DIGITAL MODELS FOR THE ANALYSIS AND ENHANCEMENT OF HYBRID SPACES: ARCHITECTURE OF THE MATTANZA
Keywords: Digitization, Exhibition, Archaeology, Tuna fishing, Maritime history, Underwater cultural heritage
Abstract. Project ‘U Mari examines the long-term relationship between the sea, coast, and local peoples through the various lenses of maritime mobilities, interactions, and livelihoods along the shore of southeast Sicily, specifically between the Vendicari Reserve and Capo Passero. With an eye toward valorizing the ‘mattanza’ as intangible cultural heritage, our work focuses on the rich material remains of this distinctive Mediterranean form of bluefin tuna trap fishing, using 3D recording and visualization of its associated objects, spaces, and landscapes to relate vivid diachronic stories for the public. Our methodology integrates archaeological survey of the landscape, architecture, and social practices of tuna fishing that act as a bridge between ancient, early modern, and contemporary livelihoods. Through comprehensive digitization, we generate interoperable and parametric models aimed not only at the recording and restoration of objects and spaces, but also – in combination with interviews and archival work – at the valorization and revitalization of traditional practice within contemporary socioeconomic contexts. Through these digital methods, Project ‘U Mari seeks to engage the public with a deeper understanding of historical maritime lifeways using exhibition, virtual environments, and revived traditions. Such an approach can encourage environmentally sound fishing practices that draw on local knowledge and yield local economic benefits and responsible tourism. In this way, the historic and archaeological past offers the opportunity to create a new common language for understanding and communicating the architectural evidence of local traditions, history, and livelihoods in this rich maritime landscape.