few words about your academic background?

I studied Conservation of Cultural Heritage with specialization in Archaeology at La Tuscia University of Viterbo (Italy) and I obtained a further degree in Conservation and Management of Cultural Heritage - Archaeology awarded by the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio (Italy). Currently I am a PhD candidate in Science and Technology in Cultural Heritage at The Cyprus Institute (Cyprus) and in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Lund University (Sweden), focusing on the enhancement of traditional archaeological research by the means and support of digital approaches.

What about your research at the Cyprus Institute and STARC?

I have joined STARC in 2009 as a research assistant, working on various EU-funded research projects in the field of Digital Libraries. During these years I have been involved in the coordination, management, harmonization and aggregation of cultural data through the development and use of metadata and ontologies. Thanks to that, I focused my research interest on the definition of knowledge communication frameworks for data management and communication process of digital cultural heritage assets through new ways of reasoning with information technologies and semantics. Moreover, thanks to the admission as a PhD student at STARC, I could focus on my further research interest on 3D digital analysis, and particularly on the integration of 3D geometric analysis and semantics.

Can you tell us a bit more about your PhD project?

My PhD research project is aimed at developing a 3D digital approach for solving archaeological questions. Specifically, the aim is to enhance the traditional qualitative stylistic and typo-technological research in coroplastic studies, proposing a digital assisted approach based on the analysis of a set of features objectively describing the artefacts through measures and making all the interpretative knowledge process transparent. The case study chosen to try the 3D digital approach consists of a sample of terracotta figurines from the well-known site of Ayia Irini, Cyprus.

Do you think the advanced technological and scientific framework of CyI and STARC has enriched your research?

The advanced technological and scientific framework of CyI and STARC has definitely contributed to enrich my research and to address my specific research interests. Thanks to the facilities of STARC and to the support and collaboration with CyI and STARC researchers, I have been able to further develop my technological background and carry out my research.
The establishment of the Andreas Pittas Art Characterization at STARC, promoting the digital and analytical study of cultural heritage and archaeological material, offers me the opportunity to investigate new approaches and methods for the solution of my research questions in the field of archaeological and cultural heritage studies.