CONSERVING BUILT HERITAGE FOR POSTERITY: A CONSERVATION APPROACH IN BAGAN
Keywords: Bagan, Built Heritage, Capacity Building, Heritage Conservation, Photogrammetry, 3D Laser Scanning, Digital Workflows
Abstract. The new age of digital technologies has led to a shift in conservation approaches when documenting historic places for posterity. The availability of these new technologies has provided tools for better decision-making with respect to the conservation of fragile built heritage. For sites vulnerable to seismic activity, such as Bagan, frequent catastrophic events have strengthened the need for proper documentation.
A multidisciplinary team, comprised of students from Carleton University, students from Mandalay Technological University, and staff from the Department of Archaeology and Library of Bagan, conducted a documentation workshop using digital recording techniques. The team selected four Buddhist temples in the city of Bagan, Myanmar, as case studies for the documentation expedition. The strategy included using active and passive sensing techniques (Figure 1), which were used to assess the character-defining elements associated to the built heritage of the case studies. Furthermore, the strategy involved examining the state of conservation of the built heritage. Following the on-site documentation, the data collected was processed to give 2D and 3D representations of the documented sites. These representations serve as a record for future use in conservation. Additional objectives related to the documentation of the four sites were to understand the obstacles in conserving built heritage with respect to the ancient city of Bagan, to expand the technical knowledge of the local staff and the future professionals, and to examine the values and limitations of the recording techniques employed.